Awards Shows: More Bling Than Bang

While hosting the Oscars, Billy Crystal said, “Nothing takes the sting out of these tough economic times like watching a bunch of millionaires giving golden statues to each other.” Greeted with laughs, it was meant to be little more than a nice opening joke – yet that’s basically what the Oscars are about. It consists of weeks of preparations and months of looking forward to the day of glory itself, Los Angeles being taken over by an award show frenzy. But what else could one expect from the city that’s home to America’s entertainment industry, including tens of thousands of actors, and major production sudios like Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures, and Warner Bros.

Here in Los Angeles, it is no surprise that award show season is hyped up to be a phenomenal occurrence. Celebrations like the VMA’s, the Golden Globes, the Grammys and Oscars seem to take up more attention than presidential elections. According to the Media Market Journal, an estimated 35 million viewers tuned in just to watch this years’ 84th Academy Awards.

What really seems strange is how the Red Carpet coverage was just as long, if not longer, than the Academy Awards. Shouldn’t the award show itself be more important than it’s wardrobe aspect?

But who are we kidding? We live in America, where looks undermine talent any day. This is how you know we live in a materialistic world when “who wore what” and “who looked best” seem to trump “who won the awards” for an award show. Appearance matters most, with cinematic honors taking a backseat to aesthetics. People just can’t seem to get enough of Angelina Jolie’s leg or Jennifer Lopez’ dress “malfunction.”

Though award shows are often overrated, this doesn’t mean that the shows should not exist. Actors and musicians should definitely be awarded for their work. The public demands so much from the stars in entertainment, they should be applauded for having to deal with overly critical viewers and crazy, prowling fans. Rising stars like Octavia Spenser (The Help) certainly deserve their Oscar wins.

It’s great that these movies are praised, as they should be, but do there really need to be so many award shows for this to happen? This year has already seen so many ceremonies, including the SAG Awards, Golden Globes, Grammy’s and Academy Awards; still to come are the VMA’s in June and the Emmys in September.

Having ten different ceremonies a year is unnecessary - fitting everything into one or two big award shows would do the trick.

And since it’s not enough to have millions of adult viewers praise stars at such a ridiculous number of award shows, they have to have a special day set aside just for kids and teens too. Along with all the other shows dominating the entertainment awards sphere, there are also the Kids and Teen Choice Awards.

It would make sense if these shows were for young and rising performers, but the fact that adult artists attend these things to win an oversized surfboard never ceases to cause amusement and confusion to anyone who stops to think about it.

The Kids Choice Awards is scheduled to air March 31, and the Teen Choice Awards on August 5. Just wait and see how millions of viewers will adhere to these showings as well, stretching the award show season throughout the year.