Everyone is talking about whether or not host Ricky Gervais has been banned from future Golden Globe broadcasts, or if he should. Who cares? Here are 10 things that really should never appear on any awards show again.
Yes, this is the season for awards shows, which culminates with the Oscars at the end of February. But all the broadcasts are too long, formulaic, and lacking surprise to be palatable. And yet we all watch them anyway. Getting rid of hosts like Gervais, who at least added a bit of misanthropic danger to the proceedings, won't help make them any better. But if award show producers want to enliven the proceedings—and boost ratings in the process—here are 10 other things we could all do without.
Thanking People We Don't Care About: The audience at home does not care about a winner's agent, producer, hairstylist, high school drama coach, or the lady who was nice to him once in the supermarket. Winners are only allowed to thank people whose names we know, like other famous people. Also, "God" counts as one of the beings we don't care about.
Telling Your Kids to Go to Bed: This actually goes for any hackneyed acceptance line or gesture. Also on the list: fumbling for your list of people to thank, saying how shocked you are, thanking all the other nominees, or saying you don't know what to say. We all know you've been thinking about this minute for months. Just be honest and give the speech you've been reciting in front of the mirror since you were nominated, and please try to make it vaguely interesting and original.
Presenter Banter By Anyone Other Than Comedians: If Steve Carell and Tina Fey want to come up with a little punchy something or other before they present Best Screenplay, then that's fine. But when producers try to convince some staid musician or otherwise humorless celebrity to tell a joke before they get to opening their envelope, the only thing you're going to get is awkwardness. Listening to them babble is already painful enough.
Stylists: No celebrity walking the red carpet should have a stylist. They should have to go to the store, find a dress themselves, and pay for it. That way what they're wearing will be a reflection of who they are and they can be judged and mocked for it. There need to be more fashion disasters. And if they insist on having a stylist, they should say, "I'm wearing Armani picked out by Rachel Zoe," so that if it's ugly, we know who to blame and ridicule.
Going into the Audience: The host belongs on stage, not in the audience interacting with the people sitting on the aisle. This goes one of two ways: It's either spontaneous and incredibly uncomfortable, or so rehearsed that its seeming spontaneity is exposed for what it really is—just another tired awards show machination.
The Shoe Cam: We have accepted that red carpet coverage is going to be nothing but a series of commercials for luxury designers we can never afford and Giuliana Rancic's clavicles, but the "shoe cam," especially installed so we can see what celebs have on their feet, seems like it was invented in some version of hell where you wait in an endless line for Magnolia cupcakes.
Jack Nicholson Reaction Shots: Yes, we get it, Jack Nicholson is inexplicably cool and possibly drunk. He usually laughs or grimaces or makes a funny face. But we've seen them all before. Can't you show Ryan Reynolds looking smug, Amy Adams looking gorgeous, Christian Bale looking like a mental patient, Tilda Swinton looking like a space alien from the planet Rangor, or Angelina Jolie's lips looking freshly glossed?
Blatant New Project Promotion: If you pick someone to open an envelope at an awards show, identify the person with work they've done in the past. Having someone hand out the award for Best Lighting Design because they are the "star of future blockbuster Transformers 9" just doesn't cut it.
Animated Characters Presenting Awards: Oh, look, there are cartoons at the awards show! How fun! Please. This looks about as cutting edge as Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. Unless we're going to see those blue things from Avatar have a ponytail orgy on stage, we are not interested.
Montages (Except the One of Famous People Who Died): Montages are self-congratulatory, overly indulgent, and boring. We do not enjoy them. Please cut it out with the montages and show us something we have never seen before rather than stale old clips. We'll accept that we are stuck with the montage of people who have passed away over the last year, especially because we love to see who gets the most applause. Frankly, it's refreshing that people are being judged by their peers even after death.
[Photo of Gervais, top, via Getty Images]