For the unlucky souls who watched the IFTAs last night, they were witness to a truly horrifying sight. Poorly produced, shockingly mismanaged and deeply unfunny, the TV broadcast of the IFTAs reminded of us one thing - they're not the BAFTAs, they're not the Golden Globes and they're not the Oscars. And they never will be. But the real question is why?
It's certainly not down to the hosts. Laura Whitmore and Simon Delaney were, on paper at least, a reasonably safe pair of hands to MC the event. Delaney's been doing it for a few years now and Whitmore is - so we're told, anyway - a decent enough TV personality. The problem was they were miscast in their roles. Trying to force humour from them was a massive mistake.
Whoever wrote the show clearly had no experience writing jokes - or writing itself, for that matter. Colin Farrell even picked up and reacted to one particularly poor line during his link for President Michael D. Higgins' award.
Back to the presenters. Whitmore and Delaney aren't comedians. Neither of them are funny. They may be funny in their personal lives or whatever, but they're not Tina Fey and they're not Ricky Gervais. So trying them to make them be funny is going to blow up in your face almost immediately. Coupled with the fact that the jokes they were given were just painfully unfunny meant it was a recipe for disaster. And what a disaster it was.
Jokes fell flat, the crowd was disinterested and Twitter tore them asunder with glee. It's not their fault, however. They never should have been put in that position.
Was it because of the massive technical issues? The production values on the night were poor. We're taking a guess and speculating that the sound department had mic'd up every table in Double Tree because the crowd was, more often than not, the loudest thing you could hear. People may gripe and say that the audience shouldn't have been talking over the presenters, but that's what happens at award shows like this.
The Golden Globes, for example, is set up similar to what the IFTAs were. Round tables and people move freely through them. People talk, people chat and move from table to table. The difference between The Golden Globes and the IFTAs was that you can never hear the crowd during Golden Globes telecast. It's not because they're not talking, it's because they're not being heard by the mics.
Not only that, the audience there on the night are interested in what the presenters are saying. It was evident straight from the get-go that Whitmore and Delaney weren't going over with the audience. They didn't just bomb. They detonated a thermonuclear device that could be seen 300 miles away.
The camerawork was equally abysmal, coupled with the sound meant for a wholly unprofessional production. You marry this with two presenters who are totally out of their depth and it's never going to end well.
As the night wore on and the drink flowed more freely, the audience became even more rowdy and raucous. It was evident that nobody in the audience gave a shit about what was going on. Certainly nobody watching at home cared anymore, instead choosing to either switch over or tear it to shreds online.
It's a staple of awards ceremonies now, but trying to do a "selfie" and then basing five minutes of shit humour around it just shows how desperate the IFTAs were to make the show seem relevant. But what can be done to make the show better for next year? Should there even be an award show?
Certainly Irish talent in the film and television industry deserves to be lauded and acknowledged, but trying to crowbar in jokes about other awards shows and make clawing references to famous people in the audience isn't how you go about it.
The BAFTAs are often hosted by a respected news broadcaster or television personality. Stephen Fry, Jon Snow, Jonathan Ross - all competent presenters who know their business and work well with what they're given. If Whitmore and Delaney were given material suited to them and the technical issues sorted, the IFTAs wouldn't have been the car-crash we saw.