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« Fresh Globe-to-Oscar Stats | Main | Golden Globe Night. Surprises, Upsets, and then... Catastrophe »

Golden Globe Host Watch: "Please Give Us Five Stars!"

by Lynn Lee

Andy & Sandra at their private after-party last night

That’s it?”

-My reaction to the final Golden Globes signoff by Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg.

Don’t get me wrong: one thing I love about the Globes – besides the glorious coming together of movies and TV and everyone in the room getting shitfaced – is how efficiently it runs its course, at least compared to our favorite bloated yearly Hollywood telecast.  But damned if it didn’t feel like this year’s Globes, in hurrying things along, gave short shrift to its hosts.  Which is a shame, since they showed potential that was never fully realized...

What we did see of the odd but likable pairing of former SNL star / current lead of Brooklyn-Nine-Nine Samberg and Sideways breakout and Grey’s Anatomy alum Oh, who’s currently killing it on Killing Eve, was mostly charming, if a bit awkward.  Their opening shtick – lobbing compliments at the audience members in the tone of sick burns – set a gently amusing contrast to the mean-spiritedness of some of their hosting predecessors (*cough* Ricky Gervais), even if no one joke was especially funny.  Their routine got a little more bite once they moved on to the dominance of Crazy Rich Asians, with the obligatory swipe at the whitewashing of Asian protagonists in Ghost in the Shell and Aloha boosted by Oh’s dry delivery.  As the show went on and they started taking good-natured swipes at both the Oscars and the Globes, they picked up more momentum

…until they lost it by being largely absent from the later part of the ceremony. 

But not, at least, before Oh got her shining moment in her win for Killing Eve, and her lovely, lovely tribute to her parents.  The sight of her dad, beaming from ear to ear with pride, the more restrained demeanor of her mom, and her telling them “I love you” in Korean just killed me, as a fellow Korean American with a similar parental dynamic.  It was particularly perfect on a night when Crazy Rich Asians, that ultimate paean to the Asian mother, was also recognized, even if it didn’t win anything.  Even though I was rooting for Keri Russell (The Americans), Oh’s win was worth it, both for that moment and the one directly afterwards of her back in hosting mode but clutching her Globe and admitting she had no idea what was happening.  It did not, however, make up for the fact that we barely saw her – or Samberg – from that point on!

Ah well.  Maybe less is more, especially when you’re trying to distinguish yourself from big sister Oscar.

BEST LINE: “One lucky audience member will host the Oscars!”

WORST LINE: “First…man!” A game but failed effort by Oh at rolling with the corniness while still being topical.  (Her later masturbation joke about the This is Us cast also felt like a misfire, but at least she delivered that one with a lot more conviction.)

BEST GAG: The Jim Carrey bit was a little disjointed, but it did get a good dig in at the pecking order of movies vs. TV…especially when the movie in question is Sonic the Hedgehog.

WORST GAG: The flu shots.  Yes, the “everyman” interludes at the Oscars are a silly waste of time.  So is a parody of them.

OVERALL GRADE: B-, but an “A” for Oh’s non-hosting moments.

What did you think of Oh and Samberg as hosts?


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Reader Comments (27)

I found Oh's speech and reaction very similar to mine when I won the Oscar for Places in the Heart!

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSally Field

I loved them, I thought Oh did very well for someone who may not be used to comedy / improv but she pushed through and comported herself well. There was a certain charm and loveliness to them as hosts, even if at the start the nerves clearly showed.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRami

Just an fyi that Sandra Oh is actually a Korean Canadian. Though who knows, by now she may have applied for and received American citizenship. There are many Canadians in Hollywood, and a fair bunch they make it down there eventually apply for and receive American citizenship. I've heard that one of the reasons they do this to pay less taxes, being that a citizen pays less tax than a landed immigrant with a work visa. Another reason of course is work itself as that there are rules/laws that favor American actors over actors of other nationalities- the power of the actors' guilds...etc.

But all that said, I get what you mean by kinship and Asian representation! :)

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBlinking Cursor

Sandberg was off. Gave me a strong Franco vibe. Sandra Oh is marvelous.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Fey and Poehler forever.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKeegan

They just... weren’t funny.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMargaret

Sandra Oh's parents, always and forever (and she looked fantastic in all three dresses... but saved the best for her acceptance speech).

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Sandberg was okay. Sandra Oh was fabulous. Team her up with Maya Rudolph for the Oscars!

I loved the "one lucky audience member will host the Oscars," but I'm still not over when they roasted Gaga's 100 people speech. Gaga screaming "ENOUGH!" killed me.

The flu shot gag actually worked for me. If it went on longer, it would have failed, but deploying it right before a commercial break was really funny.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterchasm301

I thought Emma Stone's off-camera "I'M SORRY!" to that Aloha-dig added to that bit deliciously. I love Emma Stone.

I think what did them in was the lack of working together for years. With these co-hosting duties, it would help if they've worked together for awhile (see Fey/Poehler). I also think Samberg tried to reel himself in while Oh tried to do the opposite and it worked slightly better for her.

THAT SAID, I wouldn't mind them hosting together again. They're both talented and funny and I'm rooting for them. I also think they were cut short last night towards the end because of the time. Anyways... 4 stars out of 5 from me.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

Oh wait. Gaga screamed "IT'S TRUE" in response to the 100 people gag. That's even better.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterchasm301

The Ghost in the Shell/Aloha joke combined with Emma Stone's I'M SORRY" goes on the Pantheon of Golden Globe jokes/reactions along with Kathryn Bigelow/James Cameron torture joke and Jessica Chastain reaction.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterVictor S

It was like watching paint dry. The highlights of the evening were political and the hosts just refused to go there.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

I really liked them! But as a lover of Brooklyn 99 I will admit to being pretty biased! Those compliments that seemed like they were going to be insults reminded me of B99's humor.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterLost At The Cinema

I thought the masturbation joke killed. Maybe best of the night. Otherwise, pretty mediocre. Some of the speeches were good, though. The Globes is always a better watch than the Oscars, just because we don't have to deal with boring sound editors thanking twenty people by name, etc. Maya Rudolph needs to be paired with someone--Poehler, Fey, Steve Martin, Sykes... That's you're unbeatable Oscar host duo.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDan H.

People are being way too hard on them. I thought they weren't amazing, but I liked their offbeat humor. Way better than Che and Jost. My favorite joke was the Black Panther question to Ryan Coogler. But I like Samberg's delivery on B99. Vice invading the wrong category was also great.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered Commentershawshank

A M Y P O H E L E R + M A Y A R U D O L P H

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I thought they were fine. Thought Samberg was the stronger of the two and that Oh appeared to be pushing too hard at times. Still, they did a respectable job with a very difficult gig.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJJM

I liked them, I just wish they worked off each other better. They both just stood there, staring at the teleprompters while the other delivered their joke, patiently waiting their turns. I think that led to some stiffness, but otherwise they were fine.

And that This is Us joke was hilarious. So were the times they introduced actors using all the wrong films.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

I was charmed by the duo. They were obviously dealing with nerves and teleprompter issues (and some definite dud gags), but they were cute and sincere and often made me smile or laugh. I would have no prob with them hosting again.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRob

Blinking Cursor - ah yes, my bad, and I knew she was Canadian! But yes, it's kind of a universal Asian diaspora/1st generation thing. Gets me every time.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterLynn Lee

I caught up with it on YouTube this morning. Not a good sign when you're scrolling down to read comments after 60 seconds...they could have been great but there were no...jokes

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEoghan McQ

I thought they were excellent hosts. They were on just the right amount of time. Sandra looked lovely, I loved her dresses, I love her sincere excitement and delight at being there.

For me, I could see they were both ensemble players, used to getting their point across in a few sentences. Not stand-ups or talk show hosts who think it’s natural that they should be the centre of attention and that the show should be about them.

I was relieved not to have extended host sequences, so that we could have instead lifetime achievement awards, and film clips, and a relaxed approach to acceptance speeches.

And I don’t think there should be a host coda, just a “good night”. Remember how during the Moonlight/ LaLaLand mistake, how the host wasn’t there to consult, because he was down in the audience, preparing one last unnecessary unfunny joke? (And then he blamed the presenters, when he should have been there, keeping an eye on things).

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered Commenteradri

Yes, a Korean-Canadian born in/around Ottawa. It always makes me chuckle when people call, for example, Trevor Noah "African-American." (No, no, he's just African—born and raised in South Africa.)

Anyway, I thought Oh especially was fun and charming. She gave one of the best speeches of the night, and prompted my favorite LOL moment with that Aloha-Ghost in the Shell "I'm sorry!" bit. Brava.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

P.S. Oh's second (?) gown was even of the I'm-dressed-to-win color and variety, which I absolutely love.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

They were stiff. They were either reading the teleprompter, emotionless, or pushing to hard. They had no real good joke to work on. They simply were not funny at all. So sorry.

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPaul F.


January 7, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterbrandz

Liked them much better on a second viewing. The masturbation was really funny. And I missed Emma Stone's reaction to the Aloha joke. Will have to rewatch.

January 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMichael R

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