The Golden Globes. It sounds the title of a porn flick, starring celestial-body sized breasts and a man with an overactive bladder. While some might find water sports infinitely more interesting to watch than, say, a three-hour plus awards show, it’s important to pay attention to the Globes since it usually signals an early death or lead for Oscar contenders.

Back in the time when star power still meant something, a group of foreign journalists gathered together over lunch in Hollywood to announce their best of picks for the year. The reporters had such a good time that they decided to start honoring the best movies of the month and then, from these, select yearly winners. Three hundred and sixty-five days later, members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association convened again, this time generating the signature Golden Globe award, and dished it out to a new round of awards. In 1962, KTTV televised the first Golden Globes, allowing viewers at home to look in as Hollywood’s kings and queens received awards and got a little tipsy.

Time passed, stars rose and developed drug addictions and wound up on VH1’s “Where Are They Now?” The Globes grew in popularity, offering a more relaxed and somewhat drunken atmosphere than the Oscars, and now stands as a highly respectable awards show known for honoring those that tend to get snubbed by the Academy and sticking only to award categories that American groundlings really know anything about.

Leading the charge this year is the musical “Chicago,” directed by Rob Marshall, with eight nominations. Spike Jonze’s “Adaptation,” and “The Hours,” directed by Stephen Daldry, follow close with six nods each. Scorsese’s “Gangs of New York,” and Alexander Payne’s “About Schmidt” bring up the rear of the big contenders. A few surprises managed to mix up the movie nominations this year. Eminem earned a nomination for his song “Lose Yourself,” and Adam Sandler worked his way into the category for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for his role in “Punch-Drunk Love.” There’s buzz that Sandler will come down with a case of Jim Carrey syndrome come Oscar time, which is a shame since Academy members are probably still a little raw from wiping their asses with “Eight Crazy Nights.”

In the world of the small screen, well, a variety of inane, self-absorbed television shows made the list of Best Musical or Comedy, including the painfully neurotic “Sex and the City” and “Will & Grace.” “The Simpsons” earned its first mention in the category, and while its heyday has long passed, it still remains the best of the nominees. The Best Television Series-Drama category has a much better selection, including “Six Feet Under,” “The Sopranos” and “The West Wing.”

Gene Hackman stands to receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award for his work in film, having received three previous Golden Globes for his lead roles in “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “The French Connection.” In 1992, he earned an award for Best Supporting Actor in “Unforgiven.”

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s 60th Golden Globe Awards are scheduled to air Sunday, Jan. 19 on NBC. Tune in to watch Hollywood fellate itself in the fantastic fashion it always manages. Chances are if the show itself is boring, Jack Nicholson is sure to get drunk and make a spectacle of himself, yet again.