This week, The Guardian asked why the Logies is still Australia’s only dedicated television award.
The Logies might make you cringe, but they’re not the problem, they’re a consequence. If we were the States, or the UK, who churn out enough content to warrant multiple awards shows, however unnecessary, then I’d say – why not?
But this is Australia, and our television industry is a tiny, underfunded blip that’s only now cottoning-on to a Golden Age that started 15 years ago.
A bit of honesty here – we can list diverse voices within Australian fictional programming on one hand, maybe a few fingers into the second, if we’re lucky. If we were to actually create a dedicated Emmy-type ceremony, I honestly believe that whoever decides the nominations would have a hard time filling every category.
Let’s think of which current shows on offer might qualify for this more respectable awards show: Wentworth, Glitch (I guess), The Family Law, The Principal, and maybe No Activity? Redfern Now is over. The Slap and Puberty Blues are long gone. 800 Words is nominated in both the popular and industry-voted categories. How do we make a decision on that one?
Side note - who gets to decide what’s respectable? Sorry to jump on The Guardian again, but why is Puberty Blues in a different league to Offspring? As far as I’m concerned, nothing happened in Puberty Blues, and great art direction does not make a great TV show. Does that mean if we were to create another awards show, Offspring wouldn’t get nominated? Plenty of Australian’s consider Offspring to be a far better show than Puberty Blues. I’m so confused.
Whether we want to admit it or not, the Logies does have a respectable arm that has celebrated diverse programming (where Redfern Now, The Slap, Wentworth and the like, have all picked up awards), and there are an equal amount of industry-voted awards (Outstanding) to publicly voted awards (Best). Thirteen a piece. Just because everyone’s obsessing over the Gold Logie, doesn’t mean you have to.
Would a show like Desperate Housewives (if made in Australia) end up on the blacklist? The Emmy’s often flicked it a few nominations, despite its status as a lower-tier show. Or what about Jim Parsons, from the much-maligned The Big Bang Theory and his four gold statuettes?
If naysayers were asking for the Logies to 86 their industry-voted categories and become purely a People’s Choice Awards-type deal, then perhaps we need a dedicated awards ceremony for critically revered content. It’d be a short ceremony, but at least that’d make a bit more sense.
So once again, the Logies are not the problem. The onus is on the funding bodies, the production companies, and the networks – not on some awards show run by TV Week, or any hypothetical awards show reserved for those who’ve seen Redfern Now.
Let’s stop pretending our industry is largely diverse and equal and respectable - the Logies are painting an accurate picture, even if the media chooses to focus on the Best over the Outstanding categories. They are reflective of what and how much we produce. If I had it my way, every single person in a position of power in the Australian television industry would be tied to a chair and forced to watch “the canon” that started with OZ in the late nineties, to put what we are producing (or have produced) in perspective.
If you’re the type of person that can’t stand watching the Logies, like me, and obviously, like Clem from The Guardian, then you can do what everyone else does – don’t watch the ceremony, and find out who won the most Outstanding categories the following day.
Let’s fix our content problems before we worry about the bloody Logies. We’ll get our respectable awards show once our industry deserves it.