The Logies are like the pretty girl at the party that you couldn’t be keener on until you actually find yourself in a conversation with her. Vacuous, superficial, and ultimately a waste of your time.
Each year, the complaints about the Logies are exactly the same. They run for too long, they’re self-serving, we don’t really know who a lot of these people are, and why must they keep bringing out non-Australian talent each year for us to supposedly fawn over? It doesn’t need to be that way.
There are things the Logies should be doing to make them not only more watchable, but also serve to demonstrate their worth to both the industry and to the viewer.
1. Refresh the award categories
The peer-voted categories alongside the Popular vote has always felt like an ill-fit. The Popular vote tends to cheapen the awards, while the Outstanding (re: peer voted) categories restrict the audience interactivity and would have traditionally limited the number of TV Week magazines that could be sold in order to use the voting coupon. In 2011, with much of the voting moved online and TV Week seemingly distancing themselves from the voting process, the time is right to reconsider exactly what the award categories should represent and what role they play in the Logies. Would it not be best to change the categories so that the awards are primarily peer-voted, with just the Gold and Silver Logies voted upon by the general public?
By making the majority of the categories peer-voted, it delivers a greater sense of integrity and value to the awards. The biggest problem with the Logies is that the awards all seem so meaningless. Is a popularity contest all the Logies are? Is ‘Most Popular New Talent’ really an award that anyone beyond the nominees care about?
One of the aspects that I do enjoy about the Logies is that they don’t just completely ape the US/Emmy style of awards, nor should they. The form, structure, and content of our shows differ wildly. For instance, our series are usually either short run, or they’re series that can produce double the number of episodes of a standard US production. Unlike the US Award shows, we also peer vote News and Current Affairs, Children’s television, sports coverage, and Factual television series. These awards are tailored for our industry and uniquely represent the individual nature of the Logies.
By eliminating the other Most Popular categories, it brings more meaning to the Silver and Gold Logies. Was there really any benefit to Chrissie Swan (for example) being nominated for both the Popular vote Gold Logie category and Most Popular TV Presenter category? Do we need so many categories for popularity ahead of talent (which isn’t to say she isn’t talented)?
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A shift in what the representation of the Gold and Silver Logies represent may also be in order. The Silver Logies can represent the Most Popular Male and Female TV celebrities in the industry, with the Gold Logie dedicated to the Most Popular Program. Is Masterchef more beloved than Packed To The Rafters? That there is a contest.
2. Remind us why we should care!
The Logies should represent not just the best of the industry each year, but also offer time to reflect on the value of the medium and what it means to the viewers. Themed montages, musical tributes, and personal anecdotes go a long way to reminding viewers that TV isn’t entirely a disposable medium.
3. Get rid of the Logies Minute.
These sidebars offer nothing for the viewer beyond awkward banter between TV talent and personality-deprived presenters (re: Richard Wilkins). From a technical standpoint, I’m sure they serve as a good way to break up the awards show, but surely a better way to do this is with actual entertainment such as the aforementioned montages, musical tributes, etc.
4. Re-think the musical acts.
Either schedule Australian musical acts, or find a connection to the TV industry. It’d be hard to believe that Australian bands like Little Red, who had a massive year in 2010, were overlooked in favour of Jessie J. Beyond her lady parts, did she really offer anything to the show last night? The only overseas musical act that would have had any real relevance to Australian TV would have been the currently-touring Justin Bieber, following the spectacle that was his appearance on Sunrise in 2010.
5. May 2010?
Why are the awards for the 2010 TV calendar year being awarded midway through 2011? Why not use the Logie Awards to kickstart the TV year by airing in late January. Heaven forbid that there is a sense of currency to the awards offered.
6. A relevant host.
I like Shane Bourne quite a bit, but I’m baffled as to why he was chosen to host last night. The hosting job of the Logies seems to be a poison chalice, which is a complete shame. An awards show host sets the tone of the evening, reflecting the industry and the zeitgeist. As much as I like Bourne, why was one of the stars of the recently not-quite cancelled City Homicide fronting the awards?
At least it wasn’t Jules Lund.
7. A shorter runtime.
The bane of all of these award shows are the runtime. The Logies (red carpet included) ran from 7:30-12am. Surely a show celebrating the best that TV has to offer should know a little about economy of duration and leaving the audience wanting more. Excessive awards, Logie Minutes, and irrelevant musical acts all contribute to the bloated 4.5 hour broadcast.
While awards shows like this are self-serving, they do offer a chance to remind viewers of the quality material that is being produced, especially by our relatively small local industry that can lack the cultural cache of some of the shows we import from overseas. Instead, the Logies are a chore to sit through each and every year. The Logies deserve better.