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Monday, February 28, 2011

That's an 'E' For Effort, Oscar

I don't know what it is, but every year I find myself becoming less and less enamoured with the Oscars (THE Oscars??).

I still watched it, of course, and had even seen most of the films in the running -- I was quite happy about The King's Speech taking home an arm-full of awards.

But the whole... event. I dunno.

It's supposed to be a celebration. A night of good fun. Sure, proper dress-up and all that, but an entertaining time... at the very least.

And my God if I wasn't bored as all hell during last night's show.

Truth be told, outside of Melissa Leo dropping the F-Bomb and Kirk Douglas (poor Kirk Douglas) standing on stage, muttering and looking bewildered... I can't recall a single interesting thing about the event. Even worse that those events (hopefully, and especially in the case of Kirk Douglas) were entirely unplanned.

Fact is, I couldn't tell you a memorable thing about last year's Oscars either. Or the year before. I'm not entirely sure why that is or why a night so full of stars and amazing talent seems to drag on the way that it does (I mean, really, imagine what it'd cost you to put all those actors in a room if you had to pay them to be there)... but it's a damned shame if you ask me.

I'd seen the promos for the show for a while now and CTV'd been making sure we knew just how awesome James Franco and Anne Hathaway were going to be. The promos were even kind of cute, hinting that maybe, just maybe they'd have some real chemistry and comic timing. Kind of sad then that the promos for the show ended up being far more interesting than the night itself.

That said, this was their first swing at bat... and there were no real "Oprah. Uma. Umaaa...? Oprah!" moments... so maybe it's one of those things where they'll do better next time? (assuming there is a next time...?)

The sad thing is that I really want to like The Oscars -- I loved almost every movie that was on the Best Picture list, I thought that there truly was some stuff there worth celebrating. But I didn't leave the show feeling excited or even happy. I just kind of went 'Cool, The King's Speech won...' and then turned it off and went to bed.

Which seems like such a sad waste to me.

So, if you don't mind, I'd like to make a few suggestions for next year:

1) Let Stephen Colbert host
Seriously, I don't know why this hasn't happened yet. I love Jon Stewart, and he's a funny man. A brilliant, brilliant, funny, sex-- he's a fantastic host. But Colbert is way more of a character. You need a BIG character to fill that stage. Someone who can offer some edge but still keep it fun and moving along. My vote goes to Mr. Colbert.

2) Best Web Video
Hell, it's the year 2011. We're officially into the next decade of the 'New Millennium', Internet video is booming and I guarantee you most folks have spent at least a few hours on Youtube over the year. Videos get passed around and some of them -- like this one that Roger Ebert said deserves an Oscar -- stick with you. So why not REWARD that? Maybe then they can earn themselves some of that 'hip' moniker that they've been chasing?

3) Most Pirated Movie Award (?)
This is obviously so far over the top that, well, it's silly to even consider it... but imagine if the industry actually sort of took the piss out of themselves (as the British might say) and played along with it. Hell, I'm sure by those numbers Unstoppable would've creamed The King's Speech... (actually, it probably would've been Harry Potter... but whatever...). Something that, I dunno, humanized the industry. Pointing fingers at the internet and calling the place a wretched hive of scum and villainy obviously isn't working... so, hey, why not? I know that I'd tune in to watch Hugh Jackman buy a copy of Wolverine off the street corner (5 for $20!!!).

4) Actors, Acting
Why not have some fun and do some Acting mash-ups? Get the best Actor/Actress noms up on stage (briefly) to, you know, Act. But the fun part is that maybe you get them to Act another nominee's part? Or, if that's too taboo, make some fun little mash-up (written/rehearsed before) where you have their characters interacting as if it's the most normal thing in the world. The main point here is that we (the audience) and they (the audience) get a bit of 'live theatre' -- a truly interesting, creative moment that's also great TV 'cause "anything can happen". Yes, you'd need good writing... but that's what you have the Tina Fey's of the world for.

Just sayin'.

If you're going to ask me to give up 3 hours of my life AND sit through some really, really boring commercials, I expect to be entertained. So... entertain us.



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