I like web series. I like the people who make them, I like to watch them, I like to read about them, and, obviously, I like to write about them. Unfortunately, this appears to be a sentiment the producers of last night’s Streamy awards do not share. Instead of a celebration of web series, the Streamy producers treated us to a roast. Actually, a roast is funny. The Streamys were crude and vulgar, an oft retweeted description of the event, and frankly, insulting to the people who the show was designed to honor.
Last night, the Streamy awards made a mockery of web Television. According to the Streamy website, “The Streamy Awards is the first and most prestigious awards ceremony devoted to honoring excellence in original web television programming and those who create it.” However, segment after segment did nothing but belittle the industry. The presenters had little if anything to do with web TV and either through their own volition or the magic of the teleprompter acted as if the event was beneath them. At one point I wondered if anyone involved in the Streamys actually wanted to be there. Felicia Day, one of the few people for whom a Streamy award has meaning, had to accept her award from a guy in his underwear. No one is going to take web TV seriously, if it treats itself like a joke.
There were numerous production mistakes, which were likely the result of poor planning. Towards the end of the show, the host, who looked like he was seeking the nearest exit, exclaimed that next year he was going to insist on a tech rehearsal. The live stream suffered from constant skipping, there was an open microphone resulting in background chatter, and the official Ustream chat was unmoderated resulting in a takeover by YouTube people, doing what YouTube people do. As for the show itself, well if you watched it you saw them. Honestly, I do not blame the producers too much for the video system crashes, glitches happen, that’s life, and to be fair the ‘vamping’ during the tech difficulties was perhaps the most entertaining part of the show. In fact, free of the structured segments and forced dialog, the host was actually rather funny. Perhaps the show’s failing was less a result of under-producing and more the result of being forced and over-produced.
One of the most common complaints expressed on Twitter was that the show was vulgar and at points, obscene. From the opening monologue and its numerous masturbation jokes, to the five minute bit about vaginal rejuvenation, yes really, to the seemingly never ending porno bit, the show threw itself at the lowest common denominator and started digging. The entire show felt raunchy. I doubt any of the attendees knew just how raunchy the show was going to be. On the red carpet, I saw a lot of open-toed shoes. If they had known there would be so much filth, they probably would have worn boots.
The Streamy awards were a disaster. In the coming days there will be plenty of finger pointing. However, the award show blunders in no way detract from the work that was supposed to have been honored at the event. The nominees should be proud of what they accomplished, even if the award show designed to honor them treated them like a joke.