The Award for Most Awkward Awards Ceremony in Recent History Goes To...
Even in normal times, awards shows are enough of an endurance test. But NBC took things to a new circle of hell with its oddball, thrown-together attempt to rescue the 65th annual Golden Globe Awards once the writers strike kept the stars away -- tarnishing the faded reputation of its news division for good measure. (see a list of all the winners here)
If there is anything more depressing than listening to Billy Bush explain why Amy Ryan deserves a Globe more than Cate Blanchett -- moments after announcing Blanchett's win for best supporting actress in a film -- I've never experienced it. At least in normal years you get a few hours before the inane analysis kicks in; on this show, viewers were stuck with Bush and Nancy O'Dell debating the merits of French cinema instead of a drunk Jack Nicolson or weirded-out Johnny Depp. Not a fair trade by a mile.
A preceding, two-hour interview show tagged as a Dateline NBC special. Lame introductions by Matt Lauer. Pre-taped comic riffing by Kathy Griffin, and the hosts of Access Hollywood reading off winners from behind a golden podium. The NBC executive who came up with this cavalcade of misery should be bound, gagged and forced to walk through downtown Baghdad with a George Bush mask on and a placard reading "Muhammed Sucks."
The Globe awards were, well, typical. Just enough European winners to puzzle the American audience and gratify James Lipton, with nods for the expected cool kids (Johnny Depp as best actor comedy musical film, Glenn Close as best actress in a TV drama, 30 Rock star Tina Fey as best actress in a comedy, Javier Bardem as best supporting actors in a film and Entourage's Jeremy Piven as best supporting actor on a TV show)
TV-wise, the Globes also picked two new series to show some love: AMC's Mad Men (best drama actor to star Jon Hamm and best TV drama series awards) and Showtime's Californication (star David Duchovny honored as best comedy actor - even if Bush doesn't think it's a comedy). And a win for Queen Latifah's turn in Nelson George's affecting film about his HIV-positive sister, along with Bardem's honor kept the night from being totally white.
And, as I noted in my top ten list from 2007 last month -- which included Californication and Mad Men. thank you very much -- cable TV dominated the television category winners, with Fey as the only winner from a broadcast network show.
The Oscars can't go down like this. No one in TV land will run out a buy a ticket to any film because Nancy O'Dell read the star's name from a press release. So expect the gods of Hollywood to deliver more pressure to get this strike resolved so Bardem and Blanchett won't have to pick up their awards in a back alley behind the Shrine Theater.
Score another one for the Writer's guild. As the losses mount, one has to wonder when an adult will step up and end this already.