Hello All! here! So, another year of the Oscars has come and gone. This year’s show actually felt like it lasted forever that many years of Oscar may have come and gone for all I know! Although there were a few fun moments, I did not enjoy this year’s Academy Awards broadcast. Believe it or not, the awards themselves don’t ever really matter. They are not what make or break the show itself. So what worked and what didn’t? What needs to go and how can they improve? Get ready to read a long rant! Let’s go through it, shall we?
I did not have any expectations, high or low, for Neil Patrick Harris as the host. I had heard he had done a great job hosting the Tony’s so I was confident he could sing, dance and put on a show. However, I was a tad irked that once again they chose someone who was more of a television and stage actor to present movie awards. However, Ellen worked out a lot better than I thought she would have last year, so I was sure he would’ve been good enough.
I was wrong.
The show started off well enough with a great song and dance number (although, the use of the phrase “moving pictures” was way overused for some reason), but things quickly fell apart after that. From lame jokes and terribly conceived gags (i.e. the locked box of predictions that no one cared about) to a complete lack of stage presence, the host was just doomed. The second he tried to call out Oprah as a part of his opening jokes and she was not really playing along I had horrible flashbacks of David Letterman and his unforgettable (and not for good reasons) “Uma-Oprah” bit )*shudder*) and knew Neil Patrick Harris needed to hop on a sled because he was going downhill fast. Still, I held out hope.
Sadly, Neil Patrick Harris was a terrible host. Some of the blame lies with him, but most of the blame lies with the producer and the writers. What was supposed to be a lot of tongue in cheek and less of a stuffy show just ended up being very awkward and unfunny. I felt as though they thought Ellen’s interaction within the crowd went over so well last year that they needed to do more of the same this year. Problem is that Neil Patrick Harris did not have the same spark going with the members of the audience there or the members of the audience at home.
The throws and introductions were just written so terribly and NPH’s timing just seemed off so many times. His quick wit should’ve helped him, but instead I found it a bit insensitive and even offensive. Making a joke about that woman’s puff-ball dress (“It takes a lot of balls to wear a dress like that”) immediately after she had just finished talking about her son who had committed suicide was in unbelievably bad taste!
First things fist in this section, why in the world did they keep referring to theses awards and this ceremony as The Oscars? They didn’t once call them The Academy Awards. Were they trying to relate more to the common man and seem less stuffy? Umm, they’re called The Academy Awards. It’s OKAY to call them that. I found that very strange.
Now, an issue I have every year is the amount of time wasted on the SONGS. Yes, I realize you want to be able to have some sort of a show going on to entertain people because your actual awards show is so terribly boring, but this is not the way. These are an awards show about MOVIES. You want to be more entertaining? How about some montages and clips about movies. There’s a novel idea! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind a song or two here or there or even an entire 5-8 minute segment where there is a medley of all nominated songs, but what I do NOT like is stretching an already long and tedious awards show even longer for the sake of “entertainment” provided by live singing performances. Enough already.
It was completely unnecessary to have Jennifer Hudson singing a song after the In Memoriam montage. If they really wanted to have her singing they could’ve had her doing it over the montage. In my opinion, it wasn’t needed at all, really.
Quick Aside – While we’re on the point of In Memoriam, I am one of those people who can’t believe they left out Joan Rivers. I was not a fan of Rivers, but she basically created this red carpet phenomenon that most awards shows are based on. Gone are the days when the awards shows were actually about the awards and it’s mostly because of Joan Rivers. I understand many people in the Academy probably didn’t like her and it’s easy to justify not including her, but she did work in a few movies and she was a pioneer in the world of female comics, so they really should have included her.
Back to the songs, I have a bit of a beef with one of the most fun performances of the night – Everything is Awesome. After being snubbed by The Academy, I feel like the Lego people shouldn’t have helped to make such a great performance for The Oscars. Yes, I know that’s just me being spiteful and that the Everything is Awesome performance was one of the best parts of the show, but why should the Lego people help The Oscars to put on a good show at all after being snubbed?
Going back to NPH for a second, I thought it was very strange how he kept making these quips throughout the show, I assume they were supposed to be funny, that would purposely point out the Academy’s flawed choices. Case in point, The Lego Movie. When it came time for Best Animated Feature he introduced the category by saying if anyone was with the Lego people at a party it would be a good time to distract them. It was supposed to be funny that he was aware and pointing out that the Lego movie was snubbed. He was making fun of the very awards show he was supposed to be hosting. Okay, fine, I get it.
This sort of “joke” happened many times throughout the night and each time it did I didn’t find it comical. I thought it was pretty dumb of the writers to be pointing out what terrible choices The Academy has made. For example, when Jennifer Aniston and David Oyelowo came out NPH made it a point to say, “Two people who absolutely deserve to be here tonight.” Oh, he’s pointing out they were also snubbed and didn’t get a nomination. Funny? Not so much.
What about the fact that this year’s Oscar nominations got so much flack for not being racially diverse enough? Oh, they tackled that too in their own tongue in cheek, let’s-make-fun-of-ourselves way. NPH went down into the crowd or he called out to a lot of people from the stage and many times it was to talk to some of the African American people in the crowd. That’s not to say he didn’t talk to other people as well, it just felt a bit contrived when Ocativa Spencer was put in charge of that ridiculous predictions box and called upon many, many, many…too many times or when he asked David Oyelowo to read out something unfunny off of a card. Granted, he did talk to other people in the crowd as well…seat fillers. Who thought this stuff would be funny or entertaining?!
Yes, he needs a section all his own. What in the world was up with him?! The bit with him and Idina Menzel was a perfect opportunity for John Travolta to redeem himself and for the entire world to laugh WITH HIM instead of AT HIM…but…Travolta happened. Why in the world was be being so touchy-feely with poor Idina Menzel’s face? I feel like she’s probably still washing her face after that bit.
As if that wasn’t weird enough, his red carpet antics were even worse!
He looked weird, he acted weird, he was just weird.
Sound of Music
My favourite, and one of the only real highlights of the night for me, was the surprise that:
(a) Lady Gaga cleans up real nice
(b) There was a Sound of Music tribute!
(c) Lady Gaga can sing so well!
(d) JULIE ANDREWS!!!!!!!!
The Sound of Music tribute was unexpected and perfect. I’m glad I had no idea it was coming. It was simple, well executed and everything I had wanted The Academy to do for Gone With the Wind when it turned 75 last year, but instead they COMPLETELY IGNORED IT! Instead, we got a lame Wizard of Oz tribute. Wizard of Oz didn’t win the Oscar, Gone with the Wind did. I understand many people love it and it deserved to be acknowledged, but not at the cost of ignoring Gone With the Wind, one of the greatest films ever made. But, I digress.
(Except, I do! Lol)
How to Fix the Show
First off, let me produce it. I’d be great at it. On the off chance they don’t choose me for next year, here are some suggestions to make it quicker, snappier and to bring back some more emotion and feeling to the show:
- – Start the show at 8pm instead of 8:30pm
- – Schedule it for 3.5 hours and stop pretending you can get it into 3 hours.
- – If you want to get it into 3 hours then cut out the songs. Make one medley performance of songs.
- – Have a few short tribute montages throughout the show for entertainment factor since you’ve now gotten rid of the songs.
- – Bring back the honourary Oscars to the main show.
- – Allow proper time for heartfelt speeches because those actually mean something and that’s what you remember.
- – Get rid of the host, or use the host minimally. Have the host do one kick off number, a short monologue of jokes and then simply use them to introduce the presenters and nothing more. Better yet, no host at all. Use various celebrities to do the initial kick off number since that’s what they seem to do anyways for a successful start. Have a voice-over introduce the presenters.
- – Present a few awards at a time so it actually feels like an awards show (They presented ONE award in the first 25 minutes yesterday).
There you have it. That’s my rant. Agree or disagree? Let me know!