news·3 min read

Daily Skimm Weekend: Awards Shows' Identity Crises, SCOTUS Update, and Julia Child

Oscars Statues
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Apr 2, 2022

Rolling Up the Red Carpet

And the Award for Most Irrelevant Goes To…Awards shows. For the first time in years, the Oscars had everyone talking. But not for the right reasons.

The Story

Awards shows like the Oscars and Grammys used to be among TV’s biggest nights of the year. Not anymore. Streaming services, the pandemic, and scandals (see: #GrammysSoMaleHarvey Weinstein#OscarsSoWhite) have sunk viewership and ratings.

But wait, I thought the Oscars had high ratings this year?

Not really. They were at an all-time low in 2021 — and this year wasn’t looking better. That is, until Will Smith slapped Chris Rock onstage. The moment set the internet aflame. Overall, viewership went up 58% from last year. But that was still the second-lowest audience ever. And this isn't just an Oscars problem. The Golden Globes didn't even get airtime this year. Interest in the Grammys has also been on the decline. And the downward trend doesn't seem to be going away.

Why?

For a number of reasons. Some blame streaming and other ways new generations are consuming content (think: a little more TikTok, a little less movie-going). Some think the awards themselves have lost their spark(le) and have become industry machines, rather than a recognition of art. And some are pointing the blame at the industry's larger problems — like complicity towards sexual predatorsextravagant freebies for judges, and lack of diversity in front of and behind the camera.

theSkimm

From pandemic woes to onstage foes, this awards season's been through the ringer. TBD if it'll close out that way. Or if drama and controversies can finally stop overshadowing genuine talent. Because if outbursts are all that awards shows have going for them for relevance, that’s not a strong position to be in.

PS: ‘The Slap’ didn't come out of nowhere. Check out our latest episode of “Pop Cultured” for what led to that moment. And what's in store for tomorrow's Grammys.

Bookmark'd

The weekend means more time to do the things you love. For many of us, that’s reading. But we can’t Skimm it all for you. So instead, we’re giving you a look at the reads we’ve saved, texted, and emailed to our friends…


The True Crime-Obsessed Philanthropists Paying to Catch Killers…when cases go cold, these deep-pocketed donors help police stay on the trail. 

How an Ivy League School Turned Against a Student…an in-depth look at the clash between UPenn and Mackenzie Fierceton, a student whose complicated past raised big questions. 

What Is Type II Fun?…yes, there are different kinds of fun. And, no, you’re probably not getting enough of it.

Downtime

Boeuf BourguignonQuiche LorraineFrench Onion Soup. All dishes adored by Julia Child. Nearly 20 years after the cultural and culinary icon’s death, she’s back in the spotlight thanks to a small-screen renaissance. Think: the documentary “Julia,” the cooking competition “The Julia Child Challenge,” and a new HBO Max drama, “Julia,” which premiered this week.

Oh, and if you want to take your cooking to another level, try whipping up one of her glorious dishes. (See: Any of the above. Or, another fave, Julia’s cheese soufflé.) Bon appétit.

Eyes On

Next week, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court is up for a Sen. Judiciary Committee vote (April 4). Then there’s a series of procedural votes, and finally a confirmation vote (which could happen late next week). KBJ’s likely to get full support from Democrats. But one big question remains: How many Republicans will vote “aye?”

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