Since we’re witnessing the ‘The Golden Era of Television’ (well, the third one), it’s pretty easy to sing the praises of such shows like ‘Mad Men,’ ‘Homeland,’ ‘Modern Family,’ and basically everything on HBO. But, let’s face it: we like the bad stuff too. Whether it’s teary-eyed confessionals, stupid pranks or staged catfights, we all have a TV guilty pleasure (or two) that we simply cannot quit.
So that’s why I’m rounding up my favorite television vices each week, so that we can all find solace in knowing that someone else is watching – and enjoying – the same vast wasteland.
Because the first step in healing is admitting that you have a problem.
This week’s Guilty Pleasure: Award Shows.
The holiday season means two things to me: corny Christmas specials and award show nominations. The Grammys! The Golden Globes! The SAGs! And soon, the Oscars! Now is the time when I start making a list of all the movies I need to see and all the music I have to listen to so I can form an official, formal, completely biased opinion when the aforementioned awards are handed out.
I know, I know. You’d rather watch paint dry than watch an awards show, but you inevitably watch/tweet/talk about it – I know you do. There’s no surprise as to why we enjoy watching them so darn much. We get a kick out of the fact that, amid economic woes, war and gluten allergies, award shows make everything seem all right for the moment, thanks to the sea of shiny hair and glamorous gowns and Randy Newman tunes. Then there are those fake bonds we create with our favorite celebrities, and we get all “I hope J-Law wins!” because seeing them win an award makes us feel, albeit strangely, like we’re winning it (much like how we get all worked up over our sports teams). But, mainly, it’s because we love to judge hot and successful people. If we can’t join ‘em, we’re gonna for sure beat ‘em (with our snarky comments). OK, and yes, it’s pretty cool to watch someone’s life-long dream come true. See, they are fun!
People’s Choice Awards
This is the interactive award show. It really doesn’t mean anything to someone’s career, but it’s where we – the People – can award our fave actor/actress/movie/TV show/musician with a weird-looking crystal drop that’s basically a fist bump. The categories have gotten a bit too specific over the years (Favorite Music Fan Following?) and Jennifer Aniston will inevitably be nominated for something –anything!, but it’s kinda cool to be like, “Channing Tatum, I got you that People’s Choice Award. You owe me!” Airs Wednesday, Jan. 8 at 9/8c on CBS.
The Golden Globes
This is the show where the celebs get drunk. The Golden Globes is basically a big old dinner party where the champagne flows but no one touches their food and where location means everything (a.k.a. you wanna sit in the front because where a celeb is seated in the ballroom speaks volumes about their place on the Hollywood food chain). It’s also the ceremony where celebs are more likely to be stuck in the bathroom when their name is being called and that’s always awkwardly funny. This year’s show will be hosted by funny ladies/BFFs, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, so we won’t have to rely too much on the bathroom humor, even though I think J-Law could endearingly pull off having toilet paper stuck to her stiletto if she wins Best Supporting Actress. Airs Sunday, Jan. 12 at 8/7c on NBC.
The Screen Actor Guild Awards
This is the "let’s pat ourselves on the back" show. It’s the ceremony where actors honor each other and "the craft," and go around saying, “I got my start in the thea-tuh, dahling, so I’m totally legit.” It’s the show where a winner will inevitably make a comment on the nakedness of the statue and start weirdly hitting on it. My favorite portion of the telecast happens at the beginning when the actors tell the camera how they received their first SAG card; it’s always refreshing to hear about a star’s humble beginnings. Airs Jan. 18 at 8/7c on TBS and TNT.
The Grammy Awards
This is usually the controversial show. You know, the one where JLo debuted that dress, Elton John performed with Eminem and “Soy Bomb” became this WTF moment as a stoic (does he have another expression?) Bob Dylan looked on. Nothing gets people more riled up than debating one’s taste in music, especially in the varied Album of the Year category (Daft Punk is up against Taylor Swift?!). Pull a Kanye on your friends while you watch and watch the (hopefully fake) fur fly. Airs Sunday, Jan. 26 at 8/7c on CBS.
The Academy Awards
This is the big show. The awards show that is imprinted on a celeb’s epitaph for eternity. No matter if an actor dies or stars in a really bad Sylvester Stallone movie, they are forever known as "Oscar-nominated" or, if they’re lucky, "Oscar winner." It’s the award that every aspiring artist pictures as they hoist a shampoo bottle in the bathroom and rattle off a fake acceptance speech in front of the mirror. Sure, it’s been criticized as being “political” and that it doesn’t really mean anything anymore, and it’s so damn long, etc. Fine. But the Oscars telecast still epitomizes old Hollywood, while demonstrating to a worldwide audience that dreams can come true. And if Tom Hanks delivers a speech, I dare you not to shed a single tear. Airs Sunday, March 2 at 7/6c on ABC.