Hollywood is already a lot like high school, and never more so than during awards season. Competition fills the air, everyone obsesses over dresses they will wear exactly once and, as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler demonstrated at the Golden Globes, who sits with who is a matter of extreme importance.
But on a greater level, each awards show is also its own friend group, with all the little in-jokes, rituals and histories that implies. Which ceremony is which clique? On the eve of the Director’s Guild of America Awards, see it all explained below.
Jennifer Lawrence arrives at the Oscars on Feb. 24, 2013
Everyone knows them, everyone wants to be them, and yet, everyone doesn’t hate them. Mostly it’s the glow of superiority cowing everyone into submission, but it also doesn’t hurt to be on good terms with someone you know is going to be successful.
Julie Delpy attends the 19th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards on Jan. 16, 2014
They’ve thrown off the traditional high-school hierarchy and replaced it with a different hierarchy. They celebrate the groundbreaking artists and innovators of their corner so intently that it’s easy to forget most people have no idea who they’re talking about.
Writer/producer Steven Levitan accepts the award for best comedy series for Modern Family at the 2013 Emmys
They don’t take as many risks, but generally feel confident in their choices. They aren’t backstabbers: When they meet someone they like, they want to hang out with them until graduation (or cancelation).
Emma Thompson poses with a straw during the 2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards
Don’t get us wrong – you’ve certainly heard of where they’re from, and if pressed, you could name vague details. But most of the time you’re flying blind. “Your national dish is sauerkraut? The Harry Potter series won best film 12 years in a row? Sure.”
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