7 Reasons the Golden Globes Are Weird and Awesome

Golden Globe Awards

The 73rd Golden Globe Awards will be presented live on NBC Sunday. Some look to the Globes as predictors of the Oscar nominations (to be announced Thursday), but that’s not why we tune in to this freaky showbiz love fest.

We love the Golden Globes because, unlike the well-behaved SAG Awards and the regally formal Oscars, the Golden Globe Awards tend to be a free-wheeling, awkward, unpredictable, boozy affair. Here are the main reasons why the GGs are so cool:

1. The Red Carpet Can Be a Mess 
The Oscars’ red carpet ritual is rigidly controlled by an army of press reps and security guards. But the entrance to the Globes is a less formal stroll. This can lead to delightful memories such as Julia Roberts’s drunken red carpet moment.

2. Everyone Shows Up
Since the Golden Globes honor the year’s best in film and television, the International Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton is packed with both film and TV stars.

They seat everyone at tables with their film and TV costars, which makes the whole thing look like a massive, star-studded version of the cafeteria in Mean Girls. They give them a full dinner so you can see if Cate Blanchett finished her salad or which stars actually ate their roll. But most importantly…

3. They Let Them Drink
The wine and cocktails flow freely at the Golden Globes, which gives us all an opportunity to watch tipsy stars carry on as if they’re at Hollywood’s biggest office party — on live television. Those who present and those who accept are just as likely to have had one too many, such as:

Emma Thompson:

And the immortal Elizabeth Taylor:

4. The Show Itself Can Be Awesomely Awkward
Alcoholic beverages aside, there seems to be less emphasis on little details such as cue cards and rehearsals at the Golden Globes. This gives us a chance to see actors — who memorize lines for a living — ramble, stammer, and sputter their way through the live proceedings.

5. Everyone Gets a Nomination!
Unlike the Oscars, which (up until recently) limited the Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Actress nominations to five, the Golden Globe Awards double the top three categories (and nominations) by splitting them into drama and comedy or musical categories.

This has made for some Best Picture nominations for movies that have not otherwise seen the light of day at other major awards. “Hey, Eastern Promises, The Great Debaters, and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen! Congrats, St. Vincent, The Tourist, and Happy-Go-Lucky!”

6. You Won’t Believe Who Actually Votes for These Awards
The SAG Awards are chosen by 157,000 working actors. The Oscars are chosen by 7,000 motion picture professionals. The Golden Globe Awards are chosen by the 90 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Yes, 90. There are more Golden Globe nominees than there are people who vote for who should win. It’s as if you’d gathered all the guests at a relatively small wedding and asked them to vote in 25 categories for the most outstanding achievements in motion pictures and television. That’s the Golden Globe Awards.

The requirements to become a voting member of the HFPA are not exactly strict. One must write about entertainment for some sort of media outlet in a foreign country; one must reside in Southern California; and one must pay a $500 fee.

For an insightful look at the “Total Randos Who Decide the Golden Globes” and some juicy intel on some of the members, check out this amusing exposé from Vocativ.

7. Anything Can Happen
In the rambling, impromptu, tipsy ambiance of the Golden Globe Awards, you can pretty much expect the unexpected.

This can range from host Ricky Gervais’s carpet-bombing monologues to the rambling, awkward, kind-of-coming-out speech by Jodie Foster — to the visible horror of her ragingly homophobic “date” Mel Gibson.

Despite the less-than-prestigious credentials of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and the wild and woolly antics of the awards show itself, a Golden Globe nomination and/or win will live on in a performer’s résumé and Wikipedia page from here to eternity.

Would I show up if I was nominated? Absolutely! Wanna become a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association? Sign up here. And if I win … I promise to thank you!

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