It’s been a long, strange year for the entertainment industry — and it brought with it a long, strange award season, too.
Ever since the coronavirus pandemic forced us indoors in March 2020, Hollywood has tried its best to keep its usual event calendar, resulting in an array of outdoor, socially distanced or, in some cases, completely virtual award shows.
With the (pretty terrible) Oscars now behind us, award season is officially over, and we’re reflecting on the major ceremonies that aired, against all odds, during the past year. Below, we’ve ranked 15 of those events from worst to best, judging them not only on production value and technical excellence, but also on how well they adhered to COVID safety protocols. (Not all of them passed that test!)
In addition to award season staples like the Primetime Emmys and Grammys, our list also features impressive endeavors like the Nashville-based Academy of Country Music Awards, a completely remote staging of the BET Awards and perhaps the shortest Screen Actors Guild Awards of all time, among others. (We’d love to recognize the 74th Tony Awards here, too… but they still haven’t happened.)
Scroll through the list below to see which award show claimed the No. 1 spot, then hit the comments with your own rankings!