The only thing I like about Fall and Winter besides Halloween, NY Comic Con, and Thanksgiving is award season. Maybe it comes from the many teenage years I spent glued to the VMAs (that was my big television event.) I wouldn’t even invite friends over to watch – it was those times when you would rush home from seeing your friends at school, then pick up the phone to talk to your friends from school. Yes, that’s how we watched the VMAs together and I had a rule, you cannot, under any circumstances, change the channel. This comes from my experience flipping during commercials and coming back to having missed some dramatic debauchery or amazing performance. This was back in the day when the VMAs were at least entertaining. I remember the day I finally changed the channel, U2 was performing and halfway through – I just got so bored that I instinctively clicked away. I don’t think I’ve watched another one since then – until this year.
I watched it because everyone was talking about something Taylor Swift did and a speech Pink made. It affirmed my dislike of Taylor Swift, that Katy Perry is the ultimate white woman, and Pink is the shit – but all of these things I already knew.
Moving away from my younger years, I now watch grown-up award shows, they just get me so excited! It’s not even the classy dresses or bad red carpet decisions, it’s the recognition, the anticipation! I root for movies, for actors, for performances. It’s the hosts, it’s the speeches, the all-around joy or disgust. I love getting the chance to see well-seasoned actors out of their roles, see what they’re really like, even if it’s only one side of their personality, it shows us who they are, who they really could be. It could also be my addiction to reality TV, all I know is it’s infectious to watch.
We’ll start at the well-known, the Oscar’s. The most influential award you can get in the mainstream world of the United States, the most controversial due to its deciding board (all white men basically over the age of 65). But I cannot miss the Oscar’s, not even once. Now I, like many others, do not have cable, but I have a mother who does. I log in, schedule it to record, and watch as soon as it is done. This past year, the recording began an hour and a half late! First thing I see is Viola’s speech. I wanted to cry for so many reasons! What the hell?! The recording f$#!&*d up, but Viola won! But what the hell! I didn’t get to enjoy it as it was meant to be enjoyed. My world was opened up and crushed at the same time. This is how serious I take the awards – ask hubby, he could not console me.
So yes, I watched it out of order. Not to worry, I sure did witness the heinous event that took place during Best Picture. Everyone was talking about the drama of the announcement. You know, I didn’t think this type of thing could happen after Steve Harvey, but I guess it can. Now, some say it was a conspiracy, that some PA was pissed LA LA Land didn’t win and sabotaged it with the wrong envelope handoff. I don’t doubt it, to be honest, I mean the debacle took precedence over the actual win. But thank the movie Gods, In the end, Moonlight won, a beautiful film, and inspiration to the future of Black films in America. Yes.
My fascination continues, on Sunday night the Emmy’s aired and I set my mother’s DVR to record (at the right time!) I reached out to my friends who were more cunning than me and would know how to watch it live – ‘cuz I just couldn’t wait for the recording, I needed the fix live! My bestie Mike came through, I was in. And you know…Stephen Colbert was Stephen Colbert. The nominees were well deserved, many of the dresses were underwhelming – I love Gina Rodriguez’s look the best. You see how I get caught up.
But Stephen said something I feel like all award shows try to mention every time – how more diverse they are than the Oscar’s. Apparently, the nominees were very diverse – true, but then all the white people still won…I mean, I am severely disappointed that RuPaul’s Drag Race was beat out by The Voice!!
Granted there are apparently like over 600 categories and over 600 winners who are not all televised, so I can’t really complain. Especially when the POC that did win were just everything! Donald Glover was like “I’m the Captain Now” being the first black person to win an Emmy for Directing! Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe!! Lena Waithe literally wrote my favorite episode of Master of None. Riz Ahmed, The Night Of (HBO) also known as The Pilot from Star Wars: Rogue One… And my friend Sterling K Brown! OK, we’re not friends per say, but I did work with him at The Public Theater during The Brother Sister Plays and if his co-star from that production André Holland remembers me – Sterling might as well! Anyways, maybe we didn’t sweep the board but I am so proud of our Brown people taking home the gold.
I get so emotional when the speeches really speak to what artists and the importance of what we do – yea, I know it’s sappy but this is a guilty pleasure, sue me! Alec Baldwin in his acceptance speech for his award-winning work on SNL said, “I always remember what someone told me — that is when you die you don’t remember a bill that Congress passed or a decision the Supreme Court made, or an address made by the president. You remember a song. You remember a line from a movie. You remember a play. You remember a book. A painting. A poem. What we do is important. And for all of you out there in motion pictures and television, don’t stop doing what you are doing. The audience is counting on you. Thank you.” It really validates my insanity as an artist and the inexplicable love I have for, acting, writing, and creating. Then The Handmaid’s Tale showrunner Bruce Miller said, “It’s been lovely… Go home, get to work, we have a lot of things to fight for.” – yes.
In the end, I feel like each person was deserving, Ann Dowd!! My favorite episode of Black Mirror ‘San Junipero’. – I mean some of them need to take a break and give an Emmy to a runner-up or something, yea I’m talking to you Julia Louis-Dreyfus, stop being awesome, let someone else have a chance! Seriously, she is ridiculously talented. And SNL has still got it… I guess?? Trump’s election definitely reminded us of that. I’ve never seen Handmaid’s Tale – I read the book, but I gotta get on this show apparently, and Night Of… I see you – that’s next on my list. And apparently Jordan Calhoun was onto something with that video in that stunning sun hat, If My Black Ass Was On Big Little Lies, Monterey, California Would Be 100% Different I gotta watch Big Little Lies!
Now I can go on for days and days about my favorite award shows, but it’s hard to bring it all together in one article. SAG Awards and the Golden Globes are actually my favorite. Actors recognizing actors lets us see who truly respects the craft, and watching actors get drunk and get awards at the Golden Globes is a guilty pleasure dream. Look out, ‘cuz my fingers are itching to do recaps of all the shows this season.