Sunday, January 15, 2012

Anatomy of an Awards Show

Hollywood and the world for that matter is obsessed with little golden statuettes, who's wearing what, who will win what and all the hoopla that is known as the awards show. And tonight this season's statue race begins with perhaps one of the best of the season, the Golden Globes.

First, a quick primer. The Golden Globe Award honors the best of television and film as judged by the 93 members of the Hollywood Press Association. Dating back to l944, the show tends to be a tad more glamorous than the Oscars (more celebrities from the big as well as small screens), more interesting (selections are broader as there are split categories for best actor and film based on comedy, drama, etc.), and the speeches more outrageous (translation - alcohol is served). Miss Golden Globe remains an annual staple as a coming out party of sorts for the daughter (and in some rare cases, sons) of a celebrity. Former Miss GG's include Melanie Griffith, Linda Evans, Joely Fisher, Rumer Willis with Donna Douglas (Beverly Hillbillies's Ellie Mae Clampett) as the show's first. Freddie Prinze, Jr. and John Clark Gable were two of the men who held the duties.

Rainey Qualley, daughter of Andie MacDowell and Miss GG 2012

Rumer Willis, daughter of Bruce and Demi
Stars with their publicists and stylists in tow will stroll down 30,000 square feet of red carpet as 550 bottles of Moet & Chandon vintage 2002 and 9,000 champagne glasses await. Five to six thousand guests will be found in the Beverly Hilton attending the proverbial after parties with a lucky 1,300 seated for dinner. (Note: No botox figures were available at this time). Harvey Weinstein, In Style, Vanity Fair's party at Cecconi's and HBO will have some of the hottest most sought after soirees with NBC/Universal throwing their hopeful celebration of the hit film Bridesmaids (nominated for best film in the comedy category) on the roof.

Party map courtesy of The Daily Truffle
All eyes will be on third time host Ricky Gervais who is expected to be bawdy, hilarious and tell it like it is. No one will escape unscathed and expect lots of Sandusky, Tebowing, Ashton and Demi, Kardashian and Republican presidential contender barbs. In the past, he has drawn the ire of the Hollywood Press Association and certain segments of the film industry with his comments on gay actors and scientology. My personal favorite  -- "It's going to be a night of partying and heavy drinking -- or, as Charlie Sheen calls it, breakfast." Sheen laughed so what was the problem?:)

Ricky Gervais, king of barbs

The show has had other scandals that question the validity of the awards. Case in point -  Pia Zadora won "Newcomer of the Year" in 1981 for her performance in Butterfly (I can hear many of you now asking who/what?) amid accusations her producer husband "bought" her the award. Similar stories surfaced around the film The Tourist last year as the studio was accused of offering voters an all expense paid trip to Vegas. (I am not sure the latter had any legs as press junkets have always been the norm.)

Pia Zadora beat out actresses Elizabeth McGovern (Ragtime)
and Kathleen Turner (Body Heat)
And it's hard to remember a time the awards shows were not about the clothes. The red carpet has become a staple and the fashions get equal if not more emphasis than the actual films themselves. A gown can make or break both an actress and designer's career and stylists have become the new power and image brokers in Hollywood (be sure to check out the Ruth La Ferla's New York Times piece on The Power Stylists of Hollywood). Countless hours will be spent dissecting, scrutinizing and analyzing hits and misses and heaven forbid two actresses wear the same gown. It's often excruciating watching the red carpet interviewers come up with questions ("How was the ride over in the limo" makes for compelling journalism) and I suspect every campus in America could have a field day using the word "amazing" for their drinking game.

Last year's red carpet fashions - champagne was the order of the day
The event is truly Hollywood's Super Bowl, a predictor of things to come at Oscar time and 17 million viewers plus  in 167 countries will no doubt tune in. And with Downton Abbey Season Two and The Good Wife airing at the same time, Tivo is the order of the evening.

Follow me on Twitter tonight @catwhit as I give my two cents during the show and red carpet.

Photo Credits: HPA, Daily Truffle


  1. The only awards show I was ever obsessed with was the Daytime Emmys because I was a huge soap opera fan. I didn't care about the rest of them. Then the major networks dropped airing the DE because of low ratings, and started canceling soaps left and right, and replacing them with cheaper crap. Now I have nothing and am already sick of the award season hype.

  2. It will definitely be overkill by the time the Oscars roll around and sad the DE's are gone.

  3. As with many award shows, the most deserving is not necessarily the winner. The Hollywood Foreign Press consistently recognizes the most popular and the most commercial. Surely that was the case of Pia Zadora whose name sold some papers in her day. No?

  4. Generally the ones that nominate the most deserving are the individual awards such as SAG, Art Directors Guild, Writers Guild, etc. Yes, its all commercial...