Awards Season Report Card

MTV News looks back the awards shows that deserved standing ovations and those that left us falling asleep in our chair.
By MTV News staff


Photo: Getty Images

With the end of Oscars season, we say goodbye to awards shows for a few months. The spectacles honored the best in television, music and movies, and each handed out a good amount of hardware. But who put on the best show? Not all awards shows were created equal, and some get the benefit of live performances while some have to rest on the laurels of acceptance speeches.

As the 2011-2012 awards season comes to a close, the MTV News staff has taken a look back at the year that was to give you the breakdown on which shows earned standing ovations and which were just seat fillers.

The Academy Awards
“Another year, another reminder that the Oscars are no longer the can’t-miss movie event they once were. Barring a surprise win for Meryl Streep and a fleeting hour where you thought that maybe, just maybe, ‘Hugo’ would topple ‘The Artist,’ the 2012 Oscars ceremony was a total dud. Yes, it was nice to see Billy Crystal back onstage; no, no one will complain about a cameo from Christopher Guest and friends; and sure, there is nothing that sucks about watching Sacha Baron Cohen spill ‘Kim Jong Il’s ashes’ all over Ryan Seacrest. But those moments are why the Internet exists. As a whole and on its own, the 84th Annual Academy Awards were a giant, predictable snooze fest.” C — Josh Wigler

The Grammys
“The Grammys are kind of like the Pu Pu Platter at the hip Chinese joint at the local strip mall: There’s a bunch of the golden oldies your granny and mom love scattered among a bunch of weird new stuff that the grandkids can’t get enough of. In other words, it tries to be all things to all people while typically turning off most of them. Except this year. The show drew near-record ratings thanks to a well-deserved sweep by Adele, a touching homage to just passed R&B superstar Whitney Houston and a grab bag of performances from the Foo Fighters, Chris Brown, Taylor Swift, Bruce Springsteen, Rihanna, Coldplay, Bruno Mars, Alicia Keys and Bonnie Raitt and that now-infamous messy EDM mashup thing. If that, along with two meh sets from ex-Beatle Paul McCartney and a mystifying one from Nicki Minaj sounds like the weirdest, least appealing festival lineup ever, well… And yet, host LL Cool J set an appropriately somber, not morbid tone for the show while keeping it moving, Jennifer Hudson absolutely nailed her Houston tribute and Adele simultaneously dragged the Recording Academy into the present while serving up just enough throw-back flavor to keep several generations happy.” B+ — Gil Kaufman

The Golden Globes
“There are many things to love about the Golden Globe Awards. First and foremost, it combines the best and brightest from the worlds of television and film, an interesting occurrence because for some strange reason the stars of TV and cinema don’t regularly interact in the awards-show wilds. Second, there is a decidedly more laid-back air to the affair, made possible by the bottles and bottles of champagne that are handed out to attendees from the moment they arrive on the red carpet to the moment they depart. Third, the nominating body for the Globes is the mysterious Hollywood Foreign Press, the membership and qualifications about which no one really knows that much. This year’s award show wasn’t especially full of shocking surprises, but it definitely delivered on the fun factor. Ricky Gervais returned to host and managed to not offend too many celebs in attendance, save for one jab at Madonna that she playfully tossed back in his face; George Clooney and Seth Rogen both made penis jokes and on a more sincere note, deserving Best Actor winner and ‘Game of Thrones’ star Peter Dinklage used his acceptance speech to call attention to an injustice.” B — Kara Warner

Screen Actors Guild Awards
“The SAGs get a lot of credit for their ability to predict the Oscar winners a month or so in advance. While the SAG Awards have rightfully earned their reputation as accurate fortune tellers, actually watching the show will make you wish you’d just Googled the results that next morning. With onstage union talk and no host to keep the show moving, the ceremony this year took its name too literally and sagged.” B- — Kevin Sullivan

American Music Awards
The AMAs kicked it off with Nicki Minaj/David Guetta performing and wrapped it up with Justin Bieber and David Hasselhoff shufflin’ alongside LMFAO. Squeezed in between were performances and awards handed out to stars like Minaj and Taylor Swift, among others. For a show that feels like it’s Cinderella to its Grammys step sister, the AMAs proved that sometimes it’s more fun to have fun.” B — Jocelyn Vena

Critics’ Choice Movie Awards
“Hosts Rob Huebel and Paul Scheer might have dubbed this show ‘the ninth most exciting night in Hollywood,’ and it might have delivered long stretches of snooze-worthy TV, but the CCAs also have us some great, ‘Human Giant’-esque video bits, a live performance from Bob Dylan and Best Supporting Actor winner Christopher Plummer’s onstage confession, ‘I’m completely turned on.’ It was the night’s introductions and speeches, in fact, that made the show an overall winner. Judd Apatow dropped f-bombs, Sean Penn spoke via satellite about the continuing hardships in Haiti, and Patton Oswalt said, ‘There are plenty of nuanced roles for schlubby actors out there. And the ones that Giamatti and Philip Seymour Hoffman don’t take are all mine!’ “B+ — Eric Ditzian

People’s Choice Awards
“For anyone who was wondering if hiring the girl from the ‘Big Bang Theory’ to host an award show was like a bang-up good idea, well then they should watch the 2012 PCAs, again and again and again. (Spoiler: it’s not.) Also, when the biggest headline of the night is the fact that Robert Pattinson presented with a shaved head, well then you might have a dull show on your hands, folks. Seriously, what else even happened at that show?” D — Vena

What awards show deserves the best grade this year? Leave your comment below!

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