With the Toronto International Film Festival happening and the Emmys approaching, I have begun to ask myself why I have enjoyed watching awards shows in general, and why they tend to draw such a high degree of attention in Western society. For myself at least, there’s a lot more going on than the classically-given, joked-about reason of seeing members of the super-rich give gold statues to one another, or for seeing beautiful people wearing extravagant evening wear, but because an event such as the Golden Globes represents the crossover of worlds.
It just blows my mind; the casts of Downton Abbey and The Big Bang Theory sitting side by side, in the same room while having contributed to the effort to encapsulate completely different times, cultures and tones? Of course this is fascinating. This may explain why – unfortunately – at the Oscars, people tend to care the most about the acting categories, instead of the categories for those who fulfill the more technical roles in movie-making. Actors and actresses represent characters living in extremely different situations, and their performances are shown side-by-side before a winner is announced, and it can be truly awe-inspiring, if we have been as affected by the performances as we’d hope to be.
Humans are strange, superficial, vain creatures. When we seek out entertainment, we are seeking to be transported to a different world, or to manipulate the way we think about our own world for the span of the piece. However, we also like to be reminded that the relief provided from our standard mindsets was simply due to human accomplishment.
Criticizing these artists for their performances, their evening wear and their 30-second red carpet interviews are only further ways that confirm that they – like the rest of us – are “only human.” Thus, we encourage that they be recognized on multiple occasions every year by paying attention, to see which interpretation of the world is favoured by the greatest number of people in that single moment.