BEVERLY HILLS—Awards season is upon us, and it kicked off on Sunday, January 7, as the 81st Golden Globes were held at the famed Beverly Hilton Hotel. “Barbie” and Oppenheimer” led the pack, but the GG has been known to be unpredictable and 2024 was not any different. The ceremony was hosted by comedian Joy Koy, where questions lingered if he would be able to deliver the laughs after such a tumultuous year for America, not to mention the controversy that has shrouded the Globes in recent years.

It was a transition watching the ceremony on CBS, considering I’ve always known it to air on NBC, but maybe, just maybe CBS brings some vitality back to the Golden Globes. Koy kicked off the ceremony with some jokes of course; the question we all wanted to know is what jokes Koy would aim to deliver? Unfortunately, the jokes did not deliver, and it became very cringe, like covering your eyes and changing the channel because of the level of awkwardness. There was plenty of star power in the room, but Koy seemed a bit nervous, and I was waiting for the jokes. “Barbie,” “Oppenheimer” even the jab at Kevin Costner were awkward and you can tell by the semi-laughs from the audience, they wanted him to move along.

The joke between “The Crown” and “Succession” was indeed funny, I must admit. Meryl seemed nervous about being called out by Koy, but why not. The first trophy of the night was presented by Angela Bassett and Jared Leto for Female Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture. The bit was subtle but hilarious. Da’Vine Joy Randolph picked up the prize for her performance in “The Holdovers.” The duo later presented the GG for Male Supporting Actor to Robert Downey Jr. for “Oppenheimer.” That was indeed an upset because so many people were expecting either Charles Melton “May December” or Ryan Gosling “Barbie” taking the prize. I loved that he joked while giving his acceptance speech. Downey Jr. was indeed fantastic in the role.

The Golden Globe for Female Actor in a Limited Series, Anthology Series or Made for TV Movie went to Ali Wong for “Beef.” I really have to watch this series “Beef” because everyone has been talking about this series and I haven’t caught it yet. I actually loved when the GG used to show clips of the nominees. Her co-star, Steven Yeun took home the prize for Male Actor for “Beef.” Yeun’s speech delivered some laughs as he gave kudos to the animated series “Frozen.”

Elizabeth Debicki won the GG for Supporting Actress in TV Series for “The Crown,” with Supporting Actor in a TV series went to Matthew Macfadyen “Succession.” That bit between Daniel, Hailee and Shemik was hilarious, and I mean hilarious, as they delivered the award for Best Screenplay to Justine Triet and Arthur Harari for “Anatomy of a Fall.” Male Actor in a Musical Series or Comedy went to Jeremy Allen White for “The Bear.” That was a surprise because I though Jason Sudeikis was expected for “Ted Lasso” considering the Apple TV series has ended its run.

“Anatomy of a Fall” took the prize for Best Non-English Language Film for France. That bit between Kevin Costner and America Ferrera was another funny moment in the awards series before they presented the prize for Female Actor in TV Series – Musical or Comedy to Ayo Edebiri for “The Bear.” That was a bit of an upset as many were thinking perhaps Quinta Brunson might get her due for “Abbott Elementary.” That was a switch as we transitioned to Male Actor in a TV Drama and it was a surprise that Kieran Culkin won for “Succession.” I was indeed surprised with Culkin’s win, as I thought Jeremy Strong or Brian Cox might win for their work on the series.

The Golden Globe for Animated Movie went to “The Boy and the Heron.” Yeah, I don’t even know which flick that is people. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon presented the Globe for Best Director to (why do I feel like it is Martin Scorsese), who both actors have worked with before? Thankfully, Christopher Nolan is rightfully getting his due for all the amazing work as a filmmaker and with “Oppenheimer” he is earning kudos that has escaped him for far too long.

Michelle Yeoh and Naomi Watts presented the Golden Globe for Female Actress in a Musical or Comedy in a Motion Picture to Emma Stone for “Poor Things.” Really poignant speech from Stone about life and how playing a role can impact your everyday life. On the flipside, the GG for Male Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama went to Cillian Murphy for “Oppenheimer.” Really happen to see Murphy get some love for his epic portrayal in that dramatic thriller. The Golden Globe for Original Score went to Ludwig Goransson for “Oppenheimer.”   Andra Day and Jon Batiste had great banter as presenters. “What Was I Made For” from “Barbie” won for Best Original Song in a Motion Picture which was a victory for Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell.

It was a victory for “Beef” for Limited Series, Anthology Series or Made for TV Movie. The Golden Globe for TV Series or Musical Comedy went to “The Bear.” That series really cleaned house tonight taking home three trophies in total. It was Sarah Snook who won the Golden Globe for Actress in a Drama Series for her fantastic work on “Succession.” Of course, it was no surprise that “Succession” walked away with the prize for TV Drama Series.

I did find it interesting, and I mean interesting that the big wards for Actor in a Comedy or Musical – Motion Picture and Actress in a Motion Picture- Drama were presented towards the end of the event. Paul Giamatti took home the prize for his exceptional performance in “The Holdovers.” I know plenty of people haven’t seen this small movie, but they really should see it; it is indeed amazing. Jodie Foster and Annette Bening presented the Golden Globe for Best Musical or Comedy – Motion Picture to “Poor Things.” A bit of an upset as I think “Barbie” or “The Leftovers” are bigger draws. “Poor Things” just doesn’t have the buzz like the other films to be honest and I don’t see many Americans seeing it; it is not everyone’s cup of tea.

I do feel like this ceremony dragged, there just needed something more. Perhaps a funnier host? Perhaps more energy, it just felt a bit dry for 2024. The final two awards of the night, Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama went to Lily Gladstone for “Killers of the Flower Moon;” Gladstone was quite emotional while accepting her trophy giving a speech speaking from the heart and paying significant tribute to her community.

Television titan Oprah Winfrey presented the prize for Motion Picture – Drama to “Oppenheimer.” So “Oppenheimer” picked up 5 trophies of the night, all big ones: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Director and Best Original Score.

“Oppenheimer” is starting to look like a formidable foe as we go into the Screen Actors Guild nominations this week, and officially the Oscar nominations before the end of the month. The SAG nominees will be very telling as there tends to be spillover when it comes to membership between SAG and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.