t's hard to remember, says William Bibbiani at Crave, but the MTV Movie Awards once meant something. The ceremony was among the first to reward populist — but still quality — fare, like Se7en and Scream. Over the years, however, the show has devolved into a tween-driven infomercial for franchise films like Twilight and Harry Potter, with their respective stars winning nearly every award. In an effort to reclaim credibility, MTV just announced sweeping reforms. Out: Frivolous categories like Best Villain and Best Scared as Shit Performance. In: Weightier ones like Best Gut-Wrenching Performance and Best Music. More significantly, an "academy" of industry insiders — directors, actors, producers — will be selecting the nominees that the public will vote on. Will these changes give the ceremony more respectability?
It's a good move: It's refreshing that the MTV Movie Awards is "trying to clean up its act... at least a little bit," says Sean O'Connell at Screen Crush. Giving smaller films a chance and spotlighting them for the MTV audience is smart. The new categories couldn't make more sense — especially Best Music, designed to reward the successful marriage of music and movies. After all, "MTV did, at one point, stand for 'Music Television.'" The overbearing takeover by Twilight may have "forced the MTV Movie Awards to grow up," but the ceremony will likely benefit.
"How Twilight forced the MTV Movie Awards to grow up this year"
Fan voting is still a problem: These changes will "shake up the nominees just enough to reinvigorate the program and add some depth," says Marc Snetiker at Entertainment Weekly. But "as well-intended and smart as it sounds," how much progress can be made when the public will still be voting on the winners? Sure, a few viewers will cast a deserving vote for The Artist's Jean Dujardin. But with blockbusters like The Hunger Games still ruling the box office and social media, diehard fans "will ensure their Peeta takes the cake." Until MTV "realizes that the road to credibility is not paved with public opinion," that will never stop.
"MTV Movie Awards add new categories, anonymous 'academy' of voters. Will you watch?"
Just give me Hunger Games vs. Twilight: MTV can add or drop whatever category it likes, says Jeremy Popkin at Ology. But the story to watch for at this year's Movie Awards will still be "the knock-down, drag-out bloodbath" between The Hunger Games and Twilight: Breaking Dawn — Part 1. So rather than getting their hopes up for The Artist, viewers should prepare for the inevitable battle between Jennifer Lawrence and Kristen Stewart, who will have to "race each other up a pile of screaming, clawing fans to pretend to be excited to accept a Golden Popcorn statue."
"2012 MTV Movie Awards announce nomination categories"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why is American internet so slow?
- 7 ways to be the most interesting person in any room
- Colorado’s new ‘drive high, get a DUI’ commercials are actually pretty clever
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- Who are the real gay marriage bigots?
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Ukraine's fraught relationship with Russia: A brief history
- Religious liberty should be a liberal value, too
- Sorry Belle Knox, porn still oppresses women
Subscribe to the Week