February 27, 2012

Dear Oscar Producers...

Dear Oscar Producers...

Congratulations on coming through the mini-scandals of this year --- Producer makes gay slur and quits! Host Eddie Murphy quits! Kodak sues to get their name off theatre! --- and pulling off another big awards show!

I love the Oscars (also known as the "Gay Superbowl") and have been watching since I was a little kid and it was on way past my bedtime. Now it's just so long it feels like it is past my bedtime. The Grammy's were faster and more entertaining.

Award shows, as Seth Rogen said at the Independent Spirit Awards, exist to "give everyone a chance to express how much they admire each other’s work." So while you are out there congratulating each other, please please be more entertaining for those of us at home.

Here's some thoughts on the show. Because you asked...

1- We were all relieved to hear Billy Crystal was coming back as host, because as Natalie Portman said, "We know we're in good hands." His opening montage and ongoing schtick was fun if not fresh. I like the guy, and now we've been there done that, again. Let's have a new host every year, shall we? I vote for Tina Fey and/or Neil Patrick Harris next year.

2- The show is just too long. Do we really have to start the coverage at 2 in the afternoon with previews of previews to the red carpet fashion parade ? Yes we are gonna watch but we are not going to respect ourselves in the morning. Make it 3 hours, all in, max.

3- I know you guys are all white men, but we need more variety in the nominees; sure there were so many Jews I assume the meal afterwards was kosher, but where are the women, the blacks (aside from very occasional acting awards), the Asians?

4- No more production numbers, period. I love the Cirque de Soleil, but what the hell do they have to do with 2012 movies? Nada zip zero.

5- With the sole exception of the In Memoriam segment, no more montages! By the end of the night I was expecting a montage of tonight's greatest montages...

6- Kill the banter or at least make it better. Who were your writers? I saw like 30 people on twitter who were faster and funnier.

7- If we absolutely have to spend hours on the red carpet, new rules: (1) mandatory drug testing on all "reporters" so that the bottom 10% morons are kept off camera; (2) Everybody gets to throw something at Ryan Seacrest. And let's publicly acknowledge that Spanx is the real Oscar fashion sponsor, shall we?

8- Take some awards out of primetime. Do we need to see Best Short Film, Live Action? No disrespect to the director or the film, but we haven't seen the film and never will. Do a dozen on Saturday night streamed online and a dozen in the big show.

9- About those acceptance speeches: tell the nominees to prepare something "just in case". Offer writers (not yours). And them let them speak for more than 30 seconds.

10- Your official Oscar tweets were even more boring than the show. Hire Whitney Cummings and Bette Midler to tweet live from the no-name theatre.

I enjoy award shows, even crappy ones, and overall this was a tame if not terrible one. And tweeting the show was very fun, and brought a sense of community to the whole thing for me. And made the boring parts less boring.

If you want fun Oscars, look at Jimmy Kimmel's post-Oscar special -- sure it was probably too irreverent for the big show itself, but man he brought the fun and the funny to Oscar night!

Next year, have less boring parts and I promise to see more of the nominated movies...