And The Winner Is… It’s Awards Season In Hollywood

Matt Damon in 'The Martian.' (Aidan Monaghan for Twentieth Century Fox)

Matt Damon in ‘The Martian.’ (Aidan Monaghan for Twentieth Century Fox)

For Hollywood, it’s the most wonderful time of the year – unless you get snubbed. Yes, it’s awards season, the cavalcade of back-patting that leads up to the mother of all awards shows, the Oscars.

The competition began in earnest last week with the Golden Globe and the SAG (Screen Actors Guild) nominations. And as the names of the lucky nominees were being announced, the alleged pundits, not-so-insiders and wannabe groupies began spitting the spin.

Who was snubbed? Who got the most love? But for the savvy entertainment observer, what’s really interesting is, what does it all mean?

Let’s start with the Golden Globes. It is mind boggling how 90 part-time writers have maneuvered themselves into the position of power they hold. Yes, you heard me right. The Hollywood Foreign Press which votes on the Golden Globes is comprised of 90 foreign media types.

Many of them have other gigs as well. They are not representative of what is going on in Hollywood except on a small scale. What we learned from them is they have no idea what a comedy or a musical is. 

Seriously, Matt Damon does not sing or do stand-up in “The Martian,” yet he is up for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy. Ditto for Steve Carell and Christian Bale in “The Big Short.” Obviously something else came into play, like getting more stars to come to their huge money-making awards show. It’s all about the ratings, baby. Can you really take them seriously.

Jennifer Lawrence in 'Joy.' (Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox)

Jennifer Lawrence in ‘Joy.’ (Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox)

The SAGs are different. It is comprised of working actors. When it comes to the Oscars, the actors make up the largest segment of voters to the tune of several thousand. So the SAG nominations do give an indication of what the Oscars may look like and the SAGs snubbed Damon and perennial Oscar fave Jennifer Lawrence, who was thought to be a shoo-in for a Best Actress nomination for her star turn in “Joy.”

Netflix was the big winner in the SAGs. Last year, the streaming content provider scored two nominations. This year, they got 10. Netflix along, with Amazon, are pushing hard for these nominations with strong campaigns aimed at getting recognition and clout. The more clout they have, the better deals they can create. Better deals means bigger shows. Bigger shows means more people watching. More people watching means even more clout. It’s a nice power drive.

For actors, voting for Netflix has a venal side. The more shows Netflix creates, the more jobs will be available, and a better chance to make more money, another positive.

Now comes the more important take away. If Netflix continues to expand, viewers will watch more. Over time, more viewers will conclude that over-paying for cable TV is stupid. They will cut the cable TV cord. And that is trend gaining traction, one that is worrying the Comcasts of the world. And you thought awards shows were just about the jokes and the shiny trophys!

The Golden Globes Awards will air at 8 p.m. EST on Jan. 10 on NBC. The 22nd Screen Actors Guild Awards will air at 8 p.m. On Jan. 30 on TNT/TBS.

By Garen Daly

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