It begins!

Oh, goodie.  Goodie, goodie gumdrops.

The Golden Globe nominations are out, which means Awards Season is upon us.

As I believe I have mentioned from time to time, I am a sucker for awards shows.  Or rather, awards shows for television and movies that are purported to reward quality.  I don’t care about the Grammys (though I’ll watch them if they happen to be on), I don’t care about the People’s Choice Awards, the MTV Movie Awards or any other awards that nobody bothers to pretend to take seriously.  I like awards shows that Hollywood likes us to believe are based on merit, during which women wear dresses that cost more than the black market value of all of my organs in total.

Now, honesty demands I concede that the Golden Globes barely count as a reward for supposed quality.  Madonna has one… for acting.  (While I actually thought she wasn’t bad in “Evita,” if you think she was better than Frances McDormand in “Fargo” then perhaps it’s time to have your meds titrated.)  The winners are typically a better indication of what’s trendy than of what’s good, and even that doesn’t explain Jennifer Love Hewitt’s nomination last year.  The way they group some of their nominees is also amusingly cracked out, such as their Supporting Actor on Anything Televised category, which ludicrously pits Eric Stonestreet from “Modern Family” against Guy Pearce in “Mildred Pierce,” the former a comedy series and the latter a drama mini-series.  I realize it would be a really, really long show to have even more categories, but if they went to the trouble to split comedy, drama and TV movies/miniseries for the Best Actor and Actress categories, it seems a bit silly to throw all the supporting players into the same pot.  But I quibble…

Anyhow, watching the Globes to see good acting rewarded is like attending a Rick Perry rally to learn about public policy.  No, the reason to watch is two-fold (at least if you’re into that sort of thing).  The first is that the nominations and winners sometimes herald who’s got a decent shot at a nomination for a later, more genuinely prestigious award.  While an imperfect indicator of later glory, at least it gives an inkling.

The other reason to watch is that it’s a fun show.  With the exception of the SAG Awards (which only hard-core awards show junkies [like yours truly] watch), no other party features both film and TV stars, and it’s kind of fun to see a whole mess of famous people who don’t often mingle where we can see them being famous at the very same time.  Plus, the awards come during an actual meal (with drinks!) and the whole thing is kind of free-wheeling and casual (aside from all the tuxedos and gowns and diamonds and what-not).  Lots of the acceptance speeches are cheeky and actually funny, especially the more sauced people get as the night goes by.

I don’t have much to say about the actual nominees.  I have a toddler at home, so I haven’t seen a single one of the nominated films or film performances.  (I’ll lament in another post about how very different things were way back when.)  I’ve seen enough of the TV nominations to have an opinion and thus avoid feeling totally out of touch.  But since the nominations and winners have only a nodding relationship with the quality of the performances, familiarity with the latter is hardly necessary to enjoy the show.

I am surprised to see Ricky Gervais back as host.  Frankly, I kind of hated his handling of the job last year, as did lots of other people if the reviews were any indication.  He was amusing at times, but more often he was just mean.  I realize that there is much that is bloated and preening about any Hollywood soiree, and one could argue that the assembled egos deserve a collective puncturing, and one wouldn’t be wrong.  But that’s not why people watch awards shows.  We watch to see famous people enjoying themselves being famous, and to pretend that it’s really as fun as it seems and not as soul-sucking as it probably really is.  There are plenty of knives sharpened to take a slice at the famous (I refer you to your local supermarket’s check-out line).  For a few nights a year, it’s nice to just revel in the glamor and silliness and glitter of it all.  We can go back to being arch and cool in the morning.

Russell Saunders

Russell Saunders is the ridiculously flimsy pseudonym of a pediatrician in New England. He has a husband, three sons, daughter, cat and dog, though not in that order. He enjoys reading, running and cooking. He can be contacted at blindeddoc using his Gmail account. Twitter types can follow him @russellsaunder1.

One Comment

  1. I couldn’t agree more. And to see Ricky (who, it seems, can these days only get to an awards ceremony as an MC or on the back of the on-camera brilliance of other artists) assume a holier-than-thou attitude towards the very system that put him in the position to be awarded the hosting gig, well frankly I find it more than a little hypocritical and entirely odious.

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