So, last night was the Oscars. Or, as my friend Tap eloquently put it, “the Superbowl for Women.”
Since I was a kid, I’ve looked forward to Oscar season. Back then I wasn’t allowed to stay up late to finish watching the show, so I would go to sleep wondering if, say, Kevin Spacey would win for Best Actor for American Beauty. (I had a crush on him in high school after watching that movie…YEAH, I SAID IT).
I think watching the Oscars is like remembering a relationship gone awry. As time passes, you have fond memories and forget about the moments that made you want to throw a glass of water in your partner’s face. Similarly, every year I forget just how god-awful boring the Oscars can be. I only remember the fun moments, like when Roberto Benigni jumped over the chairs to accept his award, or when Cuba Gooding Jr. went batshit crazy in accepting his.
Basically, if you want to watch the Oscars, you only watch for the first 30 minutes, because the opening monologue is usually pretty fun. Then at least one major award will be announced. Then you can safely leave your TV set for the next two hours. Last night I started laundry and mopped.
My enjoyment of the Oscars lessens every year. The glitz and glamor does not appeal to me as much as it did when I was a kid. Now I just see a bunch of narcissistic, self-congratulatory, out-of-touch people all congregated in one room. Everyone takes themselves too seriously. The Golden Globes are at least more fun to watch because everyone is drunk. And hiring an edgy comedian like Ricky Gervais means that there are more laughs for TV viewers because he’ll make fun of how over-the-top everything is instead of kissing ass. My favorite award show hosts of the past couple of years have been him, Jon Stewart, and Steve Martin.
Last night Anne Hathaway and James Franco hosted, I suppose in an attempt to find hosts as inoffensive as possible (i.e. total opposite of Ricky Gervais). I knew from the beginning that it wasn’t going to be good. I am an Anne Hathaway fan, though I can’t say I’ve ever been a huge fan of James Franco. I just find him smarmy. Sure enough, when Anne Hathaway’s mom was standing up in the audience and telling her to stand up straight, I lowered the volume on my TV. I couldn’t watch very much of them yesterday because I was getting some bad second-hand embarrassment. The writing was horrible, for one, and poor Anne was trying way too hard to compensate for her host’s general lack of interest. The show took so many spins into “WTF?” territory too, like the autotune gag or the random Gone With the Wind homage.
Last night’s hosting gig was a failure because it was too safe and thus boring. But here’s a good example of safe being funny if done correctly:
Back when I was watching this live, I was a little uncertain how it would go off at first – I’m not a fan of musical numbers in general. But it completely won me over. I laughed so hard at the “Reader” song and dance skit, and it was hilarious to see Hugh Jackman almost lose it too. Anne Hathaway and James Franco were hired to attract the younger demographic, but like Tap told me in our analysis of the show afterwards, hiring an edgy comedian to emcee (and I keep coming back to Ricky Gervais, because he’s brilliant) is a much better way of attracting a younger demographic than some pretty but clueless actors.
I have a recommendation for the Oscar 2012 host:
His bit with Jude Law yesterday was funnier than anything else in the show. Plus he’s hot. Please consider this, Academy. It would be so much more interesting than watching James Franco stand around looking half-baked.