2023 Golden Globes Review: Jerrod Carmichael shines in Sinking Ship

There were some nice speeches and finer clothes, but those can be found at any old awards show. HFPA needed more in its random return offering and it came up empty.

Dealt an impossible hand, Jerrod Carmichael did almost everything right. The 2023 Golden Globes — the first ceremony since NBC canceled last year’s telecast amid allegations against the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — have slowed the lead of “The Carmichael Show” and the Emmy-winning spinoff “Rothaniel.” he put things down (telling the crowd of celebrities to “settle down”), took a seat (on stage!) and called it like it was: “I’ll tell you why I’m here,” he said. “I’m here because I’m black.”

As Carmichael recounted how he took on the show and explained why he took it on — long-winded questions for fans of the discerning comedian, as well as fair questions for anyone watching — Carmichael made the situation clear in case casual viewers didn’t they’d be ready for industrial drama (which seems highly likely given the fading interest in live fare). “I’m not saying it was a racist organization,” Carmichael said, emphasizing one aspect of the HFPA’s many past transgressions, “but they didn’t have a single black member until the death of George Floyd. So do with that information what you will.” He also assumed that none of the changes promised by the organization had resulted in actual reform (“I took the job thinking nothing had changed”), and even wrote a number on his nightly salary: 500 000 dollars.

He deserved it. During the too long broadcast, it was smart, clear and relatively concise. Carmichael’s talent as a storyteller has always been top-notch, so instead of conforming his comedy to the mold of previous hosts – dropping acid barbs at audience members amid broad, semi-current jokes – he played to his strengths. , mass and moment. It was an excellent monologue, right down to the quick but effective filming to move the show forward. “I’m actually here because I look out into this room and I see a lot of talented people. People I admire,” he said. “And regardless of the history of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, this is a night to celebrate. And I think this profession deserves such evenings. And I’m glad you’re here. And I hope you have fun tonight.”

80TH ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS - Pictured: Colin Farrell accepts the award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy "The Banshees of Inisherin" at the 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 10, 2023 -- (Photo by Rich Polk/NBC)

Colin Farrell at the 2023 Golden Globe Awards

Rich Polk/NBC

How can two opposing ideas be married? Is the idea that a regularly biased, historically unadulterated organization doesn’t deserve attention, and the idea that you’re at home or in person applauding and cheering for every single award they hand out is totally worth it? You can not do it. Not really, but separating the partygoers from the partygoers is as good an attempt as any show that needs to go on for whatever reason.

The only problem is, not everyone got the message.

How did they know? The host can guide guests towards a desired topic or suggested idea, but ultimately everyone goes their own way. For those who lived through Carmichael’s monologue, it was hard to relate to the HFPA-directed honesty in the speeches that followed. Ke Huy Quan? Outstanding. Why? In part, of course, because Quan has already proven himself to be a serious charmer on stage, but here specifically because he started off by sweetly giving a shout-out to “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” director Steven Spielberg for “giving me my first chance, ” , then pivoted his speech around his career since his childhood breakthrough (and, of course, those involved in his winning film, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”).

Colin Farrell also nailed it. Before even accepting the trophy presented to her, she made sure to tell Ana de Armas (and the world) how moved she was by her work on “Blonde.” (“It’s not a joke,” he told a few surprised audience members. “But you can laugh!”) He shared some fun stories from the “Banshees of Inisherin” series — namely, sharing a house. with co-star Barry Keoghan, who stole Colin’s cornflakes (!!) — and hasn’t stopped showering his cast and crew with love. (“You can forget that piano!”)

(Note: The piano became an unexpected focal point of the night, first when Jerrod Carmichael rightly called for a round of applause for pianist Chloe Flower after the first few fun riffs on the soundtracks. But then, as the producers began to worry about the clock. the sound of his piano cut him short. It was actually a backstage recording, which Carmichael kindly informed us about later in the show, after everyone from Austin Butler to Michelle Yeoh complained on stage. It’s certainly not the celebrity-friendly look the HFPA was hoping to achieve for its comeback show, but rejects pauses when broadcasting live on TV.)

80TH ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS - Pictured: Jennifer Coolidge accepts the award for Best Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Motion Picture Made for Television "The white lotus" at the 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 10, 2023 -- (Photo by Rich Polk/NBC)

Jennifer Coolidge at the 2023 Golden Globe Awards

Rich Polk/NBC

Some performers shined simply by being themselves. Host Jennifer Coolidge had the room buzzing when she explained why she didn’t accept the gig — out of fear of embarrassing herself, nothing to do with the HFPA scandals — which made it all the more exciting when she was invited. back on stage as a winner (turning Mike White’s tears of laughter into tears of joy). Regina Hall almost topped Carmichael’s Scientology joke by citing Kevin Costner’s excuse for not attending the ceremony. Hall broke into repeated laughter as she tried to deliver her teleprompter message: Heavy rain forced the “Yellowstone” star to “take shelter in her place — in Santa Barbara, Jesus,” she said. “Let’s pray, everyone.” And last but not least was Natasha Lyonne, who turned a joke about the show into pure poetry: “The only real villain here is time itself – aka the Chariot of Death,” she said. “And since time makes death easier, it is wisest to strike.”

But where Guillermo del Toro and Quinta Brunson (twice!) played to the room by honoring art and artists, or bringing a little levity—even Eddie Murphy got a life’s work award, ended in a joke – Angela Bassett’s exuberant energy did not sit well. Neither did Tyler James Williams, although at least it was his most significant victory to date. Plenty of winners were surprised or acted in ways that resulted in more rambling or forgettable speeches than spontaneous hits, and the show’s baggage put the recipients in an enviable position (unless they showed up, like Cate Blanchett, Zendaya, and others). It’s natural to be shocked when you’re in the spotlight, but the focus should be on the award itself — like when Bassett recalled her first Globe win in 1994 with “What’s Love Got To Do with It,” before quoting Toni Morrison and hinting that this award is his property. “fate” – both unnecessary and thoughtless. Thanking the host is good manners and all, but as Carmichael’s opening monologue made clear, if not earlier, such grandiose sentiment is more than the Globe deserves. (Even if Oscar voters, who some believe weigh their votes based on the front-runner’s speeches, want to hear it.)

Other polite but forgettable “thank you” speeches punctuated the night, making it less of a wild party and more of an average awards show – which only draws attention to who’s giving out the award, a recurring yet unavoidable problem. Finally, the more you think about the Golden Globes, the harder it is to enjoy them, let alone sit through them. However, in 2023, even the “turn off your brain” entertainment value was missing. Carmichael proved to be a determined, sharp and kind host. (The costume changes were unremarkable absolute highlights.) But with awards shows generally facing steep declines in ratings, the return of the Globes didn’t provide any unique reason to save this particular show.

Grade: C+

The 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards were held on Tuesday, January 10 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, California. The telecast can be streamed via Peacock.

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