What’s the most common critique of the Golden Globes? I mean, the overarching one (not the one that occurred this weekend when it became clear they have zero Black members to the point where they all remember the last person who applied, and was rejected, somewhere in the 2010s.) It’s that they only want to hang out with celebrities at a boozy, ‘messy’ (by their own admission) party and don’t care about anything else. But they took this opportunity to correct that perception in this strange year by having the 2021 Golden Globes be the absolute worst production to air on broadcast in primetime. 


You think I’m wrong? Have you seen the local news recently? They’ve got it figured out on 1/76th the budget and an even smaller fraction of time. The Emmy Awards had the first big hurdle, to figure out how to make an entertaining television program without actual entertainers present, and did a beautiful job. We all still laugh at the image of the fully PPE-clad awards holder waving and walking away from Ramy Youssef after he didn’t win, right? 

The Globes happened more than five months later, an atrocity, production-wise. The show was bland, yes, and it was utterly unoriginal in what could be done, sure. Those are valid criticisms. But when it became apparent, on the very first award of the night, that Daniel Kaluuya’s audio wasn’t working?! That’s when it was apparent that nobody actually gave a sh-t about how this was going to come across on TV. 


He did eventually get to give his speech, but God, could anything set more of a ‘we didn’t think about this beforehand because we actually didn’t care that much’ tone?! Moments after telling us how important it is to have the HFPA be a more inclusive and representative entity… yes, yes, I know it wasn’t on purpose, but how loud do they have to shout that they don’t care how things come across? 


After that, nothing was that surprising, but it was all disheartening. Suddenly deciding halfway through the show to try playing people off with music (as if they cared by that point), BAD lighting moments (Tiffany Haddish said a lot of her presenting speech in near darkness) and, maybe most upsettingly, those STUPID bumpers where the nominees were ‘hanging out’ in zoom rooms before the break. They were talking, and I can see how maybe it was supposed to be casual and juicy, approximating the way we used to scour the crowd shots during the Globes before they went to commercial, but they really, really didn’t work and it was so clear that nobody had really leaned into what was undoubtedly someone’s ‘cool’ idea. 

What makes this worse is that it overshadowed the one part of the Globes that did really work: seeing all the families!

Maybe they were encouraged to be there, or maybe it just happened that nobody made any pretenses and everyone was acting as casually as they otherwise would at home on a Sunday night -- probably, by which I mean almost entirely, because everyone is so f-cking fed up with everything. Almost universally, it was unproduced and really cute! Mark Ruffalo’s kids fell all over him: 


Nicole Kidman’s daughters, whom we almost never see, smiled nervously when Tina and Amy made a joke about their mother, not sure if it was time to laugh or not: 

Jodie Foster and her wife and her DOG in aspirational loungewear: 

Speaking of rarely-seen partners, Carey Mulligan and Marcus Mumford! Together, in the same frame! (To be clear, I just mean she usually does this kind of stuff on her own) 


And, of course, the scene-stealer of the night, when Lee Isaac Chung won, his daughter jumped into his arms, squealing the sweetest unscripted thing a child has ever said on one of these things: 

However, not to be outdone, this is Alan S Kim reacting to her reaction, one-upping with a lost tooth AND a dimple:

In short, allowing people to be themselves was the best part of the whole show. But all those human moments (shout out to Jeff Daniels’ door-filled shot and whatever was under that tarp) happened in spite of the Golden Globes broadcast, not because of it. Because they never cared about it being a television show to begin with, and that mess of a broadcast, that would embarrass a much smaller, cheaper production, a full YEAR into this godforsaken hellscape, made it very clear.