5 Things the Golden Globes Got Right

Laura J. Burns
Laura J. Burns writes books, writes for TV, and sometimes writes TV based on books and books based on TV. She will never, however, write a poem. She’s the managing editor of The Antagonist.

The Golden Globes returned last year after taking a year off due to scandal, did a fairly decent show, and then sold themselves to Dick Clark Productions in June 2023. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which has been running these awards shows since 1944, was disbanded as part of that sale. So now The Golden Globes are just…you know, The Golden Globes. And nobody seems sure who to thank.

I will be kind here and say that this new iteration of the Globes should perhaps have taken a little more time to figure out what exactly it is, because last night’s Golden Globes was, as the kids say, a hot mess. There were some technical difficulties. There was an unfunny host, announced at the last minute after everyone else said no, who threw his writers under the bus almost immediately. There was a category nobody understood but which seemed to be created mostly to put the movies by women that made the most money but weren’t Important Enough for awards. All in all, the whole production felt half-baked. You would think Dick Clark Productions could put on a more professional show, but there were some bright spots.

Lily Gladstone

Even though her win for Killers of the Flower Moon was somewhat expected, it was still a thrill to see Gladstone take the stage as the first Indigenous actor to win this award. Her speech was breathtaking in its honesty about the plight of Native Americans–her pride in speaking the Blackfeet language from that stage, but her acknowledgment of how hard it was to learn: “My mom, even though she’s not Blackfeet, worked tirelessly to get Blackfeet language into our classroom so I had a Blackfeet language teacher growing up,” she said about her childhood on the reservation in Montana. Gladstone added some vintage Hollywood horror to this, continuing: “I’m so grateful that I can speak even a little bit of my language, which I’m not fluent in, up here because, in this business, Native actors used to speak their lines in English and then the sound mixers would run them backwards to accomplish Native languages on camera.” Just when you think the racism of Hollywood–and America–can’t shock you any further, it finds a new way.

@thenewsmovement

Lily Gladstone becomes the first Indigenous person to win Best Actress at the Golden Globes with her win for portraying Mollie Burkhart in ‘Killers of the Flower Moon.’ In her acceptance speech, she spoke in Blackfeet and credited her mother with making sure she learned her Native language, while explaining how Hollywood typically approaches Native language in films. #lilygladstone #goldenglobes #lilygladstoneacceptancespeech #killersoftheflowermoon #kotfm #osage #nativeamerican #Indigenouspeoples

♬ original sound – The News Movement

Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell

Many of the presenters were oddly matched and their dialogue stilted (it’s an awards show, after all), but that will never be a problem with these two. I don’t understand why they don’t just have SNL alums host these shows–they’re all used to live TV and they know exactly how to thread the needle between loving celebrities and roasting them (which host Jo Koy did NOT understand). So get Wiig and Ferrell or Fey and Poehler or Seth Meyers and anyone. Or, hell, any combination of those people! They probably said no, right? Why put themselves through that nightmare when they can just show up for a few minutes and do a weird bit like Wiig and Ferrell dancing to the music from The Big Comfy Couch?

@jblazn

the way I almost fell to the floor to start stretching! 😭 #goldenglobes #kristenwiig #willferrell #bigcomfycouch

♬ original sound – JBLAZN

Ayo Edebiri

Nobody except Emily thinks The Bear is a comedy, but it still won comedy awards last night and that’s okay because it’s such a brilliant show. And Ayo Edebiri got the biggest cheer of the night when she thanked not her agents and managers, but their assistants. Anyone who’s worked in Hollywood knows that it’s the assistants who run that whole damn town.

@hollywoodreporter

#ayoedebiri thanks all the agents’ and managers’ assistants during her #goldenglobes2024 acceptance speech for best actress in a comedy series #thebear #thebearfx #goldenglobes

♬ original sound – The Hollywood Reporter – The Hollywood Reporter

Andra Day and Jon Batiste

You know what? Forget the SNL people! Just have these two host everything. They were 100% the best presenters of the entire evening. It was simply relaxing to watch them for the two awards they presented because they were so naturally funny and comfortable with each other and with the material. You didn’t have to pre-cringe waiting for the inevitable groan to escape your lips. There was no awkwardness, just surprise at the little added touches they brought to the scripted lines. “Strip…mall.” Hilarious!

The Run Time

I have to give The Golden Globes props for this, and I don’t know how they did it: the show wasn’t interminable. It clocked in at three hours (maybe a minute or two longer) and I didn’t have to stay up until 11:30 or later praying for it to end like I usually do. So, hey, well done, Golden Globes! Maybe there’s hope for you yet.

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