Thursday, July 16, 2009

Awards are weird

I'm not a huge TV/film person-- I only ponied up for cable last November for the first time in my adult life-- but I do watch an ample amount of TV, especially during the school year while I grade stacks of papers. This is something of a disclaimer, because I am about to tread into waters in which I'm not completely comfortable swimming.

The Emmy nominations came out, and I was surprised to read that Family Guy has been nominated in the Best Comedy category. This would not have been terribly surprising, except that it is the first animated series to be nominated for Best Comedy since The Flintstones in 1961.

This I don't get. The show is based on the simplest, most elementary kind of post-modern juxtapositional shock jockery. The plot lines are completely stock, a feature I'm not entirely convinced the writers intend ironically, and the endless stream of referential pop culture non-sequitors seems over-played to me. Not to mention the show goes to the "take-a-moderately-funny-moment-and-make-it-funnier-by-stretching-it-out-so-it-isn't-funny-but-then-keep-going-so-it's-funny-again" well too much for my taste. For this kind of compulsive pop-nostalgia, I'll take Robot Chicken any day, in no small part because 11 minutes of this kind of schtick is enough.

I wouldn't care so much, save the fact that The Simpsons was never nominated, even in its greatest stretch of seasons in the early 90's. Or South Park, which is often incisively topical, completely fearless, and spot-on (the South Park where Butters is sent to a Christian camp to rid boys of homosexuality is a work of art).

I suppose if the Emmy's track to public sentiment, the nomination makes sense, since Family Guy seems to be airing on some channel for at least 4 hours a night. For my money, though, I'd rather watch South Park or classic Simpsons.