The outcome of the Golden Globes on Sunday was perplexing. Green Book took home the prize for “Best Picture—Musical or Comedy,” while Bohemian Rhapsody won “Best Drama.” Nobody really understands why either of those movies were nominated in those respective categories, much less how they won. Or why Ryan Seacrest was on the red carpet wearing a #TimesUp bracelet.
But a bright spot was the chemistry between co-hosts Andy Samberg and (Golden Globe winner) Sandra Oh, who took the stage at the top of the broadcast and promptly roasted the hell out of Hollywood. Racism and sexism in Hollywood became banner issues with the rise of #MeToo, #TimesUp, and #OscarsSoWhite. Samberg and Oh weren’t afraid to flame the power brokers at the center of those controversies—and they did so with skill, wit, and class.
Their opening monologue had the repartee of a seasoned comedy duo; I’m sure Rachel Brosnahan is great in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, but after Sunday night, I think I’d rather see Oh doing stand-up. Anyway, here’s a breakdown of some of the best parts of Samberg and Oh’s monologue.
The parade of compliments
Samberg told Spike Lee that he’s amazing and he loves him. Oh told Bradley Cooper she thinks he’s hot. Samberg also called Michael B. Jordan “a snack,” which is cute and very Cardi B of him to say. Jordan looked flattered, too.
Calling for more movies like Black Panther
It was the third-highest grossing film in 2018, which means audiences clearly want more like it. You know, movies where people ride around on wild animals like rhinos as if they're horses. Case in point: Aquaman features people riding sharks like horses, and it’s the highest grossing DC movie of all time.
Calling out Lady Gaga for the "hundred people" thing
Gaga yelled out, “It’s true!”
Criticizing whitewashing in Hollywood
Oh said that Crazy Rich Asians was the first studio film with an Asian-American lead since Ghost in the Shell and Aloha, which prompted Emma Stone to shout, “I’m sorry!” Both of those movies starred white women (Scarlett Johansson and Stone, respectively) in roles originally written for Asian actors.
Oh’s parents in the audience
Crazy Rich Asians made $200 million at the box office—“said Asian moms everywhere,” Oh quipped. Then she asked the cameramen to cut to a shot of her mom in the audience, which they did. And it was adorable. “Look at her," Oh said. "She doesn’t seem so impressed.”
Antacids for the Asian flush
Oh had waiters bring out a jumbo tub of TUMS for the Crazy Rich Asians table before a toast. When Samberg tried to edge in, Oh said, “This joke’s not for you.”
Using First Man to criticize the lack of female directors in Hollywood
“First Man is also how studios look for directors,” Oh joked. “First man. If no man available, then pair of man. Then team of man. Then eventually, maybe woman?" The camera panned to tons of women in the audience, with whom the bit seemed to resonate pretty loudly.
The bit with Jim Carrey
Carrey, who was nominated for his TV show Kidding, was sitting in the front section of the ballroom, which Oh said was reserved for movie actors. Carrey protested, saying he’s a film actor, too—he has a movie coming out in 2019, Sonic the Hedgehog. But the hosts asked him to “please vacate and go sit in the right section,” turning a bit about Hollywood hierarchies and the Golden Globes seating chart into a thinly veiled allusion to segregation.
“You’re a hero, but we have to ask you to move. Come back next year, I’m sure you’ll be nominated,” Samberg said. When Carrey slinked to the back of the ballroom, picked up a pair of water glasses, and turned them into a set of makeshift binoculars, he showed us all he’s still a brilliant physical comedian.
An earnest acknowledgement of the importance of representation
After a series of jokes that touched on heavy topics without ever fully “going there,” Oh finally got real with viewers. “I said yes to the fear of being on this stage tonight because I wanted to be here to look out to this audience, and witness this moment of change,” she said, as the camera panned to Indiya Moore, a trans actress of color starring in POSE, as well as actresses like Regina King, Lucy Liu, and Octavia Spencer. “Right now this moment is real,” Oh continued, “because I see you. All these faces of change. And now so will everyone else.”
It was one of many touching moments acknowledging change during the broadcast. But unfortunately, the awards themselves did little to reward the diversity the hosts spent so much time lauding. Many of the statues went to the same old cadre of white, male, establishment filmmakers, passing over talent like Billy Porter and POSE, for example. The big awards of the evening went to films criticized for sugarcoating difficult narratives and engineered to appeal to Baby Boomers.
Ultimately, the Globes tried to capitalize on progressive values, framing itself as the “woke” awards show of 2019—while its glitzier elder sibling, the Academy Awards, is embroiled in scandal. But without actually making good on those overtures by putting its money where its mouth is, so to speak, all the Globes offered last night were empty promises—and a couple of charming hosts, at least.
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