Golden Globes: Tech glitches, awkwardness and killer jokes from Tina Fey and Amy PoehlerRichard Roeperon March 1, 2021 at 2:03 am

Tina Fey, in New York, pretends to reach across the split screen to touch Golden Globes co-host Amy Poehler, in Beverly Hills, California, during the Sunday awards ceremony. | NBC

Hosts zing the HFPA for its much-discussed lack of Black members.

It didn’t take long for Golden Globes co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to address the white elephant in the room.

With Poehler at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, and Fey at the Rainbow Room in New York City, the opening monologue included the following explainer:

Poehler: “The Golden Globes are awards given out by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.”

Fey: “The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is made up of around 90 professional, no-Black journalists who attend movie junkets each year in search of a better life. We say, ‘around 90’ because a couple of them might be ghosts, and it’s rumored that the German member is just a sausage that somebody drew a little face on.”

Three feet apart or 3,000 miles apart, Fey and Poehler are awards-show-host first ballot Hall of Famers.

With the Globes under fire for its lack of a single Black member and for excluding Black films such as “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “Da 5 Bloods,” “One Night in Miami” and “Judas and the Black Messiah” from best picture nominations, it was something of a welcome surprise when the first two winners of the night — both very deserving — were Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”) for best performance by an actor in a movie supporting role and John Boyega (“Small Axe”) for best performance by an actor in a television supporting role. On Twitter, Scott Feinberg of the Hollywood Reporter noted, “We’re 15 minutes in and this year’s Golden Globes has two more Black winners than Black voters.”

With a safely limited amount of first responders and essential workers as the in-person attendees (nice touch) and the nominees tucked away in hotel rooms or their living rooms or home offices, it didn’t take long for the Globes to fall prey to the same types of technical snafus we’ve all experienced in the Video Chat Era. When Kaluuya was announced as the winner, we couldn’t hear him at first and the show was about to cut to commercial when the sound problem was fixed and they returned to Kaluuya.

And as Catherine O’Hara (“Schitt’s Creek”) gave her acceptance speech, her husband Bo Welch kept playing with his cell phone, which seemed to be blaring the kind of “wrap it up” music we hear at awards shows. Whatever the joke was supposed to be, it lost everything in translation.

The first part of the telecast was also filled with fantastically awkward and therefore entertaining reaction shots, e.g., Poehler cracking, “ ‘The Undoing’ was a sexy and dramatic mystery where Nicole Kidman’s coat is suspected of murdering her wig,’ ” followed by a shot of Kidman, her husband Keith Urban and their two daughters at home, with Urban cracking up, Kidman looking confused and the girls looking like they were counting the minutes until they could go to their rooms and get back to texting with their friends.

We also had some pretty cool video moments, as when David Fincher (“Mank”) reacted to losing out on best director to Aaron Sorkin (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”) by taking a shot of an adult beverage, and when winner Mark Ruffalo (“I Know This Much is True”) gave a heartfelt and moving speech about the world coming together as one and his fellow nominees Jeff Bridges, Bryan Cranston, Ethan Hawke and Hugh Grant looked on with empathy. For a moment at least, an awards show didn’t seem to be just about the awards.

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