Tuesday, July 22, 2014

An Injustice for Just Us

A couple of weeks ago, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced its nominations for the annual Emmy awards for primetime television programs of the past season (Other television industry bodies handle the Emmys for other areas of programming and technical excellence).

Across the entertainment media, the bewailing and moaning began. Pop culture and entertainment news websites and columnists immediately began criticizing the Emmys for including certain obviously unworthy nominees and excluding other, obviously worthy nominees. I really couldn't help or offer any explanation. Mostly because the shows and actors being talked about were primarily boutique premium-cable shows which are viewed by audiences that, at their largest, make up five percent of the country's total population. I am, I'm afraid, part of the 95 percent and I don't have premium cable.

One thing that interested me was how often writers suggested these errors on the part of the ATAS made the Emmy Awards irrelevant, or sometimes the word was "meaningless." That interested me because I often used to say the same thing about the Emmys as well as the Grammys and the Oscars (and still do from time to time). The Emmys overlooked a show or an actor that I really liked in favor of another? They're worthless!

Then I started thinking about that. If the awards were worthless, then what did I care who they nominated? If they really couldn't see the obvious error of their ways and were therefore irrelevant, why pay attention to them? After all, if they really did mean something, then that might mean that their choices were more on target than mine. Maybe Ed ONeill really didn't deserve the Emmy for outstanding actor in a comedy series every year from 1987 to 1997 -- maybe he just played a character I liked on a show I liked but Emmy voters didn't.

So I figured out that I was huffing and puffing over the idea that not everybody liked what I liked as much as I liked it. Which I, being a fan of both the original Star Trek TV series and Dr. Who before the reboot a few years ago, should already have known. Apparently whatever native intelligence I can muster to rattle off opinions on a variety of subjects runs away and hides when it comes to self-evaluation and introspection. At that point, I decided my life could probably continue on its regular course without problems no matter who was nominated for what award.

And the best part about that is it doesn't prevent me from mocking the different award organizations when they pick their favorite half-caff-half-no-caff-double-espresso-with-a-hint-of-cinnamon show to champion instead of one watched by, you know, twice as many people just within the 18-49 demo slice, on its worst outing of the season.

No comments: