Monday, March 3, 2014

What’s Wrong with the Academy Awards

I’ve been asked to weigh in on a matter of great national urgency: What’s wrong with the Academy Awards? (OK, I haven’t been asked to weigh in, I’ve volunteered.) As a gay man, I have a vested interest in this matter. (What am I saying? I don’t even like vests!)
People have raised a number of issues: They’re too long. Who should host them? Why can’t more women dress like Cher?
Let’s address these issues one by one:
  1. The Academy Awards are too long.
    Abso-fuckin-lutely. But unless they decide to hand out a majority of the awards outside of prime time (as they already do with the scientific and technical categories), that will always be the case. Therefore, the awards need to be handed out with a minimum of fuss. All these extraneous musical numbers and film montages need to be cut. I already know about the great history of film. That’s why I’m watching the Academy Awards, you idiot! So unless you’re willing to invite Billy Crystal back to do one of his inspired musical parodies, move it along!
  2. Who should host them?
    The Academy Awards have had a number of hosts over the years, most notably Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, and the aforementioned Billy Crystal. These three have had the longest runs and seemed to strike the right balance between respect for and good-natured ribbing of the Academy members. But pretty much everyone who has hosted the Academy Awards has come to the same conclusion: It’s the most thankless job in Hollywood. Even if you do a great job hosting (as I think Ellen DeGeneres did last night), you still get blamed for the show being too long and/or too boring. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Except for Anne Hathaway and James Franco. They really did suck.
  3. Why can’t more women dress like Cher?
    I think there’s a general consensus that stylists have taken over the red carpet and, therefore, watching the red carpet arrivals hasn’t been interesting since about 1988. There’s only one Cher and she’s not at the Academy Awards, she’s at her house in Malibu, watching the Academy Awards with Kathy Griffin and a couple of gays.
But I think the biggest problem with the Academy Awards is that they’re on too late in the year. March?! Really?! I mean, I know we had the Olympics this year but, let’s face it, after January no one gives a shit about Best Sound Editing. The Golden Globes, a bunch of foreign journalists whom no one’s even heard of, have unceremoniously (no pun) usurped the time-honored position of the Academy Awards at the top of the awards heap. (Which brings up another issue: There are too many awards shows. But I digress.)
Let’s move the Academy Awards up to January, where they belong. Hell, maybe they can have them the week after the Golden Globes, while the stars are still drunk. Or better yet, the week before. We’ll show those wine-sipping, cheese-eating Europeans how it’s done!
Or, if worst comes to worst, we can always ask Cher to host. At least we know she’ll wear something interesting.

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