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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Award Shows: They May Be Boring, But They Could At Least Have Class

Some of you may remember (and may already be members of) an organization I formed at the beginning of the summer: PAPAL (People Against Passive Aggressive Language). Well I'm pleased to inform you that so far, PAPAL has been a success! Talk in my office has gone from passive aggressive to just plain aggressive. My co-workers have dropped the niceties of "please" and "thank you" and go for the jugular with every shirk of responsibility.

In light of PAPAL's success, I am now tackling a new and pressing issue in the state of our world. CAP: Citizens Against Patter. For those of you that don't know, "patter" refers to the asinine bits of dialogue that presenters read at awards shows before actually presenting the award. You've seen it a million times - hot supermodel and ugly-but-funny comedian are called to the stage to present the Best Mute Junkie award, but before they get to it, they read an awkward exchange off the teleprompter about what projects each of them are there to shill, or about the honored history of the Best Mute Junkie award.

Well I'm here to declare it once and for all: PATTER SUCKS. It has zero entertainment value, being neither funny nor remotely entertaining. It leaves the well-coiffed presenters looking illiterate or awkward at best, and slows the pace of a show down to a crawl.

Of course, once the show is "running behind," (the chronic award show condition), producers are forced to cut parts of the program that might actually be interesting, for example, clips of the nominees that justify their nomination. Very few award show viewers have had an opportunity to watch every single show that has received a nomination, and sampling them through clips can be entertaining. But that sampling never fails to disappear towards the end of the show, when the most important awards are being given... unlike the patter... which simply won't die.

Look, Awards Show Producers, it is simply not okay to play music over our greatest actors, directors and writers on the night that they are being honored. It's poor manners to hustle Glenn Close off the stage while playing music over her, or to discombobulate Tom Hanks by flashing a "wrap it up" on the teleprompter after 30 seconds. It's really quite rude.

Of course, the solution is simple: If you don't want your awards program to include acceptance speeches, don't give out awards. Then you can give the audience what you seem to think they want: an awkward, well-dressed variety show.

I hope you'll join me in CAP's efforts of ridding the world of patter. There is a lot of work to be done, but if we organize, I believe we can save the Oscars just in the nick of time.


Sven said...

I don't think I have a rich enough vocabulary to properly explain my aversion for most award shows. It's not so much a depth of dislike, as much as it is a breadth.

If I was sat down and forced to make a list of reasons in descending order "patter" would definitely be near the top.

stu said...

I have a solution. Instead of awards shows, have people in lorries go around at night delivering ten foot tall trophies to the front lawns of people who would have won. Everyone still knows who won that way, and there's no patter.