The Oscars were always a big deal at my house when I was growing up. The whole family would gather around the wood panelled television and watch with eager anticipation for the moment we could all say "What? How did 'Driving Miss Daisy' win best picture? And where was 'Do the Right Thing?'"
Full disclosure: I was 9 years old when "Driving Miss Daisy" won and, though I?had never seen "Do the Right Thing," I still knew that Spike Lee was robbed.
Double disclosure: Later in life I saw "Do the Right Thing." Yeah, it wasn't that great ... better than "Driving Miss Daisy," but still not Spike Lee's best effort.
Although the years have past, the Oscars are still watched, and often mocked, by the members of my family. While the Oscars still count me amongst its Nielsen ratings (is that still a thing?) the deluge of other awards shows count me among those actively rooting for their failure.
I stopped watching non-Oscar award shows years ago but it seems that, in my absence, somebody fed the Golden Globes after midnight because now there are millions of these little buggers.
The Golden Globes, the Emmys, the Daytime Emmys, the Grammys, the Tonys, the People's Choice Awards, the MTV Video Music Awards, the MTV Movie Awards, the Spike Video Game Awards, the BET Awards, the Guy's Choice Awards, the Country Music Television Music Awards, the Kid's Choice Awards, the Academy of Country Music Awards, the Teen Choice Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Critics' Choice Awards.
I know that list doesn't even come close to being complete but the website I was looking at had a blinking banner story with the headline "Is Honey Boo-Boo quitting pageants?" and I had to leave before my eyes started bleeding.
Now, there is nothing more bourgeois (yes, I said bourgeois ... just deal with it) than decrying the lack of music videos on MTV despite the continued presence of the Video Music Awards and I would love to know if the co-existence of the Guy's Choice Awards and the People's Choice Awards intimates that guys are not people; but all of these petty concerns pale in comparison to the mother of all worthless awards, and the only award show left of this rogues' list of vainglorious exaltations.
Oh yes, the Espys. In case you have other things to do with your life, the Espys are the awards given out by ESPN for achievement in sports.
I am a well-documented fan of catastrophically bad television shows and the Espy's do not disappoint. From watching Charles Barkley try to mumble his way through cue-card small talk to this year's inexplicable host selection of Jon "Don Draper" Hamm, the Espy's are usually good for a train wreck of an awards show, if not a total meltdown of television.
"But Wes," I'm sure you're saying while lacing up your high-tops for a little no fouls, street ball action, "Don't athletes deserve awards too? Look at all the awards for other entertainers, why leave athletes out of the mix?"
For starters, no one has ever won an argument based on the idea that athletes should get MORE attention.
Secondly, it isn't that they don't deserve their own awards show ... especially since country music gets at least three, as far as I can tell.
My problem isn't with the awards, it's with announcing the winners.
Ever since award shows were created, the only real tension during their interminably long broadcasts is the few seconds between when they read off the nominees and when they open the envelope. That's it.
Well, like any good fantasy football (also know as Dungeons and Dragons for jocks) player will tell you, the world of sports is made up entirely of statistics; so it kind of destroys the tension when you can look up the stats and figure it out for yourself.
Sure, there is a little wiggle from for the Espys when it comes to awards that cross all sports like Best Male/Female Athlete, but it's not enough.
If the Oscars were based on anything other than online review scores then no one would watch ... also "The Shawshank Redemption" would win best picture every year.
Is there any way they can improve the Espys? Somehow elevating the award to something beyond a crass attempt at grabbing some increased ad revenue based on the idea that non-ESPN viewers will tune in to see what kind of tuxedo Lebron is wearing?
Sure, and it's a simple step any of the multitude of pointless award shows can follow to achieve unbridled success: Just stop.
But don't stop the Oscars. I need my annual dose of yelling at the entirety of Hollywood in one night. Otherwise I'll be forced to yell at each movie star individually and they have a shocking lack of good humor about it.