List: Seven historical reasons why the Gemini Awards are a joke

On August 31, 2010, the 25th Annual Gemini Award nominations were announced.  Less than 24 hours later, the first “Gemini Awards are a joke” columns started coming out.  Here’s Bill Brioux’s column, and John Doyle’s.  I’m sure two more articles will plop forth in the coming weeks.

I’ve come to accept that the Gemini Awards are a joke, myself.  What I almost never see from these “Gemini Awards suck” articles are historical, debatable reasons why the awards lack credibility, aside from the $350 chicken dinner and CTV News’ bowing completely out of Gemini contention after 2006.

While this article isn’t a scholarly tome on the Gemini Awards’ uselessness, here are seven specific reasons why people (well, television critics, but why haggle?) tend to bag on the Geminis.  The list is broken down into six nominations, and…this.  I’m amazed I can pare the list down to just seven entries.

Keep in mind, this list is subjective.  I’m sure readers have their worst-ofs.  Worst-ofs tend to be more prevalent than best-ofs.  I’m just saying, Canadian television, you know?


CODCO
Best Comedy Series
Won, 1989

The only nominee in its category.  Bizarrely, Kids in the Hall won a Gemini that year for Best Variety Program.  If this wasn’t a way for the Geminis to recognize both CODCO and KitH, however convoluted the setup, I’ll eat my hat.  Besides, what else was there to nominate in 1988-89?  Learning the Ropes?


Mosquito Lake
Best Comedy Series
Nominated, 1990

Want to know how weak Canadian television comedy was in 1989-90?  The nominees were this and Material World.  Yes, two nominations and neither Kids in the Hall nor CODCO were listed.  Figure that one out.  I can’t.

Seriously…Mosquito Lake?!  That show wasted the talents of Mike MacDonald, Tara Strong and Dan Redican.  Whenever bad Canadian sitcoms are brought up, Mosquito Lake pops into mind.

Nominating You Can’t Do That on Television or The Super Dave Osborne Show for Geminis in 1990 would have made more sense.  They weren’t Gemini Award material, but neither was Mosquito Lake.  For heaven’s sake, one of Mosquito Lake‘s episodes centred around a dead fridge.


J. Michael Straczynski, Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future
Best Writing in a Dramatic Series
Nominated, 1988

“Hey, wait!,” you say.  “J. Michael Straczynski is a good writer!  He created Babylon 5, and Captain Power kicked ass!”  I should point out how Captain Power was a children’s show competing against adult series.  Mind you, Captain Power was expensive for its time, but still.

I actually hate to put this nomination in a Gemini worst-of.  Captain Power‘s writing was surprisingly sophisticated for its genre.  It just seems weird, in retrospect, to put Captain Power up against Night Heat, Adderly, He Shoots, He Scores and The Beachcombers

…on second thought, that nomination isn’t weird at all.


Rick Mercer, Made in Canada
Best Writing in a Comedy or Variety Program or Series
Won, 2002

What makes Made in Canada‘s 2002 win so bad?  No other shows were nominated in this category.  Made in Canada was literally competing against itself.  Specifically, Mercer was competing against Mark Farrell, Alex Galatis and two Ed Riche entries.  Made in Canada wasn’t a terrible show, but was Canadian television in 2001-02 that fucking weak?

Before you say yes, Trailer Park Boys earned a token Gemini nomination in 2002, under Best Ensemble Performance in a Comedy Program or Series.  Who won that category?  Made in Canada, with three out of five nominations.  I refuse to believe Made in Canada was that good in 2002.


Henry Sarwer-Foner, Made in Canada
Best Direction in a Comedy Program or Series
Nominated twice, 2002

Henry Sarwer-Foner, This Hour Has 22 Minutes
Best Direction in a Comedy Program or Series
Nominated, 2002

Jon Greyson won this category in 2002, for (get this) Made in Canada.  This isn’t a slight on Sarwer-Foner, who has won seven of the twenty Geminis he’s been nominated for.  He’s a decent director, but this is a rare case of the Geminis heavily favouring a person.  At least Sarwer-Foner didn’t sweep his category.


Henry Czerny, Flashpoint
Best Performance by an Actor in a Guest Role, Dramatic Series
Won, 2009

This category made up four out of Flashpoint‘s nineteen nominations last year.  The lone non-Flashpoint nod in this category was Damir Andrei, for Being Erica.  Czerny’s awesome, of course, but how could Flashpoint lose this category?

The Geminis have not shown the same favouritism to Flashpoint in 2010.  Flashpoint has only fifteen nominations this year.  It’s like the show is mortal now, or something.


This, from the 2009 Gemini Awards:

Yeah.  Some Canadian Idol winner, Ron James and Mike Reno.  Try to hold your enthusiasm.

At least this clip balances the audacity of Ron James singing:


I think we all know who the more dignified presenters were.

Cameron Archer

Cameron Archer

Owner/Writer at Gloryosky
Cameron Archer runs this site, and is a freelance arts writer. He has contributed to Canadian Screenwriter since 2011. He is a CMG Freelance member.
Cameron Archer