Whether it’s the Emmys, the GRAMMYs, the ESPYs or some other show that ends with the sound “ys,” I’ve never really liked award shows. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of handing out awards. In fact, one day I hope to win an award of some kind. It’s necessary for society to differentiate the very best from the just very good, and phony award shows seem to be the best system that we’ve come up with. For the most part, they do a decent enough job, and with the exception of the occasional “Barry Manilow over Stephen Colbert” mistake, people tend to accept award shows for what they are. Cheesy and kind of lame, but all a decent reason to gather a whole bunch of celebrities in a room and crown one of them king or queen for the night.
Ultimately though, these shows are plagued by the lack of credibility, as was exhibited with Sunday’s Golden Globes picks. While the writers’ strike has robbed us of our favorite shows, it did lead to the pleasant surprise of the traditional Globes ceremony replaced by what NBC called a “Winners Special.” Apparently Hollywood’s elite didn’t want to cross the picket line to attend an awards dinner. You’ve got to admit, this is extremely noble of a group of professionals who often make more money for speaking into a camera for 90 minutes than you or I will make in our entire lifetime. Anyway, instead of the traditional lame-ass ceremony, this years Golden Globes were presented by the considerably lameassier duo of Billy Bush from “Access Hollywood” and Mary Hart of “Entertainment Tonight.” In case you don’t know who these two are – and I pray for you that you don’t – Bush’s Wikipedia profile brags he once started an interview with Naomi Watts by asking her “Watts Up?” Meanwhile, Hart might be most famous for possessing the annoying voice that caused Kramer to go into seizures on “Seinfeld.” Enough said. However, these two talking heads aren’t the problem with the show. The real problem is the pretentiousness of a group of writers who seem to give out awards based on nothing else but shock value and the desire to prove they’re the smartest people in the room. In the end, all they’ve proven is they’re not all that smart, and award shows are, like always, a worthless measuring stick for Hollywood success.
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. One of the landmark categories of the show is the award for Best Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy. In a category including Steve Carell from “The Office,” Alec Baldwin from “30 Rock” and Ricky Gervais from “Extras,” the award ended up going to David Duchovny for his work in “Californication.” Not to knock on Duchovny – who was absolutely hilarious in “X-Files,” by the way – but there’s no way to justify picking him out of that group. Realistically, Duchovny shouldn’t have even been in the group. If the Globes really wanted to give the award to a new winner, how about honoring someone like Zach Braff of “Scrubs,” Rainn Wilson of “The Office” or Larry David of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Instead, the select panel of 86 voters perennially chose to prove they have better taste than the rest of us, which ends up making the awards ultimately useless.
Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be a solution out there when it comes to choosing an award show really honoring the best of television. You know, an award show that would actually recognize the merits of shows like “Lost,” “Friday Night Lights,” “Scrubs,” or my personal favorite, “Flight of the Conchords.” I mean, who among us doesn’t want to see the guy who plays Murray get an award for Best Supporting Actor? I know I do. At the very least, it would be worth it just to see if he would start his speech with the phrase: “Murray, present.” I’d take that over the Billy Bush’s of the world every time.