Jeff Vrabel: Golden Globes show loses some luster

Jeff Vrabel

You have gone too far this time, Writers' Guild of America!

Your ongoing strike -- which has already resulted in the postponement of countless comedies and "The Big Bang Theory," made Jay Leno less funny than ever somehow and spawned in the birth of something called "Clash of the Choirs" -- has now claimed its latest, most damaging casualty: the Golden Globe Awards, or as its known by fans, The One That's Not The Oscars But Is On TV For Like Seven Hours Anyway.

Sunday night, Americans who would usually have been settled in to their couches with a barrel full of popcorn to watch the Golden Globe awards were forced to engage in some other non-TV awards form of distraction as the Golden Globes had been cancelled -- CANCELLED! -- by the ongoing strike. The effect was instant: Movie buffs and gossip badgers had to endure a whole awards-free Sunday, and are now faced with the continued prospect of a shattered Hollywood Awards Season(TM), one full month without watching absurdly rich and occasionally talented people assign statues to each other for no discernible purpose, except that they offer an occasion to see what Scarlett Johansson wears to a banquet, which is not that bad of a purpose, come to think of it, but still.

OK, I'm making comedy jokes, mostly because I'm not on strike, but the cancellation is not sitting well with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the group that puts on the Golden Globes every year, as well as launched the BCS, determines international oil prices and secretly runs the world by meeting tri-annually at a secret country mansion in Colorado, known as The Meadows.

"We are all very disappointed that our traditional awards ceremony will not take place this year and that millions of viewers worldwide will be deprived of seeing many of their favorite stars celebrating 2007's outstanding achievements in motion pictures and television," said HFPA president Jorge Camara, with what I can only describe as a sublime lack of irony. "We take some comfort, however, in knowing that this year's Golden Globe Award recipients will be announced on the date originally scheduled." That loud rushing sound you just heard was most of the Darfur breathing a collective sigh of relief.

Indeed, though the Globes won't appear in full shiny-thing fashion, they were handed out, as it were, with the only thing greater than an obscenely indulgent awards ceremony: a news conference! Because if there's anything more newsy than watching actors hand out arbitrary statues to each other, it's doing so via news conference! Maybe if they could throw a seminar about tax law in there, too, that'd be super.

In case you are still sitting at home wondering what the big deal is about, let me assure you that this is a GIANT BIG DEAL, on par with the moon landing, the fall of Troy, the time Howard Dean did the Iowa scream and the day that "Star Wars: Episode I" came out. What exactly are we in the consumer public supposed to do without awards shows instructing us which movies to like? How are we supposed to go to work Monday without the ability to talk about the dress that the girl from "Dreamgirls" was wearing? Where else can I find a televised awards program that will reassure me that "No Country For Old Men" was good? Where else can I see famous people sitting awkwardly at circular tables together? Circular tables!

Now, if there's one thing life has taught me repeatedly, it's that I am not a smart man (it has also taught me that slot machines are not an effective means for saving for college, and that toasters should not be fixed with a fork), so I can't claim to have a handle on the delicate intricacies of the writers' strike. But I do know this: on Sunday, I poured myself a tall mint julep and settled in to watch the latest episode of "Clash of the Choirs," which I totally TiVo'ed.

Jeff Vrabel is a freelance writer who was nominated for a Golden Globe for his Best Supporting Actor for his work in "Atonement." He can be reached at