And call it a day. I don’t know who is sleeping with Darren Criss on that writing and producing staff, but bravo.
Also did you know that Rashida Jones sang backup on Maroon 5’s debut Songs About Jane, including the tracks “Tangled”, “Secret” and “Not Coming Home.” I haven’t yet purchased It Won’t Be Soon Before Long, but she’s on the track “Kiwi” as well. brb, queuing up a playlist and listening intently.
5:35 The first thing we see is Gaga. Giuliana tells us that “She is genius. The commitment that it takes to be in that womb, in an egg, in this egg.” I’ve got a new name catchphrase for Giuliana Rancic: Almost rancid, but not quite.
Ryan Seacrest tells us that Lady Gaga was inside that thing “for 3 hours getting ready with just her Blackberry.” Doesn’t he know you can do anything on that thing? Also that this is the closest look we’ll get of Gaga before she’s onstage “breaking her shell.”
Sean: I wanted to see what Gaga would be wearing, not what she’d stuff herself in.
5:38 LL Cool J is wearing the same thing he wore at whatever was the last award show we watched.
5:39 Ellie Jackson! La Roux. Jessie: I have sexual fantasies about you.
5:41 Ciara is holding her vagina in for the Glam Cam 360. She looks like the infamous J.Lo from 10 years ago.
5:43 Ryan: I’m standing here with an old friend, Jennifer Hudson. Get it get it? Because she was on American Idol and he hosts it. Of course they talk about the weight and Weight Watchers, but the mic wasn’t on her mouth when she plugged it so MISSED OPPORTUNITY.
Jessie: KB and I were worried about award show fatigue, but this is a new cast of characters.
5:48 Some predicatable Demi Lavato/Selena Gomez confusion occurs. They’re asking the one who isn’t in rehab and is dating Justin Bieber about his movie. She sounds incredibly bored about everything.
Oh but Drake comes to save the day! He says, “I feel great. I’m here with my mother.” Sean replies, “I just want to reach out and touch a brother.”
Whatever you think about Maroon 5, Adam Levine is hot and “Misery” is catchy so there.
5:55 It’s sad when the only think anyone can discuss is Lady Gaga. Her intro is now being referred to as a “Placenta-Egg thing.”
5:58 Wait is Valentine’s Day tomorrow? I had no idea.
6:00 John oh John. Christina: He looks like he’s trying to be Johnny Depp. I refuse to post a photo because I try to only speak well of him. Bruno Mars, however, has great hair. Later he does a great 360 cam with his “rat pack.”
Paramore is going to Brazil, so Giuliana tells them that “Brazil is a sexy sexy place.” Giuliana my love, pray tell: What happened to you in Brazil?
B.OB. has also brought his Mom. His blazer and scarf look great.
Kim! You look so Vegas! And oh, do you have a big ass? Thanks for reminding us!
Jessie: Her boobs are like a zip code.
KB: OMG it’s Rob! (Note here that she squealed also).
Sean: Is he the one with a perpetual boner in that episode?
6:11 Ricky Martin is wearing silver pleather pants. Just because you’re out now doesn’t mean you can wear hideous things. He tells us that 1999 “was a really intense evening for me.” As he speaks, the backdrop shows us Mya, who appears to be dating a Keanu Reeves look-alike?
6:19 I can’t tell the difference between Lady Antebellum and Paramore. Oh wait, that’s ’cause they both suck.
6:22 Reebok Easy Tone reminds me yet again that I do like to dance around in my underwear with my gal pals, so while I’m at it, why not make it Easy Tone?
Willow Smith! She says that hearing her song on the radio “is like, I’m changing peoples lives.” She is immodest in a way that only young individuals can be and still continue to appear charming. She also gestures just like her Dad. Her brother Jayden is performing with Justin Bieber, and though he was nervous, she “was like, aww you’ll be fine.” She’s told that Miley Cyrus is right behind her, but does not give a shit about Miley. Good for you girl.
Jessie: Miley’s boobs looks like a weird tumor. I’m clutching mine in defensiveness.
Sean: She looks too much like a platypus. Jessie: As opposed to striking the right balance of platypus-lookingness?
Miley says, “I’m very heavy”, referring to her jewelry. Unfortunately, we see that, but in another way.
6:28 Bieber arrives, wearing an ill-fitted suit. Sean: Why are you waddling? Because he took a shit in his diaper.
Kate: This whole show is Glee and American Idol.
There is a weird run-in with power couples Nicole and Keith vs. J.Lo and anthony. Who would win in a duel? Discuss.
6:32 Diddy looks fat. Sean: Maybe your TV just puts 10 lbs on people. And in the case of Miley Cyrus, about 30. Kate: At least his hair looks good.
Katy Perry brought her 90-year-old Grandmother with a bedazzled cane here to the Grammys for her birthday. Russell preens and looks bored in the background as he checks out the scene. He looks so old, like the crypt keeper, which is weird, because next to Nana he should look fresh. Armani made the outfits for the entire family. That did not stop Katy from looking like this:
6:38 Look at Justin saying hayyy to Rihanna’s breasts. Motorboating!
People are literally cheering at Rihanna in pipe cleaners. Ryan Seacrest asks her “when did he [Gautier] reveal to you it was going to be so revealing?” Rihanna keeps doing a lot of sexy shimmys to adjust her dress.
Where is Beyonce?! This Red Carpet has mourned for her and whatever fishtail dress she was going to wear.
Willow Smith has a purse that looks like a mobile with a phone dangling from it.
Where is Gwenny? We have 15 minutes people, get to it!
6:50 Jamie Foxx has a harem with him.
Lea Michele finally shows up, suspiciously separate from her Glee costars. KB points out that she predicted Lea would show up 5 minutes before the show started, and she’s only 5 minutes off. To make up for it, Lea does the best smirk/hair brush of her face I have ever seen. I wish I had a gif of that. Let’s make do with some sexy-face:
Seal is all about Heidi Klum’s feet, which, like the rest of her, feature a lot of gold (toenail polish). Klum tells us that “the trick is to stay naked.” I don’t know what context that is in. Ryan Seacrest hits Seal on the head with a microphone by accident.
And on that clutzy note, onto the real deal, which will feature few awards and lots of performances.
So one time I was but a lowly eleven-year old at my all-girls summer camp and the coolest LC (Leading Camper, for those not in the know) walked right into the “row” aka area where the intermediately aged campers lived and was singing this song with her friend and I nearly died from her amazing rendition and obvious cool factor. This is what Glee is good for: nostalgia, updated. Fuck “Teenage Dream” — and I really mean that. ’90s R&B is where it was and is at. And if you head into the 2000’s because, let’s face it, early 2000’s were really still the ’90s, you get a little of this from The Warbler’s as well.
I wish I knew how I felt about Glee. I haven’t missed an episode since the series’ inception on Hulu, yet I wouldn’t consider myself a “fan.” I find plenty to cringe at week to week—like Mr. Schue kissing Coach Bieste for no particularly good reason—yet I couldn’t stop grinning during the mash-up of “Umbrella” and “Singing in the Rain.” That little earworm was so cheerful it actually worked to lift my mood. I listened to it at least once a day for a week after the episode aired.
I’m not the only one who feels conflicted about the show. On an episode of this season’s The Office, one of the characters threw a Glee-watching party at his apartment. While sharing her opinions about the show, Kelly (Mindy Kaling) raised issue with the rampant plot holes and inconsistent characters, citing specific examples and quoting episode titles, and finally calling Glee “irresponsible.” It’s funny because she couldn’t have possibly had leveraged these specific, detailed critiques without having watched the show obsessively. She’s a very particular kind of “Gleek” who happens to hate everything about Glee. I’m very much the same way.
The A.V. Club’s Todd VanDerWeff reviews Glee for their TV Club, and has pointed out several times that the show has three principal writers, who trade off episodes to scribe. This has led him to the “Three Glees Theory,” which is that these three writers have three different opinions of what the show should be, which results in a confused and overall schizophrenic tone. VanDerWeff’s theory is catching heat in the critical world, and it has definitely influenced how I experience Glee. Really, I’m judging Glee by a different metric than I would normally use for TV shows: it’s all about the writing. I’m more acutely aware of the tone of an episode of Glee than I am for The Office because Glee’s is so much more likely to change unexpectedly. It isn’t the “good” or “exciting” kind of unexpected, either—it’s just downright confusing. Mr. Schue’s character has alternated from “inspiring educator” to “senseless dick” so many times that it not only affects the tone of an episode, but the entire purpose of the show. Is Glee about the kids or is it about Mr. Schue? Is it carefree entertainment where the plot is less important than the peppy songs, or is it an after-school special meant to teach us about tolerance? These abrupt shifts grate on my nerves and I wonder why I continue to watch.
Yet, it can be argued that Glee is easily a much better show than a lot of the other programs on television today. It stacks up snappier production values and acting than any daytime soap, and manages to choreograph and rehearse at least three songs per episode to boot, which is not an insignificant task to accomplish. Yet, none of this matters to me because I’ll still feel betrayed by a preachy episode for no sudden reason.
Why are the standards are so high? How can I feel “betrayed” by a TV show that has no clue who I am? I would say that the medium in which the program is delivered has a great effect on this. Because I only watch television streamed over the internet on my computer, I’m automatically weeding out things I would not watch (Hulu’s insipid commercials being the one exception). This shallows the pool of comparison against any other TV show because I’m only watching shows I want to watch. So when I watch Glee, I’m not comparing it to Two and a Half Men or Dancing with the Stars. I’m comparing it to Arrested Development, to 30 Rock, to Community, to The Venture Brothers, and to all my favorite shows. I’m sure I wouldn’t watch Glee at all if it didn’t have moments that stack up against these titans. I’ve also found that the more time that’s passed since I’ve seen a show tends to lionize it in my opinion: I only recently rewatched all of Arrested Development, and I was surprised to find that it wasn’t as flawless as I had thought. I had forgotten about the jokes that didn’t land so well, and had only remembered the funniest bits. How can any program measure up to that kind of pressure week after week?
At the end of the day, Glee doesn’t owe me anything. Clearly the show has proven to be enormously successful and popular as is, as the cast’s grubby little hands clutch Golden Globe after Golden Globe. Yet I can’t help wishing that the show will rise to the challenge of being quality television in addition to being good entertainment. While I see the great in the show that everybody loves, it’s still not perfect, and I want it to succeed at being perfect so bad. I still want those grin-worthy, glamorously overproduced moments because they’re so unlike anything else when it comes to TV. Rachel Berry’s teeth are so sparkly when she belts “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” they’re like diamonds. But when I am given these diamonds encased in a cheap pewter ring of broad clichés and endless, unrealistic fake-pregnancy plotlines, it feels like being socked in the gut.
Why weren’t we watching the NBC Red Carpet? It’s Carson Daly and Alexa Chung and some woman who looks like Lori Loughlin. Now the world, or this room full of people, will never know how much she’s actually like Lori Loughlin. Did she too star as the hot mom in a few choice CW series?
7:00 Of course Angelina and Brad are the first ones we see. They will remain in this half-hugging position for the whole night.
Ricky G. tells us that “It’s going to be a night of partying and heavy drinking.” Here’s hoping Ricky. He starts talking about Charlie Sheen, The Tourist and what a bad movie it was (pan to Johnny Depp, looking amused) and Burlesque, of course (“Do you want to go see Cher? No. Why not? Because it’s not 1975”). Moving on to other films not nominated, such as the SATC 2 poster airbrushing — “Girls, we know how old you are” — the censors do their job and bleep Christ’s sake, and we get a few John Travolta and Tom Cruise gay scientologist jokes. All in all, not reinventing the wheel, but everyone seems super uncomfortable, so win!
7:02The Walking Dead is nominated. Shot of Steve Buscemi. Someone back there has a sense of humor.
7:05 And it’s time for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture. Duh, it’s Christian Bale, which means KB was the loser. Guys, money never ever sleeps.
KB screams “Geoffrey Rush is wearing a chapeau!” He is apparently bald underneath for a film.
Christian Bale makes some long weird comment about Deniro that the censors cut. We’ll never know…
7:09 LL Cool J and Julie Bowen are presenting together. Why, Bowen, why?
First upset of the night: Katey Sagal wins Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series — Drama. Loved her on 8 Simple Rules, but here she looks like Danielle from Real Housewives of New Jersey.
She says to her husband, the creator of Sons of Anarchy: “Sweetheart, I love you. I’m so glad you’re the boss of me.” Woah. They cut her off faster than they cut of Christian Bale. KB notes that that’s because they’re scared for their lives when it comes to Christian. No one has won this round.
Kenneth the page!
7:16 We’re introduced to this years Golden Globe Girl, aka, the lesser Golden Girl(s). Carlos wins Best Foreign Language Film or whatever. Second upset! And we get to see Kenneth the page again, making that same manic face everytime.
KB: You know its a night of upsets when everyone is coming from the mezzanine.
7:21 Garrett Hedlund, my future husband.
Scott Caan. Jessie gets mad at Kate for not remembering that he was in Oceans 11. Whatever, apparently he has a super hairy chest.
Kenneth the page sighting number 3. Chris Colfer wins Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for Glee. He looks so genuinely shocked, and the cast is so excited for him (Lea Michele maybe is a good actress, methinks). He says, “I think I just droped my heart between Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore, so if you could give it back to me….” Blake has won this round.
7:30 Michelle Pfeiffer is the most beautiful woman alive, except “her armpits go up to Toledo” says Jessie. I don’t know what that means. She will spend the rest of the show looking pissed though, so I don’t know what’s up with that.
Ricky G. makes a joke about the head of the Hollywood Foreign Press, who counters, “Ricky, next time you want me to help qualify your movies, go to another guy.”
7:33 Kevin Bacon is going to be in X-Men? Steve Buscemi wins, and Boardwalk Empire wins, which mean Kate wins! Did you know my friend Talia used to shred his fan mail for him as an afterschool job? He says, “First of all, I have thank table 114. You guys are a lot of fun.” Apparently he has a relative named Tutti? Maybe he is in the mob.
7:39 Brad and Angie with the bow tie. They’re just like real people, these wax figurines.
7:45 Jesse Eisenberg has a soul patch. Dude stop it.
7:47Burlesque wins for best song, that awful number where Cher just yells that you “Haven’t Seen The Last Of Me.” A Liza Minelli wannabe accepts, though I do love it when non-famous people win. Both Blake and Christopher get this round.
7:50Best Score goes to The Social Network aka Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. Jessie and Kate win this round duh. But it’s hilarious to see him in a suit.
Best Television Series – Comedy Or Musical goes to Glee, which is pretty ridic. Ari says, “They’re going to cry over everything. They’re going to cry over tonal shifts in their episodes.”
7:55 Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: Hailee Steinfeld and the J. Biebz. Jessie: This is why puberty is awkward, she’s two years younger than him, and like a foot taller.
Ari: I dont know how to feel about kids introducing animated features. AGEISM.
Jessie says, “Maybe Toy Story 3won’t win”, right as it does. Everybody gets this round. The dude who runs up to accept looks like Ed Helms, and he remarks, “Wow, were you two even born when the first Toy Story came out?” Touché, good sir.
This is incredibly unfair. Because he’s not like, super famous, they are legit just cutting to famous people looking bored as he talks.
7:59 Look at Robert Downey Jr. swagger. Maybe it’s because he’s married to to Susan Lucci, right Jessie? He tells a very extensive joke about the women who are nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy Or Musical, and how he’s connected to all of them. Gets awk, but I dig.
Someone notes that Al Pacino and Michael Douglas are slowly becoming the same person. That’s right: OLD WHITE MEN.
And Annette Bening wins! Which means KB, Blake, Christopher and Emily get points. Annette thanks “Mark Ruffalo, our awesome sperm donor, and “MY HUSBAND, WARREN BEATTY!” That’s right, stake your claim girlfriend.
8:11 It’s Tilda and Geoffrey Rush. What a dynamic duo.
Going back to Al Pacino, Ari wonders if it’s weird she always confuses him with Bob Dylan. Kate says no, they both look homeless.
8:16 And Claire Danes wins Best Performance by an Actress In A Mini-series or Motion Picture Made for Television, duh. She tells us, “I have to rattle these names off because everyone was so vitalllll,” emphasis on the vital. Slow camera pan in on J.Lo Hew, who is trying not to cry. As Kate was the only one to vote in this category, she wins by default and also brilliance.
8:23 Zac Efron looks like a boy band member. Ari and KB think his tie is too shiny, but Kate likes it.
8:25 Kenneth the page. If you’re trying to make this a drinking game, that’s the fourth sighting.
Steve Carell comes out with Tina Fey, and tells us “Don’t turn the channel! We’re still stars.” Yessir. Aaron Sorkin wins for Best Screenplay – Motion Picture, which means KB, Blake, Christopher Shea, Francesca and Kate win. Where is JT?!
KB: Aaron, tell us who was better: Kristin Chenoweth or Maureen Dowd?
8:29Jane Lynch wins Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for Glee, with the group conclusion being that she’s better in other stuff, but we all like her. She says, “My cup runneth over”, but “I am nothing if not falsely humble.” I love a good prepared speech that seems natural and doesn’t require a piece of paper. She also thanks her family in Chicago, and we’re pretty sure she’s talking about us. On that note, Blake and Christopher have got this round.
8:35 Woman from Denmark wins something foreign. Kate says “Denmark. Is she Denmarkein?” It’s clarified that she’s in fact Danish.
8:38 Helen Mirren introduces Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series – Comedy Or Musical by explaining that these women are always “gorgeous, smart, beautiful.” Really? Do we need to superlatives about how attractive they are? ‘Cmon Helen. She also uses some weird terminology comparing this process to the lifecycle — inseminated, gestated, given birth — that gives us all a bit of a uncomfortable feeling. Laura Linney wins for The Big C but couldn’t be bothered to show. (UPDATE: I’m a bitch. Her dad died recently.) Kate goes deaf as KB squeals in her ear. Jessie says that the show is, “about her living her life, like a free bitch.”
8:46 Jane Fonda aka my mother’s celebrity doppleganger hasn’t been at the Globes for 25 years. Guys, that’s embarrassing that you just admitted to losing her invite every year for that long.
Much debate occurs over whether you can see the top of her right nipple. It’s inconclusive. If you have picture evidence, holler at me.
Kaley Cuoco is so genuine about Jim Parsons winning for The Big Bang Theory. Watch this scene if you need convincing he’s worth the time. KB, Blake, Christopher and Kate win this round.
Kate: Hugh Laurie is bald. Accept it and move on.
8:50 Jeremy Irons. Jessie: Mufasaaaa! Melissa Leo wins Best Performance by an Actress In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture. She says, “All that and kissed by Jeremy Irons!” Cut to Mark Wahlberg drinking away. It must be sad that you’re surrounded by all this talent and know you won’t get a win boy. Melissa thanks someone for “those few hours we spent in the maritime hotel”, and then realizes what she has just said and clarifies, “No no no you dont know what kind of girl I am!” What kind of girl would that be, Melissa. She makes sure to say, “Mark Wahlberg, you are a prince.” Jessie: He does not like her.
8:59 Cecil B. Demille award and Robert Deniro makes a weird speech. In the introduction by Matt Damon, he tries to act out some of his best scenes. What is this, an audition? Temple Grandin is really bored, and Eva Longoria is sitting next to her? KB tries to start a rumor that something’s going on with those two.
Angelina is looking through Brad to find the waiter. “Bring me more Moet bitch!”
9:07 Deniro was bleeped. We don’t know what he said. but he was workin’ blue, according to Ari.
Ad for Abilify the anti-depressant. Ari says: Is that like Unobtainium?
9:12 Oreo commercial, entitled ‘Lick or be licked.” Kate starts down a dark path with this catchphrase.
Ari: Oreoes dont need to be advertised. The people that are going to buy them are going to buy them. If you see them you won’t suddenly like them. Discuss.
Kate: They totally picked Megan Fox to talk about The Tourist because she’s the poor man’s Angelina.
9:16David Fincher wins Best Director, which means Blake, Christopher, Francesca and Kate are the champions. Is his speech 4 pages long, or is he blind?
9:18 Christopher: Modern Family is for homophobes.
HUGE outcry in the room.
9:24 Why is Alicia Keys here? Yes, she is a singer, to those in the room who seemed confused. Paul Giamatti looks like he’s on coke or something, but its just Godiva chocolate? He won in the category that no one good was nominated in, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy Or Musical, but Emily wins. They keep bleeping him out. For some reason he says, “Montreal, I dream about it. I salute the great nation of Canada.” That’s probably the first time it’s ever been saluted, so job well done.
As we cut to commercial break, we get a shot of Emma Stone and Mila Kunis who seem very happy to be there, jumping together.
9:28 Commercial for L’Oreal: ‘Imagine if you could grow young.” It’s “inspired by gene science.” This is followed by a commercial for Exboards, which are whiteboards. What has the world come to.
9:32 Joseph Gordon Levitt has a weird button on, and is talking like a weirdo. It’s cool though, he was in 3rd Rock from the Sun.
Jeff Bridges tells us that Natalie Portman has won Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama. We get some shots of him being positioned appropriately on the stage by Miss Golden Girls.
Natalie, you should stick to acting. She tells us, Thank you to Benjamin for helping me bring another life into this world” and “he’s the best actor, he totally wants to sleep with me!” She also thanks Mila “Sweet Lips” Kunis. Dear god. She does have a fabulous back, and Darren Aronofsky only has a horrible pedostache.
KB, Blake, Christopher and Emily win, but could have predicted such a horrendous speech?
KB: The Golden Globes is a 50/50 British/American. (Note: This was def the Sunny D and Andre talking. In no way do the awards shake out this way.)
9:54 Michael Douglas gets onstage. Everyone stands, which means KB was right about that. She starts violently hitting Kate while Michael tiredly says, “There’s gotta be an easier way to get a standing ovation.” The Social Network wins for Best Picture — Drama.
Why is Kevin Spacey hugging Aaron Sorkin? Ari: Because he thinks that its the year 2000 and he won for American Beauty. Chris smiles slyly. Why are the fake Winklevoss’ up there and fucking Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield can’t stop being emo and get up there. David Fincher blames their “left brain combination.”
Ricky G. tells us it’s all over, and “Thank you to god, for making me an atheist.” Sure thing bro.
Blake, our dark horse from out West, wins with a resounding 15 correct answers! Christopher comes in a respectable 10, and Kate, our ever-fearless blogger, comes in with 9. Everyone else ties at 8
What should Blake’s prize be? The opportunity to take over Smart Girls for the day? A nice bottle of Moet (or Andre?) You decide!
And thank you to Gawker for finding this clip. Now I can watch over and over and over again.
In Helen Mirren’s brilliant, moving, inspiring acceptance speech at a recent Women in Hollywood event, she delivered a forceful rebuke of Hollywood’s obsession with “the 18 to 25-year-old male…and his penis (quite small, I always think).” Mirren lamented the “fact that virtually every drama made for film, stage or television has 20 male characters to the one, two, maybe three if you’re lucky, female characters.”
I decided to test Mirren’s supposition against the recently released Golden Globe nominations. This is obviously not a cross-section of all that TV or film has to offer, but The Golden Globes represent an industry standard of perceived quality. Consequently, Mirren would be more likely to find roles of substance in these nominees, than in, for example, The Bachelorette, 90210 or The Back-Up Plan.
A word on methodology: The statistics below are based on the official cast lists presented on each show’s network website. Rather than using my own judgement (or the judgment of IMDB, Wikipedia, etc) to decide which characters merit inclusion, I wanted to see how each network officially depicted its cast. For example, AMC’s Mad Men site names 27 characters, 12 of whom are female, netting a “score” of 44%.
Best Television Series (Drama):
Boardwalk Empire (27% of listed characters are female) Dexter (29%) Walking Dead(33%) Mad Men(44%) The Good Wife(50%) Best Television Series (Drama) AVERAGE: 37%
Best Television Series (Comedy):
The Big Bang Theory (20%) 30 Rock (33%) Modern Family (40%) The Big C(43%) Nurse Jackie(44%) Glee (64%) Best Television Series (Comedy) AVERAGE: 41%
Yikes. One drama achieves gender parity in its casting, The Good Wife, a project from husband-wife team Robert and Michelle King. Michelle King is the only female “creator” of the five drama nominees. Even shows created by women (30 Rock, The Big C, Nurse Jackie) favor roles for male actors. Although the comedy category average is not quite as dire as the dramas, this average is hugely helped by Glee, the only nominated show with more female characters than male (without Glee, the category averages 36%).
On to the big screen:
Best Motion Picture (Drama):
Black Swan(80%) The Fighter(40%) Inception(22%) The King’s Speech(22%) The Social Network(29%) Best Motion Picture (Drama) AVERAGE:39%
Best Motion Picture (Comedy):
Alice in Wonderland(75%) Burlesque(44%) The Kids Are All Right(60%) Red(33%) The Tourist(14%) Best Motion Picture (Comedy) AVERAGE: 45%
The differences in category averages between big and small screens are only a few percentage points, but the distribution within categories don’t line up. Film, it would seem, allows for one or two female-driven pictures. Black Swan, set in a dance studio, starring 4 women and 1 man, would be this year’s entry.
The point is not for all productions to reserve exactly half of their roles for women (or minorities, the elderly, or any other oft-neglected demographic). Some shows are aimed at women (SATC) and others at men (Entourage) and their casting reflects this fact. The problem is that what we identify as quality, via awards shows like the Golden Globes, distinctly favors male actors. This creates a cycle in which male-dominated productions are considered the “norm,” and gender-neutral casts or female-heavy casts are relegated to niche markets or less popular networks.
One could argue that Hollywood reflects reality…most police departments are male-dominated, as are boxing rings, and tech-start ups. That is both true and problematic. Yet, the question remains; why are the male-dominated arenas the ones in which people prefer to play creatively? Because women (self very much included!) will watch a show or movie set in a “male world,” but men will not reciprocate? Projects set in traditionally female worlds (say a preschool or an ice skating team) either don’t get made, don’t get made well, or get made well and don’t get recognized. Any way you cut it, Helen Mirren has a point.
And Glee is showcasing it all next week. Maybe her greatest hits, plus a cameo, plus Heather Morris, will make me not give up on this show, like I did that other G show Gossip Girl at the end of Season 2.