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68th Annual Golden Globe Awards -- TV Review

“I warned them.”

Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais did indeed let it be known that he wasn’t going to hold back in skewering Hollywood’s most famous celebrities. And, in what will undoubtedly be his last hosting gig for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (and, who knows, maybe any Stateside awards) he didn’t disappoint.

But in the process of making searingly funny jokes at more than just the obvious targets (Charlie Sheen, Mel Gibson, the HFPA itself), the heat he put into the punch lines might have made him more of the story than the actual winners.

And yet, it made for compelling – if sometimes wince-inducing – television. Given the staid lameness of most awards shows – hello Emmys – at least he kept those who are not in the industry laughing uproariously. (His “I warned them” line came after a particularly funny joke about Hugh Hefner’s new wife, complete with physical comedy and facial expressions).

Gervais’ biting lines were scattered at various stars (and movies like The Tourist), with not everyone taking kindly to the treatment. Bruce Willis seemed miffed to be called the father of Ashton Kutcher, Robert Downey Jr. seemed to take slight umbrage about his rehab past (before going into his own salacious and super speech), etc. Even when the jokes weren’t directed at them, some stars took gentle swipes back, as when Tom Hanks, who just received a rave recitation of his career achievement from Gervais, protected Tim Allen, who received none.

But even noting that Gervais was more bitter and heavier than when he first arrived in town, that’s not going to dissuade a comic like Gervais, who lives to skewer egos (including his own). Anyone who tried to spar with him just looked petty and unfunny in the process.

Gervais’s jokes were so incendiary that when he went missing during the second half of the show, the Twitterverse lit up with suggestions that he’d been fired backstage.

Clearly, Gervais had done so much damage entertaining the viewers at home (or appalling them, depending on their belief in decorum), that he became the story of the night.

But so what? The Globes are considered one of the best, if not the best, awards show on television because of this feeling that anything goes and champagne-fueled winners and presenters could say just about anything. Adding Gervais into the mix last year was exactly the kind of tone that seemed to fit the primetime party and as funny as he was this year, there’s little doubt many in the industry will think he went too far.

The trouble is, the awards are for the people in the business, but the show itself is for the viewers at home. There’s only so much sycophantic back-slapping anyone can take without a little needling to burst the ego bubble.

But if Gervais wasn’t intending to come back, which is what he’s said prior, he sure went out swinging, thanking all the right people – the HFPA, NBC, the stars in the room for being good sports, then ending with, “And thank you to God for making me an atheist.”

That pretty much sealed it, one would suspect.

Click here to read Tim Goodman's Tweets of the ceremony.

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Gervais and his beer. Did you know that it's in his contract for that? It is.

"I haven't even seen the Tourist. Who has?"

"They also accepted bribes." Oh, Gervais, biting the hands that feed him. Which is why we like him.

"I saw one of you in an episode of Bonanza!" Gervais to the stars of Sex and the City 2, who should fess up about their age, according to him.

"Talking about The Walking Dead. Congratulations Hugh Hefner."

"Just don't look at it when you touch it." To the wife of Hef. Oh my God, I think Gervais is gone for good. And that joke will NOT be topped.

Mostly because of the visuals, which involved gagging and looking at her watch. Wow.

Geoffrey Rush in a hat. Awesome.

Christian Bale wins for "The Fighter." Punch Bieber in his boy parts now! Do it!

Half of America is stunned that Bale isn't one of us.

Christian Bale is being played off. First winner. Wow, tough start!

I think it's safe to say the Golden Globes, in under 10 minutes, have totally delivered on "best awards show". Gervais, booze, etc.

Oh hells yes. That's how you do it. Congrats to @sutterink... (Katey Sagal wins for best performance by an actor in a television - drama. She's married to "Sons Of Anarchy" creator Kurt Sutter.)

Director of Globes cuts to Ed O'Neil when Sagal won. Oh, dude, start watching some TV.

Two wins, two played-off-the-stage moments. This is called "missing the point," Globes producers. You're getting as uptight as the Emmys.

By the end of the night, there won't be ANY stars accepting. Somebody throw the Hollywood Foreign Press a $100 bill...

I'd like to remind the actors that Champagne goes to the head way, way faster than you think. Be careful out there.

Miniseries or TV Movies. Needs to be The Pacific. But it'll be Temple Grandin.

Or Carlos. Yeah. That too.

During the commercial, both Christian Bale and Katey Sagal kicked the living shit out of the director. I think we're good from here on out.

This is America! Play these guys off! *joke* (The Carlos producing team, staying a bit long.)

"Please welcome AShton Kutcher's dad." And then Bruce Willis botched the smack talk. He can't hang with Gervais.

Listen, there's a LOT of thin skin in Hollywood. So what Gervais is doing up there is essentially God's work.

This category makes no sense, just fyi. (Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television)

Chris Colfer wins for best supporting actor in a category that was created while on crack.

Eva Longoria almost slipped as badly as NBC's ratings.

Here comes the president of the HFPA - ooops, 25 thousand dollars just fell out of his pocket...

Jon Hamm is going to win this. (Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series – Drama)

Or Steve Buscemi. Yeah, that too.

When did Buscemi start looking like a taller Martin Scorsese?

Yes, all great actors in that category. Excellent shows.

TV Series Drama - If you're looking for Breaking Bad, you're out of luck...

I know some people don't like Boardwalk Empire, but I am not in that group. Excellent series that got better as it went.

That shot of Jolie and Pitt (fixing his bow tie as the show went to commercial) is why people watch this. Well, that and booze-fueled love. And for me - Gervais. Speaking truth to fame

For everyone complaining about winners and snubs (which I'll do later), it's the Golden Globes. Repeat that, pour some bubbles. Relax.

I can see Gervais backstage, laughing, while HFPA people tell him to tone it down. "Piss off, frauds!"

Baldwin is not only a trooper for showing up with a cold (or flu) but for doing that crappy shtick that the writers gave him.

Best Original Song, otherwise known as "What's in the fridge."

Burlesque won something. Almost as shocking as Breaking Bad not being nominated.

Best Original Score, aka known as "There's nothing in the fridge. Let's pop some more wine."

I just had nothing to say about that last acceptance speech. So I drank.

Btw, mean people, you know who you are: You're the ones thinking the stars are cheating on their uglier spouses.

If you're thinking Harry's Law will be at this event next year, you are wrong.

If my kids liked Justin Bieber, I would send them away on a boat.

TS3 is a no brainer, which is shocking why it won. Love that movie.

So Christian Bale gets played off but the director of TS3 does not? Interesting.

Mean-spirited and sinister? I'm not sure Downey Jr. liked that joke from Gervais, which I was sure he'd roll with.

That kiss between Bening and Moore was as believable as Moore, as a lesbian, going for the straight guy.

My wife just said "Is that as stupid as it looks" when watching The Cape. Yes. And, thanks for reading, honey!

Tilda Swinton and Geoffrey Rush in black and white and awesomely out there. Love it.

I predict Al Pacino will ramble his ass off.

Hoo-ha!

That was actually shorter than I thought. (After he rambled on.)

Jennifer Love Hewitt, that dress is one gigantic bowl of wrong.

Claire Danes was doing great until she started taking roll. (Pulling out a piece of paper, thanking countless people.)

A rule for Globes: When a winner pulls out a piece of paper, cut immediately to Halle Berry.

"Please welcome the wonderful Tina Fey and the ungrateful Steve Carell!"

I love Gervais so much, but wonder outside of Merchant/Carell, how many other friends he has who are stars.

Oh, Aaron, this isn't the Oscars. (Aaron Sorkin's politically correct acceptance speech for Social Network).

In case you're wondering, yes, this is also a completely ridiculous category. (Best Performance by an Actress in a Series, Mini-Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television)

This same kind of pointing and hugging and socializing goes on when TV critics are in that ballroom for TCA, minus the looks, clothes, etc.

Right now a lot people are saying, "Oh, so THIS is NBC."

Foreign language film: A category no one in America cares about. - Gervais.

OK, play her off. USA! USA! USA! (Joking..Best Foreign Language Film

In a Better World (Denmark)

Who will win best supporting actor in a comedy, musical, Hitler film, black and white documentary or short film!? Oh, Globes. You crazy.

Jane Fonda is now on. AKA, Mary Tyler Moore 25 years ago.

I love that Thomas Jane got nominated. He's one crazy dude. Not super funny, but real-life eccentric. (Best actor in a comedy, which Jim Parsons won for The Big Bang Theory)

Jeremy Irons has so much sex in The Borgias that he will now forever have a perpetual smile.

I wonder what the Golden Globes were like 68 years ago. One French guy, three actors, $74 bucks.

Matt Damon is pretty much game for anything.

Can't wait for the Little Fockers clip in this De Niro retrospective...

I liked The Good Shepherd a lot. Might rent it again.

Do you think that when Halle Berry sees other stars in short hair, she says "Oh, please."

Most cuts to famous couples goes to Angelina and Brad.

De Niro is off script. Or he's best with a script he didn't write. One or the other.

Where's Halle Berry? (As best director David Fincher pulls out a paper and starts reading people to thank.)

Don't worry Colin, we're bored too. (Shot of Firth as Fincher read the names.)

January Jones, do NOT try comedy. (Not a great read with Jimmy Fallon.)

OK, so Glee is a musical. It is not a comedy, however. Period.

First five people Ryan Murphy has thanked sign the checks for Glee.(Which won best television series - comedy or musical.)

Perfect Couples, by the way, is also not a comedy.(After ad for it on NBC.)

The creators of Perfect Couples took Olivia Munn and made her an uptight bore in the show. Not genius.

Halle Berry for the win! (As she walked on stage to announce nominees for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical)

They ran Halle Berry out there to cover up the fact they've chained Ricky Gervais to the back door.

Is Paul Giammati's pants a different color than his jacket? Dude, no "sport separates" at the awards show!

There's an APB out for Gervais. Don't worry, we'll get him back safely.

Your new 2nd Half Golden Globes host, Carson "You look fabulous and your album is awesome!" Daly.

I can only hope that Gervais is drinking more and more and more. There's an increase in sucking up that's prevalent.

The Dude abides. (Jeff Bridges walks on stage.)

Halle Berry IS the Black Swan. (As Natalie Portman wins for the movie.)

Natalie Portman's grandma wants to know where Ricky Gervais is. (as she's thanking her grandmother.)

OK, there are some awesome female laughers. Natalie Portman is not one of them.

HE'S ALIVE! (Gervais returns.)

The thing is, when you joke back (or lash back) at Gervais, it just seems petty. And unfunny. It's a win-win for Gervais

Best picture goes to The Kids Are Alright, a film where the kids were just alright. Not great.

Enjoy this, people, there's no way Ricky Gervais will be invited back as host. Too bad, really. Sometimes a ballon needs a good popping.

Nobody in America says "to the cloud." Your catchphrase is a fail, Microsoft.

And Sandra Bullock as Cher. (As Bullock comes on to announce nominees.)

Colin Firth does know we're running long, right? (Best performance by an actor in a drama...and his speech.)

Standing ovation for Michael Douglas. "There's got to be an easier way to get a standing ovation," he said. Well played.

And the Golden Globe goes to....Mafia Wars. (As the Social Network wins.)

"And thank you to God for making me an athiest." - Gervais, sealing his two-year stint at the Globes.

Gervais thank the audience for being good sports. I'm not sure they really were. But God (oops) love him for going out swinging.