I watch the Academy Awards every year without fail. It's my Super Bowl event. And like that game is 90% of the time, the actual show is secondary to the build-up, the hype, the brouhaha...but that's Hollywood, ain't it? There's a lot leading up to it and even more going away, especially in this day and age of social media...like this!
So the show is always overlong, usually boring and many times uneventful. But for myself, I'd say entertaining, at least and reasonably well-produced.
Not this year. Producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron gave us the clunkiest show in years. This made the James Franco/Anne Hathaway look like a well oiled machine. Here's what didn't work:
The cold opening. No montage saluting the industry or the year, straight or parody? Seth MacFarlane was doomed from his entrance. He had nowhere to go but up. Instead, he went sideways with the awkward Shatner cameo and two pointless song and dance numbers. At least "We Saw Your Boobs" had an element of originality to it as well the FLIGHT sock puppet send-up. The opening went way too frigging long.
A Salute to Musicals of the Past Decade. All 3 of them. Unnecessary, no matter how good Jennifer Hudson killed it. I also liked LES MIZ, but still...what's next year...a tribute to remakes?
The James Bond tribute. Big build-up for little pay-off, except the great Shirley Bassey, blowing Adele out of the water. And the house orchestra backing Shirley up wasn't onstage like Adele's. Hers was down the street in another building. Whose brilliant idea was that? Were they non-union?
The bundling of Best Picture nominees three at a time made them feel like an obligation other than the reason the damn show exists in the first place.
As for the presenters, I have plenty of contempt as well. THE AVENGERS whining about their lack of Oscar cred since their movie was so popular? Not very superhero like, boys. Did Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy miss rehearsal? Jack Nicholson is turning into a parody of a parody of himself. What's with that tux? Did they finally settle the Buddy Hackett estate? And the First Lady's embarrassing appearance would have only been redeemed if DJANGO UNCHAINED won or if her husband strolled by in the back ground while they were filming wearing a bathrobe, scratching himself and saying, "Michelle! Keep it down out here! Some of us have to go to work in the morning!"
MacFarlane was an unseasoned host, not really comfortable onstage especially in front of that crowd. He wasn't Franco bad, but he definitely need some more work. At least he didn't take the safe approach of Billy Crystal last year. Seth doesn't know the meaning of the word "safe".He's been getting the misogynist, homophobic, racist remarks since long before he hit the Oscar stage. He's made of Teflon. It slides right off, especially since the ratings numbers are up this year, thanks in part to his participation. Lighten up, folks. No harm done. Quitcher bitchin'. He won't be back.
The awards? Oh yeah. No surprises, save Christoph Waltz and Ang Lee. Nice to see Daniel Day-Lewis lighten up. Didn't know he had it in him. Everything else was unfortunately predictable.
Hopefully Zadan and Meron are out for next year. Get somebody in there that can put together a half-way decent show. They blew it big time. Gil Cates is still rolling over in his grave like a zombie rotisserie.
Okay, social media. Let the snivelling continue.
As for me, I'll be here next year. After all, I'm the caretaker. I've always been the caretaker.