Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Logies: Still relevant if you pretend it's 1982

Yesterday the nominations for the Logies were announced. Yep, I'm sure you set your calender by it.

Back when I was 10 I thought the Logies were great. I cared who won the Gold Logie, and thought it was great when the "young" Daryl Summers won to finally end the streak of victories by oldies like Bert Newton, Mike Walsh and Graham Kennedy.

But back then I also cared whether The A Team would be able to help break up an international drug cartel with nothing but a vacuum cleaner and a bicycle (easily converted into a Sherman tank).

In short I grew up, and I left the Logies well behind. I can't recall watching one since Andrew Denton hosted - and even then I only watched to see what he said at the start, and then switched over to whatever.

The fact is they are a joke - a popularity contest trying desperately to look like it cares about quality.

In their defence, over the last few years they have given more prominence to the "outstanding" categories that are voted on by member of the industry rather than the "popular" categories that are voted on by readers of TV Week (or its website).

One of the nice things about having the two categories is that it highlights that what is popular is usually crap.

Take the nominations for Most Popular Actress:
Silver Logie — Most Popular Actress
Rebecca Gibney (Packed To The Rafters, Channel Seven)
Jodi Gordon (Home And Away, Channel Seven)
Simmone Jade Mackinnon (McLeod's Daughters, Nine Network)
Kate Ritchie (Home And Away, Channel Seven)
Kat Stewart (Underbelly, Nine Network)

Now let's compare with the "outstanding actress" category:
Silver Logie — Most Outstanding Actress
Julia Blake (Bed Of Roses, ABC1)
Rebecca Gibney (Packed To The Rafters, Channel Seven)
Kat Stewart (Underbelly, Nine Network)
Claire Van der Boom (Rush, Network Ten)
Madeleine West (Satisfaction, Showcase)

only 2 make it in both categories.

What about the blokes?
Silver Logie — Most Popular Actor
Gyton Grantley (Underbelly, Nine Network)
Todd Lasance (Home And Away, Channel Seven)
Mark Priestley (All Saints, Channel Seven)
Ian Smith (Neighbours, Network Ten)
Erik Thomson (Packed To The Rafters, Channel Seven)

compared to:
Silver Logie — Most Outstanding Actor
Dustin Clare (Satisfaction, Showcase)
Vince Colosimo (Underbelly, Nine Network)
Gyton Grantley (Underbelly, Nine Network)
Callan Mulvey (Rush, Network Ten)
Damian Walshe-Howling (Underbelly, Nine Network)

Only one in both categories - and that was from Underbelly - easily the most watched show last year.

The awards do highlight as well some interesting facts - like that most people see "Sunrise" as Light Entertainment, or that "Reality Program" now means game show (Idol, So You Think You Can Dance etc etc), whereas real life is classed as "Factual" (Border Security, RPA etc).

I have only one thing to say though about the "outstanding" programs. We obviously do not have many good sports telecasts, because Seven has been nominated for its telecast of the Beijing Olympic Games. All I know is that if it gets an award for that travesty, I will personally post a slow motion montage of me vomiting in reaction with some Celine Dion music playing in the background. If not showing Steve Hooker winning Gold for the Pole Vault live is what now constitutes outstanding sport coverage then we might as well throw in the towel and admit defeat right now.

But at least that discussion is one you can argue about. You can't argue about who is the most popular, because it just is - it's not up for debate. Pretty much all you have to do is look at the ratings to know which is the most popular. And anyway, what can you say afterwards - "Oh that show wasn't the most popular it only won because more people voted for it than any other show..." err

But comparing the quality of Underbelly with Packed to the Rafters is a much more interesting debate. Both do what they do well, both are excellent in their own way. It comes down to opinion. And let's be honest that's what makes awards fun - the subjective nature of it. It's why I do an "Oscar is always wrong" thread. It's why I don't do posts trying to argue that The Dark Knight wasn't the most popular movie of last year. But the best movie? Now there's an argument worth having.

So if they want to make the Logies relevant to anyone over the age of 14, ditch the popular categories (oh keep the Gold Logie if you must), and replace every "popular" category with "outstanding".

Now I know it won't happen, because the Logies over their entire history have been guided by one rule - rewarding the incompetent and puerile.


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