Welcome, friends, to my live blog of the 2012 Golden Globe Awards

There's a funny story for how I ended up handling live-blogging duties rather than HitFix's all-around Awards Guru Gregory Ellwood, but I'll let him tell it. 

As for me, I'm just so happy to be done with the Television Critics Association press tour that I'm raring and ready to go...

7:56 p.m. ET. You can follow along with HitFix's Golden Globes Predictions. I'm not saying they're especially prescient or anything. But they're what we're guessing...

8:00 p.m. Live from the Beverly Hilton Hotel... Let's get started with Mr. Ricky Gervais

8:00 p.m. "So... where was I?" Ricky begins. "Nervous? Don't be. This isn't about you," he continues. "Tonight you get Britain's biggest comedian hosting the world's second biggest award show on the third biggest network," Gervais says, before correcting himself that NBC is a fourth place network. He says that the Globes are to the Oscars as Kim Kardashian is to Kate Middleton. He moves into mocking Eddie Murphy for his depart from the Oscars. "When the man who says 'Yes' to 'Norbit' says 'No' to you..." Then he kids that Murphy and Adam Sandler played all of the roles in "The Help."

8:02 p.m. Gervais jokes that the HFPA has warned him that if he insults anybody blah blah he'll be invited back. The rules: No profanity, no nudity -- "I have a huge vocabulary, but I tiny penis -- no smut or innuendo, no libel and no mention of Mel Gibson (or Jodie Foster's "Beaver"... Jodie laughs ["I've spoken to a lot of guys here. They haven't seen it either." Cut to a disapproving Elton John. Foster is mostly OK.]. 

8:04 p.m. Gervais then moves on to Hollywood divorces. And Justin Bieber's paternity test. "What a waste of a test that would be. No. He's not the father. The only way he could have impregnated a girl is if he used one of Martha Stewart's turkey basters," Gervais. Ouch. Way to insult the guy who certainly isn't in the room. 

8:05 p.m. Dame Helen Mirren raunchiness joke.

8:05 p.m. No joke about "Homeland." Cheap HFPA joke involving "Boardwalk Empire." Praise for the HFPA being a non-profit organization, "just like NBC." 

8:06 p.m. Our first presenter is Johnny Depp, allowing Gervais to plug "Life's Too Short."

8:07 p.m. That was a fairly toothless monologue. 

8:07 p.m. "Have you seen 'The Tourist' yet?" Ricky asks Depp, who replies, "No." That was it?

8:08 p.m. Depp isn't presenting an award, so much as a trailer for "Hugo," which he produced. 

8:08 p.m. Gerard Butler is presenting with the lovely, lovely, lovely Mila Kunis. They're presenting Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture. My vote would go to Albert Brooks for "Drive," not that I'd be opposed to a Christopher Plummer lifetime achievement award. The winner is... Christopher Plummer. No objections. It's a lovely little performance and he's Christopher Flippin' Plummer. "What a wonderful welcome back to the home of King Kong, Rin-Tin-Tin and all of our youthful fantasies," Plummer begins. He starts by saluting his competition and apologizing. Kenneth Branagh seems especially pleased. Praise for Ewan McGregor, who he calls "A scene-stealing swine." Praise to Michael Mills. 

8:12 p.m. YAY! Plummer thanks Cosmo the Dog from "The Beginners." Truly cinema's Best Dog of 2012. Cosmo talks. Does that little pooch from "The Artist" talk? No. Wow. Christopher Plummer's wife of 40+ years is mighty attractive.

8:13 p.m. Holy cow. It's a "TBL: The Beautiful Life" reunion with Ashton Kutcher and Elle MacPherson presenting TV Actress in a Comedy. Amy Poehler SHOULD win. The winner is... Laura Dern, who did the most dramatic heavy lifting of any actress in the category. She's sparkling in emerald. This is her third Globe win. "We're so grateful," says Dern of her low-rated HBO series "Enlightened." Awww. Diane Ladd is crying for her daughter and she gets big applause. No cut-away to Mike White? Dern closes by thanking the whistleblowers out there.

8:19 p.m. Rob Lowe and Julianne Moore are presenting together. Because they're both getting ready to play notorious famous people in upcoming TV movies? They're introducing Miss Golden Globes, but the teleprompter is broken. Andie MacDowell, mother of Miss Golden Globes, is glowering. She wants her daughter properly recognized. Andie MacDowell has good and powerful genes.

8:20 p.m. Lowe and Moore will now present Movie/Miniseries to either "Downton Abbey" or "Mildred Pierce."

8:21 p.m. The winner is... "Downton Abbey," which deserved to win, other than it NOT BEING A MINISERIES. Miniseries don't have second seasons that premiere the year after, now airing on PBS. The winner is very British. The cameraman gets confused and tracks down the winners, past the winners and to Lowe and Moore looking bored and confused in the background.

8:21 p.m. Time for Lead Actress in a Movie/Miniseries. I think in our predictions, I said that Romola Garai deserved to win. But how can you possibly win in a category where you're up against the inevitable winner... Kate Winslet. She's able to be happy, but she doesn't pretend to be surprised. This is her third win. She's a long way away, which gives us plenty of chances to see if her shirt is going to open to expose more than mere cleavage. She thanks her fellow nominees. As you do. Todd Haynes gets thanked and a cut-away. "You were calm and incredible every single day for 17 weeks," she says, also thanking HBO for "being absent when we needed them to be absent." She thanks the entire cast, but not with any names. The music plays her off. Does the band not know that was Kate Winslet?

8:27 p.m. Freida Pinto, also in emerald, intros a trailer for "Midnight in Paris."

8:29 p.m. If you can't get enough Golden Globe live-blogging, In Contention's Roth Cornet has a live-blog going, too.

8:32 p.m. Jeremy Irons. And the head of the HFPA. Everybody plays serious as we enjoy the filler. "Bravo," Irons says when the HFPA Lady finishes.

8:33 p.m. Jake Gyllenhaal introduces the trailer for "My Weekend with Marilyn." There are too many of these. 

8:34 p.m. We're running five minutes long. Gervais tells people to thank "The main two: Your agent and God." and leave their families out of it.

8:35 p.m. Melissa McCarthy and Paula Patton present. Paula is tall and her dress is very yellow. This is not a terrific pairing. Anyway, they're presenting Lead Actor in a TV Drama. Bryan Cranston, as you know, should win all of these. Instead, the winner is... Kelsey Grammer for "Boss." That's not especially surprising and it's also not undeserved, per se. He's very good in "Boss." And he has a new beard. "This is very nice," he observes, before thanking Chris Albrecht's money and balls. 

8:37 p.m. Wow. We're doing TV Series Drama already? Talk about a lack of respect for television. I'm aces with either "Game of Thrones" or "Homeland" winning. And the winner is... "Homeland." Yup. That makes sense. Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa accept, though everybody goes up on stage, including Morena Baccarin, whose dress is an absolute feat of engineering. We really are running long, because Gordon is cut off.

8:44 p.m. NBC crosspromo time! It's Jimmy Fallon and Adam Levine doing lame schtick before presenting Best Song and Best Score. Score is the only probably win for "The Artist" that I'm not going to be grumpy about, though I'd give the win to John Williams for his marvelously old-fashioned "War Horse" score. Not surprisingly, though, Ludovic Bource wins for "The Artist." Like I said: No complaints. "I'm sorry, I'm French," Bource says, before pulling out a speech and saying that if he were to write a song right now, it would be a tap-dance number. He refers to music and silent films as both being universal. The band is not sympathetic to his halting English. He gets played off as well. Everybody gets played off tonight!

8:48 p.m. As for Best Song, I'm not sure I have an opinion/preference here. The winner is... "Masterpiece," the Madonna song from "WE." Glenn Close, a nominee for her "Albert Nobbs" lyrics, puts on a big, fake smile. "Hi. This is a surprise," says Madonna. She shouldn't be surprised, since the HFPA actually gave her a Globe for *acting* once upon a time. Madonna rambles. Elton John, another loser in this category, glowers. And after an endless speech about nothing, the music starts playing, but Madonna doesn't pay attention to music, either when she's singing or making speeches. I kid. 

8:53 p.m. I don't know who that woman was.  She's Turkish, so I assume she's in the HFPA? What does that have to do with her weird little speech? 

8:56 p.m. NBC wants you to watch "Smash." If you haven't figured that out yet, just wait til we get to the Super Bowl...

8:58 p.m. KATHARINEMCPHEE! KATHARINEMCPHEE! KATHARINEMCPHEE! KATHARINEMCPHEE! 

8:57 p.m. Time for Actor in a Movie/Miniseries. The winner is Idris Elba for "Luther." He's a deserving winner, if you leave aside that "Luther" ISN'T A MOVIE OR MINISERIES. Katharine McPhee is adorably excited for Idris, who thanks his fans. He thanks the appropriate people and gets played off.

8:59 p.m. Brad Pitt is presenting the trailer for "Ides of March." Tonight, he looks like he washed his hair. Kudos, Brad Pitt.

9:00 p.m. Kate Beckinsale is pretty. Seth Rogen "is currently trying to conceal a massive erection." It's time for Actress in a Comedy. Rogen editorializes by calling "My Weekend with Marilyn" "a hysterical comedy." His sarcasm is on-point, but the winner is still... Michelle Williams, for a performance that's neither musical nor comedic. "I consider myself a mother first and an actress second," Williams says, thanking her daughter. Awwww. Go Jen Lindley! She tells an appealingly elfin story about reading stories to her daughter in a Marilyn Monroe voice. Nice! A shout-out to Williams' best bud Busy Philipps. Go "Cougar Town." And "Dawson's Creek."

9:08 p.m. Sarah Michelle Gellar and Piper Perabo. Ummm... OK. They're presenting Supporting Actor in TV Stuff. Stupid catch-all category. The winner is... Peter Dinklage for "Game of Thrones." Yay! Tyrion for the win. The microphone goes down. Dinklage's mother predicted that Guy Pearce would win. "I just love our moms, because they keep us humble," Dinklage says, before thanking George R.R. Martin. Dustin Hoffman is very bored. He gets played off, before thanking a "Martin Henderson" and telling us to Google him.

9:10 p.m. "You're so much better than last year's audience. No, they had a right stick up their ass," Gervais, says, before pointing out the pecking order between TV stars and movie stars in the Beverly Hilton. That leads into the introduction for... George Clooney, presenting the trailer for "Moneyball." That gave me time to Google "Martin Henderson."

9:14 p.m. Channing Tatum and Jessica Alba, possibly Hollywood's least animated actors, are presenting Animate Feature. The winner is... "The Adventures of TinTin." Finally somebody gives Steven Spielberg an award for something! He thanks Peter Jackson and his whole cast. As you do. Spielberg's given speeches before.

9:20 p.m. Ewan McGregor congratulates Christopher Plummer and then introduces the trailer for "20/20" "50/50." Hey, maybe if we didn't have to watch trailers for every nominated movie, people could make full speeches?

9:22 p.m. "Gellhorn & Hemingway" stars Nicole Kidman and Clive Owen are presenting Best Screenplay. Your winner? Woody Allen for "Midnight in Paris." Woody is absent, which will help speed things along. "Come and get it, Woody," says Kidman.

9:23 p.m. Awwwww... Harmony from William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman!!!!! Highlight of the night, by far. They're pretending Supporting Actress in Everything TV. Maggie Smith should win, but she's absent. Instead, the not-so-surprising Golden Globe winner is... Jessica Lange for "American Horror Story." Jessica Lange has five Globe wins. "This is lovely,"she says, noting that the HFPA has always been generous to her. She thanks all the various "AHS" cast and crew, but she mostly wants to thank the "AHS" writers for giving her something to do. She doesn't get played off. I wonder if that means that we're back on schedule?

9:30 p.m. HALF-WAY.

9:30 p.m. Lazy Elton John/Queen of Pop joke from Gervais, who has given up and settled for mediocrity tonight. He introduces Madonna, who makes an equally lame joke about wanting to kiss Gervais, because she hasn't kissed a girl on TV lately. Madonna's presenting Best Foreign Language Film. Will Angelina Jolie become an award-winning foreign language filmmaker? Let's see! Nope. The winner is the acclaimed Iranian film "A Separation." I need to see that one. Stupid press tour taking up two whole weeks. The director speaks perfect English and thanks his people, who he calls "a truly peace-loving people." Katharine McPhee approves.

9:34 p.m. Dustin Hoffman has been awakened. He thanks his wife and agent for encouraging him to present this category. He's presenting Actress in a Drama Series. Claire Danes has this sucker in the bag. I forgot Callie Thorne was nominated. That's just silly. The winner is... Claire Danes. Wildly deserving. She's now won twice. And I like that Kenneth Branagh gets cut-aways for every winner, because he's just so darned happy. Danes recalls bursting into tears after winner for "My So-Called Life" when she realized that she forgot to thank her parents. Tonight, she has her mother with her at the Awards and thanks her immediately. Awww. Very pleased for Claire. Very sad that Mandy Patinkin shaved his "Homeland" beard.

9:41 p.m. I'm confused as to why some "Smash" ads are "introducing' both Katharine McPhee *and* Megan Hilty, but some are just "introducing" Kat.

9:42 p.m. Emily Blunt introduces the trailer for "Bridesmaids."

9:43 p.m. Tina Fey and Jane Lynch are paired to make funnies. I hope. They joke about how actors aren't aren't exactly like the characters they play. It leads to a not-so-funny penis joke involving Thomas Jane, who is wearing a funny hat. The winner is... Matt LeBlanc for "Episodes." He was apparently nominated for a Globe for "Joey," which pretty much invalidates the whole thing. He thanks his "Episodes" writers by saying, "They write a Matt LeBlanc who, let's be honest, is way more interesting and fun than the real thing."

9:46 p.m. On to Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture. The applause is split. The winner is... Octavia Spencer for "The Help."  Praise to co-star (and loser here) Jessica Chastain for quickly standing to salute Spencer. "This is seriously nuts," Spencer gushes. "With regards to domestics in this country now and then, I think Dr. King said it best. 'All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance,'" Well-played, Octavia Spencer. Well-played. The rest of the speech is a far less interesting laundry list.

9:54 p.m. Reese Witherspoon looks fantastic, but can we just pretend that she's not the star of the upcoming movie "This Means War"? She's introing the trailer to her "Election" director Alexander Payne's "The Descendants.

9:55 p.m. We stand for Sidney Poitier. As darned well we should. He's presenting the Cecil B. DeMille Award to Morgan Freeman. I assume we were rushing the previous speeches because we knew that Poitier was going to take his time on his intro. But it's not even a full intro. It's really just setting things up for Helen Mirren, who vows to "lower the tone." They were in "Red" together, but that's their only film together, which has Helen Mirren a bit unhappy. This leads to a "Driving Miss Daisy" joke that mostly appears to play for Jimmy Fallon. "I could have been a penguin," Mirren jokes before starting the clip package.

9:56 p.m. We've got "Brubaker" and "Lean on Me," but what about "The Electric Company," darnit? Lots of "Glory." Some quality "Street Smart" badassery. Some "Seven." Some "Unforgiven" and some "Batman" and some... "Deep Impact"? "Bruce Almighty"? Ugh. 

10:02 p.m. "ELECTRIC COMPANY"!!!! Whew.

10:03 p.m. We just saw Morgan Freeman at press tour two days ago. "I can't really tell you how it feels to be up here being touted by a woman I love so much, no offense Taylor [Hackford]," Freeman says. "Watching you handle a gun makes me know I never want to piss you off," Freeman says of the lesson he learned from Mirren on "Red." Freeman tells Poitier that in his house, this will also be known as The Sidney Poitier Award. Freeman talks about how much fun he's been having and how much he admires the people he's been doing it with. He even pauses to greet Elton John. "I am truly, truly honored that you consider me worthy of being in that company," Freeman says of the previous winners of this award. Morgan Freeman is classy.

10:11 p.m. Last year, Robert Downey Jr. said snarky things about Ricky Gervais. This year, he can't even be bothered to remember that this show had a host. The "Chaplin" star is presenting the trailer for "The Artist," which he calls "daring." Sigh.

10:13 p.m. Angelina Jolie is presenting Best Director. The Globe goes to... Martin Scorsese for "Hugo." That's kinda surprising/interesting. I'm not opposed. And he gets a standing ovation. He thanks the HFPA for its work in cinema preservation. He credits his wife for suggesting he make a movie his daughter can see. 

10:16 p.m. Ricky Gervais is pointlessly censored for making a not-especially-funny joke about not understanding Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek. They present Outstanding Comedy to... "Modern Family." It's fitting that the joke about not understanding the Spanish-speaking star led into a win for a show that loves to mock Sofia Vergara for her English difficulties. Vegara hilariously and gorgeously takes the stage thanking the HFPA in Spanish. Steve Levitan "translates." Several people in the crowd are confused by the back-and-forth schtick. 

10:24 p.m. I'm sure there's a joke I'm supposed to make about Michelle Pfeiffer introducing the trailer for "War Horse." But I can't be bothered. Has this telecast always been 20 percent trailers for nominated films? Because that's horrid. Are we out of TV awards already? And this is all just filler for a half-hour?

10:24 p.m. Mark Wahlberg and Jessica Biel are presenting Actor in a Motion Picture Musical/Comedy. Because they're so darned musical and comedic. Brendan Gleeson deserves to win. He will not. The winner is Jean Dujardin for "The Artist." He tells an appealing story of an agent who told him he'd never do movies because his face was too expressive. "I want to thank him, for letting me prove him wrong." He concludes with a silent movie thank you...

10:32 p.m. Queen Latifah wants more applause, so she waits til the audience gives her the respect she deserves. Then she presents the trailer for "The Help."

10:33 p.m. "Nearly there," Gervais promises. He has much praise for the next presenter before turning the corner. "What you don't know about him is that he's very racist. Really nasty stuff. I've seen him punch a little blind kitten. Please welcome the evil Colin Firth."

10:34 p.m. Firth is presenting Actress, Motion Picture Drama. Will it be Viola or Meryl? The winner is... Meryl Streep. Dame Meryl makes a big show of seeming shocked as the crowd stands for her. As you do. "Well. When Ricky Gervais' deal fell through and they came to me to play Margaret Thatcher..." she begins. She calls her win "a thriller" but also "embarrassing." She forgot her glasses, leading to three or four seconds of NBC censoring for one "s***." Meryl's glasses get passed up through the ballroom by George Clooney and several other stars, though it looks like David Fincher decides to hold onto them. Streep lists a slew of remarkable performances from 2011. She thanks her agent and also "God... Harvey Weinstein." She also thanks "everybody in England who let me come in and trample all over their history." Wow. They're playing Meryl Streep off? Screw you, Golden Globes. She closes with, "I love you Viola. You're my girl." Nice.

10:39 p.m. We've got Jane Fonda to present Best Pictures, Musical or Comedy to... "The Artist." Yawn. At least the dog is there, upstaging everybody else affiliated with the movie, just as the dog did in the movie itself. The film's producer tells a story about his father's big break. This is a mighty big night for Harvey "The Punisher" Weinstein.

10:41 p.m. So we require 20 minutes to give two more awards?

10:47 p.m. Well, I guess it helps that we get six minutes of "Smash" commercials. Natalie Portman's up to present Best Actor in a Drama. Fassbender should win. He will not. The winner is... George Clooney for "The Descendants." You can't be mad about George Clooney winning things. You just can't. Don't even try. Clooney begins by praising buddy Brad Pitt for his work in films and around the world. Then Clooney makes an awesome golfing joke about Michael Fassbender's penis. That's a Golden Globe first, I suspect.

10:54 p.m. Harrison Ford is presenting Best Picture Drama. The winner is... "The Descendants." Fair enough. The producer thanks George Clooney and Alexander Payne and then lets Alexander Payne talk a little. And then, even though we have a full three minutes left, Payne gets played off. Because time management on The Globes is a horrible nightmare.

10:58 p.m. "I hope you enjoy the goodie bags, the champagne and the gold. I hope that took your mind off the recession for a little while," Gervais says as the credits run.