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Downey and Out

Whatever happened to hip? The Golden Globes, the supposedly-daring Emmy alternative, lost some luster last weekend. The 58th annual event bestowed honors on a bevy of has-beens, ignoring some rising stars in the process.

Sex and the City made another splash, again nabbing the trophy for best comedic series. Star Sarah Jessica Parker strolled to the podium, too. The West Wing took dramatic honors, stealing The Sopranos' thunder, and the Hollywood Foreign Press inaugurated Martin Sheen as primetime president. But the list of deserving Globe-trotters stops here.

Sela Ward, star of ABC's dismally-rated Once and Again, managed another coup in the dramatic actress category. Sidelined? Ball-busting vamp-slayer Sarah Michele Gellar, whose campy turn in Buffy is long overdue.

Comedic actor honors merit another deafening groan. Frasier star Kelsey Grammar again emerged victorious, proving that not everybody loves Raymond. Series star Ray Romano returned home empty-handed.

Venerable thesp Vanessa Redgrave stole the world, or at least the Globe, from Will & Grace's Megan Mulally. Redgrave's turn in HBO's If These Walls Could Talk 2 proved that past-prime actresses in search of accolades need look no further than maudlin, over-produced premium-cable epics. While the supporting actress category is broad, Redgrave's victory is a nod to tradition, further evidence the Globes have lost their spin.

The most nauseating win? Jailbird cokehead Robert Downey Jr.'s award for his supporting role on the once-hip Ally McBeal. Sympathy votes aside, Downey's detached and unimpressive turn paled beside that of Will & Grace's Emmyfied Sean Hayes. Don't be shocked to find Downey's statue on eBay. A Globe's no Oscar, but it'll probably fetch enough for a weekend's worth of powdered pleasure.

These results are nothing short of disappointing. In their increasingly pathetic bids for legitimacy, the Golden Globes have lost their edge, leaving the most inspired performers seat-warming in the audience.


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