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Posted at 05:12 PM ET, 01/11/2012

From the People’s Choice Awards to the Oscars: An awards season primer


The Oscar statuettes — what you get at the awards season finish line. (Jemal Countess - GETTY IMAGES)

With the CBS broadcast tonight of the People’s Choice Awards — which, if it’s anything like last year’s, may feature Taylor Swift, bad Queen Latifah jokes and the distribution of CVS gift bags to random fans — the awards show-watching season officially begins.

Yes, it’s that time of year when we stare, begoggled, at red carpet photo after red carpet photo, listen to generic acceptance speech after generic acceptance speech and, at least once, yell at our televisions because the snubbing of [insert name of beloved actor, musical artist, film or TV show here] is an affront to all things decent and sacred.

Admittedly, the mass statuette dissemination can get a bit overwhelming for those who have not been preparing for this moment for months by viewing YouTube clips from past Oscar ceremonies and memorizing the guidelines for voting in the Critics’ Choice Awards.

For those feeling out of awards show shape, I have written this primer that covers eight of the major self-congratulatory affairs that await us over the next two months. Read this, then run four laps around the track while reciting all of this year’s Golden Globe nominees in the mini-series or motion picture made for television categories. Then you'll be semi-ready for the “And the winner is ...” marathon ahead.

The People’s Choice Awards

Date: Jan. 11

Who votes for these again? Online voters. Kind of. It’s all explained here.

Will it be broadcast on television?: Yes, live at 9 p.m. on CBS.

On a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is not at all and 10 is Break the Internet, how much will it be tweeted about? I’ll say 7.5.

Do I need to pay close attention to the red carpet fashion?: Let me put it this way: Have you ever heard someone say, “I want to get a dress like that one Kristen Stewart wore to the People’s Choice Awards”? There’s your answer.

How important is it? It’s very important, as long as the words “very important” appear in italics, “quotes” or “both.”

On a watchability scale of 0 to 10, where 10 is totally valuable TV time and 0 is the equivalent of awards-show waterboarding, where does this rank? I’d say 1. I should also note that I have an extremely high threshold for awards show pain, so take that under advisement.

Bottom line: Watch live, DVR or skip?: Skip, then read about it here. You’ll sit through fewer promos for host Kaley Cuoco’s “Big Bang Theory.” (This post has been corrected to reflect that Cuoco is this year’s host.)

The Critics’ Choice Movie Awards

Date: Jan. 12

Who votes for these again? Members of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

Will it be broadcast on television?: Yes, live at 9 p.m. on VH1.

On a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is not at all and 10 is Break the Internet, how much will it be tweeted about? 5. But that number could rise to 7 if Bieber shows up again wearing silly glasses and a fake mustache.

Do I need to pay close attention to the red carpet fashion?: Not really.

How important is it? Not very, unless you’re an awards season prognosticating obsessive.

On a watchability scale of 0 to 10, where 10 is totally valuable TV time and 0 is the equivalent of awards-show waterboarding, where does this rank? Around 6. It usually ends on time, so that’s a plus.

Bottom line: Watch live, DVR or skip?: DVR.


Angelina Jolie at last year’s Globes. (Jason Merritt - GETTY IMAGES)
The Golden Globes

Date: Jan. 15

Who votes for these again? Members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, otherwise known as the Fraternal Order of Europeans in Favor of Giving Ricky Gervais Awards Show Hosting Jobs.

Will it be broadcast on television?: You haven’t heard via one of the umpteen promos airing on NBC? The answer is yes, beginning at 8 on the peacock network. (Red carpet arrival shows begin at 5 p.m. on E! and at 7 on NBC.)

On a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is not at all and 10 is Break the Internet, how much will it be tweeted about? 10. 11 if Ricky Gervais gets into a fistfight with an A-lister.

Do I need to pay close attention to the red carpet fashion?: Yes. This is the first fashion-significant show of the season.

How important is it? In the wide scheme of life, not at all. For predicting Oscar winners, only mildly. For the purposes of providing fodder for snarky Facebook status updates, highly.

On a watchability scale of 0 to 10, where 10 is totally valuable TV time and 0 is the equivalent of awards-show waterboarding, where does this rank? Around an 8. Even if it’s bad, it will probably be a talker.

Bottom line: Watch live, DVR or skip?: Watch live.

The Screen Actors Guild Awards

Date: Jan. 29

Who votes for these again? Members of the Screen Actors Guild. So really famous movie stars and as-yet-undiscovered talents with SAG cards.

Will it be broadcast on television?: Live at 8 p.m. on TNT and TBS. (E! red carpet arrivals will air at a time TBD, most likely 6 p.m.)

On a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is not at all and 10 is Break the Internet, how much will it be tweeted about? 7.

Do I need to pay close attention to the red carpet fashion?: Can’t hurt, especially if you plan to post insightful comments on fashion and entertainment blogs (like this one) the next day.

How important is it? Somewhat, in that it often suggests which actors have the most support from Oscar voters.

On a watchability scale of 0 to 10, where 10 is totally valuable TV time and 0 is the equivalent of awards-show waterboarding, where does this rank? 7. It’s not offensively inane, but it can be a little dull if you’re not super invested in the winners. On the plus side, there aren’t that many categories.

Bottom line: Watch live, DVR or skip?: DVR.

The Grammy Awards


Lady Gaga, walking the Grammy red carpet Mork from Ork-style. (Chris Pizzello - AP)

Date: Feb. 12

Who votes for these again? Members of the National Recording Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Will it be broadcast on television?: Live at 8 p.m. on CBS. Red carpet arrivals will be broadcast on E!

On a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is not at all and 10 is Break the Internet, how much will it be tweeted about? 9. 12 if Beyonce and Jay-Z show up with Blue Ivy.

Do I need to pay close attention to the red carpet fashion?: Lady Gaga showed up on the red carpet last year in an egg. An egg! Of course you should pay attention.

How important is it? To musical purists, not at all. To album sales, often important. To pop cultural conversation, important

On a watchability scale of 0 to 10, where 10 is totally valuable TV time and 0 is the equivalent of awards-show waterboarding, where does this rank? 9. When the performances are solid, it rises to level 10.

Bottom line: watch live, DVR or skip?: Watch live.

The Independent Spirit Awards

Date: Feb. 25

Who votes for these again? Members of Film Independent, aka anyone willing to pay $95 to join.

Will it be broadcast on television?: Yes, the pre-taped ceremony airs on IFC that same night at 10 p.m.

On a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is not at all and 10 is Break the Internet, how much will it be tweeted about? 4, maybe 5.

Do I need to pay close attention to the red carpet fashion?: The Spirits are super-casual. Which is nice, but not hugely fashion-analysis-worthy.

How important is it? It’s important to awards season fanatics and movie lovers, mostly. Oh, and dues-paying members of Film Independent.

On a watchability scale of 0 to 10, where 10 is totally valuable TV time and 0 is the equivalent of awards-show waterboarding, where does this rank? 6. It’s pre-taped so things move along at a good clip. But there’s also less sense of live-television danger.

Bottom line: watch live, DVR or skip?: DVR.

The Razzie Awards

Date: Feb. 25

Who votes for these again? Members of the Golden Raspberry Award Foundation, aka people who love to snark on crummy movies and are willing to pay $40 for a starter membership that allows them to do so in a more high-profile manner.

Will it be broadcast on television?: Sadly, no, though the Razzie organizers have been trying to make that happen.

On a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is not at all and 10 is Break the Internet, how much will it be tweeted about? 6, maybe.

Do I need to pay close attention to the red carpet fashion?: That would be a no. This is more of a community theater type of affair. And we mean that in a good way.

How important is it? Important to lovers of movie-bashing. Also important to media outlets if Sandra Bullock shows up.

On a watchability scale of 0 to 10, where 10 is totally valuable TV time and 0 is the equivalent of awards-show waterboarding, where does this rank? It’s not on TV. But if you’re there live, it’s actually a pretty entertaining 8 or 9.

Bottom line: Watch live, DVR or skip?: Not a relevant question ... yet.

The Academy Awards


Last year’s best picture moment. (Mark J. Terrill)

Date: Feb. 26

Who votes for these again? Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, aka the Hollywood elite.

Will it be broadcast on television?: Uh, you could say that. ABC’s arrivals show and marathon broadcast begins at 7 p.m. E!, TV Guide Channel, etc. will kick off red carpet shows prior to that.

On a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is not at all and 10 is Break the Internet, how much will it be tweeted about? 10. 13 if an f-bomb gets dropped.

Do I need to pay close attention to the red carpet fashion?: If you care even a tad about clothes, celebrities or both, then yes.

How important is it? As absurd as it sounds to call any trophy show important, this might be the one that qualifies as such.

On a watchability scale of 0 to 10, where 10 is totally valuable TV time and 0 is the equivalent of awards-show waterboarding, where does this rank? Depends on the year, but given the conversation and media coverage it generates, I’ll go ahead and say 10.

Bottom line: Watch live, DVR or skip?: Watch live while DVRing.

By  |  05:12 PM ET, 01/11/2012

Categories:  Oscars | Tags:  Awards Season

 
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