Friday, December 15, 2006


I've been a fan of the Golden Globe Awards for years, from before the industry started taking them seriously and actually fighting for them. For one thing, unlike the Oscars, it's a room where the talent gets to drink, and they have a history of loosening up. For another, TV stars get to be in the same room with movie stars, so it feels more democratic to start. For a third, by dividing the top categories into Dramatic and Comedy/Musical, not only do more films and actors get recognized, but terrific comedies that end up losing Oscars to "serious" pictures are given their day in the sun.

I'm also appreciative of the Writer's Guild of America for making sure some friends of mine at least got decent minimum payments and residuals, and as a place to register screenplays which I've done like everybody else on every single block here in Los Angeles.

So it's with those kind thoughts in mind that I make the rare Nettertainment criticism of anything entertainment.

How is it that both groups, the internationally sophisticated Hollywood Foreign Press and the in-the-trenches themselves writers of the guild, have failed to nominate either The Wire (egregious) or Battlestar Galactica (easier to explain, but still egregious), to any awards?

Between the two -- not a single nomination.

I've got links here to both listings on Ain't It Cool News -- Globes and WGA -- which have the much appreciable benefit of comments from the site's readers seconding my opinion and in many cases going a lot further with the vitriol (not surprising for AICN, of course).

The Wire's precursor, Homicide: Life on the Streets, had a similar problem with lack of official awards respect. It finally earned it's only Oscar the year Andre Braugher left the cast, for Andre as a kind of show representative. Braugher didn't expect to win but gave a sweet speech thanking "the ladies in the office" and that was it.

Battlestar may be getting ignored because of the genre and the channel (SciFi), but to ignore both the mind-expanding imagination going into the plotting and the full-frontal counterpoint on the Iraq War in a mistake. The Wire may be hurt by being an East Coast show with non-Hollywood writers (even if three of them are novelists who have written bestsellers). It's not the same as rewarding the guys working in town with you all those years.

Maybe both shows are just under-viewed. Maybe it's The Shock of the New and in a few years time, thanks to DVD box sets. Maybe The Wire will receive it's awards after the fifth and final season, kinda like the valedictory award for Homicide and the Best Picture win for The Lord of Rings: The Return of the King.

I have to be so superficial as to really care. I know, I know, Alfred Hitchcock and Howard Hawks never won competitive directing Oscars. It's only partially about the work; there's a whole slew of political and perception shoals to navigate.

I guess it's just the desire to see the work I feel so strongly about get rewarded, so that more people think to view it, more people with whom to share the pleasures, discuss the details and ambiguities, do the yap-yap.

> Sigh. <

Is their any love more pitiable than that of the unrequited fan?


Anonymous said...

You do know that the "Hollywood Foreign Press" is actually a group of 100-150 unemployed actors in their 20s and 30s who a few times a year write up some cheesy little article for some obscure European website or newspaper just so the article can start with: From our journalist in the trenches in Hollywood...

I have a friend at Sony and one at 20th Century Fox, both who are high up in distribution, and they laugh every year as the Golden Globes continue to be taken seriously even though those are the most easily purchased votes in Hollywood. Both claim you just throw a party for your film or TV show, serve these kids some free wine and snacks, and voila, you've got a Globe nomination.

So now that every studio does this, it's apparently mostly a matter of who buys the best Vodka.

-Mark M.

Mark Netter said...

How do you think that compares to a membership of 6000 industry professionals who somehow tell the whole world what the "Best Picture" is each year at the Oscars?