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Why the Golden Globes TV show matters

Jim Carrey is funny, Courtney Love is obnoxious, and amused home viewers are the big winners, says Ken Tucker

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Why the Golden Globes TV show matters

There’s been a recent tendency to look at the Golden Globe awards, which were handed out Sunday night, as prefigurements to the more prestigious Oscar Awards, whose nominations will be announced early next month. But imposing a useful purpose to the prizes awarded by the Globes’ official body, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, is irrelevant to me; I, like lots of people, like the Globe awards because their ceremony is so much loopier, fun, and often more in keeping with my own tastes than the Academy Awards (for film) or the Emmy Awards (for TV).

To take the most obvious example: HBO’s great ”The Sopranos” won the best TV drama Globe, and James Gandolfini and Nancy Marchand won TV actor prizes, all accolades that were denied the show and those actors at the Emmy Awards. I was also grateful that the Hollywood Foreign Press gave Jim Carrey its best movie actor award for the second year in a row. Who cares that Carrey was in the Globes’ comedy category when ”Man in the Moon” was a drama? Carrey gives the funniest acceptance speeches in the history of showbiz, and did not fail us on Sunday.

The fact that the Globes combine movies and TV also makes for an amusing mix — hoity-toity movie actors must rub elbows with in-the-trenches TV stars, and on Sunday, those rules opened the door for Carrey to take a poke at ”Frasier” for winning so many awards. To be fair, the Globes also handed out its share of egregious mistakes: Peter Fonda wins for his nothing role in the lousy TV movie ”The Passion of Ayn Rand,” defeating the wonderful Sean Hayes of ”Will & Grace”? What were these two roles doing in the same category, anyway?

Really, except for the tediously obnoxious behavior of presenter Courtney Love — the only place I ever want to see her again is fronting Hole — the Globes was a dandy, irritant-free evening. I wish ”American Beauty” scenarist Alan Ball hadn’t confirmed every Hollywood cliché of the nebbishy, pathetically grateful writer, and that Julianne Moore had won the best movie actress Globe over ”Boys Don’t Cry”’s overrated Hilary Swank. But where else can you watch presenter Shirley MacLaine and awardee Barbra Steisand squander 15 minutes both stroking Streisand’s massive ego AND see Sarah Jessica Parker nearly have a breakdown for her ”Sex and the City” award because, as she said, ”I’m not a winner!” The Golden Globes — the great leveler.