Another awards season is upon us, with the Golden Globes just passed, and the Oscars approaching. There will be endless debates about people and films that are undeservedly left off of these lists. This column is not about that.
No, my complaint today is with the Golden Globes in particular, and the way that they treat television. Excellent hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler opened with a joke this year about how TV actors (like themselves) are looked at unfavorably compared to film performers (also, like themselves, though they are less known for film). In an era where the lines between the two have become increasingly blurred, this is an archaic notion, and one that should have been abandoned long ago, as television has moved into a golden age.
Also, it's quite funny that a film industry that thinks they are better than television airs their awards shows on the small screen, rather than making people go to the theater to witness the proceedings. Wouldn't that make more sense with the persistent attitude?
I'm not saying everything that graces the small screen is great, of course. But having moved through a decade that brought us Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lost, Battlestar Galactica, The Wire, and The Sopranos, and being well into a decade with Homeland, Mad Men, The Walking Dead, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Justified, and so many others, it is very hard to argue that television is an inferior medium.
I feel like the lack of understanding of television by an awards show that airs on, you guessed it, television, is best proven by a look at their categories.
First, the supporting actor and actress awards are separate from everything else because they do not get divided into two genres: drama or comedy. Well, three, because miniseries is rightly given its own standing. But for supporting players, they are all lumped in together. How do you possibly compare Sofia Vergara's work on Modern Family with Sarah Paulson in Game Change? You don't. You just reward the well respected Dame Maggie Smith, who is in a British miniseries, and ignore everyone else.