January 16th, 2012
10:36 AM ET
Likely to the relief of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Sunday's Golden Globes ceremony went off more or less without a hitch. (There were two curse words that had to be censored and more than one penis joke, but these are the Globes, not the Oscars.)
The expected big winners - George Clooney, Meryl Streep, "The Artist" - took home their awards, and host Ricky Gervais was far less needling of those in the audience as he was in 2011. But that could've been because we also seemed to see less of him.
"It appeared that he was offstage much more than in the past," says a review on the Huffington Post. And when he was on stage, this viewer found it almost painful to watch him, "because his performance was so emasculated...All in all, it was [routine], with scant entertainment."
The only glitch is that doesn't make much of a show for the viewers at home.
Particularly those, the Los Angeles Times says in a review, that aren't watching the ceremonies just for the wins.
"To those award-show haters who still mysteriously watch award shows, it must have seemed a new level of hell. For better or worse, it was a show defined almost solely by its winners," the L.A. Times notes. "Not much controversy there. Or anywhere, really. Which leaves the Golden Globes in the same sort of conundrum as the Oscars - all dressed up and no way to put on a real show."
That's not to say Gervais was totally quiet - his opening monologue called the Globes the Kim Kardashian of awards shows: "a bit louder, a bit trashier, a bit drunker...more easily bought."
At one point, he joked that Colin Firth was a racist who isn't above punching a blind kitten, and that the actors gathered in the ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel had done much more degrading things to make it in the industry than defecate in a sink, as a "Bridesmaids" character does in the blockbuster comedy.
But even that quip, says Time magazine's James Poniewozik, was missing the comedian's usual bite. Last year, he wouldn't have made it a general comparison - he would've landed the joke with a "specific, mean-but-true reference to a lousy movie starring [a] valorized celebrity." As a result, Poniewozik continues, "it was largely the winners, not the host, who delivered the closest thing to memorable moments from the podium."
For Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker, that resulted in an "underwhelming" show, although the winners list is mostly "spot-on."
"All those NBC commercials featuring host Ricky Gervais promising to be as meanly sarcastic as he was last year didn't really pay off," Tucker says, adding that the acceptance speeches weren't all that entertaining, either, except for the one delivered by Sofia Vergara and Steve Levitan from "Modern Family."
That one had Vergara accept the best TV comedy Golden Globe in Spanish as Levitan "translated" into English, and suggested that the ladies in the audience should do themselves a "favor at the parties tonight and give the ['Modern Family' writers] your phone numbers," Levitan joked as Vergara pretended to be none the wiser. "They make look pasty and nervous and out-of-shape, but they're the greatest lovers I've ever had."
So how was it for you? Did you hope to see more of Ricky Gervais, or at least a less muzzled version?
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