How Will the Golden Globes Handle a Show That (Possibly) Doesn't Include Jennifer Lawrence?

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Award show Gods: Doesn’t our nation deserve more?

Haven’t we been through but enough suffering? Have we not proven to you that we are worthy of the highest forms of slapstick entertainment?

We’ve had it so hard this award season, and it is but at the very beginning. We’ve sat through countless hours of horribly upsetting media. So sad, in fact, that it seems as though we have been trained to believe that a piece of entertainment isn’t actually high quality unless it’s depressing. We’ve cried our eyeballs dry while those onscreen lose loved ones and endure blatantly unfair childhoods and search for birth parents they may never find and receive bone-chillingly drastic news about society.

Even movies that had what we now know to be deceivingly upbeat titles turned out to be heart-wrenching. Yes, we’re talking about you, Captain Fantastic and La La Land. Pop culture audiences have singlehandedly kept Kleenex in business, and all they asked for in return was the chance to forget about how sad they are by the entertainment that is supposed to help us forget about how sad our reality is by watching some good old-fashioned Jennifer Lawrence antics at this Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards. 

Her presence at award shows is one of the most surefire guarantees in Hollywood. It’s calming. It lets us know that everything is right in the world. In fact, it’s come to the point that no one is really sure quite what a J-Law-less show even looks like. 

The actress has been the biggest part of practically every season in recent memory—starting with 2011’s Winter’s Bone, to Silver Linings Playbook in 2013, followed by the seasons of American Hustle and Joy, respectively. If Jennifer Lawrence stars in a movie during the holiday season, it’s become a shoo-in that she receives a nomination for, well, everything. And why wouldn’t she be? Her bread and butter is choosing roles that are geared directly towards the academies (all of them), in movies that are marketed directly towards the award circuit.

Even last year, in a movie that can be described at best as trying too hard and at worst as, well, a melodrama about mops, she still got an Oscar nom (and won the Golden Globe). If Joy can’t keep her from stealing the show from January straight on through March, then what can? 

[Insert pithy quip about Passengers here].

But this is neither the time nor the place to discuss the merits (or lack thereof) of her 2016 choice for Late Winter Blockbuster Release. We’re sure that when they signed on to Passengers, both Lawrence and costar Chris Pratt thought they’d be making the rounds just like every other year. It was a romantic drama, starring two of today’s most beloved stars, set in space, after all! 

But it wasn’t, well, much of anything, and now here we are facing an award season without Jennifer Lawrence head-on. Sure, there’s a chance she’ll be added as a last-minute presenter to this Sunday’s Golden Globes, or show up as a surprise guest of, say, Amy Schumer. But even if she is in attendance, it still won’t be the same. Without a nomination, and with the potential awkwardness of having starred in a movie that was fully eligible, she won’t be playing her starring role on the red carpet. And there won’t be nearly as much screen time during the actual presentation. 

Which is, of course, nothing short of a tragedy, for more than just the potential GIF-makers. Lawrence’s antics have brought so much levity to shows that truly need it, and reminded us why champagne at the Globes is always a great idea. 

There are her many falls of course, which, while hysterical and entertaining, are frankly the least charming of the whole package. (Don’t make us remind you that it’s because what comes from her mind is just too good.) Although, we’ll admit to watching this moment on repeat for days on end. 

Then there are her many interview moments, whether she’s terrorizing journalists in her quest for food, to admitting her R-rated inner monologue (“A word that I can’t say. That starts with F.”)

There was that totally genius run-in with Jack Nicholson, which belongs in a category all its own. Jen’s self-deprecated humility is what makes her so fun to watch, and geeking out over a star sighting live on air is the perfect embodiment of that. 

And then there are the acceptance speeches. Oh, the acceptance speeches. Forever making the argument for not preparing, this is where the actress truly shines. Who else could actually exclaim the words “I beat Meryl!” on national television, to a room full of millionaires (and billionaires), and not come off as arrogant? When Jen stands up on that podium, she speaks nothing but the truth.

Like calling out the audience for their standing ovation, spurred only by the fact that they felt bad about her fall on the way up the stairs. Or thanking Harvey Weinstein for killing whoever he had to kill to get her up on that stage, because let’s be honest, that’s not not true. 

But yet here we are. Perhaps we are still dealing with the spillover of the veritable garbage dump that was 2016, but we find ourselves living in the reality of a J-Law-less Golden Globes. A Golden Globes in which everyone will walk the red carpet gracefully, successfully putting one foot in front of the other until they arrive at their seats. A Golden Globes in which the censorship team can fall asleep on the job. A Golden Globes in which the best we can hope for during an audience camera pan is someone accidentally chewing with their mouth open. A Golden Globes in which nobody taunts Meryl Streep. 

Now sure, the production team probably has a Jennifer Lawrence Contingency Plan. A way to up the GIFability of the evening. A way to get people tweeting. Or perhaps a new celebrity will step in to fill her shoes. Maybe Meryl will hit the champagne a little too hard, or Emma Stone will decide to take an evening from her constant classiness. And maybe, just maybe, we’ll all be too overjoyed at the fact that Mandy Moore is nominated for an acting award to even notice that no one demanded pizza from an unsuspecting red carpet reporter. 

Keep your eyes and hearts open, viewers. 

Watch E!’s live 2017 Golden Globes red carpet coverage starting at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT on Sunday, Jan. 8. Following the ceremony on NBC, tune back in to E! for our live After Party special at 11 p.m. And catch our Fashion Police special Monday, Jan. 9, at 8 p.m.

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