The Gray Line Tour

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 27, 1999

By Leonard Gray / L’Observateur / Febuary 27, 1999

Is it just me or are there simply too many awards shows on television? Wednesday night’s Grammy Awards put that thought in my head.

Once upon a time, there were just the Oscars, also known as the Academy Awards of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Now, itseems, practically everybody has awards shows, and they step all over each other and are used by critics to handicap each other in the competition odds.

For example, winners in the Golden Globe Awards are generally considered shoo-ins for Oscars as well. (Anybody remember Pia Zadora?) But there’salso the People’s Choice Awards, the new TV Guide Awards, the MTV Movie Awards and the Blockbuster Awards.

And then there’s the music industry with the Grammy Awards. And theCountry Music Awards. And the American Music Awards. And the WorldMusic Awards. And the Billboard Music Awards. And the MTV Music Awards.Then there’s TV with the Emmy Awards. And the Soap Opera DigestAwards. And the Daytime Emmy Awards. And the Television Academy Hallof Fame Awards. And you can toss in the American Comedy Awards, theVH-1 Fashion Awards, the Essence Awards and the Kennedy Center Honors and (for theatre) the Tony Awards. I’m sure there’s a few more.A few observations about awards shows – It’s always a huge deal about who wears what to the awards shows when, for the most part, the dresses only look good as they are gliding along a red carpet. Nobody cares after they sit down. And why is it always a redcarpet? Why red? Maybe it’s just my perspective, but it’s my considered opinion that most people fascinated with the fashions couldn’t wear them anyway.

Every year, the announcement comes out that this year’s show will be skillfully executed and able to hold an audience for approximately four hours. Excuse me, but there’s very little on television which can grip MYattention for four consecutive hours except a “TV Land” marathon of “The Dick Van Dyke Show.”The Oscars’ lifetime achievement award has lost a bit of its glitter. Once,it was presented to landmark achievers like Charles Chaplin but now it goes to people whose two qualifications appear to be: 1. They have neverbefore won an Oscar (and there may be good reason for that); and 2.

They’re old.

Getting back to the Oscars though. Now, with the advent of EntertainmentTonight and E! Network, they both go incredibly overboard trying to drum up enthusiasm for the Oscar broadcast, including Geena Davis this year hosting the Oscar pre-show. There was also a pre-show for the Grammys,with Johnny Rotten. To me, only the Super Bowl deserves a pre-show. Justmail them the awards and let them get on with creating their art. Or,whatever it is they do.

Leonard Gray is a reporter for L’Observateur

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