I probably shouldn't be using phrases like "crooks," "weasels" and "less legitimate than the Gemini Awards" to describe The Golden Globes, but that's what I've been doing this afternoon in a series of syndicated CBC radio interviews. I'm scheduled to be on with Matt Galloway at CBC Toronto's Here and Now at 4:50.
TV critics in particular are a little defensive about the members of the Hollywood Foreign press who make up (and when I say make up, I mean invent) the list of nominees each year for the Golden Globes, which are scheduled to take place this year on Jan. 11 (barring--wait for it--a strike by the Screen Actor's Guild. Keep in mind that the Golden Globes was one of those shows scuttled last January when the writers walked out. D-oh!).
TCA members, hate it and curse the Hollywood foreign press when the semi-annual network press tour is referred to as a junket. Newspapers and media outlets pay to fly reporters down to press tour and put them up at hotels. Junkets are for the dodgey weasels who run the Golden Globes.
'Course, now that newspapers and media outlets are all in receivership and nobody has any money left to do anything, the Golden Globe hustlers seem well ahead of the trade-credibility-for-cash curve.
Still, these foreign press folks who are based and living in Hollywood have earned a dubious reputation over the years for pandering to films, TV shows and talent that openly hustle for attention. Too bad, because when beautiful people like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt actually earn nominations for good work in good films (Changeling and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, respectively), the suspicion is that they are on the list just to trick them into showing up on the red carpet.
That being said, nominations today for so many smaller budget, independent films (such as Slumdog Millionaire) is a sign that the GG's may be striving for some degree of respect and legitimacy.
Other nominations seem pretty obvious. Heath Ledger as the Joker in The Dark Knight is well deserved and a no brainer. He was bloody good in that movie long before he came to a tragic end. But noms for smaller films like Slumdog and The Reader suggest The GG's are getting with the film fest program.
The TV side held no surprises today, with the usual suspects getting Golden Globe attention, including 30 Rock's Tina Fey and AMC's breakout hit, Mad Men. The kind of year this has been for television, it is a wonder they didn't just sit this one out.
For a full list of GG nominations, go here.