Red carpets, dazzling gowns, flashing cameras and talented celebrities – the perfect recipe for any good awards show. The beginning of every calendar year is known in Hollywood as “awards season” because of the many awards shows honoring actors, directors, writers and everyone in between for their work in television and film the previous year.
These flashy events broadcasted on live television draw millions of viewers, including many students here on campus. In many dorms, pajama-clad friends crowd around televisions and laptops, crossing their fingers for their favorite celebs.
The 2013 awards season kicked off with the 39th People’s Choice Awards (PCAs) on Jan. 9. The PCAs honor the greatest entertainers in popular culture, and, true to the name, are decided by online voters. Many nominees took to Twitter and Facebook to campaign, harnessing the power of social media to win their awards.
Kaley Cuoco of “The Big Bang Theory” reprised her 2012 role as host, confidently cracking jokes and opening the ceremony with “How I Met Your Mother” actor Neil Patrick Harris in a hilarious skit.
“The Hunger Games” film and star Jennifer Lawrence emerged from the arena victorious with six awards total, including Favorite Movie and Favorite Movie Actress.
“‘The Hunger Games’ deserved to win Favorite Movie,” said junior Casey Tyree, “The movie followed the book well and attracted a wide audience.” She went on to say that Jennifer Lawrence was “great” and embodied the “characteristics” of Katniss well.
Among musical artists, the British boybanders of One Direction had reason to celebrate with their wins in the Favorite Album category for their sophomore album Up All Night and Favorite Song. Katy Perry was the biggest winner, scoring four separate awards, including Favorite Pop Artist and Favorite Fan Following.
“Her quirkiness makes her a really great role model for young girls,” said freshman Alexis Turner-Lafving.
Only four days later was the 70th Golden Globe Awards, which celebrate the best in television and film. As hosts, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were a dynamic duo onstage.
“I really enjoyed watching them be themselves and have fun onstage. I mean, obviously they do a lot of work together,” said junior Molly White. “But it was nice to see two actresses not have that cattiness towards each other that we see so often.”
Instead of being decided by the public, the Golden Globes are awarded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a group of international journalists who devote their careers to covering the United States’ entertainment industry.
Unsurprisingly, “Argo,” “Lincoln” and “Les Misérables” were big winners in the film categories. The ever-controversial Quentin Tarantino went home with Best Screenplay for “Django Unchained,” while Adele was shocked and delighted to win Best Original Song for “Skyfall” (written with Paul Epworth for the eponymous James Bond film).
For television, the plot-hole-ridden “Homeland” won three separate awards, while writer/director/star of the newbie show “Girls,” Lena Dunham, took home awards for Best Series – Musical or Comedy and Best Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy.
The 19th Screen Actors Guild Awards, hosted on Jan. 27, is unlike most awards shows in that they are voted on exclusively by randomly selected members of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), a labor union of over 160,000 film, television and radio actors and performers.
The cast of “Lincoln” nabbed two film awards, Daniel Day-Lewis for his interpretation of the 16th U.S. president and Tommy Lee Jones for his supporting performance as Thaddeus Stevens, an abolitionist. Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role was a no-brainer; Anne Hathaway took that home for her tear-jerking portrayal of Fantine in “Les Misérables.”
“The way [Hathaway] performed in every scene really impressed me,” said freshman Tori O’Leary. “I honestly thought she was the most powerful and expressive character of the entire movie.”
“[Anne Hathaway] did a really good job,” said Turner-Lafving. However, she didn’t get “why [Hathaway] was featured in so many of the ads when she wasn’t in the majority of the movie.”
Bryan Cranston’s unflinching role on “Breaking Bad,” Julianne Moore’s performance of Sarah Palin in “Game Change” and Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey’s leads on the sadly kaput series “30 Rock” all garnered awards from SAG-AFTRA. For ensemble awards, the ever-witty “Downton Abbey” and “Modern Family” won in the respective Drama and Comedy categories.
Sophomore Rayven Davis was excited for “Downton Abbey’s” win, saying that she appreciated the “diversity” that the historical show brought to television today.
The 55th Annual Grammy Awards were televised Feb. 10 and gave out a total of 81 awards; everything from Best Classical Compendium to Best Improvised Jazz Solo. There were plenty of buzz-worthy performances as well, from Taylor Swift’s subtle dig at British ex-boyfriend Harry Styles to Justin Timberlake’s long-awaited return to the stage with “Suit & Tie.” Bruno Mars, Rihanna, Sting, and Damian and Ziggy Marley participated in a tribute to reggae artist Bob Marley. Sir Elton John and Ed Sheeran also partnered up for Sheeran’s single “The A Team.”
The big winners this year included Jay-Z, Skrillex, Gotye and The Black Keys, who all took home three awards each. The self-proclaimed bisexual Frank Ocean not only performed his song “Forrest Gump,” but also won the awards for Best Urban Contemporary Album and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (the latter for the song “No Church in the Wild” with Kanye West and Jay-Z).
There’s only one more major awards show left the Academy Awards: also known as the Oscars, which will be shown on ABC on Feb. 24. The Oscars are the oldest and one of the most prestigious awards shows in existence, and between the presenters, the winners and the host, Seth MacFarlane, it will be a night to remember.
And for that, we’ll have to thank the Academy.