golden globes 2021

Can Anyone Explain to Me Why the Golden Globe Nominations Livestream Was So Weird?

We should’ve known the Golden Globe nominations were going to be disorienting and alarming from the very beginning of the E! livestream. Sarah Jessica Parker announced the first nomination would be Emily in Paris for Best TV Musical or Comedy, and this should have been a red flag for how the rest of the announcements would go. From that first nomination, though, the Golden Globes’ announcement livestream then went from What? to Wait, what?! From top to bottom, the live event was almost as bizarre as the nominations themselves (nothing for I May Destroy You?!).

The event’s two big names were Sarah Jessica Parker and Taraji P. Henson, who had the responsibility of reading the list of nominees. Neither of them seemed entirely comfortable with the experience. Parker read her list from plain white letter paper, which rustled loudly every time she turned a page and which conjured an image of the Parker-Broderick household waking up very early this morning to make sure someone’s laptop still remembered how to connect to the right printer. Henson also read from large white pieces of paper, but her primary issue was her own anxiety. “My heart is pounding,” she said, before mentioning her nerves several more times.

If the nominations had been hosted by Parker and Henson, or if they’d simply read their respective lists and been done with it, the livestream might have been a bit rocky but otherwise unremarkable. But the real trouble was in the lengthy interim segments between Henson and Parker’s list-reading, because rather than read the nominations and be done with it, the E! livestream interjected several minutes of filler from E! host Justin Sylvester and Rotten Tomatoes editor Jacqueline Coley.

Sylvester and Coley looked great and they seem like fun people, but they had the unenviable job of providing fast analysis of the nominations without having the freedom to say “These nominations are ridiculous.” They chatted about how movie stars show up on TV a lot these days. They talked about how great Regina King is. (To be fair, she is great.) They could not remember exactly which movies Vanessa Kirby has been in. (To be fair, the nominations were very, very early in the morning, and who among us has perfect recall of every actor’s IMDb? Certainly not me!) They speculated about Ted Lasso’s chances. All the while, every person who showed up to hear the Golden Globe nominations sat in front of their screens, yelling, “Please just read the Golden Globe nominations!”

It’s hard to say who is to blame for how stilted and weird the whole thing felt. Sylvester and Coley were required to fill time, and they certainly did it. Parker and Henson had to read the nominations, and they also did that, even if Henson did read a nomination for Ted Lasso star “Jason Soodakiss.” But as a whole, it gave the impression of a livestream that someone forgot to produce. Maybe there were huge technical problems? Perhaps Sylvester and Coley had to fill so much time because Parker and Henson had to wait for their lists to spit out of their color inkjet printers, and someone put too much clip art on the files? Maybe the whole thing was sabotaged by anti–Emily in Paris activists?

We may never know the whole story, but if we’re very lucky, we can hope that the limited series based on this cursed livestream will eventually get nominated for a Golden Globe Award.

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Why Was the Golden Globe Nominations Livestream So Weird?