Is it just me, or are the Oscars now a real bore due to the efficiency and general good taste of the whole show?
I used to watch it with my wife, who really loves the Oscars, and we’d both be entertained in different ways by the self-congratulatory excess and kitsch of both the show and of the celebrity culture it showcased.
I had some work to do last night, but I couldn’t really stay interested beyond the opening presentation anyway. About the only thing left of interest is just the horse-race. Given that we have a real-life political horse race that’s vastly more intriguing, and that you can look at the Oscar results the next day and be just as amused and interested by who won what, this is a weak reason to endure a three-hour borefest.
I think they need to subcontract out some of the performative parts of the show, particularly the musical numbers, to the weakest or most self-delusional talents in Hollywood. It should be a requirement that there is a big mid-show dance number showcasing the most depressing and serious major nominee of the year. I would gladly stay up all night to see a big spectacular choreography called “I Drink Your Milkshake” that has oil-soaked dancers whirling around a wooden derrick while a guy on stilts stomps around them giving an evangelical sermon.
They should cut down the little speeches that the presenters give so they can budget more time for award-winners to say unpredictable or deranged things. There should be a requirement every year that the most certifiably crazed or self-deluded director, actor or producer be given 5 minutes on stage to say or do anything they want. Kind of like the Lifetime Achievement award.
Also they need to designate a major nominee as the Too Authentic For Oscar every year, and send him or her off to some kind of designated exile for the night of the broadcast, pictured only by a still photograph taken approximately fifteen years ago. They could alternate between Paris, New York, Tibet, McMurdo Station and Darfur.
Finally, there needs to be a strict quota on tasteful and elegant clothes. They could draw lots for it or something.
I haven’t watched an Oscars broadcast in a number of years. They used to be worth their weight in snark material, if nothing else. Even the annual Parade of the Dead segment could provide an impromptu rendition of Jim Carroll’s “People Who Died” from me and my friends.
But now? It’s not just you, Tim — they’ve become mind-numbingly dull. The decline started when they 86’d the Debbie Allen dance numbers in the late ’90s. Then Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon stopped winning Oscars, and the art of self-aggrandizing political speechifying died a quiet death. Finally, Janet Jackson showed a boob at the Superbowl, and a fearful chill settled over the whole entertainment industry. What used to be a glorious celebration of everything tasteless and kitschy about Hollywood has turned into a dreary and furtive affair by an industry terrified of offending anyone.