The comic was called boring.
A sampling of the reviews—and the TV ratings—for Sunday's Golden Globes:
• "…Gervais and the show seemed tamer and more predictable this year…" (Associated Press)
• "No Harm, No Foul, No Memories" (Time)
• "This was a night for (relatively) good behavior." (Los Angeles Times)
• "Gervais got it just right…aiming his barbs more carefully and coaxing a sort of endorsement out of Johnny Depp…" (Chicago Tribune)
And then the killer:
• "If Gervais doesn't get invited back in 2013, it might be because he was so boring Sunday night," wrote Maureen Ryan for the Huffington Post in a review headlined, "Ricky Gervais Flops the Third Time Around."
Overall, much was made of how Gervais' intended targets were prepared this time around, prepared to be good sports—or in Madonna's case, prepared to fight back. (She called Gervais a girl.) The Winnipeg Free Press noted how even Jodie Foster took Gervais' Beaver lines "in good humor."
If the critical consensus was that a less-naughty, if F-bomb-dropping, host was less entertaining, then TV viewers (sort of) agreed didn't really agree.
Final Nielsen results show the telecast was about even with last year's, with the three-hour dinner party averaging 16.8 million. That's down only 200,000 viewers from last year's show. The Emmys, by comparison, lost about 1 million sets of eyeballs from the 2010 to 2011 telecasts.
NBC's red-carpet preshow, however, was another story. Having the misfortune of running into the end of the monster New York Giants-Green Bay Packers football game on Fox, ratings were down about 15 percent, per preliminary estimates.
(Originally published Jan. 16, 2012, at 9:08 a.m. PT )