Monday, February 26, 2007

Up The Academy

I used to love watching award shows on TV when I was younger, but The Oscars are about the only one that I’ll go out of my way to watch anymore.  The American Music Awards and the Grammies are a joke now (the latter has always been a joke), the Emmys honor nothing but HBO shows now, the Golden Globes are rendered redundant by the Oscars and the Emmys, and I don’t care about the Tonys, so to me the Oscars are really the only relevant awards show remaining.  In a way, the Oscars have a Super Bowl-type quality about them that makes it fun to watch.

But before I comment on last night’s Academy Awards, let me turn on the TV and check to see if the damn ceremony is still going—nope, Ellen DeGeneres is gone, so I guess it finally did end!  Good gravy, people—three hours and 45 minutes—there have been murder trials that didn’t last as long as this show!  I watched pretty much the whole damn thing, but my attention span was severely tested throughout.  When will the Academy people ever learn that bigger isn’t necessarily better?  As usual, there were way too many film montages (the only one that’s necessary is the annual montage honoring those who passed away in the previous year), and way too much emphasis on foreign films (who actually gives a shit about these besides foreigners?) and the technical awards (Best Art Direction, for example).  By the way—how does one go about "directing art"?  "Okay, you, Mr. Painting—for this scene, all you gotta do is just hang there on the wall, and DON’T MOVE!  Now, you, Mr. Statue—you just have to stand there, and again, DON’T MOVE!"

Getting back to the show, I’m sure all the conservatives out there were reaching for the smelling salts when Melissa Etheridge said, "I’d like to thank my wife…" during her acceptance speech (I loved it!), not to mention the wardrobe malfunction Jennifer Hudson damn near had during her performance with Beyonce—if she’d have leaned forward one more time, her right breast would have popped right out of that dress and millions of TiVos would have been busy!  Then again, the conservatives probably didn’t bother to tune in to begin with, since "that damn Ellen DeGenerate" was the host.  I was pretty underwhelmed by Ellen myself—I’ve never found her to be all that funny in the first place, and most of her staged attempts at humor just fell flat.  As for the rest of the presentation, it wasn’t bad—if nothing else, it was kinda nice to not have to look at Johnny Depp all night, unlike last year.  But at the risk of sounding like Bill O’Reilly and his ilk, I could have really done without the Al Gore lovefest and all the ass-kissing directed at him throughout the night, as if he’s suddenly some sort of beloved Hollywood icon.  Gimme a fucking break already—up until Gore made this global warming documentary, he was nothing but a punchline in Hollywood.  ‘Scuse me while I hurl…

As for the winners, this was one of the more interesting Oscar nights.  Although I haven’t seen any of the nominated films yet, I was pleased to see some good people win Oscars, especially Martin Scorsese (The Aviator notwithstanding) and Forest Whitaker.  I would never have bet good money on an "American Idol" contestant (Hudson) winning an Oscar, either.  And even though my girl Kate Winslet didn’t win Best Actress, I was delighted that Meryl Streep didn’t win either for that Devil Wears Prada crapfest.

Memo to the Academy for next year:  How about considering Jerry Seinfeld to be the host?  His bit last night about cleaning up after ourselves in movie theaters was ten times funnier than anything DeGeneres did, and he seems like a perfect fit for the job.  And please do us all a favor and to try and lop off about an hour’s worth of stuff for next year’s ceremony, mmm-kay?  These yearly rituals are getting to be more interminable than Super Bowl pre-game shows…

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