The “Winners” and “Losers” of the 2008 Golden Globes Awards

Last night, the 2008 Golden Globes were a ludicrous and fascinating experiment of NBC’s incompetence (Sepinwall tears them a new one here) and a sense that what we were watching was memorable not due to any of the winners but rather because it was just difficult to watch. I tried to LiveBlog it, which was a horrible mistake in every possible way, but it did get me thinking about something.

You see, usually we consider the concepts of Winners and Losers in terms of who won awards, but that really isn’t the question here. The real concern is that by not airing the awards, some of the Golden Globes buzz which could benefit these performers in their future award races or in their future ratings/DVD sales. The lack of hoopla actually hurt some of the winners, dampening the effect of what would have been an entertaining surprise victory.

So let’s look at a bit of an unconventional concept of “winners” and “Losers” after last night’s intriguing events.

Winner – 30 Rock

Yes, it lost Best Comedy Series. And yes, it also ludicrously lost Best Actor in a Comedy Series when David Duchovony beat Alec Baldwin. But Tina Fey’s victory shows that an American-made, New York shot comedy series with little to no connection to the international markets (Although Interrogation Bear might differ) is capable of winning even when it’s not Alec Baldwin, which may end up as all of the respect that the HFPA has to give.

Loser – Mad Men

I would have paid money to see the stunned reaction of the partying attendees to Jon Hamm’s win as Best Actor in a Drama Series, but instead we got Billy Bush’s quip about how it was humorous for an actor to have the name “Hamm.” The impact was entirely gone – it was a great endnote for critics and those who enjoy fine television, but the general population will easily shrug off both Hamm’s win and the series’ eventual triumph in Best Drama Series. Still, this is a qualified sense of loser – it’s a winner in my mind, certainly.

Winner – Juno

Yes, a film which was completely shut out at the Golden Globes is actually labeled a “Winner” in my crazy and insane world. The reasoning is simple: the film has all of the box office buzz and the word of mouth buzz in the world, as it vaults towards the $100 Million mark. If the Globes was a huge spectacle, the losses would have really resonated: instead, the impact is minimal at best, especially amongst non-award aficionados. Diablo Cody and Ellen Page now get to continue their march to Oscar Nominations without any questions of their candidacy.

Loser – Atonement

Now I’m just crazy – it won Best Picture (Drama), its first major win in the award precursors, so how can I possibly call it a loser? Well, unfortunately, the Golden Globes press conference won’t quite be the same bump that the awards show itself was – not being able to see the intoxicated production team of the film take the stage and give a cut short speech is going to severely damage its positive spin heading into a competitive Best Picture category.

Winners – People Who Watched CNN/E!/TV Guide

Everyone who did so, kudos to you – you got to see less annoying entertainment hosts introduce the awards in a traditional fashion without inserting their own commentary on a regular basis. It was simple, only a half-hour long, and generally the much better way to enjoy this process.

Losers – Billy Bush and NBC

I don’t quite want to refer to Billy Bush as the scourge of mankind, but seriously – his commentary throughout the episode was more embarrassing than we could have even imagined. Whether it was questioning Cate Blanchett’s win due to her playing a man, or just being plain ol’ ignorant about some other categories (He has serious issues about the comedy/drama split), it was both unnecessary and painful to watch. NBC’s decision to air the special as a one-hour, hideously padded affair was done for a variety of reasons (Ad revenue, ratings, etc.), but it just came off as nothing but tacky.

Edit: And, to add insult to injury? Only 5.4 Million viewers showed up to watch NBC’s coverage of the winners. That’s just rough.

5 Comments

Filed under Award Shows

5 responses to “The “Winners” and “Losers” of the 2008 Golden Globes Awards

  1. kip

    Well, it’s damn obvious on which side of the aisle YOU sit…

  2. Billy Bush and NBC were definitely the biggest losers last night, but I think everybody all around lost. Can’t remember where I read about this idea, but had the WGA with the support of the SAG not worked together to cancel the awards show, they could have used it as a way to get their message out to a huge audience. Each actor could have shown support for the writers while accepting their awards. I think WGA achieved a small win with the cancellation, but ultimately lost a big opportunity.

  3. Jason, I’m of two minds with this. On the one hand, I think that it would have been an intriguing event and offered some surprises. On the other hand, the whole point of the Globes is to get drunk and party: I don’t think that some people would have felt comfortable in that environment even if the writers weren’t picketing.

    I also believe that the WGA runs the risk of two things: one is looking like they’re petty, which they are risking here, but also the concern that they’re preaching to the choir. Anyone who cares enough about the writers’ strike to notice these types of things are already on board – why keep pandering to the public when it’s the studios that need to get their act in gear? If pencils from fans aren’t working, a hit in the pocketbook might be the better bet.

    Strikes are hard things to call, and you’re right that this might have been a bad one: but, I think that they’re in tricky shape no matter what decision they make with this one.

    And Kip…I don’t know what that means, at all. So, thanks?

  4. Myles, I can see your points, but I just think it would have been interesting to watch actors get up on one of the networks and talk about how the networks should pay the writers fairly.

  5. 67th Golden Globe Awards happening now.
    Yes indeed, it will be very interesting to see how it all works out!

    In the meantime for more on the 67th Golden Globe Awards see:
    http://familyforest.wordpress.com/2010/01/17/67th-annual-golden-globe-awards/

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