So I'm reading Al Roker's journal (see left bar), and he's basically bitching about the perceived unfairness of the Emmys, and how they ought to have separate awards for broadcast and cable (are the Ace awards still in existence?) because "if they can say and show and do things we can't, why are they in the same categories? It seems blatantly unfair." And I'm thinking, did we watch the same awards? Because I seem to recall shows like Friends and Everybody Loves Raymond and The West Wing (two of which are on Al's network) winning all sorts of acting and writing and what-have-you honors last night. Maybe his argument would hold more water if cable shows completely obliterated network competition, but they didn't. And for most of us with cable, It's All TV anyway. It reminded me a bit of the false schisms generated in the comic book reading community where "indie snobs" claim that work-for-hire, corporate-published comics can't possibly live up to the quality of creator-owned (and often corporate-published) ones, and self-published efforts are given short shrift at conventions which feature Major Names from the Big Two (Marvel and DC) so the playing field isn't level yadda yadda, and it all becomes an Us vs. Them deal, which those of us who read and enjoy all sorts of comics, both WFH and independent, find just a tad ridiculous. I'm sure this also happens with movies (major releases vs. indie/art house stuff) and sports (big leagues vs. minors) and music (big labels vs. indies) too. It's all kinda silly, if you ask me.
I believe independent entertainment of all sorts ought to be judged by the same standards as its equivalent big-name entertainment. Not lesser standards, not better ones. Do you like it? Do you consider it quality work? Did it entertain or inform or enlighten or touch you?
And I'm afraid I just don't buy the argument that content restrictions automatically equate to a dip in quality and thus an uneven playing field when it comes to awards. We can all cite examples of lowest-common-denominator entertainment that gets its jollies and rakes in the cash by sticking in "controversial" stuff like outrageous and over-the-top sexual situations or violence, and few would consider that an indicator of quality. We can probably also cite examples of, for instance, movies made under the Hays Code or comics published under the Comics Code which managed to put out high-quality fare "despite" those "restrictions" (some might even opine that the restrictions helped because the writers, artists, etc. couldn't "fall back" on cheap titillation or shock). My opinion is, quality will out, no matter the venue or the outside impositions.