Thanks to my somewhat rabid devotion to 24, and my loathe for spending too much time watching Hollywood getting really drunk and gratuitously fellating itself, I managed to catch only the final hour of the Golden Globes last night. Suffice to say, the show was pretty much as expected: winners, losers, bad speeches, Nicholson on Vicodin, etc.
Pleasant surprises included the award for Best Performance by an Actor, Musical or Comedy, going to Sacha Baron Cohen, a.k.a Borat. His acceptance speech and his co-star's reaction to it were both priceless. The immensely talented and radiantly gorgeous Helen Mirren getting two awards for playing two different Queen Elizabeths was also a standout -- as was the often underrated Forest Whitaker taking home an award for his astonishing portayal of Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland.
And of course, make no mistake: this is the year that Martin Scorcese finally gets a long overdue Oscar. He won the Globe last night for The Departed.
Then there were the predictable bad moments.
Warren Beatty proved that the years haven't dulled his legendary self-indulgence. His acceptance speech after being given the Cecil B. Demille Lifetime Achievement Award was actually five minutes longer than Demille's Ten Commandments. Meryl Streep's performance in The Devil Wears Prada was indeed excellent, which doesn't change the fact that it's unfortunate her competition posed no real competition at all. Finally, Babel, despite being a decent movie, is already lining up to be this year's Crash -- which incidentally was the worst film to ever win an Oscar for Best Picture in my lifetime.
Nothing, however, came close to the travesty of awarding the Golden Globe for Best Television Series, Drama, to Grey's Anatomy -- particularly since the competition included Big Love and my beloved 24.
When I was in my early-20s, I had something that I referred to as "The Litmus Test." The idea was simple: if a woman at any point said the words, "I love Pretty Woman; it's my FAVORITE movie!" I'd know to avoid her like the Ebola Virus, lest I inevitably wind up trapped in a never-ending cycle of Friday night snuggling, boring sex (despite her insistence that she "learned it in Cosmo"), and Madonna CDs on repeat.
During my early-30s, the litmus test became -- not surprisingly -- Sex & The City. As any New York City male will tell you, a devotion to that show automatically carried with it a preference for ridiculous fruity drinks, a closet full of expensive shoes and ugly couture, the obligatory three other "girlfriends" with whom an entire evening could be spent giddily debating which character on the show corresponded to which member of the group (everyone thought they were Carrie), and of course -- an IQ hovering somewhere around 63.
Both of these cultural zeitgeists seemed to appeal to the same kind of female fan-base: dumb. I could pretty much be assured that anyone who confused a shitload of sex and a Hollywood fairy-tale ending with actual feminist empowerment would end up wanting to kill me before the first appetizer arrived. I knew plenty of girls in college who never saw the hilarious irony in clearing a mountain of stuffed animals off the dorm-room bed to make space for that experimental drunken orgy with the men's volleyball team; I also knew that myself and that same girl would probably have as little an understanding of each other a few years down the road as we did at the time.
If I were still single, Grey's Anatomy would be the new litmus test. In addition to simply never wanting to sit through something so fucking vacuous (and if you happen to be dating someone who adores that show, you're no doubt forced to do just that on a weekly basis), the show continues the proud tradition of validating the stupid fantasy of every unimaginative woman in the contiguous 48, while simultaneously casting it in a disguise of supposed empowerment.
When I first began this little experiment of mine, I went into this in pretty strong detail.
I'm sure I'll be verbally lynched for this opinion, but feel free to read on.
Anatomically Incorrect (6/2/06)