It's Oscar night. I'll be watching (although not all the pre-show hoopla) in spite of the fact that I haven't seen many of the nominated movies because (a) we fill out ballots and make wagers regardless (and really, who has seen any of the animated shorts?) and (b) chips and dip. Yes, this is one night I eat potato chips. Too many of them.
And just like the Oscars roll around every year, yet again we are subjected to the hand-wringing articles about their unpopularity and growing irrelevance. Why oh why, film folks bemoan, is the audience dropping?
Here's my take on that:
1. The cringe-inducing banter. Seriously, why bother? It's just painful. It's not only the writing, it's the delivery. Which really shouldn't be the case. The presenters are, for the most part, actors. Making lines work is their job, for which many of them get paid huge salaries. So why then is delivery of said lines so abyssmal?
Whatever the reason, it is, so just come out in your fancy duds, read the nominees and present the award to the winner.
2. (a) The lack of risk with the fancy duds. I recall reading somewhere that, now that all the stars have stylists, there's much less chance of seeing clothes that have actually been chosen solely by the actors themselves.
Since part of the (snarky) fun used to be seeing what bizarro and unflattering gowns/tuxedos those highly paid people would wear, this is disappointing. Remember that stork dress on Bjork? Now that was interesting.
(b) Fashion commentary overload. I do not care one whit which designer made what gown. For the guys, sorry, but who designed your tux matters even less.
3. The movies. As I said, I haven't seen many of the Oscar picks this year. Why? Too violent, too dark, too depressing. I don't care which one of them wins.
As for Juno, frankly, I don't get it. Unfortunately, I don't "get" a lot of what passes for funny in the movies anymore. Do not get me started on Superbad.
Clearly, I am not Hollywood's target audience, so I'm a lot less likely to care which film wins an award. I suspect their target audience is too busy playing Halo III or Call of Duty to watch the Oscars.
4. Award overload. Now it's not just the Oscars and the Emmys, it's the Golden Globes, Directors Guild, Screenwriters Guild, Caterer's Club (okay, not yet, but surely it's only a matter of time).
Yet despite my many problems with the Oscar telecast, there I will be, seated on the couch, ballot in hand, cringing during the banter.
I did mention the chips and dip, right?