C'mon Hollywood: Cut out the crap and get down to business with the Oscars!
Like many of you, I sat down to watch the Oscars last Sunday against my better judgment and endured the long, tedious misfire of material that flowed like wine throughout. It wasn’t the worst thing I’d ever seen (that distinction still belongs to GREEN LANTERN), but it felt overstuffed with nonsense and short on the good stuff. The nonsense being the lame dance numbers, stretched-out skits, and hackneyed tributes with the good stuff being the genuine reactions from award recipients who were unfortunately crunched under a two-minute time span to eek out something coherent, thoughtful, and real.
The Oscars, as a whole, are an internal affair. The Academy is made up of industry professionals who pick the candidates and vote on the finalists. It’s not a public vote, like the MTV Movie Awards, The People’s Choice Awards, or the most coveted of all, the Golden Schmoes. So, sure, it’s their game. The Academy makes the rules, sets the pace, and does their thing. Does that mean we don’t have a right to complain? Hell no! Why? Because they sure as shit want us to watch the show, right? Otherwise, they’d have a secret ceremony closed off from the public, which could potentially be like this scene from EYES WIDE SHUT, which coincidentally, would be more interesting than what we actually get.
However, the Oscars are a public show, made out to be the most prestigious of all awards shows, complete with special presenters, guests, performances, and the dreaded dance numbers. It’s become more of a circus than an awards ceremony in the last decade or so, with the awards being sandwiched between a lot of ho-hum, drag-ass filler. This year in particular gave way to a “theme” which was akin to pouring gasoline on a campfire, as the theme was movie musicals. As if we didn’t have enough song and dance bullshit to weed through, now it was guaranteed!
And when the moment that everyone is even tuning in to see arrives, which would be the actual announcement and acceptance of the award, the recipient is rushed onstage and given a countdown, as if they’re competing in the Olympics or something, and forced off the stage before they could even hope to articulate a response that is worthy of the award they received. And just as they get on a roll, the band starts playing them off, which is really just rude and classless. It leaves you wondering just what the hell the show is all about to begin with.
The show is structured with so much bullshit filler that everyone seems to bitch about the next day anyway, so why do they continue to beef it up? Do we really need to hear every nominated song “resung” to us live? Do we need to see song and dance numbers to remind us of the movies that are nominated (or worse yet, a rehash of dance numbers from older films, like this year’s CHICAGO crap)? Do we need to see skit after skit crash and burn, while stretching out the inevitable?
It’s time to trim the fat and get down to business, turning the spotlight to the actual awards and award recipients, rather than the obnoxious sideshow filler that creates a nearly four-hour running time. Does anyone out there feel like we need that amount of time to soak in the show? It’s longer than any of the nominated films! How in the hell is that necessary? By allowing those that have received the “much-coveted” award speak for more than 120 seconds, it gives them the opportunity to talk about the work they did and give proper thanks for receiving it. I’m not saying they need to be able to pull up a lawn chair, kick back, and wax poetic for ten minutes. In fact, I think many winners would still be fine with two minutes. However, for those that would like to give a bit more perspective, why not allow it? Isn’t the show meant to honor them?
In the end, I think the Oscars need to get their priorities straight. Cut out the bullshit and get down to the business of honoring the winners and allowing them time to share their thoughts about the experience with the audience, rather than rushing them off to usher in the next snoozefest of a dance number. Between their crappy hosts and misguided theatrical flair, it’s time to refocus on what the awards show is all about, rather than making it into something it’s not.
|Extra Tidbit:||Who do you think would be a good host for the next Oscars? Many have said Conan O'Brien and I tend to agree. Fast on his feet, genuinely funny, and someone who can temper the live environment. He's got my vote.|