The Oscars and the Emmys may have all the gravitas, but the Golden Globes – their hybrid awards show cousin governed by the Hollywood Foreign Press – has two of the funniest women in show business, none of the boring technical awards, and plenty of booze for its attendees. The champagne flows again Sunday, as NBC broadcasts the 71st annual ceremony, hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Here's what to look out for:
What will the (drunk) celebrities do this time?
Blame it on the more laid-back atmosphere, the more daring host choices (remember how Ricky Gervais was allowed to ruffle feathers three years in a row?) or blame it on the alc-a-a-alc-a-alcohol. Perhaps more so than their stuffier counterparts, the Golden Globes have encouraged some headline-making behavior from its celebrity guests, much of it spontaneous, be it Jodie Foster's meandering acceptance speech in which she sort of came out of the closet, Renee Zellweger being stuck in the bathroom when she was called to accept her award for Best Actress, or Elizabeth Taylor's infamous teleprompter flub. We come to the Golden Globes to see who will win or lose, but we stay to witness these unscripted moments.
Will Netflix charm the Hollywood Foreign Press?
The Emmys were Netflix's major test in establishing industry cred, and while "House of Cards" scored some noteworthy nominations, it more or less was snubbed when it came to winning the awards (It took home three statuettes, but star Kevin Spacey lost to Jeff Daniels of the critically decried "The Newsroom") .
The Globes are a whole new ball game, with "House of Cards" up for best TV drama, as well as for the performances of Spacey, Robin Wright and Corey Stoll; Taylor Schilling of Netflix's "Orange Is the New Black" is nominated too. But in addition to any residual skittishness the Foreign Press may have towards internet TV, "House of Cards" has one other big obstacle standing in the way of its chances for best drama: the swan song of "Breaking Bad," which has never won a Golden Globe. (And Spacey finds himself in a similar situation against "Breaking Bad" star Bryan Cranston.")
How awkward will this year's lifetime achievement award presentation be?
The Hollywood Press has named Woody Allen the recipient of its Cecil B. DeMille award. It's fitting considering the 78-year-old director is still going strong with this year's "Blue Jasmine," itself up for two awards. But there's just one hitch and it's not Allen's whole affair with his stepdaughter thing. He won't be there to accept. Rather he'll be in New York, probably watching basketball from his couch, as he told the Los Angeles Times, "I'm not an awards person," and he even thought about turning it down. Likely the delightful Diana Keaton, Woody's longtime muse and ex-girlfriend, will be on hand to accept the award. Still expect his absence to be the butt of at least some jokes.
Who will emerge as the Oscar frontrunner?
Taking place just four days before Academy Awards nominations are announce, the Golden Globes are seen as a temperature-taker for film's top prize, the Oscar. It was here, last year, that "Argo" won best drama, catapulting it to serious Oscar contender status (and it ultimately won the Academy Award for best picture).
But the way the Golden Globes categories broke down this year complicates matters a little bit. A number of movies that are best described as "dramedies" entered Golden Globe consideration in the comedy/musical category, perhaps to make extra room for this year's particularly packed field of notable films (Judd Apatow wanted to rename the category, "best musical or movie that thinks the comedy category would be easier to win than the drama category because of '12 Years A Slave'"). Not only did they crowd out straight-up comedies like "The Heat" and "This is the End" (and not to mention Apatow's "Anchorman 2''), Oscar momentum will likely be split among the winners of the drama and comedy category, and the race will stay as tight as ever.