The latest issue of Entertainment Weekly (with the departure of CSI's William Peterson as the cover story) contains one of the grossest misuses of editorial resources--not to mention just plain old PAPER--I've ever seen in a magazine. EW--which I have been reading since the very first issue and look forward to each and every week, because let's face it, my life is bereft of even the most barren form of amusement--has taken it upon itself to "revote" the Oscars. This doesn't seem like a bad idea on the surface, if the purpose is to go back and "correct" what are regarded as Oscar wrongs over the years. But that's not what they did. Instead they "...focused on five different years—2003, 1998, 1993, 1988, and 1983 (picked with no agenda other than that they were 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 years ago)..." WTF? Why bother?
The article, titled "And the Oscar Should Have Gone to...", touts itself as a "recall," and utilized online voting on the EW website. The results? Well out of 30 categories "re-voted" upon (best picture, actor, actress, supporting actor and actress, and director), 7--SEVEN!--whole awards were different, with one tie. And yes, while Roberto Benigni should NEVER have gotten an award for best actor in 1998, they still can't retroactively erase from our memory the horror of watching him accept the award.
Why even bother to do this? Is EW that hard up for material that they have to rehash such garbage? Or did they need some kind of easily-formatted list type article that would fit conveniently around full-page ads (4 pages of the article have ads facing them on the right-hand page).
On a related note--an ad--is anyone else offended by the print ads for the new Showtime series, United States of Tara? While EW has a spiffy little lenticular card insert touting the show, the accompanying full-page ad--which shows 4 of the star's split personalities--mentions executive producer Steven Spielberg, the show's title and various other pertinent info--but fails to mention the name of the star, Toni Collette. The back of the lenticular card does mention her. But isn't she one of the selling points of the show? And isn't she fairly unrecognizable in the 4 separate identities featured in the ad and on the card? (The show's tagline is: "One woman. Multiple personalities." Didn't Lucy do this each Monday night in the '50s?) Lesson learned: Spielberg trumps acting talent each and every time. It's the name above the title that matters.