Tonight is the annual broadcast of the Emmy Awards.
I won’t be watching.
Oh, not because I’m an awards-snob. I like awards. I hope I get some someday.
As awards shows go, the Emmys show isn’t the worst way to spend a few hours. It doesn’t quite have the whiff of zombie-rot that has clung to the Oscar broadcast for as long as I can remember. Some of the parody skits are actually funny. TV pros seem to take themselves a tad less seriously than the movie pros, so it’s a more relaxed atmosphere.
Many of the nominees are actually deserving of a win. In fact, there are a lot of categories where people who truly deserved a nomination were left out, because there were so many excellent candidates to choose from.
One reason I won’t be watching is it’s Sunday night, which is the night practically every network and cable channel schedules their best shows. I’m not missing (well, delaying) Boardwalk Empire for an awards show.
(Or Cupcake Wars. Or The Great Food Truck Race. O.K., I admit it, not everything I watch on TV is brilliant drama.)
That’s not the main reason, though. The main reason I won’t watch is I have awards show fatigue.
Back in the day, I looked forward to awards shows. When I was a kid, I would always beg to stay up late to watch the Oscars, the Tonys and the Emmys. (Not so much the Grammys, because until not that long ago the Grammys were something like two generations behind what was happening with music.) Even then, the shows’ formats seemed antiquated and dull, but I still wanted to see who would win in real time.
The Tonys show is fun because you get a free look at live performances from the nominated musicals. It usually clocks in at two hours, almost unheard of with other award shows, particularly the Oscars. The Emmys brought their show running time a bit under control by hosting a separate creative awards show. But it’s still three hours long.
I made the mistake of looking in on the (taped) broadcast of the creative awards show and was reminded of another reason why I don’t watch them anymore. Mark Margolis, amazing on Breaking Bad as stroke-victim Tio, was helping present the hair and make-up awards. He was forced to tell some truly idiotic jokes about hair and make-up. I got that familiar “God, I’m so embarrassed for these people” feeling that I always get while watching awards shows.
Yet another reason I have awards fatigue is there are just too many of them. There are some periods during the year when it seems like there’s one on practically every week. This has become such a problem for the Oscars that they keep scheduling their nomination announcement and broadcast dates earlier and earlier in the year.
It also seems that the minute one year’s awards show ends, the entertainment media starts predicting next year’s winners. Discussion of who might win what used to start just before the nominations were announced. It wasn’t non-stop and year-round. They’re even starting to predict what and who will win from movies and shows that haven’t even been filmed yet!
Social media makes it very easy to skip out on awards shows because I can pick up my smart phone throughout the evening and keep track of the winners with my Twitter feed. If something funny or heart-felt happens during the show, I can watch it later, without having to sit through all the mind-numbing boring stuff.
Still, I’ll be rooting for certain people (oh, please let Giancarlo Esposito win for Breaking Bad, please, please, and if he doesn’t, please, please let Peter Dinklage win) and will be happy for the winners. But I wish someone would do something radical to make awards shows watchable and enjoyable, rather than a long, hard slog.