Award Shows Are Past Their Prime

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Jalen Flowers, Staff Writer

Television award shows have fallen from must-watch TV to an uninteresting afterthought.

Without an unprompted on-stage altercation or a cheeky jab at Leonardo DiCaprio during an opening monologue, the programs are barely worth watching. The lack of spontaneous nature in these shows creates bored watchers in households.

The Emmys took place on Sept. 12 and garnered very little media attention. The star-studded cast of celebrities in attendance and the controversial winners of various awards still couldn’t take over social media. The organizers of the award show could blame it on low attention spans or the return of American football, but the culprits are the organizers themselves.

The monotonous, predictable, and repetitive routine of ceremonies like the Emmys, the Oscars, and the Grammys are begging for refinement. Red carpets are losing their originality and shock factor. There is no point of tuning in when you can quickly google who won “Best New Actor” or what Zendaya was wearing on the occasion.

Quick Twitter searches are the bane of award shows’ existence. There is no moment that can happen at a ceremony that can’t be repurposed into a 30 second clip.

Due to the simplicity of social media and the boredom of a three-hour program, the recipe for a good award show is already being rewritten. The Emmys in particular have started grasping at streaming services such as Peacock and YouTube TV in order to widen their audience. The results have been disappointing as viewership saw a 25% drop from last year’s show on CBS. That decrease was a 2 million viewer difference.

Celebrities share a disdain for award shows too.No other industry expects everyone to care about what awards they shower upon themselves,” comedian and multiple time Oscar winner Seth Rogen told Variety magazine, “Maybe people just don’t care. Maybe they did for a while and they stopped caring. And why should they?”

The issue lies with the actual awards. Even with the yearly snub on a high performing actor or television show, the masses barely care enough to debate. If the public does react, award shows will continue to snub rightful winners in order to seize viewer attention. It’s a lose-lose situation.

Since they are on the decline, should award shows just stop airing and subject to simply posting winners on social media? Sadly, that might be the case. It is rare traditions like ceremonies are lost but when the appeal doesn’t exist, there is no shame in letting it go.

The admirable part of the award shows is that they are said to be celebrations. Attendees are meant to commemorate their peers. The ceremonies can still be triumphant moments for the actors or artists in attendance, but it’s hard to imagine someone choosing to watch a program like the Emmys over the after party.