We’ve been so busy here at the Castle, we haven’t updated in a while. The Czar has a 4,000-word jeremiad from Operative B about how dumb we are for the last post we did, and there’s just no getting to it in a timely manner.
The Czar did want to comment on the recent Emmys debacle. The news on the recent awards show switched within hours from One of the Most Exciting and Entertaining Ever to Nobody Watched It.
Naturally, say a lot of people on social media: the entire thing was nothing more than a bunch of B- and C-list celebrities crying about how Donald Trump is the new Hitler. Ratings were disastrously low, and there’s a great deal of hand-wringing about what they’re going to do about it.
Like 96% of Americans (no kidding, by the way, about that number), the Czar didn’t watch a second of it. He’s aware that a large number of minutes were spent insulting or humiliating the President, conservatives, religion, and all sorts of things that were intended to alienate the bulk of America who don’t live on the seaboards. But the Czar notes that viewership was absent from the beginning of the program. If the show was alienating viewers, you would expect an initially high viewership that plunged as ordinary folks sneered and switched off the set.
The Czar would like to offer a simpler explanation to the low viewership: people don’t care about television like they used to.
As others have said all over the media, a high number of the show’s winners and nominees are programs that nobody watches. Do you watch Big Little Lies? How about This is Us? Or Atalnta? Interested in RuPaul’s Drag Race? RuPaul won an Emmy for that, the other night.
Don’t misunderstand—the Emmys should not reward programs just because they’re popular. Many great shows were pulled off networks, solely due to low ratings. That’s just how it is: you get 17 years of Two and a Half Men, but not even a full season of Downward Dog. Quality and popularity are not, as you well know, related.
So here it is: do you want to watch an awards show that spends hours talking about programs you don’t know or care about? Evidently not.
Back in the 1970s, when there were three networks and no original cable television, the Emmys had no other recourse but to nominate and reward programs you knew, often quite well. But today, across cable and satellite, there are hundreds of programs to choose from prime time. And thanks to Netflix and Amazon, some of the best television programming out there isn’t even eligible to be nominated. Grand Tour is a quality, entertaining hit…but it’s not a prime-time show as it streams off Amazon Prime. No awards. That show that Mandarin and GorT like, about the Nazis winning World War II? Nothing.
So why on earth would anyone want to watch the Emmys? Prime time or daytime? It’s an award show that’s mired in the 20th Century, trying to celebrate programs that are too small to attract any enthusiasm or emotion from viewers. And if viewers don’t care about the shows, they sure won’t care whether it’s awarded anything.
And therefore, the ratings continue to plunge.
As a final thought, let’s say the 2017 Prime Time Emmys’ producers decided not to use the intentionally polarizing Stephen Colbert as a host, scrapped all the anti-Trump polemics, and just did an old-fashioned “the viewers deserve this” variety show. Czar’s prediction? Equally small ratings. Because that’s how small television has become.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.