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FANDOM FLAMES: Society has moved past the need for awards shows

Have awards shows outlived their usefulness?

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There’s so much media these days that the major film and TV awards shows are bound to leave something out. Or, in the case of the Emmy nominations on Tuesday, a lot out. Admittedly, you’re whittling down hundreds, if not thousands, of airing television programs down to just a handful of nominees per category, but doesn’t that just contribute to the idea that honoring only a few in an excellent landscape is simply irrelevant?

Now, I came of age on what I would call “awards shows fandom,” which I recognize is a niche. People in that fandom predict the results of awards shows, host their own lowkey awards, and evaluate past awards shows with lots of vigor and discussion. It’s honestly exhausting in a lot of ways because you’re always judging a piece of media. These days, sometimes I like to just enjoy the things I watch.

Other people are picking up on the fact that awards shows might not be relevant anymore, too: major outlets all questioned post-Oscars this year whether or not, with record-low ratings, the Oscars were still worth it. But as CNBC reported, the ceremony actually brings in incredible ad revenue for Disney/ABC. But why are all these advertisers flocking to a losing game?

Indiewire pointed out that with the Golden Globes scandal(s), there’s so much that’s weird with awards shows that it causes alienation between the general public and the industry and its slew of film and TV critics. Indiewire mostly lands its target on the Golden Globes, for being culturally irrelevant, and the Emmys, for airing outside of the traditional awards seasons calendar.

I’ll admit though, despite all the problems with awards shows, I still cheer when my faves get nominated and yell and holler when my faves get snubbed. A friend of mine has eschewed awards shows, because they’re useless in her mind: so many good shows can’t get the traction they need, because they’re not traditionally nominated fare, so what’s the point? She also pointed out that the reason I’m obsessed with awards might be the same reason the industry just can’t let go of them: there’s glamour and glitter, sure, but there’s also recognition for a year of hard work, even if only for a few.

I might work in the television and film industries someday. Do I dream of winning awards, practicing in front of the mirror with my hairbrush? Sometimes, I’ll admit. But, and this is a major but, if awards shows go away in my lifetime, I won’t be terribly sad. But it will only happen if the major networks get tired of extremely low ratings in an era where most of them don’t draw in the big numbers on hardly anything anyway.

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