TV Critic’s Corner

Anatomy of a hate-watch

David Spade and Aubrey Plaza were among the presenters during the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards.
David Spade and Aubrey Plaza were among the presenters during the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards.Amy Sussman/Getty Images/Getty Images

Awards shows.

They’re far too long, they’re aggressively superficial, they show us a vain culture patting itself on the back in a narcissistic frenzy, they’re filled with middling-to-bad-to-awful jokes and sketches, they double as blatant promotional events for the movies, TV, theater, and music that they’re celebrating, they are crammed with too many commercials, they’re often hosted by people — mostly men, and mostly men who already host weekly shows — who were chosen solely for purposes of intra-network synergy, they make you stay up too late and yawn violently the next day, they have become ubiquitous to the point where we are never not in the middle of awards season, they generally don’t have much to do with excellence so much as industry politics, the musical performances are overly lit, medley-ized, and too hyped up, they find their true energy in random moments (a rousing acceptance speech here, a major flub there) that always end up going viral online for much easier daytime viewing, they all usually honor the same group of nominees each year, so that the Golden Globes and the Oscars and the local film critics monotonously juggle identical titles and names, all of whom deliver the same red carpet banter and acceptance speeches all year long, they trigger sanctimony in even the nicest of stars, and they try painfully and embarrassingly hard to bring in younger viewers.


But yeah, I watch ’em. We just had the MTV Movie & TV Awards on Monday, and now we have the 2019 BET Awards on Sunday at 8 p.m.

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.