Opinion: If award shows do not evolve, it is time for them to fade away


Isa Quilter

A man watches his television, clearly very bored. This reflects the feeling that many people have now while watching award shows, and is a key reason why they are losing relevance.

Noah Sparkman, Editor-in-Chief

It’s time to let old things die.
The relevancy of award shows has been questioned for a long while now. Amid many controversies like the criticism of a lack of diversity (#OscarsSoWhite) or issues with the rather predictable nature of nominations and winners, award shows are frankly lucky to have made it this far.
However, things may just have hit their breaking point with the 2022 Golden Globes. Following several controversies surrounding the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the telecast was dropped by NBC, and the show chose to go on untelevised. The result was a live Twitter thread announcing the winners, a dull and forgettable effort to replace the event that the show was previously.
With the Golden Globes reduced to a whimper for the foreseeable future, one must begin to wonder what the relevancy of these award shows even is. People have been sick of them for years, with more talk about the atrocious execution of each show perpetuated throughout the internet than discussion about the winners.
Realistically, this has been a long time coming. Ratings have steadily decreased year after year, and even the Oscars have had trouble drawing in the same viewers as they used to.
While there is a bit of sentimentality surrounding the prospect of losing these shows that we held dear for decades, it is time to lay them to bed.
Year after year, the shows rewarded the same type of films: sentimental dramas starring largely white casts made by old white men.
Of course, there have been exceptions. In recent memory, “Moonlight’s” Best Picture triumph, although confusing, stood as a sign that the Academy could be changing. In addition, Bong Joon-ho’s masterful film “Parasite” became the first foreign language film to ever win Best Picture.
However, it all feels too late. Ratings have already reached rock bottom, regardless of what films take home the year’s biggest prizes.

In the end, what is missing from the award shows is some spice.

An effort was made to draw in more viewers by adding a “Best Popular Film” award to the Oscars, but those plans have fallen by the wayside after massive backlash.
Many people declared that the award was patronizing and could not understand why those films could not just be in the normal Best Picture race. Meanwhile, others protested the fact that films undeserving of a place at the show may now get one.

Ultimately, it is the lack of recognition for the genre film that is killing award shows. While the films that they reward are, for the most part, good movies, they alienate a large portion of the viewer base by ignoring genre filmmaking.
Take the production company A24 for example. While a few pictures like “Moonlight” and “Minari” have been recognized from the production studio, those are not even really their most acclaimed films. Movies like “Hereditary,” “The Lighthouse,” “Midsommar,” “The Lobster,” “A Ghost Story” and “First Reformed,” among others, have all been hailed as some of the best films of the past decade, yet most were completely unrecognized.
The same can be said about production studios like NEON, Annapurna, and more.

In the end, what is missing from the award shows is some spice. It is impossible for people to be interested when the same films are presented and crowned every year, and they are often not even their favorite films of the year.
Awards shows must broaden their horizons and champion the true best films of the year, rather than the best films that fit a certain criteria. If they can do this, the shows may just recapture the prestige and respect that they had in decades past.
If not, it is better to leave them to die.