"Thank f--- that's over," Ricky Gervais wrote on his blog Tuesday, referring to his gig hosting Sunday night's Golden Globes. The British comedian also confirmed that this year's hosting stint — his third in a row — would be his last. That seems to be fine with his many critics. Though he was criticized last year for being too mean, thanks to jabs at A-listers like Robert Downey, Jr. and Johnny Depp, Gervais teased that he would be just as ruthless at this year's ceremony. So color Hollywood shocked when Gervais turned out to be only mildly mean — and often, somewhat polite. After that "letdown," is Gervais' refusal to return next year a good thing?

Good riddance: Gervais' hosting turn was just like a movie, says Tim Goodman at The Hollywood Reporter, at least in the sense that it was "oversold to the point" where the audience was quite "underwhelmed" when they saw it. Given the "expectation of apocalypse," Gervais' few tame jokes about Eddie Murphy and extremely dated shots at Madonna were "such a letdown." Gervais doesn't deserve all the blame for a boring show — but he should be faulted for leading "a lot of people to believe he was going to be a very naughty boy," and then failing to deliver.
"Golden Globes 2012 review: Ricky Gervias a 'letdown,' Punk'd the awards"

It wasn't all bad: Gervais actually started strong, says Brian Lowry at Variety. After his six-minute opening monologue, presenter Johnny Depp wryly quipped, "Boy, he's fun," which is a sentiment that's "hard to argue" with. Gervais' jokes about Justin Bieber and Jodie Foster "danced up to the line" that he so precariously toed last year, while he doled out other harsh barbs directed at NBC. It's just unfortunate that the telecast — and Gervais himself — "peaked with his open, and was practically all downhill from there."
"Lively intro, lifeless kudocast"

He was actually the best part of the show: Sure, Gervais may have lacked last year's bite, says James White at Empire, but at least he managed to come out with some genuinely funny lines: "The Golden Globes are to the Oscars what Kim Kardashian is to Kate Middleton. Bit louder, bit trashier, bit drunker, and more easily bought." The rest of the ceremony, sadly, was "a rote run-through of awkward banter, long thank you lists, [and] expected wins." This year's Globes lacked the usual "spontaneous moments of entertainment," which actually made me appreciate Gervais as host.
"Golden Globes 2012