On Sunday night, the Hollywood Foreign Press will host what has become one of the most raucous and popular award shows – the Golden Globes.
The annual event, which honors the best of the previous year’s television and film, can help bring a wider audience to productions that have perhaps flown under the radar. It can also serve as a boon to projects that are competing for future recognition at the Emmys and the Academy Awards.
For some viewers, the attraction to the Globes is the show’s loose, unpredictable vibe, which is accomplished in part by its legendary open bar and has led to its fair share of memorable moments – like when actress Christine Lahti missed hearing name called because she was in the bathroom.
Here are six reasons you will want to tune in this weekend for the 73rd annual Golden Globe Awards:
1. Drunken speeches: There have been infamous acceptance and presentation speeches at the Globes, which at least appeared to be influenced by the free-flowing alcohol. This can lead to some unforgettable moments like Jack Nicholson’s admission that he had just taken a Valium before accepting the Best Actor in a Drama award in 2003 or when Jacqueline Bisset delivered a rambling monologue after winning a Globe in 2014. Sometimes these speeches soar – think Jamie Foxx’s moving tribute to his grandmother after winning for “Ray” in 2005 – but, more often than not, they give use the rare feeling of being a fly on the wall in the most intimate and sloppy of Hollywood parties, albeit one that is being broadcast to an audience of millions.
2. Trump jokes: With Ricky Gervais hosting, you can expect a lot of no holds barred insult humor, and the likely victim of his barbs and potentially others’ will be Donald Trump. The GOP presidential front-runner represents the opposite end of the political spectrum than most members of the Hollywood community, but he also has a penchant for picking very personal fights with them, just ask Heidi Klum, Ronda Rousey or Samuel L. Jackson (to name a few). The jokes at awards shows tend to be topical and there is no subject more ubiquitous in the news today than the polarizing real estate mogul, who has begun linking his would-be opponent Hillary Clinton to a controversial star she once had ties to – comedian Bill Cosby.
3. Mel Gibson: The former A-List superstar has largely laid low since an alleged Anti-Semitic rant in 2006 and a series of angry, racially offensive rants were leaked to public in 2010. There have been rumors of an unofficial blacklisting of the “Braveheart” star, although he has occasionally popped up in smaller roles that trade on his bad boy image, such as the action flop “The Expendables 3.” When Gibson was announced as a presenter at this year’s show, the social media landscape reacted with a combination of shock and awe, with many curious to see whether his appearance will be merely a stunt or proof that Hollywood has truly forgiven him for his past transgressions.
4. Potential ‘Kanye moments’: In the wake of Kanye West’s notorious decision to preempt Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, no one is safe from getting sabotaged during an awards show. As recently as this week, the hosts of the daytime chat show “The Talk” were almost upstaged by an unidentified man who seized the mic while they were accepting a People’s Choice Award. The Golden Globes being live and less structured than some other major awards shows could provide an appealing platform for someone seeking their 15 minutes of fame.
5. History could be made: Following a strong showing last year for LGBT-themed content and performers, the Golden Globes have heeded increased calls for diversity in the film and television categories by nominating a diverse array of performers and socially-relevant properties, such as the lesbian-themed period drama “Carol,” “Transparent,” the acclaimed Amazon series about a LA family coming to grips with their former patriarch’s trans status, and “The Danish Girl,” a biopic about the one of the first recorded successful recipients of sexual reassignment surgery. Meanwhile, there has been more racial representation across the categories than in previous years, too. Black British actor Idris Elba has managed to score nominations for performance in both television in film this year, a feat he has achieved two years in a row.
6. Surprise winners: For movie fans and Oscar buffs this is one of those rare years with very few front-runners and a wide open Best Picture race. Although the Globes have an uneven track record of predicting the winners of Hollywood’s highest honor, they have been known shift momentum behind a certain nominee, or force Oscar voters to make up for a snub (think Ben Affleck and his film “Argo” in 2012). Besides Leonardo DiCaprio, who is viewed as a strong favorite to win his first (and long overdue) Academy Award for Best Actor for “The Revenant,” almost every major race is up for grabs this season. Should a more unconventional nominee like “Mad Max: Fury Road” – the rare action blockbuster that is also a critical darling – emerge triumphant, it might cast raise even more questions about who will take home the big prize when the Oscars roll around on Feb. 28.
And of course, there’s always the outfits. The Golden Globes air at 8 p.m. EST this Sunday on NBC.