Well the Academy Awards have come and thankfully gone and we’re all better for it. Or something. So I’m supposed to talk about the Oscars because, hey, that’s what we do. This won’t come as a surprise to anyone who reads this column, but I don’t especially care for the Oscars. And every year, I take more than three hours to remind myself why.
I’m tempted to just argue that the Oscars aren’t even necessary. Because they aren’t. Do we have to take 2 hours of pre-show and 3 and a half hours of show and an hour or post-show to do this? No. We don’t. The Academy could just release a list of winners. That’d be fine for most purposes. But rather than just do that, I’ll talk about what sucks and how it can be made better.
The Pre-show has to go to hell. It should only exist on one channel: E! That’s the only network that has a fan base of people who would care about people walking around wearing stuff. No one wants to hear what the Fox 11 entertainment reporter thinks about Jada Pinkett Smith’s dress. If it must happen, it should be about 45 minutes long and be a nice, fast moving line of people.
The show is far too long. We’re talking over three hours of bullcrap. Why is this show three hours? Do we really need some dance intermissions? Probably not. Not when they’re unrelated to the rest of the show. Singing the nominated songs is cool. Dancing around is not. Do we need long comedy bits? No, because they’re not funny. Sorry Neil Patrick Harris. I don’t care about your sing-a-long and I don’t care about your sparkly tuxedo – was that D&G?
This year’s show had the biggest, most boring time waster of recent memory. Get five stars to line up and talk about the five nominees. This takes up like 10 minutes of time and is followed by a presenter announcing the five nominees. The five nominees we just spent 10 minutes hearing about. It’s strange to hear someone spend a few minutes convincing you that Morgan Freeman gave the best performance of the decade only to have someone else do the same sales pitch for a different actor. The time for selling is over, the winner has already won. Show us a clip, hand out a statue.
Quit cutting off “lesser” awards. You don’t have to play off kindly old sound mixers if you ditch the above mentioned 10 minute shitfest of shit. Yes, a shitfest of shit. Let the people who won their award finish saying thank you, unless they’re abusing the privilege. Give everyone a minute. Put up a counter. Let them talk for a minute. If two people go up, give each 45 seconds. Something. Honestly I don’t care what anyone has to say, so whether it’s Kathryn Bigelow or Who-The-Fuck-Won-Sound-Design, let them talk. Briefly.
Kick it up a notch. You can do this by increasing the speed – ie, making things go faster, and getting someone in to blow this shit up, literally. I want to see the Academy Awards on Fox directed by Michael Bay. Make this more like the Taurus Stunt Awards. Send people down from the ceilings. Shoot fireballs. Or go completely the opposite way and class it up. Tuxedos. Lovely ladies. A nice band. You can’t soil this with lame comedy bits though. You either have fun with it and go nuts or you take it seriously and celebrate film.
In summation, the Oscars are boring. You either need to make them unboring, which will possibly take a good bit of class out of it, or you need to up the class so it’s a really respectable night, without a bunch of pointless bullshit. No matter what you do, cut this stuff down to like 2 hours. Seriously.