September 25, 2017

Why Do People Hate Award Shows?

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Written by: David Baruffi
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Now that my Emmys hangover has finally almost subsided and I’m not busy filling out my predictions or Gold Derby ballots, for, at least until Oscar season starts in the next upcoming months or seconds however early it starts this year. Whenever I am caught up in awards frenzy,  I’m always amazed I get some who have some variation of this response from some in the film community:

“I don’t like award shows”

I hear that refrain a lot. It happens more at Oscar time than during the Emmys, but it comes up. It’s a nice rejection of the traditional process of giving out prizes for people who are, in all other words, doing their job well, but, I don’t quite understand that statement. It’s sorta like, the same way I don’t understand how someone can say, they “hate reality shows” or they “hate documentaries” or “Sitcoms” or whatever. It’s a genre; how do you hate a whole genre!? For one thing, it’s usually bullsh*t when people say things like that, what they mean is that they hate the bad things about those genres, there’s good and bad in everything, remember. Still, that statement seems weird to me.

Like, I can understand why somebody would hate certain genres based on their worst and most negative tropes and motifs, or even just their preferences and biases, but award shows? What’s there to hate? Literally, what’s there to hate? I mean, are there good and bad award shows, sure, in both an execution sense and in the sense that some awards shows both suck and shouldn’t exist, but still, what’s the anti-factor here, you don’t like talented people getting rewarded? Okay, in a world where participation trophies are a thing, I can kinda get that, but they don’t give Oscars for that, or any other award show that I’m aware. In fact, the myth that Hollywood is constantly thanking themselves, is, really, truly a myth, that doesn’t hold up to the simplest scrutiny. Forget the parlor games of who hasn’t won or been nominated for whatever. Other than the Guild Awards–the only ones of which that are televised are the SAG’s–the industry themselves only gives one award per industry.

Movies have Oscars, Television has the Emmys, Theater has the Tonys, at least for Broadway-, and music, well, they have the Grammys and their track record’s so bad, even they don’t actually count that as a legitimate award. Everything else is usually somebody else giving them the award. Everybody from Critics or the Press, like the Globes, or even the People, themselves. Hell, some of these award shows, I have no idea who votes for them. Who actually determines the American Music Awards, does anybody know? Or care? I mean, I guess there’s some awards that are subsets of the Industry, like Indy Spirits awards are Film Independent, and there’s some correlation, but hell, I can be a member of Film Independent if I paid my fee. There’s a lot of award shows, sure, but that doesn’t mean they’re actually stars giving themselves awards all the time.

So, what’s there to hate? The actual giving people of awards? Uh- look, I’m not gonna pretend it’s always the most exciting thing ever put on TV, but I don’t see a reason to hate that. It’s an awards show, people go on stage, they announce the winners, they hand the awards to the winners… I don’t get it, what am I supposed to hate? What do you want it to be, what do you think it should be? You just hate that process? (Shrugs) Um, I don’t know, how would you give them out, drop them from an airplane while they dance the Macarena singing “The Star-Spangled Banner”, what do you want from them? That’s what it is. It’s like when I heard people complain that Jay Leno wasn’t creative hosting ‘The Tonight Show‘, I’m like, “Well, it’s a talk show, there’s a bit and there’s guests, I mean, unless you want something other then “The Tonight Show,” then I don’t know what you’re complaining about. You want the people you want to win, to always win, well, sorry, we don’t get that all the time, that’s apart of life, a painful one, trust me I’m a Philadelphia sports fan, I know how painful it is…. boy do I know how painful…-, but still, the fact that there are so many awards should be an indication that, we really like awards.
EmmysSeriously, there’s fewer within the industry than we pretend to believe, so there are in fact other people choosing to honor the stars, so that’s not on them all of it, but even more than that, there are awards given to the best in nearly every profession or career you can think of, and whatever else you want to claim about them, all it is essentially is a group of people recognizing that, “Hey, we really appreciate what you do/have done, and we want to honor and commend you for it.” What’s wrong with that? Even if I disagree with every winner, the sentiment is overall nice and commendable, and unless they’re just blatantly picking shitty things and people to win, which, outside of the Razzies, I don’t think anybody tries intentionally to do that,…. anymore…. And you know what, if people are exceptional, why not honor them with something for their work?
This is probably why I get more pissed when I see a bad award shows, especially if it’s the Oscars or Emmys or something, ’cause how do you screw this up? You get a good host, you shape the comedy emceeing bits around their strengths, if you have musical performances or a special guest performer, you try to pace it out between the awards, and don’t do anything stupid with the “In Memoriam”, and as long as the accountants don’t F**K UP THE ENVELOPES!!!!!!! GRRRRRRR! (NO, I AM STILL NOT OVER THAT!) then, you should at least be good. There genuinely are not that many ways to screw this up. You almost have to try to, sometimes as far as I can tell. And outside of whatever bullsh*t argument for-or against-award shows as a concept. In terms of the shows themselves, I don’t see what’s there to dislike about them? There’s simply nothing I can find that’s a rational reason for disliking them.
Yet people do. (Shrugs) I mean, we’re already talking about entertainment, films, television, music, plays, whatever, it’s something that’s already unimportant and trivial and doesn’t have any real meaning in the long run; I don’t see how award shows are somehow a huge crossing of the line to that.

About the Author

David Baruffi
David Baruffi
David Baruffi has been a successful unemployed screenwriter for, let's be vague and call it "years". He's got a B.A. in Film Studies from UNLV, is a certified script supervisor and has done a little bit of everything in film, but mostly is a writer. Personally on his own blog "David Baruffi's Entertainment Views and Reviews" which is at www.davidbaruffi.blogspot.com,and professionally has written several scripts and stories, for himself, and for others and as a ghostwriter. When he's not doing that he watches his autistic brother most days and he looks like two old puppets.



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