Monday, February 28, 2011


The verdict is in, at least for me. The Oscars last night were long, slow, tedious and boring. Oh, God, they were boring.

Part of the problem, I think, is that the Academy Awards show is supposed to appeal to two very different audiences: those outside the industry, like me and most of the zillions of the viewers out there in TV land, and those inside Hollywood. 

For Hollywood, the awards ceremony is a big deal. Careers are made, or enhanced, and if not broken at least diminished. I can imagine being there, if you are an actor, director, or producer. You could schmooze with your colleagues and kiss up to people you wanted to work with.  

When I was a newspaper reporter and editor, I used to go to annual awards banquets for us journalists. The format was similar to the Oscars. We sat at round tables of eight or ten and schmoozed, and ate and drank, and acted like we were equal to the big-time publishers and editors at the same table.

They handed out awards, and we applauded and shook hands and had a good time. I was usually glad I went, although it was a long evening. They projected copies of stories and photos on a big screen, so we could admire the winning entries and see the ones we might have missed.

Overall, it was fun. We got to kiss some ass, or have our ass kissed, depending on where we were in the pecking order.

An awards ceremony is very different on the inside than it is on the outside. Watching the Oscars, for most of us, is fairly pointless. We are not in the industry, and we not there for the ass kissing, so who cares?

For one thing, there are too many categories, and too many awards, and too many people who receive them. Why don't they just nominate all the movies for the year -- all 360 or whatever the number is -- and all the actors and makeup artists and CGI people and directors and cameramen, and so on? And why don't they add in the thousands of extras and grips and carpenters and truck drivers, and so forth, and stage this gigantic event in the Rose Bowl? They could hand out free tequila and just let the party and the cameras roll.

That could be fun to watch. Imagine all the things that good happen, the good, the bad and the ugly. For the half-time show, they could have a mud-wrestling contest between Charlie Sheen and two or three of his ex-girlfriends. With microphones on. Imagine the dialogue.

Failing that, I think they should either cut down on the number of categories or have two segments, one for the general public, designed to entertain, and the other for the industry insiders, to give out awards and provide a place and time for schmoozing and ass kissing.

They could broadcast the entertaining one for the general public on network TV and have the boring insider one on cable.

If they don't do one of the those, I doubt I'll ever watch again. The show is just not entertaining enough. Odd, too, since these people are masters at entertainment. I guess they deserve a night off.

So do I.

-- Roger

© Copyright 2011, Roger R. Angle

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