The Highs and Lows of the 2016 Golden Globes

Perhaps you were expecting a different Amazon show? Photo: Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

When Ricky Gervais hosts an awards show, you pretty much know what you’re gonna get. And, that’s what we got. There were a few surprises along the way, particularly on the TV side of things, what with Mozart in the Jungle taking home two more awards than the zero won by Transparent, and a much more deserving Mr. Robot earning a pair of its own. But mostly the show felt like a slog. Still, it would be impossible for NBC to spend millions of dollars on an awards show without producing, intentionally or otherwise, some worthwhile moments. Here, then, are this year’s highs and lows.

LOW: Ricky Gervais being exactly the host we expected. 
His transphobic opening monologue, his dated Charlie Sheen joke, deciding to remind us of his Mel Gibson material — why? Not just why did he, a professional comedian, think these jokes were funny, but the larger, why are we back here? After a delightful and genuinely funny, but still often edgy, run with Amy and Tina, and even having seen how well Andy Samberg did at the Emmys, why did the Globes revert back to Gervais and his stale, antagonistic shtick? We can only hear Gervais shit on the show, and complain about the celebrities, and moan about how long it’s all taking so many times before we start to wonder, So why are you there? And that says a lot more about Gervais, and the show’s producers, than anything Gervais has to say about the targets of his jokes.

HIGH: Eva and America riff on Latina non-differentiation.
Eva Longoria and America Ferrera’s bit about not being the other famous Latina actress was the best presenter segment of the night, and probably did more to convince audiences that Superstore and Telenovela could be funnier than any of the endless promos. That’s some A+ comic timing.

LOW: Sorry, Mozart in the Jungle.
You’re not the best comedy. You’re just not. But HIGH for Paul Weitz’s line, “If there are any actors out there who play an instrument, Jason has a sign-up sheet and we’d be honored to have you.” Time to show off those french-horn skills, someone!

HIGH: Rachel Bloom went crazy.
Hilarious, charming woman Rachel Bloom won Best Actress in a TV Comedy, and in the process, made almost everyone else look like damn fools who don’t know how to deliver an awards speech. This was hands down the best TV win of the night, and we presume the poorly rated (but
critically acclaimed!) Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is now ensured to live a long, healthy life.

LOW: Kate Winslet’s fake surprise.
Kate, you beautiful, modest British human, you are an 11-time Golden Globe nominee and, now, a four-time winner. Your awards-show accolades are about as unsurprising as Meryl Streep’s at this point, which means you have no business dropping your jaw whenever someone at the podium reads your name. Please leave the “who
me?!” humblebrags to Taylor Swift.

HIGH: Jamie Foxx’s subtle onstage shade.
After Quentin Tarantino caught some side-eye when he called film scoring a “ghetto,” Foxx simply uttered the word “ghetto” to remind everyone of how Tarantino — who directed him in Django Unchained, you’ll recall — is that white guy in your film-studies class.

LOW: The Jump Street boys’ bear bit.
After a lackluster opening monologue, Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill couldn’t make their profanity-heavy bear-from–The Revenant shtick work. It’s not a bad idea, but it just didn’t play quite right.

HIGH: Andy Samberg, whisking us back to better times. 
Andy Samberg, you came into the night and reminded us of that night you hosted the Emmys, and what a wonderful evening that was. #Samberg2017

LOW: Lady Gaga’s overly effusive, faux-humble “you made me shine” acceptance speech.
Setting aside the absurdity of the win itself — as we said, this was awarding spectacle, not performance — let’s recalibrate our reaction here, Stef. It’s a Golden Globe for best actress in a mini-series. Have a little self-control.

HIGH: Aziz holding up a book that said, “Losing to Jeffrey Tambor With Dignity.”
It was a quick visual joke as the best actor in a musical or comedy nominees were read, but it was also a wonderful throwback sort of move. Amy Poehler was once the queen of these kinds of bits; learn from her in this and many other ways.

HIGH: Taraji P. Henson handing out cookies.
She waited 20 years to
collect her first Golden Globe, so please believe we were all gon’ have to wait for her to smize all over the red carpet, pass out contracts in the form of cookies to Leo DiCaprio, and shrug off her haters before she allowed anyone else to take her stage.

LOW: Jon Hamm, are you mad, man?
It’s great to see you and Mad Men still being recognized seven years after it went off the air, but come on: You are better than that Chumbawumba joke.

HIGH: Jim Carrey’s beard.
Yes, the bit was probably still very funny on the page, but man, everything’s funnier with a gigantic Santa Clause beard.

HIGH: An adorable Brie Larson promising to write a thank-you card to anyone she forgot.
She so will.

LOW: All the bleeping.
Just … give us the cursing. We’re all grownups. (But also, people on stage: You know it’s getting bleeped out for those of us at home. Play it PG-13 for our sakes.)

HIGH: Leo’s Best Actor speech.
You know how, in video games, there’s always that one boss that you just can’t beat, so you end up playing the later stages of the level over and over and eventually get really, really good at them? That’s the Globes for Leo — at this point,
he’s just cruising through them on the way to the really hard parts. Show up, pick up a trophy, shout out the environment, then hit up 1 Oak with record efficiency.

HIGH: The clock was watched.
The show ended at 11:04 p.m. Plus 100,000 points for promptness.

The Highs and Lows of the 2016 Golden Globes