The Neal Pollack Guide to Awards Season by the Forward

The Neal Pollack Guide to Awards Season

Image by Anya Ulinich

Awards season is here. I love it so much that I wish I were receiving an award myself. Seriously, I will accept any award, from any ceremony, in any category. “Where is my award?” I will ask, while watching my TV.

But absent some miraculous occurrence whereby I am transported into another dimension in which my career worked out as I intended it to, I will be joining the rest of the masses in watching as millionaires insincerely celebrate one another for months on end. Here’s a guide to help you along the path. May the endless cycle of self-hatred begin anew!

The People’s Choice Awards, January 7. Hosted by Allison Janney and Anna Faris of the CBS sitcom “Mom.” That right there should have told you why you shouldn’t have let the people choose anything. Have you seen what the people were watching? It’s horrible.

The Golden Globes, January 11. Shockingly, the Golden Globes took over my entire Twitter feed, but as in opening day in baseball, results do not always indicate final victory in the ceremonies that matter. These are awards given out by fake journalists. For a while, no one gave a crap about them, then people started enjoying them ironically, then irony became mainstream, and suddenly everyone gave a crap about the Golden Globes again and wanted one. At the end of the ceremony, you wonder why you are still alive.

The Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, January 15. The one night a year when filmmakers and critics put down their metaphorical swords and openly despise one another to their faces. A&E aired this in lieu of an “American Pickers” marathon.

The Screen Actors Guild Awards, January 25. SAG has the bitterest overall member base of any organization except the Writers Guild Of America. On the plus side, SAG does award “stunt ensembles.”

The BAFTA Awards, February 8. The “British Oscars,” otherwise known as “Hollywood stars’ chance to spend a weekend at their London apartment.” Ricky Gervais is probably somehow involved and we have to pretend to enjoy him.

The Grammy Awards, February 8. All the music you hate, rewarded for being inexplicably popular. In the past, big winners have included The Fifth Dimension, Marvin Hamlisch, Toto, Milli Vanilli, Paula Cole and Mumford & Sons.

The Writers Guild Awards, February 14. We’re not bitter that we worked in Hollywood for almost a decade and never got to see a movie or TV show being filmed, nossir. Congratulations to the undeserving winners!

The Independent Spirit Awards, February 21. Formerly known as the “only awards show that acknowledges Richard Linklater’s existence,” now searching for a new identity. Co-hosted by Emmy Rossum and Michael Peña, who were available.

The Academy Awards, February 22. Awards season reaches its apogee as Hollywood rewards whichever one of its prestige movies ran the best publicity campaign. Bonus points go to movies about the Middle East, the Holocaust, slavery, filmmaking itself, or whether or not The New York Times theater critic is out to destroy your pretentious Raymond Carver adaptation. Demerits to entertaining movies that people actually enjoy like “The LEGO Movie,” “Guardians Of The Galaxy,” and the important dramatic work of Kevin Hart. It will not be the same without Joan Rivers on or near the red carpet, or without Jennifer Aniston, the Meryl Streep of her generation, in the winner’s circle. Expect a long, mawkish tribute to Robin Williams this year and, as has been the case recently, way too much Bradley Cooper, the worst Cooper since Gary Cooper.

The Kids’ Choice Awards, March 28. Nickelodeon tells us what the kids are into, like One Direction and whatever garbage Nickelodeon wants to cross-promote this year.

The MTV Movie Awards, April 12. Snarky, sexy, young and cool, the MTV Movie Awards are always a great look into the future of which pop culture icons will become boring sellouts soon. There will probably be several awards given to “Guardians Of The Galaxy,” which is fine.

The Tony Awards, June 7. Some of Broadway will be abuzz when the most fabulous awards show of the year takes the stage at Radio City Music Hall. But the Oscars have stolen Neil Patrick Harris, so this will be the saddest Tony ceremony since “Spring Awakening” won best musical.

The Illuminati Awards, July 17. A secret cabal of mostly Jewish producers and Oprah Winfrey meet with Graydon Carter and decide who will rise in the coming year. Mistakes are made (Taylor Kitsch, Brandon Routh), but but they’re made up for by the Awards’ successes, like the year they molded Adele out of clay and brought her to life with a magical incantation.

The MTV Music Video Awards, August 30. Always known for its outrageous moments, like when Madonna French kissed a dead orangutan and Britney Spears put chewed-up bubble gum on her nipples, and, of course, for Lady Gaga’s “meat panties,” the Music Video Awards are sure to make you feel old and used-up and worthless.

The Emmy Awards, March 26. We are in the golden age of quality television right now. The Emmys don’t always get it right, but overall they are a celebration of the most vital American art form that none of us are a part of in a professional sense partly because of bad management and incompetence, but mostly because of bad luck and where is the Scotch?

The Independent Choice Spirit Academy People Awards, October 26. Anyone who hasn’t yet won an award gets one in this everything-must-go clearance sale. Except for James Franco. He will win nothing this year. The Illuminati have spoken.

Neal Pollack’s next book, “Repeat,” will be published in March.


The Neal Pollack Guide to Awards Season

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