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Notebook: An alternative approach to awards

NBC

By Proma Khosla, Daily Arts Writer
Published December 5, 2012

Ron Swanson once said, “Awards are stupid. But they’d be less stupid if they went to the right people.”

I have toyed with this perfect ideology for years as I find myself overly invested in an addiction to Hollywood award shows — every year I get excited for the awards season, from Emmys to Oscars, and every year I face disappointment as the voters and I disagree.

“Well, the Academy is stupid,” my friends and I will say to each other, as we take Amy Poehler’s latest failed nomination more personally than she did herself. “They just don’t understand.”

That may be a classic sore-loser response, but it’s the basis of Ron F***ing Swanson’s Great Awards Epiphany. I wouldn’t think the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences were stupid if they awarded all my favorite shows, would I? With that in mind, and with a few too many cups of tea consumed, I decided to create my own awards for television shows — not just this season, but throughout my life. I have named them, most humbly, the Promys.

Best Holiday Episode

“The Office,” season three, episode 6, “Diwali”: This is a nice way to disclaim at the beginning of the Promys that I am completely and 100-percent biased. “Diwali,” written and directed by my spirit animal, Mindy Kaling, shows the Dunder Mifflin gang going to Kelly Kapoor’s (Kaling) family celebration of the Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.

Last year, I wrote a paper on how this episode doesn’t try to be a lesson in culture but immerses the audience in Diwali celebrations as if they are normal for everyone. Despite the misleading title, this episode is still about these characters and their interactions, with Kaling’s brilliant portrayal of Indian celebrations as vibrant background.

Most Rewatchable Episode of Anything Ever

“Parks and Recreation,” season three, episode 14, “The Fight”: The title of this award is pretty much dooming me to dissent from our readers, but let me make my case. “The Fight” is a comedy acting powerhouse. Look no further than the montage of Pawnee Parks employees interacting drunkenly with the camera crew. Each actor has his or own spin on the disastrous effects of Tom’s (Aziz Ansari) “Snake Juice” liqueur, and the extra attention on Leslie (Amy Poehler) and Ann’s (Rashida Jones) friendship makes it the most rewatchable episode … especially after a night of drinking.

Best Finale

“Avatar: The Last Airbender,” the season three finale, “Sozin’s Comet”: “Avatar” is up there in my favorite shows, but “Sozin’s Comet” ranks at the top of my list of finales because of just how well the writers thought it out. Each part focuses on a different aspect of the battle against Ozai (Mark Hamill), including Aang’s (Zach Tyler Eisen) internal struggle about possibly having to take someone’s life. The best scene may be when Azula (Grey DeLisle) becomes completely unhinged before a spectacular final firebending duel with Zuko (Dante Basco). Unlike “The Fight,” I can only watch this episode sparingly because it takes too much to cope with its awesomeness.

Those are the three I came up with on the spot, but the Promys list goes on. I won’t impose the rest on this world — yet — because we have real awards shows to disagree with. The point, I realized, isn’t who does or doesn’t win a gold statue from some abstract group of allegedly impressive individuals. The point is that someone, somewhere appreciates this show, character or actor for its work. Someone thinks the award went to the right person, which makes it a little less stupid.


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