KATE ERBLAND: If there's one word that best describes my Golden Globes viewing experience, it's "WHAT." Or, perhaps a bit more eloquently, "surprise!" The night was packed with shockers, from the really good (Rachel Bloom winning for "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," mere hours after a TCA panel that seemed to be dedicated to talking about just how much the creative team behind the show wishes it would get some love, Oscar Isaac picking up a trophy for "Show Me a Hero") to the really unexpected (Kate Winslet looking genuinely shocked that anyone wanted to dole out accolades for "Steve Jobs," which has mostly been forgotten by both audiences and awards bodies, or Ridley Scott sniffing at the designation of his "The Martian" as a comedy), but weirdly, that didn't help the whole thing move at a clip for me, it just sort of highlighted how bloated and off-kilter the whole thing was.
When that actual emotion burbled up, it provided a respite, and it's certainly a nice takeaway from the show itself, but man, wouldn't it be nice if the entire thing could be that zippy and fresh?
BEN TRAVERS: You've touched on the greatest challenge facing award shows in general, which is balancing those sweet, genuine acceptance speeches with the more politically motivated rudimentary list readings.
Bloom's astonished reaction to her (much-deserved) victory reminded us why we watch, tweet, analyze and generally devote attention to the HFPA to begin with, while Scott's bland recitation of many names few viewers know all to make sure no one feels excluded (in the hopes they'll support his Oscar bid) takes us straight to Snoozeville. So every time Ricky Gervais made a crack about how the show could be a half-hour, all I could think was, "How?" What would you cut that people might not miss and what would you keep that would make the ceremony worth airing? It was far from a perfect ceremony, but I always watch the Globes like I watch a playoff game: Who looks like they can go the distance, and who's just happy to be here?
Of course, when it comes to TV, most winners fall into the latter category, as the HFPA inexplicably but consistently contradicts itself by crowning little-known upstarts like "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" and "Mozart in the Jungle" on the TV side and regularly rewarding the biggest names (or most likely Oscar winners) on the film side. But hey, I can't complain about too much. Sylvester Stallone won a Golden Globe Sunday night. All is right with the world.
The funny thing about all those TV shocks — like "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," "Mr. Robot" and "Mozart in the Jungle" — is that it made me think, "Hmm, here's some stuff I should really be catching up on," while the film winners mainly made me just exhale hot, angry breath, much like a particularly annoyed dragon. Aside from Sly! That was an actual treat and, moreover, the kind of win that actually might position him for the kind of Oscar glory he should be getting for his turn in "Creed."
Basically, I feel extremely conflicted about the impact of the Golden Globes.
BEN TRAVERS: I'm right there with you in terms of an overall reaction, though the one aspect that had me breathing fire was the almost entire dismissal of comedies.
Aside from including TV, the one big advantage the Globes has always carried over the Oscars is its split categories. Sure, the comedy and drama groupings are probably there more to bring in more big-name talent than honor a genre otherwise overlooked, but at least they have them. In a world where any heavy-handed drama is given more credit than the funniest film of the year, the Globes has a unique opportunity to show proper respect to a craft that's largely ignored at award shows, by critics' groups and even in Top 10 lists.
So what happened last night? "The Martian" won Best Comedy (or, as Matt Damon joked backstage, Best Musical), Damon stole Best Actor, Jennifer Lawrence snagged actress for the pseudo-comedy "Joy," and "Mozart in the Jungle" took home TV honors. I mean, the flat-out funniest winner across the board last night was Bloom — and "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" is a musical! While preposterous category shifts are common at the Globes and, even with the comedy category in place, they still often reward the most dramatic entry of the group, what made 2016's ceremony all the worse was that there were so many great comedies nominated that were, you know, actual comedies! "Veep" is a clear favorite of mine and a vastly superior series to everything else in its category, but even "Silicon Valley" is deserving of some time in the sun. As I tweeted last night, I'm happy "Mozart in the Jungle" got some love, but why did it have to get everything? And, on the film side, how the Globes shut out a star-fueled crowd favorite like "The Big Short" (which, by the way, is also freaking great) is beyond me.
KATE ERBLAND: While running the Indiewire Twitter feed for all the hot Golden Globes action last night, the one question that got tossed my way more than anything else is the now old stand-by: "How the hell is 'The Martian' a comedy?" I didn't really have the time to dig into deeper discussions of category fraud with confused Twitter followers, and frankly, I'm right there with them (and, I guess to some extent, with even Ridley Scott himself).
Comedies lost out big time in both film and television, with "The Martian" and "Joy" sucking up the love that should have gone to nominees like "Trainwreck" (ACTUALLY FUNNY) or "Spy" (AT LEAST A TRUE COMEDY) or "The Big Short" (terrifying, but lots more amusing than "The Martian," which I do love). Laymen are confused by what unfolded there, and I don't have a good answer for them — I understand the actual mechanics of it, but damn, it looks just awful when it actually comes time to handing out awards and films that tickled the funny bone are shut out of the categories that exist to laud them.
Why even bother with such categories then? Why carve out room for musical and comedies — which the Oscars do not do, so this is the end of the road for lots of Golden Globe nominees — if the HFPA isn't going to allot that space to the right films?
Also, important question, is "Mozart in the Jungle" even a comedy? Help me.