Dark Knight's Oscar buzz has been circling since the first "Why So Serious?" ad. And now that some science fiction television series garnered a handful of Emmy nominations yesterday, people are wondering if this could be the year the red-headed stepchild of the entertainment industry gets a well deserved pat on the back from Hollywood. Sadly, the answer is probably no, because while the buzz is great, signs of blatant disregard for genre shows and movies are still glaring at us from the award show podium. And Hollywood is more than happy to tell us why.
In the wee hours of the morning Neil Patrick Harris (who just so happens to be staring in a fantastic scifi Joss Whedon web series) read off the names for those nominated for Emmys. In a wonderfully fulfilling moment Battlestar Galactica writer Michael Angeli was nominated for Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series. But as the names went on I realized that the whole BSG cast had been passed over, as well as the show itself, for Best Drama. I was pretty shocked, since Boston Legal made the list. Call me sour grapes, but I'm going to have to side with the critically acclaimed religious war epic over watching James Spader try and get laid each week. But on the flip side, Lost was nominated for Best Drama (a scifi victory). Yet Lost still got no love for writing.
And now Hollywood is trying to dash our dreams at seeing a scifi win at the Oscars. People in the know are calling the Heath Ledger Oscar buzz on the internet mere type-clicking for an over-hyped film. Although Leonard Maltin, film critic for Entertainment Tonight, agrees that Ledger's performance was great, with one phrase he casts off the hopes of a million scifi fans as those who don't matter. Says Maltin: "I assure you that the people who are spreading all this are neither Oscar voters nor (Hollywood) movers and shakers."
Other observers claim Hollywood would find a Ledger Oscar creepy. Tom O'Neil, from The Envelope.com, explains, "That's how reluctant Oscar voters are to hug the dead," O'Neil said. "These awards are all about hugs and there's something creepy about embracing the dead."
So the insiders have discredited the internet community as know-nothing buzz-generators, who don't and won't have any impact on whom Hollywood deems worthy of praise. Then they go as far to say that a vote for a well done piece of acting would just be creepy because of an untimely death. It feels like grasping for straws. I wish they'd just say what they meant, that it's an action movie and we just can't be forced to take that seriously.
When is Hollywood going to get it? Scifi writers, artists and all the other indoor kids are the ones that dream of a bigger world are the ones that bring lines to box offices. These people that you continually shove in the back table out of camera's reach at the Golden Globes are the ones who brought you different worlds, fantastic creatures, new ideas and worlds and started dialogues about our future.
When will this continual snub to the scifi industry end? Will something like Cormac McCarthy's film adaptation of The Road open the doors wider because of McCarthy's past award-winning success? Will writers burn out if Hollywood keeps turning its back on wonderfully written series like BSG? Not if J.J. Abrams' Fringe has anything to say about it. Thankfully we still have eager young minds who have found enough success to inspire future scifi contributors, Hollywood be damned.
If the star presence at San Diego's Comic Con is any indication of Hollywood treating scifi with greater respect, then at least we're on the right path. But I hope the day that Hollywood lays itself at the scifi industry's feet and says "I love you," scifi looks right into Hollywood's eyes and says, "I know."