When I was a starstruck youth, I watched more than my fair share of televised awards programs; but in my nearly 28 years of wedded bliss, such show-biz soirees have consumed only minuscule amounts of my time.
That’s because my wife was heavily influenced by her grandfather. He taught her to keep things in perspective. He realized that the great people getting paid handsomely to inhale a stadium microphone or dutifully regurgitate the lines written by some faceless scribe were just mere mortals after all.
So, Melissa can laugh herself to tears watching a raucous comedy or sing along to a beach-era ditty on the car stereo, but she doesn’t feel compelled to gawk at the performers in their “off duty” hours. Sort of how she and I are deeply appreciative of the talents of our electricians, plumbers, doctors and hairstylists but don’t desire to sit through three hours of industry accolades for categories like “best supporting performance in operating a Pooper Scooper in the salon parking lot.”
At least when the actors are submerged in their roles, we can tell the heroes from the villains. When they’re on the red carpet or on “Ellen,” we get an ambiguous message like, “By producing my own cocaine with a process developed by my sixth wife, I saved enough to donate $100,000 to Somalian orphans.”
If we had been watching more awards shows over the decades, we would probably be suffering the same burnout currently experienced by a large portion of the populace. Networks are overjoyed if broadcasts hold steady with the lackluster ratings of the previous year. Pushback is coming from people who don’t like the endless proliferation of shows, the heavy-handed political tone of the ceremonies, the bloated length of the broadcasts or the fact that they don’t recognize any of the nominated films.
Yes, the depressing artsy films are the ones that get all the industry buzz and the awards nominations. You know, the sort of films that get advertised to hipsters as “the feel-good-and-ready-to-slash-your-wrists movie of the year!”
I’m so thankful that Hollywood’s fascination with allegories, metaphors and nonlinear storytelling doesn’t get transferred to the real world. (“So, do you understand how the office process works?” “Yes, ma’am.” “Darn! We’ll have to start all over!”)
Friends confide that it’s hard to stay AWAKE during “woke” lectures from the glitterati. Maybe it would liven things up if the Price-Waterhouse accountants who tabulate the votes instead analyzed the economics aptitude of our idols. Maybe we wouldn’t have to endure “If we just taxed billionaires for blinking, we could afford to give everyone in the solar system their own gender-fluid, unicorn-powered train!”
At least with the music awards, they’re always trying to keep you entertained with improbable “event” mashups of artists from different genres who just love, love, love each other. (“I admire you!” “I admire you more!” “Ever since I was a little kid in a gated community, I dreamed of an audience someday asking, ‘You call THAT country music???’”)
I can just imagine a producer getting ready for one of these events. (“At this point, the spotlight shines on Irving Berlin, who sings about the diverse group of &%$#@ he slapped around while shooting cops... What? Irving died in 1989? Oh, how I hate to get up in the morning. Wait...call those Oscar-winning special effects guys. God bless animation!”)
Danny welcomes email responses at firstname.lastname@example.org and visits to his Facebook fan page “Tyree’s Tyrades.”