While awards shows exist across many facets of the entertainment industry, the 2023 Oscars on Sunday concluded the major awards season for this year. These days it’s safe to say that award shows aren’t the be-all and end-all as they once were decades ago. One reason is due to the rise of social media giving everyone a platform to weigh in on their favorite movie or album. Another reason is because the voting committees at award shows still have a long way to go before embracing and recognizing bodies of work across many groups. These reasons along with dwindling TV ratings lead many to believe that award shows are unnecessary in 2023. But, that’s not entirely true. Here’s more insight on why awards shows aren’t outdated.
Why Awards Shows Still Matter
Getting dressed up, being photographed on the red carpet and sitting through an hours-long show hoping to receive an award seems archaic. However, creatives naturally desire acclaim for their work—otherwise they wouldn’t share their talents with the world. Although awards aren’t the sole driving factor to create, they’re part of the incentive to make the best piece of art possible.
This coincides with award shows being a competitive part of the entertainment industry. Healthy competition is needed in any career field to push things forward for future generations. Otherwise, the underlying reason why works of art exist beyond storytelling gets lost. Additionally, art is subjective so these types of shows essentially create a benchmark for what high-quality work is.
In addition to competition, these shows are a space where creatives come together under the roof for one night. This doesn’t occur often as creatives are either in a studio, on set or conceptualizing their next project. Having a space where all facets of the art and entertainment world can mesh offers opportunities for building new connections. In some cases, this could result in creatives who may not have otherwise crossed paths collaborating together. The value that award shows provide creatives who work in the forefront and behind the scenes is quite extensive.
As for fans and viewers, these shows still play a key role in defining pop culture. Moments such as actress Michelle Yeoh’s heartfelt Oscars acceptance speech are emotional to watch. Hence why, these celebrations continue to hold weight in our cultural zeitgeist. Tuning into awards shows can also expose you to other music or movies that you previously weren’t aware of. Ultimately, for these reasons awards shows likely aren’t going away any time soon.
The Imperfects of Awards Shows
All of this said, awards shows are far from perfect. There are times when the voting committees at these shows overlook talent, which often creates controversy and sparks debate on who should’ve won for a particular category. Also, the tributes to creatives who’ve passed away sometimes miss the mark. Most recently, the In Memoriam segment of the 2023 Oscars failed to mention veteran actors such as Paul Sorvino (“Goodfellas”) and Tom Sizemore (“Saving Private Ryan”). Intentional or not, an oversight that like that is major and can leave a back taste in the mouths of the creatives’ family, peers and fans.
Transparency is another aspect where awards shows historically lacked in because voting members tend to make decisions in anonymity. Therefore, it can be hard to understand why the voting committee picked certain winners in categories. However, not everyone consumes a movie or album the same way—so there’s always going to be discourse over what the best piece of work is and why.
While awards shows are still very much necessary in the creative world, there needs to be balance. Showing up to these events or simply watching them at home is fine, but they shouldn’t define how you interact with art. If your favorite film or album of 2023 doesn’t get nominated or win awards next year, that’s completely okay. You should enjoy all art forms regardless if it receives accolades and acclaim.
Overall, awards season feels like a whirlwind every year—for better or worse. The best thing to do is focus on the positive moments and achievements of your favorite creative, while also desiring for the music and entertainment as whole to evolve with the times to avoid becoming obsolete.
Featured image credit: Jaguar PS on Shutterstock