Thursday, 11 December 2008

Hollywood Babble On & On #201: Awards Season Has Begun!

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has released the list of nominees for the Golden Globe Awards. (h/t Nikki Finke) which marks the beginning of the annual Hollywood Award Season. It's like hunting season, except instead of hunting for food for their bodies, Hollywood hunts food for their egos.

The Golden Globes are considered an especially egregious example of this awards mania. It's not judged by the audience, critics, or even the nominee's peers of Hollywood, it's dispensed by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a group of about 90 people who write about Hollywood for... wait for it, foreign media outlets. They're probably most notorious over awarding the 1981 "New Star of the Year" award to Pia Zadora for the critically lambasted melodrama Butterfly. Yet their rather tawdry reputation for handing out awards based on studio lobbying over perceived has not stopped the awards for being treated like the little brother of the Oscars.

It wasn't always like this. The first Golden Globes awards were not really intended for public consumption, acting more like a combination of a charity fundraiser and a celebrity roast than a real awards show. No one took it seriously, they all go lightly soused, presenters made wisecracks about the nominees, nominees made wisecracks about each other, there were some laughs, some prizes handed out, and a good time was had by all. It was overall a private affair, something the Hollywood folks could get together and have fun without having to play for the camera and the general audience.

Then someone figured out that sometimes Golden Globe winners also won Academy Awards. Soon media outlets, always on the hunt for a "scoop" started paying more attention to the Globes as if they were somehow a predictor of the Oscars. The exponentially growing celebrity media chum bucket needed to fill time and nothing does that better than the weeks worth of reports on the announcement of the nominations, the celebrity fashion watch, the red carpet entrance, then reports on the winners, losers, and what they were wearing.

Then the show itself started getting televised, and now it suddenly had to be respectable.

And that's when it lost what I think was its true role, of being a place for celebrities to be themselves into just another place for them to be their image.

Which is a bit of a shame.

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