The Oscar Show

It’s about the awards, STUPID!

What kind of crazy, messed up world do we live in where the Golden Globes are better than the Oscars?

One in which the foreign press knows that its trophies are meaningless and does its best to focus on stars and faux pas. The Golden Globes is sold as a night with your favorite stars, down home and personal, if you can remember who won, you’re Pia Zadora’s progeny.

Last night’s Oscar telecast was riddled with so much irrelevance, so much tripe, so much FILLER that the only reason to watch it was to snark about it on Twitter.

The movie people just don’t get it… We’re making fun of you!

Movies, when done right, are larger than life. Music, when done right, is life itself.

Mmm… Let me think about this. I care about these actors because…

I DON’T!

Check the statistics. It’s musicians with the most Twitter followers. Because they’ve got something to say. From Jennifer Lawrence to Jennifer Aniston, from Robert DeNiro to Bradley Cooper, are we really interested in what any of these two-dimensional nitwits has to say? Are they the ones lighting up Twitter? OF COURSE NOT!

The Academy just doesn’t get it. That it’s now a target for our scorn, not our love.

1. Everybody Can’t Do Everything

Are these people really in show business? Because this is rule number one. Just because you won a gold medal, that does not mean you can host a morning television show. Just because you concocted a successful movie and a long-running animated TV series, that does not mean you’re any good at hosting an international television broadcast. GET A COMEDIAN! SOMEONE WHO DOES THIS EVERY NIGHT! WHO INTERACTS WITH A LIVE AUDIENCE! To see Seth MacFarlane read from the TelePrompTer was painful. I’m not saying I’d be any better, then again, I don’t do this and they’re not asking me!

2. The Intro Counts

The Grammys get Taylor Swift, the biggest star in America. The Oscars gets Seth MacFarlane endlessly blabbering in bad skits? It was like having to sit through your daughter’s Christmas play. You know you’re in trouble when you’re trumped by Captain Kirk. And let’s get this straight, “Star Trek” is a TV phenomenon, right? Isn’t this like having Francis Ford Coppola open the Emmys?

3. Don’t Try To Appeal To Everybody

No edge, no success. This show was consumable by eight year olds, who didn’t watch because the movies they like weren’t nominated. Listen to the Top Ten and then write the show. In a world where everybody knows the truth and says it, the Oscar telecast was hermetically sealed, beamed to us from the last century, as if we cared.

4. Production Numbers

If you thought the endless “Chicago” to “Les Miz” singing clusterf**k was good, you’re probably aspiring to Broadway and at dance class right now. The day of the movie musical is dead. The fact that every now and again one emerges to triumph does not mean most people are interested. This is like Metallica doing a singer-songwriter tribute in the middle of its show, with harmonies on “Fire and Rain” and a tribute to Dan Fogelberg’s “Leader Of The Band.” Huh? A tiny segment of the audience cares about this stuff. No one cares about it at this length.

5. Adele

Get a pro. The biggest star in the world. And bury her voice in overproduction and bad mixing. Next time hire the guy who won the Oscar for sound editing to do this job. Adele was the highlight of the night until everybody but the kitchen sink came in and drowned her out. What’s next, an audience sing-along with Celine Dion? If you’ve got a star, let her perform. Adele and a piano was enough. But in the world of movies, enough is never enough.

6. Shirley Bassey

Now THAT’S movie-making. “Goldfinger.” Wowing us in the theatre. What “Zero Dark Thirty” delivered and was killed by congresspeople and the media. Torture, shmorture. It’s about being riveted in the theatre. If you think movies are real, you probably believe Kim Kardashian hasn’t had plastic surgery. It’s about the experience. “Goldfinger” was one of the best. The new Bond doesn’t compare. And Shirley Bassey brought some of the glamour back. Sure, her voice was subpar, but she didn’t seem to know this.

7. Don’t Honor That Which You Don’t

Why a music theme for the show when music in movies is so bad they often can’t even get five nominees, when we haven’t heard of most of the songs? This is like the Grammys honoring classical. Hey, did you notice they no longer do that anymore on the Grammy telecast? Because it’s a big TUNE-OUT!

8. Good Awards At The End

Why? So the east coast people can feel ripped off, after they’ve gone to bed?
Spread them throughout the show. To at least keep it interesting.

9. The Audience

Musicians thank their fans. Actors thank their agents. Who do you think keeps this business alive? All those people you’re thanking that no one knows… Lean into the mic and thank the people who bought the tickets!

10. Speeches

There wasn’t a memorable one last night. Not even Quentin Tarantino succeeded. Adele revealed some of her personality/magic, but in a world where people stand up and speak for a living, not one person could come up with something insightful to say?

11. “Singers sing, winners don’t get to talk.”

That’s a tweet from the “Washington Post.” That’s it in a nutshell. We want to see these nutcases. We don’t care about the show.

12. More Movies

More clips, more “In Memoriam,” more packages. It’s a TV show, make it interesting TV.

Wanna fix the Oscar telecast?

Make it irreverent. Make it a party. Make us feel like we’re seeing these stars in their natural habitat, as opposed to glammed-up for the tabloids.

Enough with the nitwits asking questions. Kristin Chenoweth should be shot at dawn. The pre-game was so inane, it was entirely laughable. If you can’t ask a pithy question, then don’t. Listening to one Howard Stern interview is better than anything I heard from the red carpet last night. Yup, make Howard the pre-game host. It’s a better fit for him than “America’s Got Talent.” Who are these people? How much money do they make? Who are they sleeping with? If Howard Stern can make Brandi Glanville fascinating, imagine what he can do for these movie stars.

Get a comedian to host. Every year. Just like Bob Hope. It’s not about being good, it’s about moving the show along. Get someone who knows failure, who can read an audience. Who plays for laughs as opposed to honoring those in attendance.

Focus on clips as opposed to reenactments.

Allow the winners to ramble.

Come down off the pedestal and face today’s reality, that we’re all in it together. That the stars are no better than us.

It’s like the Oscars never heard of the Internet.

How about a fan favorite Oscar? Voted for during the live telecast? That’ll get young ‘uns more interested than nominating nine movies instead of five.

And how about a live tweet crawl at the bottom of the screen.

Here are some gems from last night…

And the piece de resistance…

Yes, “Goldfinger” was fifty years ago. Before most of the Oscar viewers were born. But the producers and writers of this show think it was yesterday. And that’s fine if you don’t care about alienating your audience, but if you care…

The Grammys did a rethink. They realized it’s not your father’s music business anymore. That by nominating bad records by has-beens it was doing itself a disservice. The Grammys became a television show, because no one cares about the awards anyway.

That’s all we care about with the Oscars, who wins. But the victories are interspersed with so much detritus we at home can’t help but groan. It’s like watching a reenactment of the sinking of the Titanic.

Cars don’t look like they did fifty years ago. And they’re much safer and don’t break down. Why do we keep getting Grandpa’s Oscar show?

Damned if I know.

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  1. Pingback by Reads of the Week: March 1, 2013 | Reid All About It | 2013/03/01 at 04:56:08

    […] This is the most accurate (and scathing) review of the irrelevant Oscars that I’ve read. And just so you know, I love Seth McFarlane. Yeah, he’s sophomoric and offensive, but Family Guy has genius moments. Lighten up, people! (Lefsetz Letter) […]

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