Well, Indy readers, winter is coming to a close, giving way to the next calendar season: Award Show Season. Award Show Season is, of course, followed by Midterm Season, which is followed by the Bingewatching Seasons, which are followed in turn by the holy season of Spring Break. After that I’m pretty sure it’s Lent; this is a Jesuit school, after all.
In this piece, I’ll try to give readers a concise overview of some of the biggest films and television shows of the Season – just the hard facts. To be sure, here at Georgetown we all know that Award Show Season – the Golden Globes, the Oscars – is far less important than all the political conflict and intrigue that’s going on this year. Hollywood’s biggest nights are nothing more than celebrations of spectacle over substance, a cesspool of the superficial and the frivolous. That’s why we follow politics; it’s hard, decent work, but someone’s got to do it.
But as it happens, entertainment and politics do have some overlap this Award Show Season. Veep, a political satire television series starring Seinfeld’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus, shows the human underbelly of the Washington elite; the characters may hold prestigious government jobs, but we see that their lives can be just as dull, petty, and tedious as our own. Evidently, Louis-Dreyfus recognized that the only way to star in a show where even less happens than Seinfeld was to choose one set in D.C.
Another new show is Westworld, a cerebral science fiction-western about an amusement park filled with robots. The HBO drama, loaded with violence and intrigue, has been a hit across many diverse demographics, but it does uniquely well with one in particular: your one annoying friend who always loudly explains what’s happening during Game of Thrones.
Georgetown students might also take note of Silence, Martin Scorsese’s new historical drama about 17th century Jesuits in Japan. It will likely win many an award, and play every single month at every church rectory family night for the rest of time.
The Americans, a period political drama, is another great show that could win big this season. It’s the story of two Soviet KGB officers masquerading as a normal family in the suburbs of Washington D.C. The drama unfolds during the Cold War, though if it were set today these two Russian agents would be much easier to catch: they would be the only household in the D.C. suburbs not voting for Hillary Clinton.
The musical romantic comedy La La Land, the title both a reference to its setting of Los Angeles and the state of being out of touch with reality, follows a barista, played by Emma Stone, struggling to be an actress. The movie is basically a lively reenactment of how your relatives imagine your future as they’re asking what exactly you’re going to do with that B.A. in philosophy.
Last but not least, Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams are favorites to win with Manchester by the Sea. It’s a moving, gritty portrait of working class New Englanders that’s been winning huge praise from godless Hollywood liberals. Affleck is traditionally known for his many portrayals of moody men from Boston, but this time he chose to branch out and test his range as an actor by playing a jaded man from a half hour north of Boston.
As a final note, I should say that Award Show Season does come on the heels of the Presidential Inauguration this year, which might be a jarring transition for some people. For the sake of continuity, I recommend you keep in mind that the Inauguration and the Oscars both involve small men made of fake gold.