Sunday afternoon’s Spirit Awards, on the IFC Channel, were a travesty. There has rarely been an awards show on television that was so badly written and executed.
Luckily, no one saw it.
The ratings for the top 150 cable shows for Sunday are now available, and the Spirit Awards are not on it. The lowest rated show recorded was just 96,000 viewers, a basketball game.
It’s not surprising the Spirit Awards didn’t make the cut off. They’ve gone as low as 65,000 in the past. I’ve no doubt this year was in that neighborhood. I’ll update if someone can find the actual number.
Everyone involved with Film Independent should be removed at this point. Hosts Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally — not ever associated with film of any kind — couldn’t have been worse. Offerman was especially bad and offensive hosting the program. They seemed to make up half of what they were saying. Offerman knew nothing about the films or the people attending, had a scowl on his face, didn’t wear a shirt (which I still don’t get), and was dismissive of everything that was going on.
There were many embarrassing moments. But the best one was Kristen Stewart coming out toward the end, identified as chairman or something of the awards. She remarked that she’d never been to the Spirit Awards, had never been nominated in the past even though she’d made a lot of independent films. “Now I see you have to make a good one,” she cracked wise. Ouch!
The big winner for the day was “The Lost Daughter,” which won Best Feature, Directing, and Screenplay. It’s a fine film but certainly not independent as it comes from Netflix, which campaign for it vigorously. “Summer of Soul” won Best Documentary although it was an archival film pieced together from a 1969 film and distributed by Disney’s Searchlight division. And so on.
I really felt watching this desultory exercise that the era for this thing has passed. It’s over. The heyday was ten years ago. Stop it now before it gets worse.