Welcome to another useless rant inspired by the equally useless Emmy awards show or, more accurately, the “day after the Emmys” headlines. (Also, please accept my apologies for fluctuating between the use of the singular and plural forms of the word “award.” It was an exhausting debate that plagued my brain for the entirety of this post. Obviously, there was no clear winner.)
This is the second time I’ve started this
rant post. My first attempt was more genteel, more polite. Then it dawned on me – why should I be genteel and polite when discussing Hollywood award shows which are usually rife with impoliteness? No, I don’t want to stoop that low, but why bother beating about the bush?
Here’s the simple truth: I’m sick and tired of Hollywood awards shows – ALL of them. I’m sick of the inevitable preaching. Sick of the actors and actresses looking down their noses while they spew their politics at us as if we are mindless, backward thinking bumpkins (especially if we happen to disagree with their political views). I’m tired of the sleaze that is praised as talent, and I am particularly tired of the meanness and snark that seems common to all of today’s awards shows. I guess I’m just sick of today’s Hollywood in general which is a complete turn-around from way I felt when I was younger.
A long time ago, in a gala– uh, never mind. Many years ago, I used to watch any and every Hollywood awards show that rolled around. I think it’s safe to say I was fairly enamored with the movie stars of the day, and I welcomed any opportunity to watch them in their glamorous element away from the silver screen. These days, however, I can’t remember the last time I watched the Academy Awards or the Emmys or cast a glance at the VMAs. In fact,it’s safe to say, there is nothing I’d rather watch less than a Hollywood awards show (except perhaps any reality television).
I was under the impression, foolishly, that awards shows are meant to showcase entertainment accomplishments whilst also being a source of entertainment themselves. Actors and comedians are entitled to have and express their opinions, but I’d rather not hear those opinions when I tune into a show expecting to be entertained. I don’t find belittling, mocking, and insulting politicians, religious groups, your fellow attendees, or everyday folk remotely funny. I understand parody and good-natured ribbing, but these days opening monologues, subsequent show commentary and acceptance speeches often become so vicious (or just downright stupid), they do nothing but create cringe-worthy and awkward moments for anyone with a sense of politeness. I especially do not enjoy watching the latest comedian of the moment attempt to carve his way into the comedy history books by unleashing an unrelenting torrent of vicious, unfunny, cheap humor. Again, I’m no expert, but I thought there was a difference between parody and down-right mean-spirited mockery. I guess I’m old-fashioned, but I miss the days when these shows did not resemble comedy central roasts.
But, here’s the rub. Every year, we get stuck with the same shows. They keep reappearing like a painful fever blister. Each with the same media build up, the same inane red-carpet interviews, the same “who are you wearing,” questions, so obviously we are still watching. Why? Why are we still watching these shows that have denigrated into nothing but an opportunity for the latest Hollywood it-crowd to stroke their egos and spout their meaningless political drivel while the current comedic golden boy or girl tries to boost his career at the expense of other people?
I can’t help but wonder what our classic movie stars would say if they witnessed the trash that passes as entertainment these days. Don’t get me wrong, I know old Hollywood had its fair share of problems and scandals, but at least in public these men and women knew how to carry themselves with dignity; for the most part, they behaved with respect and decorum. Can you imagine Audrey Hepburn suffering through an Academy Awards ceremony replete with inappropriate humor? Or can you picture Gary Cooper listening compliantly to the constant, mean-spirited jabs of a desperate host? Obviously, I don’t know any classic movie stars, but from what I’ve read and watched, I would be very surprised if they found today’s awards shows remotely pleasant.
Interestingly, the first Academy Awards ceremony held in 1929 lasted 15 minutes! It was also conducted during a private dinner. The ceremony was first televised in 1953, and if you have seen any clips from that or a few of the following shows, you will see just how classless our modern awards shows have become. Perhaps, they should never have opened the door for televised awards shows in the first place; it seems to have created an uncontrollable monster that doesn’t show any signs of stopping. So, since there’s little chance of Hollywood returning to the 1929 model of awards ceremonies, I will simply continue to heed the advice so freely and generously suggested by Hollywood’s most vocal mouthpieces and just banish the monster from my television everytime one rears its ugly head.