TV Commentary: The Golden Globes — Reliably Disappointing

The Golden Globes Equation: Glitz + Glamor + Action = Win.

A scene from "Mr. Robot."

A scene from “Mr. Robot.”

By Ehis Osifo

Sadly, the awards season kicks off each year the Golden Globes. Each year the Hollywood Foreign Press gets it wrong. Why? Who can say? The choices are based popularity? Bribes? Stupidity? It’s hard to say. The Golden Globes on Sunday night got a few picks right, but mostly they were way off base. Three hours of tedium, with some pick-me-ups.

Thank God They Won:

Brie Larson as Joy “Ma” Newsome in Room (Best Actress in a Motion Picture-Drama)

Larson’s riveting performance in Room met and then went beyond a considerable challenge. The actress give a beautiful and delicate portrayal of a character kidnapped as a young child, repeatedly raped, and forced to raise a child in captivity. Eventual escape brought on crippling depression and self-hatred.

Inside Out (Best Animated Feature Film)

Inside Out is a Pixar high point. This cartoon tackled thorny issues of adolescent depression and made them compelling for kids and adults.

Mr. Robot (Best Television Series-Drama)

This pick was completely unexpected. I thought that the GG brainiacs were going to give the award to their much-lauded Game of Thrones, if only because the series was around for a fifth season. But, surprisingly, it went to a USA Network program (an inaugural win for the company in this category). A sign that, sometimes, the awards are given out for merit rather than after reading chicken entrails.

Mozart in the Jungle/Gael Garcia Bernal as Rodrigo de Souza (Best Television Series-Comedy and Best Actor-Television Series Musical or Comedy)

This win was another pleasant surprise. The odds were heavily in favor of Transparent and Jeffrey Tambor—another Amazon Prime series. But the underdogs won this time, and a good thing. This fine series, set in the world of classical music, nimbly amalgamates drama, comedy, love, hate, lust, passion, drugs, sex, and romance.

Rachel Bloom as Rebecca Bunch in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (Best Actress-Television Series Musical or Comedy)

Another underdog/surprise win. At first, this show looked like a wan copy cat, but it actually puts a new spin on the comedy/musical genre popularized by Glee and Pitch Perfect. Rebecca’s musical numbers are delusions, the fruits of a mental breakdown. This show had me hooked at “The Sexy Getting Ready Song.”

Taraji P. Henson as Loretha “Cookie” Lyon in Empire (Best Actress-Television Series Drama)

I don’t know what’s better. Was it Henson giving out cookies after she won her award, a tribute to the character she plays so well in Empire? Her being the only woman of color to win an award on Sunday night? Or that, during her acceptance speech, she said, “Please wrap? I’ve been waiting twenty years for this, you goin’ wait!”

Who Should Have Won:

Christian Bale in a scene from "The Big Short."

Christian Bale in a scene from “The Big Short.”

Spotlight…for ANYTHING

It is a travesty that Spotlight didn’t take home a single award. Compelling and understated storytelling in a film that actually says something about the real world (rather than indulging in fantasy violence, sex, or explosion)? That kind of stuff is out of the running at the Golden Globes.

Trainwreck (Best Motion Picture-Comedy)

This comedy explored the life of a contemporary young woman by way of a sense of humor that was somehow both tasteful and raunchy at the same time. Amy Schumer, who starred in and wrote the film, has been pretty unstoppable this past year. The Golden Globes don’t like edgy laughter.

Eddie Redmayne as Lili Elbe/Einar Wegener in The Danish Girl (Best Actor in Motion Picture-Drama)

Redmayne’s portrait of transgender pioneer Lili Elbe was nothing short of breathtaking.

Charles Randolph/Adam McKay for The Big Short (Best Screenplay)

Making megabucks corruption entertaining? That’s what Randolph and McKay pulled that off in their witty adaptation of Michael Lewis’ book The Big Short. They somehow made the 2007-housing crisis into an amusing comedy that made audiences laugh while at the same time explaining just why they should be crying at what the big banks got away with. This is the rare story in which you can’t make up your mind if you want its greedy anti-heroes to win or lose.

Rami Malek as Elliot Alderson in Mr. Robot (Best Actor-Television Series Drama)

Before this show my only encounter with Rami Malek was in the short-lived 2005 sitcom The War At Home, where he played the awkward best-friend-next-door type. So I was pretty skeptical when he was picked to star in this series. I don’t say this often, but was I wrong. His performance was bone-chilling to the point of becoming hypnotic. He gave us the anti-hero of the year.

Sarah Hay as Claire Robbins in Flesh and Bone (Best Actress-Miniseries or Television Film)

A rare example of a professional ballet dancer who turned out to be a terrific actress. Yes, Hay danced marvelously: but it was her ability to infuse depth into her broken character that was heartbreaking.

How in the Hell Did They Win:

Lady Gaga in

Lady Gaga in “American Horror Story: Hotel.”

The Revenant (Best Motion Picture-Drama)

The Golden Globes Equation: Glitz + Glamor + Action = Win.

The Martian (Best Motion Picture-Comedy)

Pardon me, but shouldn’t the winner in this category be funny? This was a powerful sci-fi drama; director Ridley Scott is a master. But just because a story ends well doesn’t mean it is a comedy. You need some laughs. Case closed.

Leonardo DiCaprio as Hugh Glass in The Revenant (Best Actor in a Motion Picture-Drama)

Glitz + Glamor + Action = Win

Lady Gaga as Elizabeth Johnson/The Countess in American Horror Story: Hotel (Best Actress-Miniseries or Television Film)

Hey, Lady Gaga did ok — for Lady Gaga. But the Golden Globes Equation (see above) kicked in. This award was probably the biggest sop to eye-rolling mediocrity of the night (which is saying something), so much so that after Gaga was proclaimed the winner you could see DiCaprio laughing as ‘the actress’ went to the podium to accept the award. And, I have to admit, I was guffawing too — it was a hell of a lot funnier than The Martian.

Ehis Osifo. Boston, born and raised. Junior in Boston University’s College of Communication, studying Film and Television Production with a focus in Women Studies.

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