What Happened to Ricky Gervais?: The Boring 2012 Golden Globes

After last year's in-your-face celebrity mockery, we had higher hopes for last night's award show.

For weeks, everyone’s been talking about the return of Ricky Gervais to the Golden Globes. After last year’s—slightly cantankerous but squirmingly funny—barbs about The Tourist, Charlie Sheen, and the Sex and the City 2 poster (“No, I was sure the Golden Globe for special effects would go to the team that airbrushed that poster. Girls, we know how old you are. I saw one of you in an episode of Bonanza.”), no one thought he would ever be invited to host another show. (Celebrities are there to celebrate and be celebrated, not to be butts of jokes.) But when it was announced that he would return people assumed this time would be the same. Or worse.

Who would have ever thought that it would be … well … really stinkin’ boring? Most of this had to do with good but not great or rallying nominees. (No Avatar fervor for Midnight in Paris.) But surely it had everything to do with Gervais’ scant screen time. (This was apparently a way for the producers to neuter Gervais a bit.) After his initial monologue at 8 p.m., he wasn’t seen on camera again until 8:57 p.m. But even when he was on screen, many of his jabs and jokes felt declawed. Probably the most “scandalous” of his jokes consisted of Justin Bieber and a turkey baster.

So this recap should really be called The Boring, The Dull, and the Ho-Hum. But, regardless, here are my picks for this year’s Golden Globes highlights.

The Good

  • The utterly charming duet by real-life couple Felicity Huffman and Wiliiam H. Macy to introduce Best Supporting Actress on TV.
  • Several actors (mostly British) showed how an acceptance speech should be made: Be amusing, be thankful, and be brief. Well done Christopher Plummer and Kate Winslet!
  • This line from Seth Rogen, regarding his co-presenter Kate Beckinsale: “Hi, I’m Seth Rogen and I’m currently trying to conceal a massive erection.”
  • Morgan Freeman is proof that an honorary award doesn’t need to be excruciatingly long in order to be poignant.
  • The flibbertygibbiet quality to Meryl Streep, who—during her win for Iron Lady—somehow made a weird analogy between actresses and exotic birds.
  • The bilingual acceptance speech from Sofía Vergara and Steven Levitan for Best TV Comedy winner Modern Family.
  • While watching, I couldn’t stop wishing I were sitting at the same table as Amy Poehler, Will Arnett and Tina Fey.
  • George Clooney’s dick joke about fellow nominee Michael Fassbender. (Which was far funnier than most Gervais’ jokes of the nights.)
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson holding a sign saying “Whatever …” over costar and Golden Globe nominee Eric Stonestreet’s shoulder.
  • Melissa McCarthy shown standing, and crying, during Octavia Spencer’s win for Best Supporting Actress. Can we just give both of these hilarious women the award?
  • The one Gervais line that made me laugh: “What you don’t know about [Colin Firth] is he’s very racist. Very, I mean, really nasty stuff. I’ve also seen him punch a little blind kitten.” What happened next wasn’t nearly as funny. (See: The Ugly.)

The Bad

  • Totally happy for Laura Dern’s win for Enlightened, but Amy Poehler has gone too long without being recognized for Parks and Recreation.
  • Clive Owen and Nicole Kidman presented the award for Best Screenplay. Not sure if Clive actually uttered a single word.
  • The laughable moment when Madonna, introducing Best Foreign Film, said she watched foreign films as a child. (“There’s nothing foreign to me about foreign films.”)
  • Jeremy Irons’ strange caressing of Hollywood Foreign Press Association President Dr. Aida Takla O’Reilly’s shoulder.
  • The completely random and seemingly pointless speech by Turkish actress Meltem Cumbul.
  • The uncomfortable feeling I get whenever I hear Johnny Depp talk. What accent was that anyway, Irish?
  • Why did the director pair Melissa McCarthy with Paula Patton? Melissa should have gone alone or on the arm of a dashing man.

The Ugly

  • After Gervais made a quip about Colin Firth being racist, who thought it was a good idea to get a reaction shot from the cast of The Help? Classy.
  • Not only was Madonna wearing one glove tonight, she also failed to acknowledge her co-writers for the song “Masterpiece” who were standing right next to her. (Let’s hope she simply didn’t see them.)
  • Please fire whoever at E! that believes Kelly Osbourne or Ross Mathews (aka Ross the Intern) should a) host anything and b) act as fashion experts.
  • Gervais appeared once during the first hour (the monologue), three times during the second, and four times during the final hour. Why have him host, then?
  • Why the hell was Hung star Thomas Jane wearing a cowboy hat? I think he needs to fire his stylist, if he has one. (Same for Lea Michele.)
  • The fact that Glee got nominated for Best Televion Series–Comedy or Musical and Parks and Recreation did not is baffling.


Did I miss anything?