The opening act of the 2021 Golden Globe Awards featured the comedic duo of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler telling a series of jokes from two distinct regions of the country. The screen was split in two and the two actor hosts exchanged jokes. One from Poehler, another from Fey.
Jokes were common for award shows. Light political punches mixed with tabloid celebrity gossip and a hint of soaring on our daily lives. The hosts joked about the impact of the pandemic on our lifestyles, Brad Pitt and even the awards show itself.
At one point, Fey, as the opening monologue is about to end, makes a rather subtle but incredibly important joke.
“Could this whole night have been an email?” Yes.”
It was with this line that everything became clear from the award ceremony. None of this mattered. It really could have been an email. And it opened my mind to what that means for awards shows going forward as we move away from the coronavirus pandemic to enter a new world of remote work, Zoom meetings, and offices. home.
Fey’s simple line – playing on the internet joke of ‘it could have been an email’, which is often said about meetings that aren’t necessary – actually fits all night of the Golden Globes. . The event was riddled with tech glitches, awkward award speeches, and an overall vibe that wasn’t worthy of the three hours I gave it.
Again, this is only my opinion. I am not speaking for the number of viewers in general. But some of the glaring mistakes throughout the night could not have made the event more enjoyable for others.
Let’s start with Daniel Kaluuya, who won the award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in “Judas and the Black Messiah”. A good film. Wonderful performance. Kaluuya definitely deserves this award. When it was announced, his face appeared on the screen, he started to speak, then the sound cut off. The awards ceremony went awkwardly without a word, citing technological issues.
Seconds later, Kaluuya returned to the screen, joking that the awards ceremony was “messing me up.” He then gave a normal award speech to a likely confused audience.
There was also something in the award speeches. We had a moment where Catherine O’Hara won the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series for “Schitt’s Creek.” During this presentation, her husband, who was sitting behind her, streamed audio from a smartphone. The sound returned as static white noise to viewers at home. It was hard to decipher what the sound actually was coming out of the phone – it sounded like a crowd clapping in some places, but mostly static noise. It was a strange moment when the acceptance speech was riddled with a strange technological hiccup.
More speeches throughout the night have been damaged by technology. Here’s how almost all of the award speeches turned out.
- The presenters would announce the award and nominees.
- The winner would be announced.
- Then the event’s internal crowd – a limited group – coupled with a possible false crowd noise would celebrate the victory.
- As the applause continued, the winner immediately began to speak. The first five seconds of almost every award speech were drowned out.
And don’t forget the walking music.
Yes, the awards ceremony actually had music for the people giving their awards speeches through a computer. Speakers must have been talking about music as the awards ceremony tried to speed them up. Imagine trying to hear someone speak in a Zoom meeting with music playing in the background? Good luck.
These are all thorny issues with a three-hour awards show. The good news for the Golden Globes is that they haven’t run over time and have kept things clean, compact and simple. But part of the beauty of an awards show like the Golden Globes or the upcoming Oscars is that anything can happen. We hear a joke about Brad Pitt and we see Brad Pitt’s face. We see the passionate remarks and beautiful moments where presenters and winners hug each other, friends hand over their awards to other friends, and weird couples from the past reunite for one more night.
The awards – from the Golden Globes to the Emmys to the Oscars – benefit immensely from the in-person experience. Any concert or virtual experience can give you a slight idea of what you want or expect. It’s almost as good, but not good enough. Last night I never realized how much I wanted the return to normal price cuts. These emissions can be a drag that takes you through the night. They can last four hours and cause controversy which you will discuss with your coworker for the next three days (Yes, I still believe “Boyhood” should have won in 2015, JJ!)
The latest Golden Globes cannot trigger these debates. The emotion had vanished from the night. It was as if we were given special access to a private Zoom awards meeting. And we’re so sick of Zoom now, aren’t we?
Really, getting back to normal means we have concerts, the freedom to eat out, or watch a new Marvel movie, without fear of the coronavirus or its variants. The return to normal means light nighttime concerts under an autumn sky.
But it also means that we are collecting the right rewards. Because I agree with Tina Fey, this one could have been an email.