If there was ever a time when the Logies wasn’t dishing out awards to undeserving winners, we’d like to go there. Seriously, they declared that Housos was the Outstanding Light Entertainment Program of 2013. Even if you factor in that two of the other nominees were Please Like Me and The Voice Australia that’s a bizarre result. Or as the Sydney Morning Herald’s Logies blog put it “one of the biggest upsets” of the night.
The other two nominees, incidentally, were Upper Middle Bogan and It’s A Date, neither exactly amazing but each more thoughtful and better crafted than Housos, a show which eschewed such traditional sitcom features as plots and gags for 25 minutes of mindless shouting and the sort of slapstick sequences that are regularly done better by 15 year olds with smartphones and a YouTube account. Although fending off far better competition to take out this award was, in one sense, an outstanding achievement.
In comparison to this “upset”, Chris Lilley’s Most Popular Actor win troubles us far less – it was teenagers who don’t know better who decided that award, not a panel of supposed industry experts. Ditto Hamish & Andy’s win for Gap Year Asia, which deserved to beat Ja’mie Private School Girl, The Project and two talent shows.
It’s been said before, but it’s a sad fact of the Australian television industry that the Logies remains the most high profile awards ceremony. The AACTAs tend to give their awards to more deserving shows, but they lack the profile that the Logies has. Also, where the hell was Mad As Hell in the list of nominations? It’s been firing for several years and didn’t even get a nomination in one of the Outstanding categories. You really do have to question who sits on the judging panel, and whether they have any sense of humour at all.
I imagine the ABC vote for that award was split between the three nominees. There would be a 10,7 element who wouldn’t vote for the ABC or for Nine and probably voted for Houso’s for a bit of a laugh. Remember when Double The Fist won an AFI over Kath and Kim? Sometimes the industry votes for the underdog.
The omission of Mad as Hell from the nominees was actually the fault of the ABC, who didn’t even put it forward for contention. Each network is only allowed to submit 5 shows for each category, and for Light Entertainment the ABC chose to submit J’amie, It’s a Date, Upper Middle Bogan, Please Like Me and Gruen. Go figure.
The problem is that the ABC makes a lot more comedy/light entertainment than all the other networks, so being forced to pick a top 5 presents them with all sorts of dilemmas. Still, it remains a baffling call to omit their strongest comedy show from the list.
Well, three of those shows are first-timers, so presumably there’d be more pressure on the ABC to put them up rather than an old warhorse like Micallef. And the other two are (inexplicably) popular, so they were probably seen as a halfway decent chance to actually win.
Hopefully next year – when It’s A Date, UMB and PLM have all had second series – Mad as Hell will get a look in.