An award show is, in many ways, an annual reunion where the biggest stars hop off their pedestals, come out of hiding, and grace us with their presence via our televisions, smart phones, or illegal livestreams. The internet is abuzz with lively discussions about who they think will win or, after the fact, who deserved their award and who walked away undeservedly. Whether you actively partake in these debates or not, it is nearly impossible to escape.
But why exactly do we feel so attached to the winners (or losers)? Why do we care about who attends, nomination or not? Why do we put up with the often awkward, offensive, or plain unfunny show hosts? Simply put, why do we tune in? I don’t have all the answers, but here are some of the reasons why I watch:
The Familiar Faces
Even if you don’t know all the names of the young up-and-coming actors, chances are you will still be able to recognize quite a few people on the red carpet, onstage, or in the audience. Producers of these shows know this and use that to their advantage to gain and sustain viewers, though this should not come as much of a surprise.
Watching our favorite stars give interviews or speeches is always exciting, regardless if their words are staged or improvised. It can be a bit of a surreal experience to see them in a live setting because, no matter how scripted "reality" TV is, no prediction is ever 100% accurate for these shows. After all, anything can happen on live TV. That makes it all the more entertaining.
The Fake Smiles
Humble winners are refreshing to see. Gracious losers gain respect for their support. But for the viewers at home, it can be borderline voyeuristic to see a tight-lipped nominee mere moments after the results are announced. To be fair, they did just lose a major award on live television. Their disappointment is warranted, but not at the expense of the winner's shining moment. If the roles were reversed, you would want the other nominees in your category to applaud your win. Besides, no one likes a sore loser; suck it up and smile.
Some nominees appear genuinely happy for the winner...although if they're nominated for an acting award, their sincerity might not be so sincere. (We'll give them the benefit of the doubt.) Others manage to keep a blank face which is infuriating because we just want to know what they're thinking. The safest response will always be to smile, but make sure it meets your eyes. If it doesn't meet your eyes, you're probably faking it.
Something that both helps and hinders award shows is the emphasis on fashion. The interviews before the show are designed as an opening act, yet many tuxes and gowns tend to outshine the performances we're supposed to be celebrating. This is especially hard to combat when most celebrities wear world-renowned designer clothes that are worth a fortune. We want to hear who they're wearing, they want to brag about their custom-made outfit, and designers want more exposure for their art. It works out nicely for everyone (unless you luck out and get on the "worst dressed" list).
However, having an interest in fashion is not shameful nor is it a guilty pleasure. Fashion is presently a multi-billion dollar global industry and is at the forefront of almost every occasion. So go ahead and record that "Fashion Police" episode the day after the show airs and reminisce about the colors, cleavage, and courageous (or questionable) choices.
The Funny Moments
Awkward interviews, falling down steps, and forgetting to mention your significant other during your acceptance speech have all happened at past award shows. No doubt these funny and embarrassing moments will probably occur in the future. You can’t have a live show and not expect some blunders. Plus it makes everything cringe-worthy in the best kind of way.
So stumble out of that limo! Trip over your words! You'll give everyday people something to chuckle over the next morning. And don't worry, your little fumble will soon be forgotten. Loosen up and have a little fun.
Why do you watch?
These shows are a medium for us to catch up on our favorite celeb's lives, if but for a brief moment. It's like running into a high school flame at a coffee shop, or a childhood friend at the grocery store. Though unexpected, their presence is a welcome change. Maybe they look the same, or got a few wrinkles, or put on a few pounds. But really, who among us haven’t?
Again, these are some of my reasons for tuning in. Feel free to share yours!