I do not understand people who purport to care about and make a point to watch the Oscars and then just bitch and bitch and bitch about how the show is too long, it’s so self-indulgent, and there are all these unnecessary montages. Every single year someone’s whingeing about how they’re dreading the length of the show and it’s going to be so overblown, and the organizers are giving pandering interviews about how they’re “really going to get it under three hours this year, folks, we promise!” and then they make the poor sucker who put an entire animated short on her MasterCard stand in the aisle to accept her award. Here’s a solution for everyone: Don’t watch the show.
Honestly, it is an awards show for actors, the most self-obsessed people in the world short of Kim Jong-Il. If you don’t want to hear them thanking their personal trainers and giving the occasional speech about Palestine, don’t watch the show.
There are 24 awards categories. There’s also the dead people montage, the host’s opening song and dance, the couple minutes each nominee for Best Picture gets, the performances of the songs nominated for Best Original (and let’s talk about how ridiculous it is that they all get shoehorned into a medley), and whatever other history-of-film points the producers want to make. Considering it’s live, that’s not going to be a short program. So if you don’t want to watch a four-hour show…don’t watch it. Or only watch part of it. I don’t understand why the show has to short-shrift the people who worked just as hard, if not harder, as the more famous nominees on sound editing, documentary shorts, and costumes so that the show clocks in at 3:50 instead of 4:06. We have TiFaux now. We can pause the show to go to the bathroom or send out for more pizza rolls. There is no need to make those more obscure nominees stand in the audience to accept their awards or line up on stage like the world’s most awkward dodgeball team while one’s name is announced and the other four try to look happy. Because one day, Kevin O’Connell will win. And at that time, the Susan Lucci of the Oscars will deserve his own standing ovation, running time be damned.
Maybe this would be easier if the show wasn’t such a colossal event for ABC. I suggest the Oscars follow the lead of the Independent Spirit Awards and decamp to some smaller channel that has no problem giving them a five-hour block on a Sunday night (or a Saturday night for that fact, which would be awesomer). Like Sundance, or IFC, or freaking HBO. That would solve the cursing problem.
I’ve never heard anyone complain that the Super Bowl goes on for too long. And there’s just as much pageantry: the twelve-hour pregame show, the song before the national anthem, the national anthem, the coin toss, the flyover, the halftime show, the commercials, for crying out loud. Your average Sunday NFL game fits into about three hours; this year’s Super Bowl ended around 11 p.m., four and a half hours after kickoff. And, you know, no one really cares. They watch it till it’s over. If the Oscars really are the gay Super Bowl, they should get the same consideration: It ends when it ends, and if you’re tired, set the TiFaux, go to bed, and watch the rest during breakfast. Just shut up about it.