Golden Globes: every TV win was well deserved – apart from Olivia Colman’s

From Fleabag to Succession, it was hard to disagree with most of the TV awards at this year’s Globes. But all Colman did was sit in a chair looking glum

When it comes to television, the Golden Globes have a long history of getting it wrong. Last year it awarded best comedy to The Kominsky Method, for example. The year before that it went to The Marvelous Mrs Maisel. Two years before that the HFPA cast its gaze across the comedy landscape and inexplicably decided that nothing was better than Mozart in the Jungle.

With this in mind, you’d be forgiven for thinking something went badly wrong at the Golden Globes last night because, well, its winners were our winners too. Best drama? Succession, which came first in the Guardian’s best TV of 2019 poll. Best comedy? Fleabag, which came second. Best miniseries? Chernobyl, which came third. The acting awards lined up nicely with this, too; Succession’s Brian Cox won best drama actor, Phoebe Waller-Bridge won best comedy actress and Stellan Skarsgård won best supporting actor.

Even when our tastes diverged, it was hard to disagree with the results. Fosse/Verdon was a flawed series, but it nevertheless hinged on Michelle Williams’ totally committed performance, and she was awarded appropriately. Only a handful of people watched Ramy, Ramy Youssef’s autobiographical Hulu comedy, but it was received so well that his win for best comedy actor came as a happy surprise. Even parts of Ricky Gervais’s monologue – the lines about Apple’s sweatshops in particular – were on point. What on Earth is going on?

All this leaves me in something of a dilemma. This is supposed to be the piece where I pull the Golden Globes apart for their poor taste, and revel in all their bad decisions. But I broadly agreed with everything, which puts me in a sticky position. So – and I am truly sorry to do this – it falls to me to take the nuclear option. OK, deep breath.

Olivia Colman should not have won her Golden Globe.

I know. I know. It’s Olivia Colman. She is spectacular in everything, and she’s been spectacular for so long that we’ve come to expect a baseline of excellence from her. Everybody loves Olivia Colman. I love Olivia Colman. Last year was a triumph for her. She was excellent in BBC One’s Les Miserables. She was amazing in Fleabag. The woman won an Oscar last year, for god’s sake.

But I don’t think she deserved to win for The Crown. First, let’s look at who she was up against. She beat Nicole Kidman, who held the second season of Big Little Lies together with her complex portrayal of a woman grieving a man she helped to murder. She beat Jodie Comer, who managed to be even more dazzling and confident in the second season of Killing Eve than she was in the first, which nobody thought possible. She beat Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston for their respective roles in The Morning Show, even though Aniston gave one of the performances of the year.

Meanwhile, Colman sat in a chair. Yes, they were nice chairs. And yes, sometimes they were in different places. And, true, sometimes she did more than sit in a chair. Sometimes she looked out of windows. Sometimes, when something made her furious beyond all comprehension, she very infinitesimally flared her nostrils. But that’s all.

This isn’t a failing of Colman. It’s a failing of The Crown for underusing her, and a failing of Queen Elizabeth II for not being more demonstrative. Had the material been there, Colman would have clearly given a world’s best performance. But it wasn’t, so she spent an entire series of television sitting on her thumb. What a waste of a brilliant performer.

So Olivia Colman shouldn’t have won her Golden Globe, but it’s Olivia Colman so I’m glad she did. Hopefully next year the Golden Globes will go back to being terrible so I have something more substantial to write about.

Source: Golden Globes: every TV win was well deserved – apart from Olivia Colman’s | Television & radio | The Guardian

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The Crown: ‘Royal Family’ documentary that the Queen quietly banned

 

For the 27 million people who watched the Queen act alongside James Bond in the 2012 London Olympic opening ceremony, or the six million people who watch her Christmas speech every year – it might come as a surprise that the Queen has kept one of her most notable TV appearances under lock and key for nearly 40 years.

Viewers of episode 4, season 3 of The Crown, will see how a documentary made in 1969 about the British royal family was withdrawn from broadcast by Her Majesty after only three public viewings, following of widespread criticism.

The Netflix drama follows the Queen, played by Olivia Colman, and her close family as they organise scripts and film scenes over the course of a year of their lives, before eventually watching it air — and dealing with the ensuing fallout. But did it really happen?

Viewers may be surprised to learn that the 110-minute film, titled Royal Family, was indeed filmed and subsequently taken off air by the Queen. In 2019, it continues to fall under the crown’s copyright, meaning it hasn’t been shown in public since 1972.

How did the film come about?

Towards the end of the “swinging sixties” the royal family felt increasingly out of touch with the new liberal mood of the country. Journalist Malcolm Muggeridge appeared on American television in 1964, telling viewers: “The English are getting bored with their monarchy.” Continue reading

How Princess Anne escaped a kidnapping at gunpoint with a backward somersault. Yes, she’s all kinds of awesome

“Not bloody likely”

She’s the feistiest, no-nonsense Royal offspring in The Crown yet she’s even tougher in real life – as she proved by thwarting a terrifying kidnap attempt by a gunman who shot and injured two police officers, her chauffeur and a journalist while trying to drag her from her car

Words Michelle Davies

The would-be abductor struck as Anne, then 24, was being driven along the Mall towards Buckingham Palace on March 20, 1974 with her first husband, Captain Mark Phillips, who’d she married the year previously. Suddenly a Ford Escort cut in front of them, forcing them to stop, and a man later identified as Ian Ball got out to confront the princess in the back seat. He was armed with two guns, yelling ‘open or I’ll shoot!’and was determined to capture Anne.

‘He opened the door and said I had to go with him and I said I didn’t think I wanted to go,’ Princess Anne recalled some years later, during an appearance on the TV talk show, Parkinson. ‘We had a fairly low-key discussion about the fact that I wasn’t going to go anywhere, and wouldn’t it be much better if he went away and we’d all forget about it.’ She was actually being restrained in her retelling, however, because according to witnesses at the scene, what the princess actually retorted to Ball was ‘not bloody likely’.

Ball, however, was undeterred. He’d spent two years planning the kidnap, even renting a house in Fleet, Hampshire, not far from where Anne and Mark lived at the time. On his person was a long, rambling ransom letter addressed to the Queen; he wanted the monarch to pay £3 million to the NHS to improve the care and treatment of psychiatric patients – of which he was one. He’d targeted her daughter because, at the time, Anne had celebrity status in Britain after being named the BBC’s Sports Personality Of The Year in 1971 for winning the European Eventing Championship at the age of 21. Of all the Royal children to kidnap, she was the biggest prize.

The great escape

But Ball, 26, hadn’t banked on Anne’s stubbornness. She refused to get out of the car even after those trying to protect her were shot, including her personal police officer, Inspector James Beaton. Ball then tried to yank her from her seat and in the struggle her dress was ripped down the back. ‘I lost my rag at that stage,’ she recalled. ‘He started pulling my arm and Mark was holding onto me and we maintained the status quo for quite a bit, because I wasn’t going anywhere, put it that way.’ Her husband later admitted he felt powerless having seen the others wounded. ‘I was frightened, I don’t mind admitting it,’ he said. Continue reading

“They’re Changing Guards at Buckingham Palace”

by Johnny Foreigner

Anytime I see a photo of the “Changing of the Guards” in London, I’m reminded of the children’s song “Changing Guard at Buckingham Palace,”  inspired by Winnnie the Pooh author A. A. Milne and made into a hit song by young Ann Stephens in 1941.
 

London-born Ann Stephens (21 May 1931 – 15 July 1966) was the first to record “Changing Guard at Buckingham Palace.” Stephens  was a British child actress and singer, popular throughout the 1940s.

Like most many American baby boomers, I first heard this song on the Captain Kangaroo Show. That version was made in 1959 by late British variety performer Max Bygraves.

Max_Bygraves

Bygraves’ onstage catchphrase “I wanna tell you a story,” is only slightly better than Marty Allen’s “Hello Dere!” – but Bygraves is a much better singer. Another well-known phrase of Bygraves was “That’s a good idea, son!” 

Give a listen to each version and comment which version you like better, young Ann’s or Max’s?

Max Bygraves’ 1959 version “They’re Changing Guards at Buckingham Palace”

Continue reading