February 28, 2011

TV Tuesday, Part 1

Yes, Part 1. Since this was a big week for TV, rather than overloading you with a super-long blog post, I'm going to break this up into a two-parter today. For your enjoyment of course.

This is my obligatory post about the Oscars, in open-letter format.

Dear Anne,
I love you. I have loved you since high school, when "Princess Diaries" pretty much defined my high school experience...minus the whole royalty thing. I've seen (almost) everything you've ever done...even that really, really sad SNL appearance. I was thrilled that you were cast as the new Catwoman. Even when some of your picture choices were less than "A" quality, I still enjoyed watching you work. So it was with high expectations I went into this year's Oscar presentation. And one thing became overwhelmingly clear almost immediately...

You had no idea what you were doing.

Listen, I know James Franco has the personality of a block of wood, and you were probably trying to overcompensate for that. I know you were under pressure to be energetic, vibrant, and most-of-all, "young," as though the problem with the fading appeal of the Oscars has anything to do with age. (How can that be, I ask, when the one prevailing moment people are talking favorably about was Kirk Douglas's appearance??)

Somewhere in there, you guys forgot you were also supposed to be classy. Seriously, when you have to come out in drag to try and get a cheap laugh....it's the hallmark of lame. Just lame. This is the freakin' Oscars, not a Super Bowl pre-show. This is a Hollywood tradition, an American tradition - honoring the one truly American artform - that has lasted nearly 100 years. Somewhere in there, you and your co-host forgot that it wasn't about you. It's about movies.

I still love you. I still want you to do well. But please, please, never host the Oscars again. Give it back to Billy Crystal. Cuz ur doin it wrong.


Dear Academy,
Okay, okay, we get it. Ratings are down. That's not good for business. Ignoring the fact that a lot of that has to do with Neilsen using an outdated ratings model, obviously you decided that the cause must be the ever-slipping 18-30 demographic. So you decided to, um, "cool"-up the Oscars by hiring pretty young actors to host, rather than seasoned veterans or cable channel hacks *cough*JonStewart*cough*.

Let me give you some advice: it's not about the hosts. When the hosts for this year were announced, the general reaction among my friends of that demographic was, "Uh, what? Why them?" We weren't fooled. We knew it was a gimmick. Same thing with the autotone montage (you aren't going to top "Hide yo kids, hide yo wife." Sorry). And the drag sketch. All of it was very forced, contrived, and condescending to the 18-30s. Insulting, that's the word I'm looking for. Insulting.

Here's the thing: it's about the movies. Yes, it's also about the dresses. We'll talk about the dresses for the next couple of weeks. You know why? Because the movies aren't worth talking about on Monday morning. The only young people who tune in anymore do it A) for the fashion, B) as part of a social event (like I did) and C) to hope against hope that a movie we actually liked and were passionate about would win something other than an obscure technical award.

Because, I'll be honest, I know a lot of people who said, "Yeah, King's Speech was really good. You should check it out." Or even, "This was a great movie, really inspiring." But they only said it once. They talked about Inception for weeks. Weeks.

Which leads me to my other point: Get over yourselves. How about nominating and awarding movies people actually enjoyed? Not just serious dramas. Because, yeah, those are nice, but those are the ones that wind up being on the 2 a.m. cable movie channels in less than 5 years. And they aren't the movies the "kids today" get excited about. Toy Story 3 WAS my generation's movie! Yeah, okay, it got Best Animated Feature, but you know it deserved Best Picture. And if you wanted to hook an entire generation, hook the ones who grew up with those characters.

Next time, focus on the movies the people like, and stop patting yourselves on the back, competing for who has the best mental breakdown on camera. The rest of us aren't that impressed.


Dear Bob Hope,
Please come back.


Dear Aaron Sorkin,

We know why you really won. Just sayin'.


Dear Zachary Levi,
I love you. Sing to me.


  1. I didn't even watch the Oscar's and this was thoroughly entertaining. But you seriously make me wish I had cable!

    P.S. I'm so glad you are enjoying the desert. I love the southwest.

  2. I haven't watched them in years knowing that any movie I like will not be chosen. I feel like they are trying to be super intellectual with their movie choices. Basically, the academy=pretentious jerks. That's why I don't watch. Oh yeah. And the fashion people always say celebs look awful when they look beautiful so I can't get myself to watch that either.

  3. I was one who actually tuned into the Oscars BECAUSE of the hosts. Usually they're 5 hours long, pretentious, and booooring. The opening montage killed me. I thought the auto-tone was rather funny.

    I agree. They're not comedians. I think James was probably stoned the whole night.

    But Anne got me to tune in when I usually just read the CNN wrap-up the next morning. And I, too, cheered for Inception (as the only movie I've seen of the list). The King's Speech just looks...boring.

    Someone had mentioned that Ellen Degeneres and NPH should host. That'd I'd see!

  4. Your last letter is my favorite. And could have been written by me. I held my tongue sitting next to my (sweet, handsome, amazing) husband, but...wow. The man is sexy. And add singing to that? Yes.

  5. I'm not even sure why I watch the Oscars. Usually the "best picture" is so boring and intellectual that I feel stupid for not appreciating it. Every once in awhile they get it right (Sandra Bullock) but I'm usually left scratching my head. This year I watched it at 5 in the morning while I balanced our checkbook...and found the checkbook to be more interesting. From now on I'll just pick up a magazine the week following to see the dresses and get the winners in a list. Unless they bring back Billy Crystal, of course.

    Anne Hathaway + James Franco = FAIL

  6. I agree! How about we bring some class back? I get that everyone wants to be laid back, casual and cool. But seriously, when did casual start to mean trashy?
    This is a sore subject around here. I see kids at the high school dressing and talking like gangsters. Really? When did that become cool?
    I really wish parents would teach their children to be ladies and gentlemen again. It's so needed.

  7. This has been my absolute favorite Oscar review! Thank you!!

  8. I had to stop watching the Oscars...I was absolutely bored to tears!

  9. I don't watch the Oscars.. I can't quite bring myself to buy into mass narcissism!
    But I was stoked that The King's Speech won best picture. I saw all the nominees (the result of living with a man who loves movies sometimes even more than he loves me, I think!) and hands down the King's Speech was the best. Yes, for me it really resonated (and Colin Firth plays such a convincing stutterer it's amazing). But moreover, its strength was in its acting and scriptwriting. You can't say that for much these days. I love Toy Story to the nth degree, but frankly The King's Speech shat all over Woody and Buzz this year. Just my two cents! :)

  10. I wanted Toy Story 3 to win best picture too!

  11. Thank goodness! Someone else thinks James Franco is useless! I can't stand him. He has no sense of humor and honestly I think he's weird!

    I think they need to revamp next year and go back to old school style. The bob hope moment was one of my favorites and when they were talking about old hollywood!

  12. Thank goodness! Someone else thinks James Franco is useless! I can't stand him. He has no sense of humor and honestly I think he's weird!

    I think they need to revamp next year and go back to old school style. The bob hope moment was one of my favorites and when they were talking about old hollywood!


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