The Oscars: Oh my god just shut up already

Posted by sara February 20th, 2009 at 12:15pm In All Things TV Awards General I'm Sick of Your Shit The Gays

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.

They asked us to give shorter speeches because Americans can't understand our funny accents.

They asked us to give shorter speeches because Americans can't understand our funny accents.

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.


  • 1. jesse  |  February 20th, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    I mostly agree… although, really, as much as I enjoy clips packages, I can see the case against them when you’re producing a four-hour show. At least have them something to do with something. But instead this year they will probably have a four-minute tribute to, I don’t know, movies with mountains in them, or movies with a substantial height differential between lead actor and lead actress. And any and all production numbers can suck it. They have nothing to do with movies so I don’t care.

    I’d rather see that time going to more substantial clips of the actual acting nominees (or others, even! I’d love to see them choose a directing or writing clip but maybe that’s too much analysis to ask for).

    But anyway, you are right on about those “small” categories. I am way against jerks who are like “nobody cares about you, you’re the editor/sound guy/cinematographer!” I totally care about that stuff. Just commit to four hours of movie stuff.

  • 2. sara  |  February 20th, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    Yes, you’re right. I think last year or maybe the year before Jake Gyllenhaal introduced a montage of, like, landscapes. It was mind-boggling. And I would love to see more creative demonstrations of the work people do—one year I think they had mini fashion shows for the costume nominees, and that was legitimately cool. I also like to see the different shots the editors are working with and how they combine them to get the finished product. That stuff is interesting!

    I forgot to mention that my problem isn’t with people like Kyle who genuinely don’t like the show, only put up with it because the person they live with has it on the TV and if they’re not in front of a TV that night are happy to miss it. I just don’t get people who seem to hate the entire concept and yet commit to writing about it and/or watching it. I don’t like hockey, but I don’t bitch about how the Stanley Cup playoffs are SOOOO LOOOOONG AND BORING, do I? (Okay, yes. But only at work.)

  • 3. Marisa  |  February 20th, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Last year’s tribute to binoculars and periscopes was awesome!

  • 4. Dan  |  February 20th, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    Sara, just so you know, I had a conference call with the gays. All of them. We agreed that the gay Superbowl is actually the season finale of Project Runway.

    Sorry for any confusion.

  • 5. sara  |  February 20th, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Ooh, good to know. I guess the Oscars are the ladies’ Super Bowl, then. Except during years when the Patriots go to the Super Bowl and Tom Brady swans around in tight pants.

  • 6. Dan  |  February 20th, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Oh, and also, Javier Bardem’s smoldering hotness almost distracts me from the fact that Tilda Swinton looks like she just parachuted in.

  • 7. Kyle  |  February 20th, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    Unfortunately it turns out they have television and The Oscars in Mexico, so I still might end up wasting 4 hours of vacation time on that bullshit circle jerk.

    As long as there are drinks with umbrellas I might make it through.


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