So a couple of people have tried to buy books, and the button is down. If we need a refresher on why I hate PayPal, this is the 5th time I’ve had to fix the button. But it’s fixed. Who knows when it’ll happen again, but I’m just waiting until book purchases reach a level where I can afford a better store system.
I’ve decided to gripe a bit about the oscars, mostly because its fashionable to do so, but also because I felt that this year the award show finally turned into what people said it has been all the years past. I was, needless to say, bummed.
Call me old-fashioned, but I believe that the Oscars used to be for our entertainment. It used to open with video segments, comedy routines, musical numbers, everything. It also used to get railed on for its ridiculous length and, in being so long, failing to do its main function: be a watchable TV event. However, last year’s Oscars had everything from a fast run-time, to punchy ways to present the awards (see Tina Fey and Steve Martin reading the Screenplays, former winners discussing the merits of current best actor nominees), and a hilarious opening sequence that was both entertaining and witty. And yet I couldn’t figure out why people, up to this year, were still giving Hugh Jackman a hard time about his hosting duties.
Thankfully, the 82nd Annual Academy Awards showed me why. I was foolish to believe that the show was for us. A few things stood out to me that made me understand the media circus a little better:
1. Several red-carpet interviews revealing that the Actors are there for one another.
Cameron Diaz said “Our community is so spread out… it’s the only time we really get to see one another,” and Meryl herself even replied that her fave part of the awards is “Seeing all her friends.”
2. The best actor/actress nominees opening the show by standing on stage and waving out to the applause of their colleagues.
Sure it looked awkward, but it put the people, the “stars” nominated for the acting awards at the forefront. As a symbolic gesture, this foregrounding makes the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences function seem to lean towards the actors’ achievements, and not the films.
3. That great throwback to old-vaudeville comedy duos.
Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin are both so very funny… however I think that their attempt to call back to a time when jokes were more obvious and duos a little cheesier could have done well with an acknowledgment of how bad their jokes were, and did something different than follow the formula of “Look, its [point to attractive star, everybody claps, say something about them.]” Alec Baldwin said “what a performance,” so many times it sounded like he was on the Family Feud (good answer! good answer!).
4. The replacement of old winners with old friends.
Last year’s presentation of the best actor and actress nominees was lead by 5 former winners in the category, appreciating the performance of the current nominees in a way that still made it about the film. This year’s inclusion of former co-workers made it more about the intangible qualities of “good friend,” and “amazing person,” something that we at home have no connection to because we only know the people through the films.
And it’s good that these people should be appreciated by friends, through friends. But is it something TV worthy? We are only connected to them through the media they produce, so why would the Academy alienate us by making it even more transparent that the show is just about them? This is more upsetting than the time Mike Myers presented the best sound editing award with the tongue-in-cheek “The outcome of this award will send shockwaves through the industry!” The joke being, that it wouldn’t, and the underlying truth that the industry is shaped by and for the people in front of the camera. Were the best original song categories not sang for the same reason?
Colbert quipped at the Grammys that the celebrity’s favourite passtimes are congratulating one another and giving each other awards. I laughed, mostly because I thought it wasn’t entirely true.
you’re welcome for this.Tags: essay, non-fiction, tv