Okay Fine, but What About the SHOW?

I heard a lot of grumblings that no one liked the 83rd Oscar telecast. ¬†See, I come from a different perspective on that. ¬†I actually like it when it’s bad. ¬†I like it when it chunders on and on and lasts all night. I like it when they accept that they will never be cool and just embrace their uncoolness. ¬†I’m so about the Rob Lowe/Snow White dance number. ¬†If the Oscars aren’t unhip, what hope do we have for a streaker moment again? ¬†All of the talk about lesbians and nudity – James Franco’s altogether outlined in a unitard, James Franco in drag, James Franco staring blankly at the camera as if to say: What in god’s name have I gotten myself into?

Oh, James.  One hot young fella cannot do it all.  Writer, actor, student, OSCAR HOST?  No. Just no.

But Anne Hathaway?  That girl was born to do this.  I started seeing her in Cabaret.  I could see her as co-host to Billy Crystal.  She is a musical/comedy star cum Oscar host if there ever was one.  She gets my vote.  Thumbs up, Anne.

I have to confess I didn’t watch much of it – being about to throw up every time The Social Network lost another award and all — funny story: I was putting in laundry for my daughter when they were giving out Best Director. ¬†I couldn’t be in the room, I told her. ¬†So I’m going downstairs — call out my name if Fincher wins. ¬†I went downstairs in the cold. ¬†Quiet. ¬†Nothing. ¬†Someone opening a door? No. ¬†Nothing. ¬†More quiet. ¬†I put the laundry in the washer, placed the quarters in the slot, slid that sucker through. ¬†Still nothing. ¬†I walked back upstairs to see Tom Hooper accepting the award.

“Fincher didn’t win,” she told me glumly. ¬†No kidding.

So anyway, where were we? ¬†Oh yes, the SHOW! ¬†What happened anyway? I have a memory blur of Gwyneth Paltrow, Randy Newman and … Melissa Leo actually winning an Oscar. ¬†Good for her! ¬†So she says “fuck” on TV. ¬†Good for her! ¬†Both Leo and Bale winning were high points, I thought. ¬†And who can deny Colin Firth and David Seidler their wins? ¬†I never bought the Annette Bening thing so I wasn’t surprised to see sweet little Natalie (who still reminds me of Sue Lyon at the end of the Lolita all blown up like that) winning. ¬†Well deserved.

Anne Thompson tweeted that she’d bet Darren Aronofsky $20 that Natalie wouldn’t win. ¬†She said it was time to pay up.

Billy Crystal did show up, botox and all (honey, trust me, you’re better without). ¬†And yes, Nathaniel Rogers was right when he said there would be no cut-aways of Nicole Kidman singing Katy Perry songs.

Wasn’t there a lot of top hats, white ties and tales? ¬†There was as much as a reach-around to the Oscars of old as there was a clumsy attempt to update themselves to the modern era. ¬†Don’t worry, Academy, we like you just the way you are. ¬†Don’t go changing to try to please us.

All in all, there was nothing to complain about except, well, everything.  Another Oscar telecast in the can.  And we know it was all about ratings, hopefully, to keep the mill turning the grain.  And according to Adweek:

Combined with the Oscar Red Carpet Special from 7-8:30 p.m. (13.2/22), ABC more than doubled the competing networks combined. While it did slip by 7 percent from one year earlier (27.5/42 on March 7, 2010), the year of The King’s Speech was an improvement from both 2008 and 2009.

As a benchmark, here is the metered market tracking for The Academy Awards over the last decade (with the Best Film winner in parentheses):

2002: 29.8/46 (A Beautiful Life)
2003: 24.6/36 (Chicago)
2004: 28.7/42 (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King)
2005: 29.2/42 (Million Dollar Baby)
2006: 26.3/29 (Crash)
2007: 27.0/41 (The Departed)
2008: 20.8/32 (No Country for Old Men)
2009: 23.0/36 (Slumdog Millionaire)
2010: 27.5/42 (The Hurt Locker)
2011: 25.6/39 (The King’s Speech)

I think that The Social Network, Black Swan and True Grit probably helped ratings quite a bit, Ad Week, dontcha think?  Not to mention the Hath and the Franc.

What did you all think?  Good, bad or ugly?

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