TV This is What a Writers’ Strike Looks Like
posted by January 9 at 10:39 AMon
Did anyone else happen to catch last night’s television broadcast of the People’s Choice Awards? Oh my god.
Toronto Star columnist Vinay Menon lays it out well:
With no red carpet, no live audience, no attending celebrities and no reason for host Queen Latifah to be as giddy as she was, the broadcast had the look and feel of a cable-access retrospective. CBS promised a “newsmagazine” approach. We now know what this means: clips, taped acceptance speeches, asinine questions from the People and, most bizarrely, a musty glut of “highlights” from previous telecasts.
It’s as if some executive suddenly stood up during a sombre planning meeting and triumphantly declared, “I’ve got it! We can’t actually have a show this year, right? But we could just replay bits from previous years!” And then somebody else chimed in, “Also, let’s get Queen Latifah to routinely break into song for no apparent reason! And let’s make sure all the taped speeches induce mass narcolepsy!”
From Katherine Heigl to Reese Witherspoon, from a mute Robin Williams to a cue-card using Joaquin Phoenix, the speeches were delivered with all the spirit and energy of political hostages. And let’s not even get started on Queen Latifah. Was she rapping? Doing research for an upcoming operatic role? Trying to be funny? Or just heavily medicated?
Who knows but the People should definitely consider a class-action suit for hosting negligence.
True, true, and true. It was one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen on television. Despite being royalty, Queen Latifah worked her ass off, in all directions. If a winning movie or actor came from or took place in Britain, Latifah announced the name in a kicky Cockney brogue. For every category, Latifah came on with a level of enthusiasm typically reserved for lottery wins. It was just her and the camera and she effing went for it, to everyone’s detriment.
More than anything, it reminded me of the Simpsons episode where Springfield bans television so Krusty the Klown commences 24-live broadcasting from a scrappy outpost, eventually just dancing wearily before the camera saying “Hey HEY! Hey HEY!”
If anyone else lived this nightmare, please share your experience in the comments. I’m still kind of freaked out, and need commiseration.