Jon Hein knows TV. In the late 1990s, he coined the phrase "Jump the Shark" when he founded the site of the same name. Since then, he's written about television everywhere from The New York Times to TV Guide. In his column for Primetimer, he shares his thoughts on what's new and good on TV and the shows on his radar for the coming week.
I have a love-hate relationship with the Golden Globe Awards. Apologies to the mighty Hollywood Foreign Press Association. They never get it right, which used to be really entertaining to watch. Now, it's just plain boring.
Not so long ago, the Golden Globes were considered to be a joke by most folks. Pia Zadora won Best New Star over Kathleen Turner and Elizabeth McGovern in 1982, and many assumed her then-husband just bought the award. Unfortunately, the Globes had to contend with that type of reputation for many decades.
But even under that kind of scrutiny, the Globes earned the cred of being the best awards show to attend. Drinks and loose conversation always flowed. Movies, TV, music – all the big names were there. There were no cameras around, so there were no worries. It was what all award shows aspired to be – fun and well attended by big-time celebs. Thank you Hollywood Foreign Press!
As the entertainment world became truly "global" thanks to technology, the golden statuettes grew in power and, dare I say it, prestige. Sure most of the nominations still made little to no sense, but sitting at those big round tables with the champagne flowing never got old – even when cable TV cameras arrived. No one misses out on a good A-List Hollywood party.
Some things though prove too good to be true, and when network TV got a hold of the Globes, the fun was gone. All of the craziness was reigned in. The celebs were on their best behavior and spontaneity disappeared. Ricky Gervais tried as hard as he could to keep that renegade spark alive, but you can't fight the system.
Recent Golden Globe nominations and winners have certainly improved. There will never be another Pia Zadora, but that's the most disappointing thing about today’s double G's. The crazy nominee or two that the HFPA would dig up was always a treat. Those days are long gone.
The Globes still aren't an accurate Oscar or Emmy predictor, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. This Sunday night, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will make us laugh once again and get in a few good zingers. Awards will be presented and speeches will be made COVID-style. NBC ratings will drop, and the real fun will start when the cameras go off.
Somewhere, Pia Zadora is holding her Globe… and smiling.
Here's a new feature for the week — SPTINAFOBYMB stands for "shows premiering that I'm not a fan of, but you might be":
Superman & Lois - Premieres on The CW this Tuesday. This plot is turning into super Ross and Rachel. Watch trailer.
Punky Brewster - Peacock revives the ‘80s NBC sitcom Saved By The Bell-style. The complete ten-episode revival drops Thursday. Watch trailer.
The Walking Dead - Yup, it's still on, and they're still fightin' those pesky zombies. The show returns for the second half of its extended tenth season on AMC Sunday. Watch trailer.
THIS WEEK’S PICKS
My own attention this week is drawn to a Swedish junior hockey team, Gilmore Girls expectations and a 19 year old pop sensation…
Beartown (HBO MAX)
Monday, February 22nd
This one had me at small-town Swedish junior hockey team has a shot at the national title. But Beartown is anything but Hoosiers (I know that's a different sport).
All the pressure in the world falls on these Swedish teens who can do magical things on the ice. But off-ice events take their toll on the small town leading to some major conflict.
Based on a bestselling novel, this five-parter maintains its intensity throughout. And it's not just the coach who is on edge as the team tries to create its own Swedish miracle on ice.
Ginny & Georgia (NETFLIX)
Wednesday, February 24th
Georgia, a former teen mom, and Ginny, her daughter, live out their lives in a picturesque New England town in this latest tale from Netflix. Sound familiar?
Don't worry… in the beginning of the trailer Georgia declares "we're like the Gilmore Girls, but with bigger boobs." The lead characters names both start with the letter "G". But don't let those similarities fool you.
Georgia will cross any line to provide for Ginny and her younger brother, and many challenges await up in the Northeast. They set the bar with the Gilmore Girls comparisons – now these two G's need to deliver on their own. Watch trailer.
Billie Eilish: The World's A Little Blurry (APPLE TV+)
Friday, February 26th
I first heard about Billie Eilish from my daughter, Emily. One of Billie’s songs came on and she incredulously asked "Dad, you listen to Billie Eilish?" The song came on randomly, but I pretended like I was cool. It didn't fly.
This 19 year old sensation is the next big celeb Apple wrangled to appear on their streaming service. With RJ Cutler at the helm of this documentary, we get to see Billie in her creative element and dealing with A-List celebrity issues before leaving her teens.
When Billie came on the Stern Show with her brother Phinneas, I was impressed not just by their musical ability, but also by their maturity at such a young age. After a two-hour radio interview, I wanted a peek inside that house. This doc does that and even more.
If you love or hate my picks, I'd love to hear from you.
Wear two masks. Get vaccinated. Stay healthy and safe.
Jon Hein is the creator of "Jump the Shark" and author of three books. Follow him @jonhein on Twitter.