Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Hollywood Babble On & On... #21: The Show Must Won't Go On

Don't panic. But the Golden Globe Awards have been cancelled. Are you all right? Do you need to see a doctor about the dizziness and palpitations brought on by this shocking news? Okay.

Apparently no actors were willing to cross the WGA picket line.

No actors, no 'stars' to interest the networks or the bottomless tabloid chum bucket and their legion of 'style-experts' to judge how the actresses are dressed, and thus, no reason to even have an awards show at all.

Which is probably the best thing to happen to the Golden Globes in a long time.

Allow me to explain.

The Golden Globes are awards given out by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to what they consider achievements in excellence in film and television.

Now the HFPA is a notoriously small, secretive, and inbred organisation with questionable credentials, business practises, and taste.

In other words, the HFPA and the studio moguls are like two peas in a pod.

When it first started the Golden Globes were n
ever taken seriously. In fact it was treated more like a roast that an awards show. The stars would get together in a hotel ballroom, get drunk, make bad (often ribald) jokes about each other and themselves and then wake up the next morning hung over and wondering where the chimp came from.

Then some folks in the media saw that on some occasions the folks that won Golden Globes sometimes won the more
seriously taken Oscars.

So pundits started using the Globes as some sort of predictor for Oscar glory. Then they started covering the red carpet, and then NBC offered the HFPA a king's ransom to give them an early jump on awards season.

That pretty much killed it as a fun evening for Hollywood folks to laugh and have fun without fear of public embarrassment and they had to start taking it seriously.

And the folks at NBC are upset that the Golden Globes have been cancelled, and that this will probably happen again with the Academy Awards, which will annoy ABC.

But it's not because of any loss of glory.

Like everything in Hollywood it's all about money.

Sure the award shows haven't exactly been the ratings juggernauts they once were, and the participants consider the awards nice to win--but the shows a pain in the ass to attend, they've
evolved to serve a higher purpose.

Each awards show gave their tabloid outlets (print, video, internet) several week's worth of cheap fodder. Everything from p
redicting nominations, to predicting wins, to predicting and then judging how the celebrities dressed, what coloured ribbons denoted which causes the celebrities were endorsing, and who embarrassed themselves and who showed the rare moment of class.

But it has more to do with filler.

It's also a prime time for the studios to wow investors with a little taste of tightly controlled Hollywood glamour. Fame is a drug that can cloud even the sharpest minds, so you can see how shaking Angelina Jolie's hand at the Oscar-after-party might addle the normally
astute and pragmatic brain of a tax-shelter manager from Frankfurt who is there as a guest of his brand new bestest buddies from the studio.

To break it down:

The corporations want the awards shows to go on despite the labour troubles because it gives them cheap material to fill TV shows and grocery store magazine racks.

Plus it gives them something to show off to investors.

It doesn't really matter if the shows drag on, giving more and more awards to films seen by fewer and fewer people. What really matters is getting Katherine Heigl in a glamour gown on the cover of People Magazine, in a feature in Entertainment Tonight,
and smiling while posing for a pic with a middle aged hedge fund manager from Tokyo and his wife.

So here is my 3 point plan to shock Hollywood into straightening up its act, re-structuring its flawed business plan, and solving all labour disputes, both current and forthcoming:

1. Stop buying DVDs. You can live without them, the studios can't.

2. Stop watching all awards shows and award related coverage for the entire year. In fact, back the unions with me
ssages of support to get them shut down entirely.

3. Appoint me, Furious D, to replace Robert Shaye as CEO of New Line Cinema. As the voice of reason in an unreasonable world I can be the laxative that will flush Hollywood's system and get it running smoothly again.

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