IF THE Oscars are film's night of nights, and the Emmys are television's night of nights, then where does that leave the Golden Globes?
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Aussie actor Hugh Jackman thanks his wife, Deborra Lee-Furness, after picking up a Golden Globe for his role in Les Miserables.
They are widely held to be a preview of the Academy Awards, though their accuracy in predicting Oscar winners has been blunted somewhat since a decade-long sweet spot from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s.
Only twice since then - Slumdog Millionaire in 2009 and The Artist last year - have they accurately foreshadowed the winner of the coveted best picture Oscar. But that statistical reality does little to dampen the red carpet fantasy.
When it comes to television awards nights, the tone is set in the first five minutes. That's why the Oscars and the Emmys live and die on their host. And why even our Logies have, for decades, been paying for the sins of a series of opening dance numbers from the 1980s.
This year's Golden Globe Awards - the 70th - were hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, who lit up the screen from the moment they stepped onto the stage. They were sharp, hilarious and courageously upheld the grand tradition of mocking the night's organisers, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
''[Last year's host] Ricky Gervais could not be here tonight because he is no longer technically in show business,'' Fey said. Poehler replied: ''We want to assure you that we have no intention of being edgy or offensive tonight because, as Ricky learned the hard way, when you run afoul of the Hollywood Foreign Press, they make you host this show two more times.''
Indeed, many of the perceived weaknesses of the Golden Globes are, in fact, its greatest strengths.
Instead of being strapped in, auditorium-style, guests are seated at tables, fed and watered, resulting in an uneasy sense of chaos. In a close-up, Mel Gibson looked glassy-eyed and perhaps even a little lonely. Others, such as Glenn Close, were captured in animated conversation.
The anachronistic categories - such as ''best motion picture, musical or comedy'' - mean that a bleak tragedy such as Les Miserables is up against the whimsical comedy The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Madness? No, just the Golden Globes.
The big gamble is that, in an attempt to be looser and more shambolic than their more formal cousins, the Globes risk looking a little too loose and shambolic. Letting comedians off the leash is always a risk. Usually it pays off but sometimes it doesn't. Fey and Poehler soared. Sacha Baron Cohen simply wasn't funny.
In the end, however, perhaps the Golden Globes are something of a bastard child of the Oscars and the Emmys, somehow not quite the equal of either and saddled with some of the worst qualities of both.
Golden Globes red carpet fashion
Take a look at all the spectacular gowns worn by actresses at the Golden Globes.
Next up, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, awards from the Directors Guild of America, the Writers Guild and others, Britain's BAFTAs, Australia's AACTAs and, of course, the Oscars on February 24. It's a long red carpet. But that, as they say, is showbusiness.