February 25, 2013

Oscar the Grouch

Hatched by Korso

Full disclosure: I didn't watch the Academy Awards. Who needs the hassle when you can just catch up with Nikki Finke's live snarking of the event on Monday morning? And from what I've read, the snark was far more entertaining (not to mention funnier) than the four-hour cringefest that the Academy cobbled together. Forget waterboarding -- just get Seth McFarlane down to Gitmo, stat. Fifteen minutes of that shtick will have those orange-suited jihadis spilling their guts begging for mercy.

Every year I'm amazed at how it is that entertainment professionals -- you know, the people who do this kind of thing for a living -- can't seem to find a way to put on a show that isn't reminiscent of the aversion therapy scene in A Clockwork Orange. With all the writing and directing talent on tap, not to mention the sheer star power packed into that room, you'd figure that something interesting would be going on. But alas, the show always seems to spiral into a parody of itself, what with the lame jokes and the canned musical numbers (they even found a way to make James Bond seem boring). If all this seems like a mystery, though, it isn't. In fact, the Oscars provide for us a perfect microcosm of why it is that Hollywood -- by and large, at least -- sucks.

Like any megabudget floperoo cranked out by the studios, the Academy Awards are usually doomed from the start. From the producers without a creative bone in their bodies making creative "suggestions" to the abject terror of giving offense to anyone who might be an A-Lister, it's damn near impossible to do anything that a reasonably intelligent and partly sober person might actually want to watch. That's why directing the show is a thankless job -- and why the Academy has such a tough time getting people to do it. After all, it's not like you have any actual control over anything, and when the show bombs you get to wear the stench of failure for the rest of your career. Who wants that burden?

So you end up with the same old same-old, time and time again. If that sounds like a common complaint about the movies that fill the metroplex, bingo! You just figured out the modern studio system.

Of course, there is a way to fix the Oscars (not that the Academy would ever do it). What they should do is make the awards part of it the way it was back in the old days -- just an open bar and dinner followed by rattling off the list of winners -- and then turn some hidden cameras loose in the crowd to listen in on what the stars really have to say. The downside is that you could only get away with it once -- but what a show it would be!

Hatched by Korso on this day, February 25, 2013, at the time of 7:41 AM


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