By Patrick O’Neill, Staff Writer
The Oscars kicked off this past weekend on February 24 with many big winners. People across the country and the world huddled around their TVs, had Oscar Parties with friends and family, and sat through commercials, speeches, and red-carpet walks for just over three hours. So, the question comes up why do we like watching these awards shows so much? Why are we willing to sit and watch other people’s achievements? Well, we might be able to come up with an answer to this question but first lets take a look at some of the hit winners of the Oscars this year.
Photo Source: https://www.universalpictures.com/movies/green-book
1. Roma – winner of the Best Foreign Language Film
2. Mahershala Ali for Green Book – Best performance by an actor in a supporting role.
3. Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse – Best Animated Feature Film
4. “Bao” – Best Animated Short Film
5. Period. End of Sentence – Best Documentary Short Subject Film
6. First Man – Achievement in Visual Effects
7. “Skin” – Best Live Action Short Film
8. Green Book – Best Original Screenplay
9. BlacKkKlansman – Best Adapted Screenplay
10. Black Panther – Best Original Score
11. “Shallow” by Lady Gaga and Mark Ronson – Best Original Song
Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga performing “Shallow” at the 2019 Academy Awards
12. Rami Malek for Bohemian Rhapsody – Best Actor in a Leading Role
Photo Source: https://www.foxmovies.com/movies/bohemian-rhapsody
13. Olivia Colman for The Favourite – Best Actress in a Leading Role
Photo Source: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5083738/
14. Green Book – Best Picture
15. Alfonso Cuaron for Roma – Best Director
I was personally rooting for Rami Malek and Olivia Colman for their performances—Bohemian Rhapsody and The Favourite were definitely my favourite movies of the year. Good on them for winning.
Anyway, back to business. Why do we enjoy watching awards shows so much and is it negative? Well, Stuart Fischoff, a Professor of Psychology at California State University says in one HuffPost article that it has to do with the fact that we are social animals. We view celebrities as the “top of the pack” and are therefore drawn to them. They are the “top of the pack” because they influence our culture everyday and have an extraordinary amount of social power. It also doesn’t hurt, Fischoff says that they are attractive people and we obviously like that about celebrities.
This attraction to awards shows may also have to do with the fact that we enjoy fantasizing what it would be like to be in the movies or to be apart of such a high-profile group. I will admit that I have thought about what it would be like to be a moviestar many times, attending the Oscars year after year for my movies—and some friends of mine have admitted similar thoughts. Its something we can be united over. I sometimes think that the Oscars is like the Super Bowl for those of us not too savvy with the sports world.
There is, however, one downside to these ideas that we compare ourselves to the celebrities on the Oscars—social comparison theory in Psychology, according to Psychology Today claims that we base our own personal worth on the comparison of ourselves with others, which has some obvious drawbacks when it comes to our sense of self.
In the end though, Awards shows are pretty harmless, and we can connect over them—there’s nothing to worry about. See you next year for Oscars 2020!