January 14, 2008 / 8:56 AM / 10 years ago

Golden Globes ceremony is a sorry soiree

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Anyone who complains about the length of awards shows would have been thrilled with the 65th annual Golden Globes, where faux journalists joyously rattled off nominees and winners for a faux 30-minute show at the Beverly Hilton Sunday.

A crew member works on stage in front of the set for the 65th annual Golden Globe Awards news conference at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, January 13, 2008. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

What we saw on TV Guide Channel, E! and CNN was a cavernous hall, a podium and awkward jabber from “Showbiz Tonight’s” Brooke Anderson, “Extra’s” Dayna Devon, “Entertainment Tonight’s” Mary Hart, Jim Moret of “Inside Edition,” Giuliana Rancic of “E! News Daily” and Lara Spencer from “The Insider.” It wasn’t quite theater of the absurd, but close.

Over at NBC, the home of the traditional Globes ceremony, the network turned the event into an “Access Hollywood” PR stunt replete with pearly-white hosts Billy Bush and Nancy O’Dell standing at a shimmering set, with show co-anchor/correspondent Shaun Robinson doing happy-talk analysis with Entertainment Weekly senior writer Dave Karger.

“It’s going to be a very exciting night!” Robinson said before the telecast was two minutes old.

You couldn’t have scripted it any better (had there been writers around to script it) than to have Cate Blanchett winning the first announced Globe for a film called “I’m Not There.” No, she wasn’t. Of course, nobody else was, either. The Hilton was red carpet-less, star-less and nearly picket-free. It also was suspense-free, rather like a series of speed dates where it’s difficult at the end of the night to remember anyone’s name.

Indeed, the presentation had to set a land speed record for fastest event in showbiz history: 25 categories in 30 minutes, and not a second over the allotted time. As a result, the TV Guide Channel preshow and postshow coverage was officially six times longer than the event itself.

There seemed to be a nervous, oddly giddy vibe at the Hilton that came through on the telecast.

CNN’s Anderson said she was “honored and thrilled to be here tonight” while doing her stint, which was a bit like a cat noting how it was thrilled to be at a dog show. Hart raced through a recap of her previous favorite Globes moments, one of which didn’t appear to be this one. The reading of the nominees was accompanied by the inevitable clips, and the winner reveal was met by scattered cheers and applause.

CNN turned the proceedings into a very special edition of “Larry King Live,” meaning we had to hear King’s knee-jerk reacts underneath the podium dialogue (King: “Daniel Day-Lewis, one of the great screen performances of all time”).

Meanwhile, on NBC, the atmosphere was still more antiseptic and wrenching, what with the nightly magazine production values and frequent ad breaks stretching things to the originally planned 60 minutes. It came complete with the “whoosh” sound at the end of the nominee announcements and a fluorescent look that was a carbon copy of, well, “Access Hollywood.”

And we were forced to endure Bush and O’Dell.

Bush: “Glenn Close. She’s a force in ‘Damages.’ Just unbelievable.”

O’Dell: “Yes. Yes.”

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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