Awards show: They just don't matter
I am not going to take this very seriously because no one should take awards shows seriously.
Will Smith’s slap heard around the world has gotten everyone talking about the Oscars once again, and viewership went up 58 percent from last year’s record low viewership. Still, it’s a bare bones viewership compared to what it used to be. So why is no one watching the Oscars anymore?
Because award shows don’t matter. I can’t believe this is an article I’ve written multiple times.
This should be obvious, but awards shows are not an accurate representation of the best films of the year nor are they a list of films that are curated by people who actually know what they’re talking about. Awards shows are all a game designed by industry professionals to network and advertise their products rather than celebrate artistry and cinema.
The Oscars currently have four major issues.
1) Low viewership
2) The whole thing is a waste of everyone’s time
3) “For your consideration” campaigns
4) The members are pretty stupid
The Academy has tried so many methods to boost viewership over the last few years. Mainstream films have been getting more serious award recognition, such as the Best Picture nominations for both “Black Panther” and “Joker.” But, let’s be honest. Neither of those movies were that good and the entire point of nominating them was to get people to tune in. The Academy has been trying to be more cognizant of diversity in their nominations, so at least that is something. But it’s too little too late, and honestly, it looks more like tokenism rather than actually picking really good nominees.
To condense the Oscars, the Academy tried to make the show shorter by getting rid of on-air telecasts of some awards like cinematography and editing (the things that make the movie a movie), but they didn’t think of putting a 30-second cap for the award show speeches or putting less ads in their breaks. Why do we allow these millionaires to talk for so long? We get it. You won an award. Now go act in your next project. Who cares? It gets even worse when it’s someone who feels the need to show the world how self-important and indulgent they are. There are always the people who like to talk about politics without knowing anything, and their statements are made more ironic when they show up in mediocre advertisements rotting the brains of Americans. Will Smith’s speech was six minutes and he spent all of it talking about being a vessel of love when clearly he is a vessel for crocodile tears. Ultimately, the show wasn’t any shorter either. If anything, it felt longer because for some reason Amy Schumer was allowed to show her face on camera. Coincidentally, every time she was on screen, the 16.6 million Oscar viewers turned to stone for five minutes.
It doesn’t help that reasons three and four are interconnected. The entire show is pay-to-win and has been for a long time. Studios spend millions of dollars for these movies to win Oscars because Academy members are not all individuals who are specialized in their specific roles in the industry. A lot of them don’t even watch the movies, and it clearly shows when every year, Disney wins Oscars for average animated movies like “Encanto.” Plus, the academy isn’t very diverse, and it shows with a lot of the film choices. There is so obviously a “type” of movie that tends to win an award show, and there are some years where it is so clear just how “political” the choices are. This year, the Academy had the audacity to try to have a message about the war in Ukraine, but I guarantee you there will be a war action drama called “Ghosts of Kyiv” starring Jeremy Renner as Volodymyr Zelenskyy just because five white liberal women on Twitter wanted it.
This is fairly underrated, but a lot of people also don’t know just how bad the decisions for some categories like editing are. One time the Academy gave “Bohemian Rhapsody” the Oscar for best editing even though the movie was edited by someone with short-term memory loss. A lot of the time, the editing goes to the flashiest, most aggressively noticeable editing rather than actual good editing that makes the story tighter and helps the movie flow nicely. Sound usually goes to the loudest movie. Best song is usually the worst song. I don’t even want to get started on some of the decisions made for makeup and hairstyling. All of this happens, and every few minutes the Academy will make these clips of famous movies to remind people of all the good movies they like that didn’t win awards. This year, there was a clip show compilation of the most hype audience moments and the number one choice was the one shot in “Spider-Man: No Way Home” of all the three Spider-Men, just to really remind everyone that the things they like are not actually real and are manufactured by a committee of faceless executives with generic brand names.
Anyway, award shows don’t matter. This same set of complaints applies to all of them. The Grammys are even more industry focused, and that is just something record executives use to find an excuse to do cocaine with Jay-Z and Beyonce. The Golden Globes are fake. The Emmys nominate the same five shows every year. The Tonys don’t care about theater and are just snobs who want to keep Broadway insulated. None of this matters. Just watch whatever you want and then go outside and touch grass. It’s better than sitting through any of these shows.