Credit to the Golden Globes: Even when they’re canceled, they still know how to put on a show.
With the Globes kicked off their usual prime-time perch thanks to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s ethical and racial scandals, the 2022 version of the annual awards ceremony was thrown into jeopardy. There would be no red-carpet stunners, no drunken antics, no Ricky Gervais nervously tittering through a monologue. In fact, there would be no show at all. As the Globes announced last week, this year’s ceremony would only be attended by HFPA members and charity grantees, a move the association chalked up to COVID precautions but surely had as much if not more to do with Hollywood’s soft boycott of the institution. To top it off, the event would not even be livestreamed. Instead, the Globes would simply announce the winners over Twitter as if the HFPA were a local critics group. Which, when you come to think of it, is what it is. But it used to be a local critics group with a TV deal!
However, I doubt any critics circle would be able to pull off what the Globes achieved Sunday night: an evening of social-media chaos that produced a round of good-natured communal ribbing, which together felt like more of an event than any of last year’s glitchy Zoom ceremonies. The Globes weren’t the only thing happening on Twitter — there was the Euphoria premiere and an NFL game with playoff implications — but the Globes were only happening on Twitter, and somehow, that made all the difference.
Despite taking place entirely on social media, these zombie-Globes still managed to maintain an essential Globes-iness — the sense that everything was five seconds from going completely off the rails mixed with sublime confidence that they were pulling it off. Some of this was due to tech snafus, like the time they posted a video of Jamie Lee Curtis, deleted it, then reposted it without any acknowledgement of what went wrong. But most of it sprung from the Globes’ decision to take a page from the Emily in Paris school of social-media posting. (I guess the HPFA did indeed get something out of that free trip to Paris.) Just as the Globes are often so bad they’re good, so too were their tweets ready-made for all of Film Twitter to join in on the roast session. There were low-effort puns:
Bizarre emoji use that recalled an alien attempting to flirt:
And references to song lyrics that had nothing to do with any of the nominated films:
In fact, for much of the night, the Globes refrained from mentioning the project each of the winners had won for. Was Kenneth Branagh being rewarded for writing Belfast, or was this a long-delayed honor for his work on Henry V? Who could say.
The tweets’ botlike unfamiliarity with the projects they were ostensibly celebrating reached its peak with West Side Story’s win in Best Motion Picture – Musical/Comedy, which the Globes announced by proclaiming, “If laughter is the best medicine, @WestSideMovie is the cure for what ails you.” In fairness, maybe the HFPA didn’t stick around for the ending, which features three teenagers being murdered. This tweet stayed up for 20 minutes, and as someone who covers this for a living, let me tell you that those 20 minutes spurred more interest in the awards race than anything else since the beginning of the pandemic. But what happened next was even better: The Globes replaced it with a tweet saying “If music is the best medicine,” thus inventing an entirely new idiom just for the sake of covering their ass.
And people say it should have been an email? When was the last time an email brought you this much joy?