Every time I react passionately to the nominations for any awards ceremony, I have to recognise that I am playing along with the game. I can talk about the Oscars or the Emmys or the Baftas as some sort of monolith, able to point a single benevolent finger at the chosen ones, but they are essentially surveys of big groups of people with different interests and tastes (it may be, though, that it is their similarities that are the problem). Sometimes, they highlight the very best of any given year and are a useful guide to what to watch; more often, they offer a hodgepodge of picks based on politics and fashion. A quick look at the best picture winner at the Oscars, for example, shows that often the winner has not been the film that stood the test of time.Crash beat Brokeback Mountain. Dances with Wolves beat Goodfellas. Forrest Gump beat The Shawshank Redemption and Pulp Fiction.
However, the Golden Globes have lost it completely by managing to not nominate I May Destroy You for anything at all. Michaela Coel’s brilliant television series, about sex, assault, relationships, identity and so much more, is a masterpiece and that is not hyperbole. To omit it from one category would have been careless and a little weird. To omit it entirely seems pointed and that is shameful. Coel has made a series that will stand the test of time and she deserves to be recognised for it.
In the usual way of sporting arguments about nominations, the uproar goes from outrage to comparing what was left out with what was included. Emily in Paris earned a nod for best comedy and best actress for Lily Collins; even a writer on that show pointed out that something about this appearing and not I May Destroy You did not seem right. More nominations seem off than usual this year. Poor films and series seem to have been rewarded for simply existing. But maybe that is what’s going on. It has been a tumultuous year for television and film; this is, perhaps, a reflection of the fact that everyone is wondering what the hell is going to happen next. It feels bizarre, certainly, that awards season is beginning again and whether it’s a glimmer of hope or a shot into the unknown is not yet clear.
There was a positive note. Having nominated only five female directors in its 78-year history, the Golden Globes nominated three this year, who will compete against two male nominees. But surely that should have been the talking point and not the absence of I May Destroy You.
Evil Chucky has the last laugh in Texas
Pity the poor residents of Texas, who were told to keep an eye out for a suspect in a child kidnapping. An alert was sent out three times via email, warning Texans that a five-year-old called Glen Ray had been abducted. The suspect was 28, just over 3ft tall and weighed 16lb. He was said to have red or auburn hair and blue eyes, was wearing blue dungarees and carrying a kitchen knife. It was another detail, however, that stood out – his race was listed as “Other: doll”. The Texas Department of Public Safety had sent out an alert for Chucky, star of the Child’s Play horror movie franchise. “This alert is a result of a test malfunction,” a spokesperson told the San Antonio news station Kens 5, apologising for any confusion.
There is a strong argument to be made that, even if Chucky were on the rampage, at this stage of the past 12 months, it would raise an eyebrow, at most. You have to feel sorry for the poor person whose job it was to test the system, who must have expected to have a little private giggle, all to themselves, for using Chucky and his son as the sample suspect and victim. (A side note: Chucky has a son? How did that work? Is it best not to know?) I can think of few things more nightmarish than reading an official alert that a murderous fictional doll is on the loose, but as mistakes in the workplace go, pressing send, three times, this one is up there. On the plus side, it’s the most I have laughed all week.
What a rollercoaster ride for Taylor Swift
As Americans seem to view litigation as something casual, like small talk, it is little surprise that Taylor Swift is being sued again. This time, it’s by a theme park in Utah called Evermore. The owners are alleging that Swift’s most recent album being named Evermore has “confused visitors”, who have asked if the park is a result of a collaboration with Swift, and that the album has pushed them down search engine results. Swift’s lawyers have dismissed the suit as “baseless”, pointing out that it is unlikely that anyone would confuse a theme park with an album.
I was going to attempt to make a lazy joke about looking forward to Swift’s next album, Chessington, or Drayton Manor, or Lightwater Valley, but as it turns out, during this indie-Taylor-in-the-woods era, all British theme parks sound as if they could reasonably be Taylor Swift album titles. It must be awful for Evermore, the theme park, to suddenly have international attention like this. I believe it is well known in the leisure resort business that the fewer people who have heard of you, the better. Future contestants on The Apprentice, consider this strategy my gift to you.
• Rebecca Nicholson is an Observer columnist