Sunday, January 13, 2013

So, Golden Globes. amiright?

You either like award shows for the entertainment industry, or you do not.  I suppose this is true for both participants who have to go to these things, and for those of us who can opt out at home and not watch.

As a media consumer, you either value what an award for a member of the entertainment industry represents, or you do not.  This is also true for the folks who show up for a one-in-five chance of winning a kind of gaudy statue, as well as us, the viewing public.

I won't try to convince anyone to my viewpoint.  That way lies madness.  I don't watch awards shows, and I don't think much of the value of the awards.  I will confess that I am often interested to see what won some of the technical awards and categories such as "score", because it gives me something to consider if I've seen a movie.

This evening I turned on The Golden Globes just long enough to see Lena-what's-her-face win some award for her HBO program, Girls, which I've seen exactly five minutes of, felt terribly aware that the show was aimed at an audience which did not include me, felt I got where this show was headed, and got out before I got emotionally invested in actively disliking everything about the show and those involved.

Because of when I tuned in, all I know is that The Big Bang Theory has fallen from grace with the Hollywood Foreign Press as, this year, it was not funnier than Girls.  Is it possible Louie was not nominated?  Can you see why I can't take this seriously?

I made it for a whole of three minutes before Jamie saw me walking off with my laptop and just turned off the TV again.  I heard enough of Lena-what's-her-face's speech to recognize that it sounded like everyone else's speech.  It sounded like every television or movies award speech ever done that wasn't someone going crazy once they had a chance with a microphone and a massive, captive audience.  This was the banal, overstuffed speech where people who made a thing drop superlatives.

As a facebook friend said:  Dear Hollywood, stop saying it took courage to make your TV show/ movie.  It took money.

Hollywood is, of course, largely about creating a sense of royalty and special-ness around the "stars" of their productions, and the awards are a necessary part of making us feel both included in the pop and sizzle of the industry and as breathless bystanders who watch dresses go by that cost more than what we make in two years and jewelry that is on rent.  It sells the idea of what it must mean to be amongst the stars, that the industry was ever a place just this side of nirvana, but with flashbulbs and good suits rather than chanting and what I assume would be maroon robes.  It is why so much of television programming looks like Access Hollywood (to support that idea) or TMZ (to sort of chew on that idea like a dog with an old shoe).

It's a bummer when you can't take joy in things other people like.

Every year during NFL playoffs I just sort of roll my eyes at folks who don't follow sports passive-aggressively commenting about how "There must be a sports thing happening!"  Yes, there must.  And it will come every year whether you like it or not.  Media Awards season is my equivalent.  Unless something really, really, really weird happens, my personal preferences regarding media awards aren't going to change whether those shows happen or not, or whether they have any value for me.  When I get nominated for "Best Movie - Singing and Dancing", maybe I'll change my tune.

I understand that many of you quite enjoy the parade of Hollywood faces sharing a single room, stage or red carpet.  And, of course, there's probably something worth noting about how votes are cast for these things.

I don't know.  That's never particularly been how I've accessed films or the shared culture we have through Hollywood.  I've always found the stilted, self-aggrandizing, (occasionally preachy) speeches like chewing nails.  Even famous people standing there talking to Ryan Seacrest on a red carpet is like watching paint dry.

At the end of the day, honestly, I don't know what it is I'm supposed to be getting out of watching these shows.  Sincerely, at no time do I feel anything but that I'm watching a bunch of really tense people I don't know all without the safety nets and harnesses being on TV or in movies usually give them when the cameras and lights are on.

for context on awards themselves: Of late, I've begun to cringe at Year End lists.  I don't want Top 10 lists of anything, anymore.  I can't even really put my finger exactly on why.  Maybe there's so many, they feel meaningless.  Maybe because of the insistence of baseless authority.  Maybe because it somehow dulls the experience of accessing stories, music, art, etc... into winners and losers, even in our own minds as we assemble the lists.  Maybe because when i read the lists assembled by others, I look at them and know they are not me and I not them, and if I see you put that movie on your list, what chance have we really got?  Or that maybe your list looks like that and my list looks like mine, and what does that mean? gets lost in the translation.

Add a voting authority, as broken and useless as we know the voting authorities are in these cases, and it just seems like the same herd mentality trying to say what's worth it in your blip on this space rock, and that seems really, really dumb, no matter how nice that dress is.

I hear Jodie Foster gave a weird speech.  Whatever.  I still maintain the same, very-non-Secret-Service-alarming crush I've had on her since I was 16.

late edit:  I now understand Jodie Foster actually came out.  I did not realize she was in.  I didn't watch the show.  People on twitter seemed to think the speech was a little goofy.


Simon MacDonald said...

I watched about 5 minutes of it when my Dad/Step-Mom had it on and lucked out as I got to see Kristian Wiig and Will Ferrell do a skit where they didn't recognize any of the actresses nominated for best comedy. It was hilarious and after that I assumed it could only get worse so I went to read a book.

RHPT said...

Maybe this will change your mind about GIRLS:

The League said...


1) This article just states that "both shows are good and show a similar level of affection for the characters so they should be regarded as similar". What?

2) I only ever watched the pilot for "Freaks and Geeks", and don't share the romantic devotion to the show other people seem to have. I know that's going to be unpopular in these parts. It was more than 8 years ago, so don't ask me what didn't work for me. I remember a vague sense of "I've seen this before" mixed with boredom.

3) I watched about 15 minutes of the pilot of "Girls", was annoyed and turned it off. If I want to hear irritating 20-somethings talking sideways out of their heads, I can go stand in line at the coffee shop in the library where I work. It's no more for me than "Quilting with Nancy" is for me.

RHPT said...

You are really turning into a crotchety old man :P

The League said...

You've been telling me that for 10 years now.

Conversion is complete.