I decided not to live blog the Academy Awards broadcast this year, but there were times last night when I wish I did (actually, I sorta-kinda did on Facebook). An hour into the show I realized nothing ever changes with this thing. Each year it's the same old sh*t. It doesn't matter who's producing or directing or hosting. While Billy Crystal was a welcome returning host last night, the show was still incredibly energy-free, with the only exciting moment being trying to decipher the lousy audio, which made everyone sound like Nick Nolte first thing in the morning. (That audio problem may have been with my local station, Channel 10 in San Diego...because everything was over-modulated, even the commercials.) And Crystal is unfortunately reaching that age when all comedians become their own best audience. If you cut out the time wasted while he laughed and smirked at his own jokes, the show could have been cut by 15 minutes.
But you know what's wrong with this show? It's what Hollywood THINKS we want to see. We don't want to see Cirque du Soliel in an interpretive performance about movies. (My God, for a moment I had a flashback to the year that phrase was used with Debbie Allen. Talk about nightmares...) We don't need another edited piece of clips from great movies of the past. Much as I love Raiders of the Lost Ark and Jaws, if I want to see that boulder roll down on Indiana Jones or hear Roy Schieder say "We're going to need a bigger boat," I'll watch the actual f*cking movies, thank you very much. We don't want to see all the technical awards, especially Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing. I know all these awards are given to talented individuals who help make movies much better. But give them their own awards presentation before Oscar night. Jettison all this stuff. Give us the acting awards, the best film, the best director and screenplay awards, best animated feature, best documentary and let's all go the f*ck home. I could have lived without the Muppets, too, which have become nothing more than a bunch of shills for Disney. And kudos to the person who decided to team Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz, who's lame attempt at comedy (and showing off the reasons they're both "stars," their butts), revealed how incredibly untalented and self-absorbed both of them are. Welcome to Hollywood.
We want to see actors and actresses. We want to see heartfelt acceptance speeches, like Octavia Spencer's for Best Supporting Actress in The Help. And yes, as Billy Crystal so aptly put it in the beginning, we want to see a bunch of millionaires give out little gold statues to each other. It's the one night of the year we can stomach that ostentatious presentation of self-aggrandizement (spare me your Golden Globes, your SAG Awards, your Producers' Guild Awards, and any other Guild or press organization that has the urge to give out metal-plated crap to members of the industry).
Oh, and Academy...if you're going to have a show producer who mousses his hair so he looks an aging reject from The Little Rascals (I think his character's name was "Spikey"), please keep him the hell off-camera. Mr. Grazer, you're 61 years old...maybe it's time for a big-boy haircut?