When I was a kid growing up in the suburbs of Detroit with a family that was definitely not into pop culture and movies, I got my entertainment news from small soundbites on Entertainment Tonight for 20+ minutes every night of the week. I rarely watch that show now or any of its offspring like The Insider, Extra, or Access Hollywood. I get lots of entertainment news from a plethora of sources without it. But occassionally I'll tune in --especially around this time of year. I like to hear what people in the heartland are hearing about the worlds of film and television and especially I like to know what they're hearing about awards season. So I watched their Golden Globes day-after coverage with extended curiousity.
Maybe I'm just too old for these shows now but they seem to have gotten more and more manic. Am I imagining this? The news, or press releases rather, are now only about 15 to 30 seconds long (as opposed to maybe 45 seconds to a minute before?) and the editing is much more jarring. The other strange thing? The background music is played at equal volume to the people who are speaking. It makes for a very strange effect where I never know what I'm supposed to be listening to --their catchy jingle or Mary Hart shouting inanities at the top of her lungs with that frozen smile? That creepy but also weirdly genuine smile...like she doesn't have any other facial expression to use. Not creepy spooky like Tom Cruise's pearly white grin. But benevolent creepy.
I knew to expect a lot of Desperate Housewives chatter. I know that's the type of thing that mainstream viewers obsess on. I also knew there would be a lot of fashion coverage --fine by me. What I didn't realize and frankly what really alarms me is that there was almost NO mention of the winners. I watched for a solid hour. The lead in show (don't remember what it's called) and the ET 1/2 hour. They fawned over the Desperate Housewives. They named their Best & Worst Dressed. They fawned over the Desperate Housewives.They got mildly excited about Reese Witherspoon. They fawned over the Desperate Housewives.They drooled on the superstars (mostly Gwyneth Paltrow and George Clooney). They fawned over the Desperate Housewives some more.But they never once mentioned Brokeback Mountain. Not for the entire hour. Reminder: The entire hour was devoted to the Golden Globes!
Is this normal? I found it extremely odd. I mean... I knew that their core audience would want coverage of the Housewives. But not even one utterance of the name of the film that was the big winner of the night? Not even when they briefly showed Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams? If this is a new anti-Brokeback campaign by whichever media company controls ET and its syndicates it was pretty effective. Watching this show you would never ever know that the movie existed, much less that it was the big winner of the night. You would know only that Desperate Housewives was still on, that Geena Davis plays the President of the US on TV, and that George Clooney, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Reese Witherspoon are very famous.