golden-globes-logo

Put on your slinkiest flannel gown, pour a cup of tea, and curl up on the couch. Awards season officially starts this weekend.

The Golden Globes, honoring “the best in film and television” (airing live on NBC, Sunday, January 12, at 8 p.m. EST), is the perfect blend of celebrity fun. Not too stuffy. Not too casual. In fact, if the Academy Awards and the People’s Choice Awards had a child, it would probably look a lot like the Golden Globes.

Sunday night, we’ll have a chance to root for our favorites and wring our hands over the ones that got away. (The blue links lead to WVFC ‘s reviews of particular shows/actors.) In Television Drama, for example, I have to wonder at the omission of Mad Men and Game of Thrones. Breaking Bad, in its final season, will probably win, although Netflix’s House of Cards  might surprise us. For Television Comedy, a lot of my funky friends will be greatly disappointed if Big Bang Theory loses. Parks and Recreation, though deserving, has been passed over before. Modern Family is still strong, while Girls, last year’s winner, is proving itself a one-trick pony. For Miniseries/Movie, I’d bet my sequined tuxedo on Behind the Candelabra (but my personal favorite is American Horror Story: Coven).

In case you can’t tell, the Golden Globes are typically tougher to predict than the Oscars. But that’s part of the fun.

Of course, I still have some issues. As per usual, there are no (zip, zero, zilch) women directors nominated (the award has been won by only one woman: Barbra Streisand, for Yentl in 1984; she was nominated again in 1992 for Prince of Tides). This seems more of an industry issue than an awards issue. It’s hard to recognize stellar work by women if women aren’t given stellar opportunities.

Some of my personal favorites from this past year—movies and stars—were left out. For example, Wadjda deserved a nod for Best Foreign Language Film. And Oprah Winfrey’s powerhouse performance in The Butler  was overlooked as well. That movie and its fine cast were quickly overshadowed by 12 Years a Slave. It’s as though the industry can applaud only one black movie at a time.

To make up for these omissions, other performers are included for their body of work rather than their latest role. Neither Meryl Streep nor Julia Roberts was at her best in August: Osage County. But their nominations were a gimme. (You can almost hear the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which bestows the awards: “Sacré bleu! Streep and Roberts, together in a movie? Nominate them, bien sûr.”)

Nevertheless, there are worse ways you could spend a Sunday evening than watching beautiful people in beautiful clothes with their beautiful friends . . . drink too much.

Here are my top five reasons for tuning in:

5. The Red Carpet

Who can resist the glamorous gowns—and the fashion faux pas. Chances are, Helena Bonham Carter (nominated for Burton and Taylor) will be the most outrageous. Plus, with all that champagne there are bound to be a couple of wardrobe malfunctions.

4. The Table Shots

At the Academy Awards, the actors, by and large, sit primly in their seats. The Golden Globes are different. It’s like the best dinner party ever, and it’s easy to imagine yourself part of the scene. Who would you most like to have dinner with tonight? How about the entire cast of Modern Family?

3. Not One, but Two Best Pictures

Unlike the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes recognize Drama and Comedy/Musical separately. I expect 12 Years a Slave to beat Gravity in the Drama category, and American Hustle to beat Inside Llewyn Davis for Comedy/Musical. But don’t quote me.

2. The Actresses

In television, I think the odds are on Kerry Washington for Scandal and Julia Louis-Dreyfus for Veep.  For Best Supporting Actress, I think many of us are crossing our fingers for Modern Family’s Sofia Vergara. And, for Miniseries/Movie, I hope to see diva-witch extraordinaire Jessica Lange recognized for American Horror Story: Coven.

The list of movie actresses reads like a Who’s Who of modern cinema. For Drama, I think it will come down to Judi Dench (Philomena) vs. Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine). For Comedy, I’d like to see Julie Delpy (Before Midnight) win, but she’ll have to beat La Streep, and that ain’t easy. Plus, there are plenty of potential upsets: Sandra Bullock, Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Amy Adams, and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss. Not a slouch among them.

For Best Supporting Actress, Jennifer Lawrence appears to be in the lead, and for good reason. In American Hustle, she basically steals every scene she’s in. Then again, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association may worry that someone so young probably doesn’t have a big enough mantel for all the awards she’s racked up. The prize may go instead to Lupita Nyong’o for her heartwrenching debut in 12 Years a Slave.

And the number one reason (or should I say reasons) to watch?

1. Co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler

Hallelujah, and enough with the perpetual boys’ club! Whether we’re talking Ricky Gervais, who was so downright nasty that Hollywood good guy Tom Hanks called him on it from the stage, or Seth MacFarlane and his infamous “We Saw Your Boobs” number, I for one have had enough of fraternity humor. Fey and Poehler have already proven themselves to be smart and talented hosts, and we can look forward to an evening of feminist fun. In fact, Fey and Poehler started the fun a little early. They suggested a Golden Globes drinking game in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. 

Fey: Any time you see a gown with sleeves, you’re going to drink.

Poehler: Every time I drink, everybody at home should drink. And if Bryan Cranston speaks, everybody has to do a little bit of meth.

Well, as luck would have it, I’m all out of meth. But I’m willing to try the Fey and Poehler drinking game. I just hope I don’t get any on my flannel gown.