I’m with you. Ricky Gervais was a little disappointing at the Golden Globes. But in his defense, he really was in a no-win situation — a victim of his own success. We were so primed for him to shock us on the Globes’ Jan. 15 telecast, like he did the previous two years, that anything short of setting Natalie Portman on fire was bound to be a letdown. My favorite surprises of the night were Kelsey Grammer winning for Boss (the Starz series about a brutally corrupt Chicago mayor that you’re probably not watching, but you would love it) and Seth Rogen’s line about trying to hide the fact that Kate Beckinsale had turned him on while he was standing at the podium. (By the way, Rogen is always great at awards ceremonies, so if Gervais doesn’t return as Globes host — though I wish he would, because he’s still the most entertaining awards-show host around — Rogen gets my vote.)
Fortunately, the current TV season has seldom disappointed us. It’s been thrilling, and our TV department has been having a great time bringing it all to you. Our critic Ken Tucker has been a big champion of HBO’s new series Enlightened — and rightly predicted that its star, Laura Dern, would take home the Globe (in fact, almost all his Globes TV predictions were spot-on). In this issue’s midseason TV preview, EW’s Tanner Stransky reveals some of the insane twists coming for Revenge, and Tim Stack takes you to the set of NBC’s big, glossy, music-filled new show, Smash. Our TV staff has a good eye for which shows will click and which won’t. (They predicted the demise of The Playboy Club early on, but I couldn’t resist putting one of the Bunnies on the cover of the Fall TV Preview; when you have a photo of someone in a bustier and bunny ears, you use it — it’s the first rule of journalism.) And they have a great nose for breaking news both in print and online. Our chief TV-industry reporters — Lynette Rice and James Hibberd — are stars in their own right, at least in Hollywood and among news junkies. Last month, after the shocking season finale of Boardwalk Empire, James set traffic records on EW.com with his exclusive interviews with showrunner Terence Winter and Michael Pitt (who played the — spoiler alert! — ill-fated Jimmy Darmody). And Lynette was right there alongside the cast and crew of CSI as they applauded Marg Helgenberger on her last day of filming. Lynette also — like all of us here at EW — confesses a strange but completely understandable obsession with Julie ”The Chenbot” Chen.
To all the new midseason shows, I salute you and wish you good luck. And to all our returning favorites — 30 Rock, Cougar Town, Glee, The Game, and everyone else — welcome back. James Hibberd tells me he’s especially excited about the return of The Walking Dead on Feb. 12, and that makes me admire him even more.