Awards season provokes thoughts

Eva Philips, Staff Writer

It’s January, which only means one thing.

That thing is not snow, or the start of a decade, or the minor detail of a new semester beginning.

No, that all pales in comparison to the most important part of the new year: awards season!

In just a short period of time, we somehow get the Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice Awards, the SAG Awards, the Grammys, the BAFTAs, and last but certainly not least, the Oscars.

It’s enough to make anyone’s head spin.

But let’s be real here, does anyone actually watch these shows live, or do we all just scroll through Buzzfeed the next day searching for the hot news from the night, along with the actual list of winners?

I think the latter is true. I know it is for me.

Because honestly, awards shows are largely horrendously dull.

Who wants to watch a bunch of people in outfits that cost more than a semester at Mercyhurst tearfully thank half of Hollywood for the gift of a glorified hunk of metal in the shape of a globe or weird human figure?

Not me.

Aside from that, awards shows have gotten to be pretty controversial thanks to very real and legitimate concerns about diversity­­, or the lack thereof.

Come on, no female nominees for Best Director?

Greta Gerwig does not deserve this disrespect.

And the calls for greater diversity aren’t anything new, either.

We’ve heard them for at least five years now, and it’s unclear whether any real progress has been made on that front.

And the rise of streaming services has made awards shows — especially television awards — pretty predictable.

Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime tend to dominate nowadays.

They dominate much to the detriment of network shows dependent on ad revenue rather than subscriptions.

Television networks just don’t have the budgets to make shows that are cinematic in scope and cost.

Don’t get me wrong, I adore streaming shows.

Recently, I’ve been a big fan of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “The Haunting of Hill House” and “The Crown.”

All these series and others are impressive and very entertaining.

But maybe, as streaming services continue to dominate the nominations lists, Hollywood should consider separate categories for shows on streaming services versus network television.

Awards are certainly not the only determinant of quality, but there are plenty of good network shows that just have no realistic chance of competing with big-budget streaming shows.

I do like the Grammys, however.

I can genuinely say that the Grammys are the one mainstream awards show that I can’t criticize.

I did have one minor question at the end of it all.

That crucial question being what is the difference between Record of the Year and Song of the Year?

After years of wondering, I finally overcame my laziness and looked up the answer.

In case any of you were curious, Record of the Year honors the work of an artist as well as the producers and sound engineers of a song, whereas Song of the Year is intended as a songwriter award.

As they say, the more you know, right?

Full disclosure, I am not a professional critic.

I’m just a normal person when it comes to the entertainment industry. And frankly, I have simple tastes.

Would I sit through “The Irishman” to attempt to appreciate its cinematic value?


Not ever, even in a million years.

Would I watch “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” every single day if I had the time?

Yes, definitely.

My idea of the pinnacle of music is Taylor Swift’s Lover album, with ABBA’s entire discography coming in at a close second.

I am not an expert critic, so take my opinions with a grain or two of salt.

As I await the results of awards season, I have my own set of plans.

I’ll pass my time studiously ignoring my massive amounts of work and rewatching the film “Thor: Ragnarok” for the 10th time.

Now that deserved Best Picture.