Here in L.A., award show parties can be a blood sport. We all aim for frivolity at these gatherings, but many of us are so vested in the winners that talking during an acceptance speech can be seen as an act of war. And if we’re hosting, the pressure is on—the wrong vino at your Globes fete could mean no one shows up to your Oscar bash. Relax, you don’t need a Xanax chaser with your merlot, just follow our suggestions for a care-free viewing party.
How to silence talkers:
Chatting and snarky comments are fine during the commercials, and a one-off comment is fine during a break in the action (e.g., “That dress is wretched. She’s high. They’re totally sleeping together.”), but commentary during Tina and Amy’s monologue or the acceptance speeches is not ok; especially when the livelihood of so many in this city depends on who and what wins. Before the show begins, make a toast to awards season — thank everyone who’s come and brought a slab of cheese and, with a smile on your face, inform everyone that long-form conversation is discouraged during the show, but that commentary is welcomed during commercials. Everyone sensible will clink their glasses to that.
How to cut someone off:
Sometimes it’s easy to gulp wine during the show without noticing it’s your fourth glass. Suddenly, your words are as slurred as they are venomous (“That dress ma-makes her lurk like a Vee-neese sausage.”) If that someone is other than you, take action without shaming. As host or simply a concerned friend, stealthily take their glass and tell them you’re going to the kitchen to freshen it (if their glass is pretty full: “I want you to try this amazing merlot.”). If they don’t protest, and realize how drunk they are, dump it in the sink and return with a glass of water: “We have to grab another bottle from the closet, but I got this for you in the interim in case you were parched.” Unless they’re completely clueless, or Courtney Love, they’ll appreciate it.
What to do during commercials:
Talk! This is the time to mute the TV, and the mostly terrible ads, and chat about the Globes or the Rams or international news; whatever. If you’re hosting a small party where you’re anxious the conversation may hit a wall, there’s always time for Taboo (the board game) or Cards Against Humanity (there’s even an online version now).
What to serve:
If you’re hosting, make sure you have wine or prosecco, fruit, vegetables, cheese, and crackers; feel free to ask your friends to pitch in. As the awards begin at 5 p.m. PT, folks will likely be hungry. Stock up on some frozen pizzas from Trader Joe’s; that will fill people up and soak up that wine without costing you a fortune (and no utensils needed). Ask an attendee to bring a sweet treat; maybe some sea salt brownie petites, those amazing peanut butter cups that come in the plastic tub, or even some pieces of dark chocolate laid out on pretty serving dish.
When to shop:
Trader Joe’s is a madhouse during the Globes and Oscars (as is many Ralphs and Gelson’s). Swing by first thing Sunday morning—well, after morning coffee, but no later than 10:30 a.m.—to avoid ripping your hair out before your guests even arrive.