Golden Globes: "So Seedy There Were Two James Francos" and More Inside References Explained

james franco Golden Globes - Getty - H 2018
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The Hollywood Reporter breaks down the shout-outs and jokes that may have left viewers scratching their heads.

Beyond the lingering question of "Will Oprah Winfrey run for president?," Golden Globes viewers, especially those who don't work in or closely follow the entertainment industry, may have had a few other queries after Sunday night's awards show.

What was The Shape of Water composer Alexandre Desplat referring to when he said that his award was a "different color" than the previous one he won? Is Jennifer Aniston appearing on Will & Grace? Or did she? Is Barbra Streisand the only woman to have won the Golden Globe for best director? Who is Nicole Kidman's mom, Janelle? And why would "two James Francos" create a particularly "seedy" New York?

Read on to find out the stories behind five esoteric references from Sunday night's Golden Globes.

"The Deuce is a show about Times Square in the early '70s, when New York was so seedy, there were two James Francos."

James Franco may have won the Golden Globe for his performance in the movie The Disaster Artist but, as host Seth Meyers noted in the above joke from his monologue, the ever-busy actor also stars on HBO original series The Deuce, which earned Franco's co-star Maggie Gyllenhaal a Golden Globe nomination.

The gritty period drama explores the porn and prostitution industries in New York City's Times Square in the early '70s. And Franco plays two characters — twin brothers Vincent and Frankie Martino. Vincent is a responsible bar manager while Frankie is a hot-headed gambling addict.

Beyond the characters' seedy behavior, the show itself is, as The Hollywood Reporter TV critic Daniel Fienberg describes it, "a gritty, grimy (but rarely grim) tapestry of pimps and hoes, cops and pornographers, feminists and misogynists, crusaders and deadbeats."

Adds Fienberg, "The world of The Deuce is often only a step up from the sewer. … The aromas of body odor, cheap cologne, garbage, cigarette smoke and inconsistently used disinfectant pervade every frame."

But Franco himself has engaged in some allegedly seedy behavior in his past. In 2014, the actor raised eyebrows when leaked screenshots indicated that he tried to pick up a 17-year-old girl via texting and Instagram. He later said he was "embarrassed" by the incident.

After Franco won his award, several Twitter users, including Breakfast Club and St. Elmo's Fire actress Ally Sheedy, claimed the actor engaged in sexual misconduct and other inappropriate behavior.

Following those online accusations of sexual misconduct, The New York Times canceled a Q&A with Franco, while on Tuesday's The Late Show, host Stephen Colbert pressed the Disaster Artist star and director on the allegations.

Franco was one of many men in attendance at the Golden Globes who, in solidarity with their female colleagues, wore a Time's Up pin, supporting the initiative, started by powerful women in Hollywood, that's designed to combat systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace.

Janelle Kidman

During her acceptance speech for best actress in a limited series or TV movie, Big Little Lies star Nicole Kidman thanked her mother, Janelle Kidman, explaining that the elder Kidman "was an advocate for the women's movement … and because of her I'm standing here. My achievements are her achievements. Antonia Kidman, my sister, and I say thank you, Janelle Kidman, for what you fought for so hard."

Kidman talked about her mother almost a year ago as she was promoting Big Little Lies, telling The Edit that her mom was part of the Women's Electoral Lobby (WEL), a feminist nonparty political group.

"She would take me to hand out pamphlets when there was voting on behalf of feminism," Kidman said of her mother. "That's how I was raised; we would sit in the back rooms of the WEL while they were all talking. I remember sitting there listening, sort of not understanding but understanding that there was a movement happening, that as women we were powerful together, that we needed to have equality. I was teased at school for my mum being a feminist. I just said, 'OK, it doesn't matter. I'll stand up for what I believe in.'"

"I'm happy that you're coming back to television because Will & Grace was one of my favorite shows."

This joke from Carol Burnett to Jennifer Aniston seemed to fall flat, leading Burnett to add that she was "just kidding" as Aniston got ready to whisper something in her ear. Aniston famously was part of the cast of Friends, not fellow NBC Thursday night sitcom Will & Grace, which just this season was revived on the network. Will & Grace was up for two Golden Globes on Sunday but continued its losing streak.

While Aniston has frequently indicated that she's not interested in a Friends revival, the actress is returning to the small screen in a morning-show drama with Reese Witherspoon; that series was given a two-season order by Apple.

Later during their time onstage, Burnett obliged Aniston's request to pull her ear, something Burnett used to do on her TV show as a way of saying "hi" to her grandma.

Alexandre Desplat's "different color" Golden Globe

As he accepted his award for best original score, The Shape of Water composer Alexandre Desplat remarked that his statuette was a "different color" than the last Golden Globe he won. Desplat won best original score in 2007 for The Painted Veil. In 2009, the HFPA unveiled a redesigned statuette, created in collaboration with Society Awards. The new statuette features a new marble base and a more durable and accurate metal globe on top.

Barbra Streisand "was the only woman to get the best director award"

Yes, as the Golden Globe winner mentioned when she presented the award for best motion picture, drama on Sunday night, she is the only woman to have won the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's best director prize. Streisand won in 1984 for Yentl and was nominated again, still the only woman to have even been nominated up to that point, in 1992 for The Prince of Tides. Four other women have been nominated for best director since then: Jane Campion in 1994 for The Piano, Sofia Coppola in 2004 for Lost in Translation, Kathryn Bigelow in 2010 for The Hurt Locker and in 2013 for Zero Dark Thirty and Ava DuVernay in 2015 for Selma. The Globes' track record with female directors is about the same as that of the Academy Awards, which has awarded only one woman the best director prize. The only woman to win the best director Oscar was Kathryn Bigelow in 2010 for The Hurt Locker. Only three other female helmers have been Oscar-nominated: Coppola, Campion and Lina Wurtmuller. Streisand, however, has not been nominated for a best director Oscar.