Brian Edwards Media

And the award goes to….. Award Shows!

I just love award shows – BAFTAs, Emmys, Oscars, Golden Globes, SAGs – it makes no difference. After 10 minutes a yawning Judy has declared she can’t take any more of this sick-making rubbish and is off to bed. Me, I’m still there at 1am, waiting for the biggie. Drum roll and trumpets please! And the winner is…

Of course I already know who the winner is, because there was no spoiler alert either on TV1 or TV3 News and Judy wasn’t fast enough to the mute button on the MySky remote – another good reason why women should be banned from ‘remote control’ without first passing a driving test.

I hear the newsreader saying: ‘A clean sweep for The King’s English at this year’s SAG Awards with the movie taking the prize for best picture and Colin Firth carrying off the award for best actor.’  Grrrrrrr!

Still, it doesn’t really make any difference. Finding out who wins isn’t the point of the exercise. My four or five hours glued to the box constitute anthropological research – the science of human social and cultural behaviour and its development – at the highest level. This is the human zoo in action: how will the presenters, the winners and losers behave? Will they be better than the presenters, winners and losers last year? Can we find evidence of evolution at the Emmys, of original thought at the Oscars, of genome growth at the Golden Globes? Or did God, as many of them believe, create the actor in His own image – perfect, immutable, not capable of improvement? 

There does seem to be some evidence for the ‘immutable, not capable of improvement’ bit. Having watched award shows for most of my adult life, I hold these truths to be self-evident:

*That award show actor/presenters, whose profession involves learning and delivering lines in a compelling fashion, will be unable to remember two short sentences of script and will deliver the sentences they can remember (or haltingly read off a teleprompter) in a wooden monotone, their faces devoid of expression or animation.

*That the writers of those lines,  whose job involves composing elegant, thoughtful and occasionally amusing comments about the category and the nominees in that category, will instead disgorge the most pretentious, overblown and generally meaningless verbiage to be found outside the Letters columns in the New Zealand Listener.

*That, with rare exceptions, the award-winners will redefine the definition of ‘embarrassing display’, surpassing the ‘zenith’ achieved in this category at last year’s show and the ‘acme’ the year before that.

*That, again with rare exceptions, the award-winners will have to rely on a grocery list of the names of people who, that night,  mean more to them than anyone else in the world. Should they forget to mention even one of these names, my wife, (a former  President of the New Zealand Writers’ Guild who has sat next to Patrick Stewart and chatted to the late Christopher Reeve at one of these dos) assures me, they may never work in Hollywood again. I would have thought that needing a grocery list was insult enough.

*That the ‘rare exceptions’ to these crimes will, with even rarer exceptions, be Brits, Aussies or Kiwis who will not require notes to say, ‘This is great. Thanks very much.’ That they will, nonetheless, make fine and/or funny speeches without once resorting to the word ‘amazing’.

*That the losers will give the best performances of the night, not merely concealing their murderous hatred of the winner in their category, but managing not to throw up when that talentless, disingenuous  bastard/bitch goes on about  how proud they are to have been included in such peerless company.

*That actors who have ‘passed on’, will be recalled in a film compilation of their most famous roles, the lesser known getting only muted applause while the megastars receive an ovation. Even in death there are winners and losers.

So you can see why I find award ceremonies so compelling. Wasn’t it Alexander Pope who said, ‘The proper study of mankind is man’? Of course it was, I just looked it up on Google.

And last night’s inappropriately named SAG awards were no exception. All of life was there, from Julianna Margulies, Best Actor in The Good Wife, who thanked ‘my in-laws for producing truly the most spectacular human being, who I get to call my husband’, to Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush, who proved my point that the Brits and the Australasians make the best thank-you speeches…

… with the possible exception of 89-year-old Betty White. But I can’t show you that because SAG, who are claiming the copyright on the show, won’t let me. Bloody unions! But here she is last year, at 88, accepting SAG’s Lifetime Achievment Award. Now that’s class.

, , ,


  1. Superb link!

    So what did you think of cringemeister-supreme Ricky Gervais’ recent tour de force as presenter at the Golden Globes? Myself, I laughed whilst cringing.

    And here’s a link to another recent Betty White outing, with that Scottish Conan guy:


    BE: I’m a huge fan of Gervais, but the sort of stinging comment you’re referring to is only acceptable (and only funny) if it’s wrapped up in cleverness and wit. Most of what he said at the Golden Globes was mere insult. I found it disappointing. Thanks for the clip. I hadn’t come across this host. Very nice, idiosyncratic style.

  2. I am with Judy on this one (although not in the same bed).

  3. I enjoy these shows but can only watch my recorded copy so that I can whizz past the interminable group gropes.

  4. Betty White, charming and genuine somehow.

  5. Thanks for the clip. I hadn’t come across this host. Very nice, idiosyncratic style.

    Brian (et al): if you haven’t seen Craig Ferguson before, do yourselves favours and his (commercial) hour-long interview with Stephen Fry. He eschewed audience and usual format for a proper sit-down interview with an old friend and it makes for splendid viewing. Part 1 is here:

  6. Oi … off topic, but …… did BE ever drop the C-Bomb?

  7. Oh … Dave … let’s not forget the man’s Peabody-winning effort with Bishop Tutu @,

    You can subscribe to TVsCraigFerguson @, who is a fan and NOT the guy himself.

    Or you can move to Aussie and watch the show on their new Channel Eleven.

    Or you can find it …. nudge nudge, wink wink

  8. These award shows are deathly dull — and pretentious. Riven with the recipients’ conceit with their faux humility and gushing thanks.

    Who can ever forget that dreadful acceptance speech from Sally Fields, when she won her second Oscar for Best Actress with her: “I know you really like me” speech. Everyone in the auditorium was squirming, yet alone the viewers at home, who were dry-retching. And if that wasn’t bad enough, drown yourself in this puke:

    Televising award shows need to go the way of the live telecasts of the Miss New Zealand pagents.
    And 80% of today’s movies are junk, anyway.

  9. And now we have the ultimate awards show; a General Election where we have not only to endure mind numbing rhetoric, cliches and lies before the event but the post election tripe; “the people have spoken and I am humbled by their decision. I pledge in my three years of polishing my bottom on the Prime Ministerial chair to work for a more prosperous and just society and the elimination of global poverty and conflict” In fact it is just like the speeches given by Miss Universe candidates; simpering: “well, Wayne, I would like to work for world peace”.

  10. more ‘magic shows’ ,another opiate for the masses that drives materialism, consumerism and ‘branding’.Trivia dressed up as substance.

  11. Laffing, why does reading all that make me think Jackie Collins?