The beginning of a new year means one thing – award season is about to heat up. Smaller ceremonies have already begun to separate the wheat from the chaff, but the Golden Globes is the first major ceremony on the way to the Academy Awards. Of course, the Golden Globes is unique since it recognizes achievement in both TV and films and the honorees are selected by a very small group of foreign journalists who often make some very bizarre decisions. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) seem to have settled down in the last few years, but that means that they are probably overdue for some wacky selections. I generally think that the Golden Globes are kind of worthless because of this, but since this is also the award ceremony where everyone gets very drunk, there is the potential for something interesting to happen. Jimmy Fallon is hosting this year, which probably means that the ceremony will be relatively non-controversial compared to previous years, but hopefully he does something fun with it. I’d rather be watching Sherlock, but the work of a blogger is never done.
And away we go……
8:00 – Yay – A La La Land tribute to start.
8:01 – Jimmy and Nicole Kidman – what could have been.
8:02 – That Westworld joke made me laugh
8:02 – Haha…..Jon Snow
8:03 – Eleven shows off her mad rapping skills:
8:03 – Barb lives!
8:04 – The Fallon/Timberlake bromance is still going strong.
8:05 – LOL – the teleprompter is already down…30 seconds into the live show. Let the madness begin.
8:06 – “The Golden Globes – one of the few places left where America still honors the popular vote.”
8:07 – “No one is gonna thank O.J.” Solid point, but the Chris Rock impression was probably ill advised.
8:08 – That King Joffrey/Trump joke didn’t land well. Maybe the audience is still a few seasons behind on Game Of Thrones and are mad Fallon just spoiled that plot point.
8:09 – That Matt Damon/Batman vs Superman quip didn’t work either.
8:09 – I’m surprised that the audience isn’t responding better to these Trump jokes. Though people may think Fallon is overcompensating due to previous criticism about his handling of Trump.
8:09 -Questlove DJing – cut to an old guy that has no idea what is happening
8:09 – Ryan Reynolds and Emma Stone present best supporting actor in a motion picture. I hate that presenters come from the audience.
8:10 Well that is a surprise – Aaron Taylor-Johnson for Nocturnal Animals. Good money should have been on Mahershala Ali for Moonlight. He’ll fare better at the Oscars.
8:11 Wait – this dude is British? How did I not know this?
8:12 Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Priyanka Chopra present best actor in a TV series drama.
8:13 – Billy Bob Thornton will for his Amazon series Goliath. I am now two for two having not seen the performance that has won. I’m a terrible pop culturist.
8:14 – Billy Bob thanks the Foreign Press for letting him beat Bob Odenkirk, who he’s had a feud with “since 1940.”
8:20 – Well that was weird – they announced Hugh Grant as a Golden Globe winner for Florence Foster Jenkins – an award that they haven’t even presented yet. Then Jimmy came out to tell a joke and re-introduced Hugh Grant. That was weird, but the joke was sort of timely “I just got off the phone with Mariah Carey and she thinks Dick Clark productions sabotaged my monologue.”
8:21 – Grant is here to introduce Florence Foster Jenkins, which he doesn’t do particularly well. It’s nominated for best comedy or musical.
8:22 – Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant here to present best actress in a comedy series or musical.
8:23 – Tracee Ellis Ross wins for Black-ish which I also don’t watch (but I’ve heard good things). She’s a first time winner – and the first black woman to win since 1983.
8:25 – So far, hers is the best speech of the night.
8:25 – Olyphant and Barrymore are back to present best comedy series or musical.
8:26 – Hallejuliah! Atlanta wins, which is not only well-deserved, but a show that I watch.
8:27 – Donald Glover’s brown tux is pretty great.
8:27 – Glover gives Migos a shoutout for their song “Bad and Boujee.” They appeared on Atlanta, but I’m guessing this reference confused 50% of the Golden Globes audience. Keep up with your hip hip, people.
8:28 – Wait – we need more of Keith Stanfield dancing!
8:33 – Fallon is back to introduce the president of the Hollywood Foreign Press – the head of one of the most mysterious cabals in Hollywood.
8:34 – Vince Vaughn is here to introduce Hacksaw Ridge, a best picture drama nominee.
8:35 – Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon here to present best lead actress in a limited series or TV movie.
8:36 – Good job Hollywood Foreign Press – that’s two in a row that you got right. Sarah Paulson for her role in American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson.
8:38 – Kidman and Witherspoon are back to present best limited series or TV movie. I feel like these awards are in a weird order. Like what about lead actor in a limited series?
8:39 – No shocker here – American Crime Story: The People vs OJ Simpson continues its winning streak from the Emmys.
8:45 – And now DJ Julia Louis-Dreyfus on the 1s and 2s.
8:45 – Annette Bening is here to present her film, 20th Century Women, which is in consideration for best picture, musical or comedy.
8:47 – Matt Bomer and Naomi Campbell (weird combo) here to present best supporting actor in a series, limited series or motion picture made for television.
8:48 – The American Crime Story monolpoly comes to an end – Hugh Laurie wins for The Night Manger, which I really enjoyed (but Sterling K. Brown was ROBBED).
8:49 – Solid joke from Laurie – Of course [it’s] more amazing because I’ll be able to say I won this at the last ever Golden Globes.I don’t mean to be gloomy, it’s just that it has the words ‘Hollywood,’ ‘Foreign,’ and ‘Press’ in the title. I also think to some Republicans even the word ‘association’ is sketchy.”
8:50 – Sofia Vergara introduces Miss Golden Globes, the daughters of Sylvester Stallone and Jennifer Flavin. And she once again pokes fun at her accent, which is getting a little old. She shouldn’t have to mock herself all the time.
8:51 – Sting and Carrie Underwood here to introduce the nominees for best original score in a motion picture (after Fallon tried to shoehorn in a Sting impression).
8:52 –Justin Hurwitz wins for La La Land.
8:54 – Sting and Underwood return to present Best Original Song.
8:55 – Another win for La La Land. Sorry Lin-Manuel Miranda.
9:00 – John Legend is here to introduce La La Land. His name was spelled wrong on his nametag. Get it together Golden Globes!
9:02 – Michael Keaton is here to present best supporting actress in a motion picture. If you don’t watch The Tonight Show, you may have thought that Fallon was having a stroke with his intro of Keaton.
9:03 – Even the Hollywood Foreign Press couldn’t mess this one up – the amazing Viola Davis wins for Fences.
9:04 – For real – just give Davis an award for everything she wants. She is perfection.
9:09 – Kristen Bell and Cuba Gooding, Jr. are here to present Best Actress in a limited series. Gooding is yelling a lot, but isn’t yelling “Show me the money” which is progress.
9:10 – Olivia Colman wins for The Night Manager. She isn’t in attendance – I wonder if Jimmy Fallon has the same rules about this as Jimmy Kimmel.
9:10 – Dov Patel and Sunny Pawar. Damn that kid is cute – Patel ain’t so bad either. They are here to introduce Lion.
9:12 – Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn here to present best actor in a comedy or musical. No one can do ditzy like Hawn, but this material is below her.
9:15 – Ryan Gosling wins for La La Land. He’s just so charming. Losers Ryan Reynolds and Andrew Garfield decide to kiss to console each other.
9:16 – Dear Lord – with the speech he somehow became even more swoon-worthy. How is that even possible?
9:20 – Felicity Jones and Diego Luna present best screenplay. I am told that these are Star Wars people.
9:22 – Another win for La La Land.
9:23 – Kristen Wiig and Steve Carell are here to present best animated film. “Good evening peers and regular people.”
9:25 – Man, the world needs more Steve Carell.
9:26 – This bit is perfection. Straight perfection. Wiig and Carell should host next year. This is the only funny thing that has happened all night.
9:27 – Zootopia wins, which is almost beside the point after that hilarity.
9:34 – Casey Affleck takes the mic to introduce his film Manchester By The Sea.
9:36 – Chris Hemsworth and Gal Gadot present best foreign language film, but more importantly, built a bridge between DC and Marvel.
9:36 – Elle wins and their table had a very delayed reaction to this news.
9:38 – Anna Kendrick and Justin Theroux are here to present best actor in a limited series and to look pretty.
9:40 – The Night Manager continues to pick up awards as Tom Hiddleston wins.
9:42 – His speech pays tribute to the aid workers of the UN Children’s Fund in South Sudan. It’s kind of hard to think what he and Taylor Swift used to talk about.
9:43 – Christian Slater is trying to make heads or tales of this rambling.
9:47 – Jake Gyllenhaal is here to introduce Deadpool for some reason; he’s not in the movie. But more Gyllenhaal is always a good thing. And that’s two Swift exes back to back.
9:48 – LOL – they were very limited on what they could show from Deadpool
9:49 – Laura Dern and Jon Hamm are here to present best actress in a TV series drama. Hamm is rocking a magnificent beard.
9:50 – Claire Foy wins for The Crown, which I am watching on my lunch break at work. It’s great.
9:51 – “The world could do with a few more women at the center of it.” Preach, sister.
9:52 – Hamm and Dern back to present best TV series, drama.
9:52 – The HFPA likes royalty – The Crown wins.
9:54 – DJ Questlove is savage – plays off their speech and then tweets about it:
9:58 – More Viola Davis. This is always a good thing.
9:59 – She’s making me hungry with all this talk of apple pie and collard greens.
10:00 – I had legit no idea where this was going, but Davis is here to present Meryl Streep with the the Cecil B. DeMille Award.
10:01 – Do they give awards for presenting awards?
10:05 – I’m impressed that they snuck a The River Wild clip into this montage.
10:07 – That reaction shot of the audience was a lot of women who lost roles or awards to Streep.
10:09 – Who knew Streep had beef with Mixed Martial Arts?
10:11 – Meryl Wikipedia-ed the hell out of this audience.
10:13 – She ends with a quote from her friend Carrie Fisher: “Take your broken heart. Make it into art.”
10:14 – Great speech – totally on point. (And as expected – Trump tweeted about it).
10:17 – Chris Pratt doing what Chris Pratt does best in the montage of actors talking about their first jobs.
10:19 – Chris Pine is here to present the movie Hell or High Water and enter his beard in the Golden Globes beard contest.
10:21 – Ben Affleck, Sienna Miller and Zoe Saldana here to present Best Director.
10:22 – Another win for La La Land. Let the backlash begin!
10:24 – Mandy Moore and Jess Milo Ventimiglia are here to present best actor in a comedy or musical series. I am not digging the stache.
10:25 – Another great win for Donald Glover.
10:27 – He has a kid? This is news to me.
10:31 – Matt Damon is presenting best actress for motion picture in a musical or comedy and pokes fun at his win for The Martian last year. “That fact alone is funnier than literally anything in The Martian.”
10:33 – Emma Stone wins for La La Land, which is actually deserved.
10:35 – Pierce Brosnon is here to introduce Sing Street. This is on my list to see. I’m guessing it will be right up my alley.
10:41 – Brad Pitt gets a nice ovation in one of his first appearances since the end of Brangelina. He’s here to introduce Moonlight, which is a beautiful movie and should have won more awards.
10:42 – Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne get a rapping intro from Fallon. They are here to award the best motion picture, musical or comedy. This shouldn’t be a surprise based on all the previous awards. And Fallon is trying a little too hard.
10:43 – Yup – as expected. La La Land sweeps.
10:44 – Fun fact – La La Land was originally supposed to star Miles Teller and Emma Watson. I cannot even imagine what Teller would have looked like in that role.
10:50 – Brie Larson presents Best Actor in a motion picture.
10:50 – Casey Affleck wins for his powerful performance in Manchester By The Sea.
10:51 – I love that Busy Phillips is always Michelle Williams’ date. They are so adorable.
10:57 – Leonardo DiCaprio is here to present best actress in a motion picture. He’s been suspiciously low profile tonight.
10:58 – Huh. Isabelle Huppert wins for Elle. I thought Natalie Portman had this in the bag. But the trailer for Elle did look good, so maybe the HFPA knows what they are doing.
11:00 – Carl Weathers and Sylvester Stallone (?) are here to present Best Picture Drama. It’s the 40th anniversary of Rocky, but that still seems like a stretch.
11:01 – Hot damn! It’s Moonlight! Nice work Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
11:03 – And…..it’s over. Thank the gods, old and new, for that.
The Golden Globes went pretty much as expected tonight, with a few minor surprises thrown in to keep things moderately interesting. I liked Fallon’s cold open, but the rest of his material didn’t really work. He just never hit the right tone and leaned a little too much on stuff that works on his late night show. He wasn’t a disaster, but I didn’t miss him when he was off stage. I still think Amy Poehler and Tina Fey were the best hosts in recent years and Fallon did nothing to challenge that. I never love the Golden Globes, but it is a good warm-up for the marathon that is award season. It’s hard to read too much into the results, but I’ve been predicting a Moonlight/La La Land showdown at the Oscars and they did both win the big award in their respective categories. So I guess we’ll see if La La Land can keep up the momentum or if it loses steam.
Unlike most of the east coast, we didn’t get any snow here in Albany this past weekend. That’s A-OK in my book, since I pretty much hate winter, but in solidarity with the people of New York City, Philly and DC, I decided to spend most of my Saturday pretending like I was snowed in by hanging out on my couch all day. It certainly wasn’t because I was lazy 😉 Since I’m in pretty decent shape with my Oscar death race, I decided to spend my Saturday clearing out my DVR. There hasn’t been a lot of new programming lately, but that didn’t prevent me from recording random things to the point where the DVR was hovering at 45% full. That needed to be depleted before shows returned from their winter hiatus, so I set to work.
One of the things that I had recorded was the new TBS show Angie Tribeca. The network had made the interesting choice of airing the entire first season in one day; the show was on a 25 hour loop on the network with limited commercial interruptions, much like they do on Christmas with A Christmas Story. The 10 episode first season, therefore, circled through in its entirety five times Sunday night into Monday. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this programming decision – was TBS simply creating a binge-watching event to keep up with the Netflix trend or were they burning off a show that they didn’t have a ton of confidence in? Angie Tribeca has a good pedigree – it stars Rashida Jones and was created by Steve Carell and his wife Nancy Walls Carell – so my instinct was that it was more the former rather than the later. I sat down to watch the show not quite sure what to expect; I knew very little about it or its premise.
Turns out Angie Tribeca is a comedy very much in the style of Police Squad and the Naked Gun series, in that it is very silly, very slapsticky and has one of the highest joke densities for any show that I’ve ever seen. On its surface, it’s a parody of cop shows, but the jokes aren’t confined to making fun of that genre; pretty much anything and everything is in service of a joke on Angie Tribeca. If you don’t like a joke, wait two seconds and there will be another one. It’s all very low-brow humor, but it’s smart in its execution. This show is completely in on the joke; Angie Tribeca knows that it is moronic and fully embraces that. It takes some very smart people to make a show this silly yet this amusing. There are so many puns and sight gags and random lunacy that I’ll admit I groaned a few times, but all in all the show really worked for me. Angie Tribeca is a show that you don’t have to work very hard at watching, which is kind of refreshing for me. I tend to watch a lot of “prestige TV” which requires your full attention, but watching Angie Tribeca I could just kind of turn my brain off and let the silliness do the work for me.
For me what was most interesting about Angie Tribeca was its star, Rashida Jones. I know that Jones can do comedy from her work on The Office and Parks and Recreation, but she typically plays the role of the straight woman. Her characters generally are the more grounded in whatever show that she’s on and her primary role is to provide the contrast for all the foolishness and more colorful characters that surround her. I was interested to see whether she could pull off being part of the silliness herself, since that flexes a different kind of comedy muscle. It turns out that Jones can be as just as dumb as everyone else and by the third episode or so, she really finds her stride as Angie Tribeca. She’s just as willing to make a fool of herself as the rest of the cast and has a great deadpan delivery that helps sell some of the more ridiculous things that the show does. The rest of the main cast – her partner (Hayes MacArthur), her captain (Jere Burns), the coroner (Andree Vermeulen), a fellow cop (Deon Cole) who is partnered with a dog – are also as committed to delivering whatever foolishness the writers come up with and work really well together. The first season is also littered with impressive guest stars like Bill Murray and James Franco. There are a few running gags – like the police officer that throws up at every crime scene or the parody of the CSI theme song– that make me chuckle every single time.
Overall, I really enjoyed Angie Tribeca; it’s not exactly reinventing the wheel or pushing new boundaries, but it’s funny enough where that doesn’t really matter. TBS did a terrible job of explaining what this show was before it aired, but if you enjoyed Airplane! or other such movies back in the day, you’ll probably want to give Angie Tribeca a shot. I’ll be curious how long they can play this premise out – season two will debut tonight in the more traditional weekly format – but I’m on board for the foreseeable future. Sometimes you just need a little ridiculousness in your life and for me Angie Tribeca fills that void. There are so many jokes in any one episode that even when some don’t hit – and some certainly do not – there is so much going on that even a few stinkers don’t kill the overall episode. Angie Tribeca is a total trifle and its slapstick farce premise may run out of steam sooner rather than later, but for now it’s a welcome addition to my television rotation.
The first season of Angie Tribeca is available on demand; new episodes will air Mondays at 9 pm (EST).
When I heard that Adam McKay (Funny or Die, Anchorman) was directing a movie about the 2008 economic collapse, I was a little confused. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of humor in what happened on Wall Street, so I wasn’t quite sure what McKay was bringing to the table. The man who brought us Ron Burgundy wasn’t the person that I expected to adapt Michael Lewis’ book about the housing credit bubble finally bursting. However, McKay had assembled an all-star cast and I’ve enjoyed all the other adaptations of Lewis’ books, so I figured that there was something to this project that I just wasn’t seeing that would make this partnership make sense.
Turns out that McKay might have been the perfect person for this job, as The Big Short finds humor in the lunacy of the behavior that contributed to the recent recession while at the same time educating the viewer on what things like subprime loans, CDOs and bond ratings are without being boring. The Big Short will make you laugh, make you angry, and make you smarter about economics all at the same time – no small feat. It’s rare when a cast of such famous people can all disappear into their roles, but Christian Bale, Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt do just that. The Big Short will make you chuckle, but this is not necessarily a comedy; there is a slow burn of anger that is simmering just under the surface of this film and if you don’t walk out of this film a little more outraged than when you walked in, there is no hope for this country.
The Big Short tells the story about a handful of investors who saw what so many people missed or willfully ignored – the pending housing collapse caused by banks giving out loans like candy to people, many of whom were in over their heads financially. Hedge Fund manager Michael Burry (Christian Bale) crunches the numbers and realizes that the housing market is being artificially supported by a series of subprime loans; when interest rates on these loans increase in 2008, Burry predicts that there will be many people who will default on their mortgages. He approaches numerous banks and asks to essentially bet against the housing market; the banks, believing that the housing market is secure and that this is easy money for them, accept this offer with no thought to the potential catastrophic economic impact that will result if Burry is right. Other investors, including Jared Vennett (Gosling), Mark Baum (Carell), Charlie Geller (John Magano) and Jamie Shipley (Finn Wittrock) hear about Burry’s investment and agree with his analysis. Further analysis by Baum’s team lends further credibility to Burry’s predictions – rating agencies are inflating ratings on bad loans to keep the bank’s business and that mortgage brokers are not even conducting preliminary background checks on potential loan recipients. All the investors bet against the market and essentially profiting from the pending economic meltdown that will cost thousands of people their job, their pensions and their homes.
This could have been an extremely boring film, but the development of the personalities of the individual investors helps keep this film from feeling like an economics lecture from Ben Stein. Christian Bale’s Murray is definitely an eccentric – a former M.D., he analyzes trends while barefoot and blaring heavy metal – and that gives Bale a lot to work with. Brad Pitt’s Ben Rickert serves as the conscious of the film, reminding his friends Geller and Shipley that their profit will come at the expense of a lot of people’s suffering. Steve Carell’s character is full of self-righteous anger at a system that is not only fiddling while Rome burns, but irresponsibly throwing gasoline on the fire.
The film also uses an innovative technique to explain some of the more technical terms and concepts that contributed to the collapse; it breaks the fourth wall and uses celebrity cameos to provide insight into what these intentionally confusing words actually mean. I have a degree in economics, so I’m probably a more willing audience than most, but having Margot Robbie in a bubble bath explaining sub-prime loans is perhaps the most accessible way to make people understand what exactly was happening. Anthony Bourdain and Selena Gomez are used similarly (minus the bathtub). These bits are of course humorous, but they are also educational; I walked out of The Big Short with a much clearer picture of how the economic recession of 2008 came to pass. And the more that you understand what happened, the more incensed you become. If you weren’t already mad at bankers for their role in the collapse, you will be after The Big Short, especially after you are reminded how little they paid for their negligent behavior. The Big Short may mine the crisis for laughs, but make no mistake about it that this film also wants you to be infuriated as well. The film smartly doesn’t lecture, but under the farcical behavior there is an undercurrent of anger that eventually becomes palpable.
Some other thoughts:
- This film is lucky enough to boast all-star actors in even the smallest of performances; Oscar winner Melissa Leo briefly appears as an employee at the rating agency. Marissa Tomei also has a small part as Carrell’s wife.
- I’m really only familiar with Finn Wittrock from his work on American Horror Story, so I was kind of conditioned to think that when he appeared he was going to kill everyone. Sadly, he didn’t slice up even one banker, which would have made for an even more satisfying movie.
- I would 100% sign up for an economics class taught by Anthony Bourdain.
- This shouldn’t be a deciding factor in seeing the film, but Gosling and Pitt have much less screen time than Carrell and Bale.
- Bale’s character rocks out to Metallica in the movie, which makes him aces in my book.
- Even though you are rooting for all the investors in the film, they aren’t heroes. They all profit from this broken system, with varying impacts on their consciences. In a way, they are the lesser of two evils.
The Big Short manages to do what many people would think is unthinkable – create a movie that doubles as both entertainment and an economics lecture. The stellar cast and smart directing choices makes The Big Short an immensely watchable film that also serves as a primer for understanding why the global recession of 2008 occurred. It’s a fun, yet frustrating movie, since it is clear that because so few people were held accountable for their role in the collapse, they continue their dangerous practices, just under another name. The Big Short is a smart and funny movie that will also make you angry. It’s a heist movie, a satire and true crime, all rolled into one.