"After weeks of media speculation about what Gervais would do at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's annual awardsfest, Gervais' performance as host was decidedly anti-climactic and underwhelming," wrote Huffington Post television critic Maureen Ryan. "Its general mediocrity gave the ceremony as a whole a certain deflated quality."
Ryan wasn't alone. "It's as if Ricky is playing a part of a host instead of actually taking control of the podium," Deadline's Nikki Finke wrote during her liveblog. "Someone must have read him the riot act for him to remain so tame. He's killing his career right now. If Hollywood's enfant terrible is meek and mild, no one will care about him anymore. Bye-bye, Ricky."
Wrote the Telegraph UK, "It's hard to believe this is the same Gervais [as last year]."
In the end, perhaps Gervais was a victim of his own prior success. "This time, Ricky Gervais could only really shock if he was polite," wrote EW.com. Indeed. Though mixing in a few more jokes with the manners wouldn't have killed anyone.
TWITTER REACTION TO GERVAIS: