Why are the Acadamy Awards and other award shows so popular?

This is a weak pitting, so please move the thread to Cafe Society if it belongs there.

Why are the Acadamy Awards so popular? It’s just a bunch of actors and actresses having a party. Nothing especially interesting happens, they just give out a bunch of awards. The obvious comparison would be to sporting events like the Super Bowl, the NBA Championship, and the World Series. I believe that there is a big difference between the two. Watching the Acadamy Awards would be like watching the trophy presentation after the game rather than watching the game itself. It just seems silly, a bunch of famous people we (most likely) don’t know patting each other on the back. What am I missing?

The annoyance on my part comes from two particular sources making a big deal about the Acadamy Awards. The fivethirtyeight website and Michael Smerconish on his satellite radio talk show. Their coverage of the Acadamy Awards has annoyed me.

Just to make it clear, I normally enjoy reading fivethirtyeight and listening to Smerconish, just not on this topic.

For those of us that don’t follow these celebrities daily on newsfeeds of whatever sort, it’s kind of an annual chance to catch up on some things. “Oh, I didn’t know that Mexican director did that film.” “Wow, Reece is still looking great!.” “It’s about time Gena Rowlands got some attention.” “Leonard Nimoy died? How did I miss that?” “Hey, there’s that kid from ‘The Room’… look how excited he is to see C-3PO and R2D2!” “Check out how Christian Bale is congregating with other British actors as we go to a commercial…I wonder if they’re talking about what idiots American voters seem to be these days…”

That sort of thing.

I suppose this is what I don’t get. I’m a sports fan and enjoy the Super Bowl, NBA Championship, and World Series. But I don’t really care about how good Peyton Manning still looks, or whether Lebron James or Stephen Curry is better dressed, or who Clayton Kershaw is dating (maybe he’s married, I don’t really know or care). I care about their performance on the field or court, not what they do off of it. Other than issues with criminal activity, domestic violence, and that sort of thing, which will cause me to loose respect for the athlete in question, why would it matter what these guys do in their free time?

People do watch trophy presentations. And victory parades.

I presume all these people also watched the game.

You know what causes me to lose respect?

The war is lost. There going to keep using it wrong no matter waht.

:wink:

Your right about that.

Well, no, it’s not exactly the same.

The Academy Awards basically IS the Super Bowl of movies. While it involves handing out the hardware, it is also the moment of decision as to who the winner is. Watching them hand the Super Bowl trophy to whomever owns the Denver Broncos is past the interesting part because you already know the Broncos won. But when they announced Brie Larson won Best Actress, that WAS the moment she won. She was holding the trophy within the same minute they read her name.

If you already knew who had won the awards - if you knew “Spotlight” won Best Picture, that Alicia Vikander beat out Rooney Mara for Supporting Actress, etc. etc. - the viewership of the Oscars would drop by ninety percent. Maybe 95. Hell, maybe 99.

Then I’m sure you know sports fans who are increasingly watching draft events for each of these sports. A decade ago, did you know anyone who would even want to watch a draft on TV? Now the drafts are turning into prime-time TV events? What the whaaat?

Anyway, as much as I have no interest in watching the drafts, the appeal of award shows is more or less the same. Someone has to be interest in the underlying subject matter (e.g., football or movies), and then many of those fans have an interest in the story of who beat whom, which star had the better night, etc.

But since this is the Pit, are you really so stupid as to not be able to understand the appeal at all? Are you some kind of mental second grader who simply cannot accept that different people have different interests? Do you say, “EEEEEEEW, gross!!!” if you find out that someone you know likes asparagus, which you think is totally yucky?

Because if you aren’t suffering from toddler brain, you’ve got to be one of those Internet recluses who DO NOT UNDERSTAND YOUR HYOO-MAHN CUSTOMS. IT IS HIGHLY ILLOGICAL, MEEP-MORP.

Well, no, it’s not exactly the same.

The Academy Awards basically IS the Super Bowl of movies. While it involves handing out the hardware, it is also the moment of decision as to who the winner is. Watching them hand the Super Bowl trophy to whomever owns the Denver Broncos is past the interesting part because you already know the Broncos won. But when they announced Brie Larson won Best Actress, that WAS the moment she won. She was holding the trophy within the same minute they read her name.

If you already knew who had won the awards - if you knew “Spotlight” won Best Picture, that Alicia Vikander beat out Rooney Mara for Supporting Actress, etc. etc. - the viewership of the Oscars would drop by ninety percent. Maybe 95. Hell, maybe 99.

People like celebrities. The Oscars is an event where LOTS of celebrities can be seen together.

At least the Oscars telecast is designed to be entertaining. What I don’t get is why real-life award ceremonies are so popular—sitting around for an hour or two to watch students or employees or little leaguers get handed plaques for “Best Citizenship” and “Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence” and “Most Improved Odor.”

I don’t typically watch them, but when I do, it’s usually with a sort of curiosity about seeing these movie stars and celebrities out of the typical carefully orchestrated interview format, or in their performances.

It’s a window, however obscured and blurry, into the people behind the facade, that you rarely get watching them interviewed by Jimmy Fallon or Conan or even Graham Norton.

Obviously I understand it on an intellectual level, I just don’t understand it on an emotional level. There are a lot of movies and TV shows that I enjoy. I posted on the thread about Star Trek DS9 on why I really enjoyed that series. But my enjoyment of DS9 is limited to the characters, plot and story arc of that particular show. I care about Captain Sisko, Major Kira, Quark, Dr. Bashir, etc. I have no emotional interest in the lives of Avery Brooks, Nana Visitor, Armin Shimerman, Alexander Siddig, the rest of the DS9 cast, or the cast of any other movie or TV show that I enjoy.

I don’t watch for the celebrities. I have very little interest in what people are wearing or who their date is.

But I love movies. I studied film in school. I’ve been going to movies and watching films all my life. Most years I’ve seen all or almost all of the films nominated for Best Picture, and most of the other nominees as well.

For me the Oscars are like the Superbowl and NFL draft rolled up together. I get so see great artists (many of whom are NOT celebrities) go head-to-head in their craft. And, like in the NFL draft, I get to see how well my evaluation of their art coincides with what the industry professionals think. It’s fun to see how well a particular movie you really liked does when voted on by the industry - I was pretty giddy last night when Mad Max racked up one award after another, and when Spotlight beat out The Revenant because those were choices I would have made. I was disappointed when Sam Smith beat out Lady Gaga for best song – not because I care about either one of them, but because I loved her song and didn’t care for his.

And like I said, they’re not all millionaire celebrities. As Louis CK said when presenting the Best Documentary Short Subject award, “This trophy is going home in a Honda Civic. The winner will have anxiety about keeping it in their crappy apartment.” Those are the people I like to root for.

I understand why those in the movie business love the Oscars, they are the awards handed out by their peers. For the rest of us, I think it’s just because it’s an old well established tradition, hyped with good marketing in modern times. You’ll find that not that many people could name or even recognize the name of any major accounting firms except for Price-Waterhouse which is mentioned at the Oscars every year, and the hype starts months in advance now, with Oscar predictions being made even before pictures are released. Even the release date of movies is intended help them win an Oscar. So I’d say it’s become the gold standard over time, when an actor dies it doesn’t matter how many Golden Globes or People’s Choice awards he’s won, an Oscar will be listed first in his accomplishments, even just an Oscar nomination will precede those other awards.

I think most of it is because the self regarding movie types are determined that we appreciate the sheer importance of the awards, and lose no opportunity to tell us how important they are, so we have publicity feeding off publicity.

It is what it is because it is.

Fivethirtyeight does it because they are stats nerds, and it’s something they can try to predict. And it gets them people who would otherwise not check out the site, since they aren’t into sports or politics.

I mean, they did a big deal in trying to see many different prediction algorithms. Modeling human behavior, especially when it involves voting, is a big deal to them. And the Academy Awards are big enough deal to actually draw in viewers.

I’m not sure how you’re missing the obvious.
You explained what you care and don’t care about but not everyone is the same as you. I assume you’re aware that not everyone likes sports. Are you aware that a lot of people like gawking at celebs the way that you can watch a bunch of athletes out on the field/court. It’s, literally, the same thing. You like watching athletes other people like watching celebs.

Lets change it up a bit.
Why is the Superbowl so popular? Nothing interesting happens, it’s just a bunch of guys running around chasing a ball. In fact, it’s really no different than any other football game throughout the rest of the year. The Academy Awards, however, is different since we get see everyone dressed to the nines, accepting awards for all the hard work they put in over the last year(s) making amazing movies. Plus, all the other entertainment that goes along with it (music, red carpet shows, after shows, social media etc).

TLDR: Why doesn’t everyone like the things I like and dislike the things I dislike? That’s really what this comes down to.

I think people have an innate desire towards ranking things. Which car is the fastest? What’s the most expensive diamond? Fattest cat?

Despite often being tarred as “Hollywood liberals”, everyone watches movies and we want the ones we like to do well so there will be more of them. Awards shows are like that moment when we find out who got the highest score in test or 6’s in figure skating. We’ve seen many of the performances, now we’ll see what the judges think and if we agree with them. If not, we have fun in ripping them for their bad decisions. If they agree with us, we share a vicarious thrill.

There’s also a lot of voyeurism in it. These are the best looking and dressed people that money can buy. We want to see the dresses, the suits (well, not really), we want to see how Jared Leto cleans up, or Sofia Vergara in a bustier. We want to see what a thousand dollars of makeup can make you look like. Then we want to see some of them cheer and some of them cry and gossip about the ones who look salty.