BBad Artist





Inside of three weeks comes the Super Bowl of entertainment: the Oscars. Sometimes bashed, somewhat broken, the Oscars still command by far the most attention of any award show. Last year’s Oscar broadcast drew 37.6 million, compared with 12.4 million for their smallscreen counterpart, the Emmys.

But if you mixed film and television in the same awards competition, you might find that TV is more deserving of accolades. Call me biased over here at Variety On the Air, but if I were putting together a personal film-TV top 20 from the past year in under 10 minutes, it might look something like this. (TV shows in italics.)

The Oscaremmys
1) “Breaking Bad”
2) “Friday Night Lights”
3) “Beginners”
4) “Parks and Recreation”
5) “Downton Abbey”
6) “The Artist”
7) “Moneyball”
8) “Justified”
9) “Louie”
10) “The Hour”
11) “50/50”
12) “Martha Marcy May Marlene”
 13) “Hugo”
14) “A Separation”
15) “Treme”
16) “Homeland”
17) “The Big Bang Theory”
 18) “The Descendants”
19) “Boardwalk Empire”
20) “Community”

Don’t get too caught up in the line-by-line rankings. Like I said, this was a quick-and-dirty list, and I already want to start tinkering. In any case, we all have our idiosyncracies, so no one’s picks would be the same as these.

The point is: TV more than holds its own, taking 12 spots in the top 20, seven in the top 10 and four in the top five. Overall, I’d think many connisseurs of both film and TV would have similar balance, whichever projects they picked. I have trouble seeing the case that film had a better 2011 than TV.

Am I comparing apples and orangutans? Perhaps. TV gets hours and hours to tell its stories, film gets two, three at most. But what we’re talking about with these award shows, really, is appreciation. And so when you think about it, it’s more than a little weird, or at least unfortunate, that TV is so much less appreciated than film by awards viewers.