Prior to the onset of E! Entertainment Television's Golden Globes Pre-Show, my wife was curious as to how much of our evening was going to be gobbled up by Joan and Melissa Rivers's live red carpet review. "Two hours?!" she remarked with incredulity. "Can they make that much small talk?"
Valid question. And the answer is a pained "No." Oh, but they try. And what their interviews lack in quality, Team Rivers tries to make up for in quantity. In fact, if the mother-daughter co-hosts are determined to approach 71 celebrities over the course of 80 on-screen minutes — as they did this past Sunday night — then Melissa's six-week-old son, Cooper, had better grow up quick and grab a microphone!
Kicking off the event, Joan spent the first three minutes shoehorning in jokes about yeast infection (always welcome at the dinner hour), freezing her eggs, wearing E!'s new "NippleCam" (she was kidding, thank God), and the overuse of vibrators causing L.A.'s recent blackouts. But once the stars began arriving — perhaps because Joan, during three separate, early segments, repetitively assured viewers that "people are starting to come in" — the evening showed promise, to the extent that the hosts can elicit anything meaningful during the whirlwind 60 seconds allotted to each "catch."
Young and fetching Marla Sokoloff The Practice) admitted that her show's cast is "a good-looking bunch," while castmate Lara Flynn Boyle (obviously loving life) said, "I can't think of too many people I'd like to change places with." A pair of pregnant actresses had memorable quips, as Judging Amy's Amy Brenneman, clad in white, joked she was "going for the knocked-up virgin look," and The Practice's Camryn Manheim insisted that when she delivers, "I'm going to have the maximum amount of drugs allowed before there's brain damage."
Staffers of The West Wing were in good showing, with Bradley Whitford channeling last year's Angelina Jolie. "I'm so in love with my brother right now," he deadpanned. Later, Best actor candidate Rob Lowe recalled his anxiety as a 19-year-old Golden Globe nominee (for the 1983 TV-movie Thursday's Child), saying, "I was nervous then, and you know what? I'm still nervous."
Film stars tried to get their cuts in, as well. Sigourney Weaver amusingly likened this awards show to "the industry's prom," while James Woods — who has come away with a Golden Globe trophy just once in nine tries — twice (once with each Rivers) swung-and-missed with a Susan Lucci reference. Cast Away survivor Tom Hanks, meanwhile, eyeing Melissa's page-and-a-half of notes on him, suggested, "You've got to skip those Bosom Buddies references!" Oh, to see Hanks in a dress again. But then he'd have to answer to Joan.