Award shows are pointless

As award season draws to a close at the end of the month, I can’t help but reflect on how utterly irrelevant the big-ticket award ceremonies have become.

From the Grammys to the Globes to the Oscars, which supposedly celebrate the “best” in music, television and film, it’s become clear that flashy broadcasts, glitzy fashion and behind-the-scene politics hold more importance than merit these days.

The Grammys are probably the least legitimate and most ridiculous of the major ceremonies. Grammys don’t need to be awarded to bands like the Black Keys and Arcade Fire. It’s awkward and slightly embarrassing to see credible bands winning trophies at the same event as Lady Antebellum and Train. Yes, there were some great albums put out last year — I’m not saying that the Black Keys and Arcade Fire don’t deserve praise. They just don’t need to be recognized by the same “academy” that believes Miranda Lambert and Rihanna are the best in the business.

The aging industry execs behind the voting attempted to look cool and failed; fans now long for the days when “Grammy Winners” wasn’t attached to everything that the Arcade Fire will produce from this point on, and all in all it just seems absurd. Furthermore, the awkward ensemble performances at this Sunday’s event made the Grammys even more laughable. No one needed to see the chick from Florence and the Machine stand next to Christina Aguilera to pay tribute to Aretha Franklin. Throw Yolanda Adams, Martina McBride and Jennifer Hudson on stage with them for the show’s opening act and it becomes clear that the organizers are trying to attract attention by hastily throwing together big-name performers that really have no reason to collaborate.

The Golden Globes aren’t much better. Supposedly honouring the greatest achievements in television and film, it’s a wonder how movies like Alice in Wonderland and Burlesque were nominated for Best Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical).

Although the Globes didn’t snub Christopher Nolan in the Best Director category like the Oscars did this year, their ongoing Glee ass-kissing is inexcusable.
For a show that has plummeted so drastically in quality since midway through its first season, it didn’t deserve a win over a show like Modern Family.

As for the Academy Awards, which are set to take place on Feb. 27, I haven’t completely given up hope. For the most part I am assured that when I go to see a movie that has been nominated for an Oscar there will be something about the film I can appreciate. Whether it’s an overall impressive film or a single superb performance, the Academy still does a decent job of selecting their nominees.

With that said, however, for the second year in a row, films that do not deserve the nomination of Best Picture are garnering it simply because there is space to be filled in the category. The Fighter, The Kids are All Right and 127 Hours didn’t need to be included. A return to the five-nominee structure would make the nominations more legitimate by making it seem like the ones that made the cut actually fended off some competition for it. Throwing out nominations to make everyone happy does not bode well for the Academy’s credibility.

Additionally, the behind-the-scenes politics and voting process always seem to skew the results. Rather than genuinely picking the “best” performance of the year, awards often go to recipients that the Academy feel are “owed” something based on past performances or losses.

Case in point: Annette Bening. She’s nominated for a less-than-amazing film this year, but she’s also lost the Best Actress prize twice to Hilary Swank in the past. So she’ll probably get the we-can’t-snub-her-this-time-vote from a lot of Academy members.

I just don’t think that any of these major award shows hold any sense of meaning anymore. The Grammys hand out trophies to the industry’s worst year after year, the Globes have become a second-rate Oscars, while the Oscars have become a game of trying to placate actors and directors for former results. So I urge you this year, as the award shows wind down, to watch the ceremonies and enjoy them for what they are — just don’t be fooled into thinking that the outcome holds any significance anymore.