Hey Oscars, How About Trying For Classy?

Dear Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,

You are the Academy Awards. Start acting like them. You set the bar for awards. Clearly not, however, for award shows.

You do not get a bigger fan of movies or Hollywood than me. I live for this stuff. I was so into the Oscars that for years, my mother and I would check into a hotel for the night so that we did not miss a single moment. My children are now fully involved in all the red carpet coverage and love nothing more than to critique all the best dresses. So, what I am trying to say here is that I am not an average viewer.

Guess what, Academy? You are losing me. And if you are losing me, then I assure you that you are losing millions of “regular” people, too.

Here is the thing. Starting your show at 8:30 p.m. EST and then having it run for over 3 hours and 26 minutes is ridiculous. I don’t even enjoy doing things I actually like for that length of time. So, you have a choice to make…start earlier or start cutting.

85th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

The biggest night of her life, and were you even awake to see her win?

You film people love nothing more than to talk about editing and stuff on the cutting room floor, so get to it. Average people not only do not care about more than half the categories you insist on presenting on Oscar night, we don’t even have the opportunity to actually see that stuff. Best Documentary Short Subject? Excuse me while I comb through my very large stack of mail, but I don’t believe I received that Academy mailer DVD of those selections in my mailbox this year. Besides the fact that categories like that cause us all to lose in our Oscar pools, it also drags the show out even longer.

Best Sound Mixing (not to be confused with Best Sound Editing, an entirely different category)…really? This is 2013…I think we have managed to master “the talkie”, okay. You know when you give that award? On your Scientific and Technical Award night. Because last time I checked, sound mixing is fairly technical. You continue to do exactly what you already do, which is to have a single Hollywood famous person come on stage and recap that event. Boom. I just shaved a good hour and a half off your telecast. You’re welcome.

Also, you don’t need a separate theme for Oscar night. You know what the theme is: the movies from the past year. Or just movies in general if you want to go with that. Want to highlight movie musicals? No problem. Nothing highlights movies better than a movie montage. Start with a clip of The King and I and finish with a clip from Dreamgirls and then when you get to the big moment, boom open the curtain with Jennifer Hudson belting out the sweeping notes from “And I’m Telling You” and guess what you will have…a water cooler moment. The kind that brings the audience to its feet in the theater and at home. The kind of moment that you had with Barbra Streisand last night that sent Twitter into a tail spin. Hashtag that Hollywood.

Either go big or go home is my advice. Honoring the 50th anniversary of the Bond films?Great. Get all the living Bond men and Bond girls on stage and pull back the curtain after playing a clip montage of all the best Bond film scenes. Standing ovation right then and there. Done.

Can you tell I am a fan of the movie clip montage yet? Well, I am. And so is everyone else. Quite frankly, if we could all live our lives in montage moments complete with soundtrack we totally would. And when I am watching *the* award show for films, I want to see lots of them. If I want to watch live musical performances I will turn on The Grammys or The Tonys.

Also, let’s talk hosting. The host of any event (as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler proved so effortessly on The Golden Globes) is supposed to be the person who moves the show along after a big opening number. And by big, I do not mean twenty minutes. It was practically nine o’clock and not a single award had been given out. Move it along host. This is not about you. It is about the movies. Period.

We don’t need the latest comedian as the host. Let’s class up this joint. Get someone who can do that. Pick someone who appreciates the industry and let them run with it.

Might I suggest George Clooney. Or Meryl Streep. Or Denzel Washington. Someone who can command the stage without stealing all the attention for themselves.

You are the Academy Awards, for God’s sake. You are supposed to be the grownups in the room. You know when a grown up tries to use teen slang and it’s unfunny and awkward?  Well, that is how it is when we at home are watching this spectacle. Play to your strengths.

Make all of us at home glad we made watching your show a priority. Don’t make us sorry that you are not a tenth as good as The Golden Globes.

Let them go for the gold. They are really good at it.

You *be* the gold standard.

84th Annual Academy Awards - Press Room











Ashley, a Very Unimpressed Oscar Viewer


Hey Oscars, How About Trying For Classy? — 82 Comments

  1. Amen! I fell asleep before seeing the awards I wanted to see. It was soooo loooong. I totally agree about the host. I’m guessing that having the creator of the movie/character “Ted” is the quickest way to set the bar really low. My favorite part of this was that you also see your life like a movie montage with its own soundtrack (or at least would like to). I do that all the time.

  2. It was such a snooze fest. I think they have to revamp and get a host who can keep our attention. Tina and Amy did an awesome job when they hosted I think we need them again. I only watch for the fashion myself

  3. I was not impressed, I thought the opening monologue was a bit too crass for my taste–i’ve never been a family guy fan–so maybe I just didn’t get it. I watched the entire red carpet and by 9pm I was getting ready for bed. I recapped yesterday morning. I didn’t even try to watch. It needs to start @ 7pm. Tina and Amy need to host EVERYTHING including the bachelor, the voice and american idol.

  4. I was unimpressed and didn’t love the back jewelry. What was up with that? If I am going to wear bling, I don’t want people to see it when I am walking OFF the stage!

  5. I used to be an avid watcher – but haven’t for the past couple of years. It is too late, too long and I can get all the relevant info online the next morning. I think they should take your advice, Ashley! 🙂

  6. I love this.

    I will admit that I enjoyed Seth McFarlane. because I’m that kinda’ girl and he looked so cute and is funny AND can sing.

    But yes. 5 hours later I wasn’t smiling.

    I don’t even get to watch them live because of bedtime and so I watched about 30-40 mins in and NOT ONE AWARD!! GAH!!

    And I set my DVR to extend and no – nope – didn’t work. No beautiful Jennifer Lawrence. No Ben getting his best whatever. No George Clooney smiling at me. Sigh. No final awards because of the extra bs. Sigh. You’re right. How can I get you a gig with the Academy of Motion Pictures?

    • I don’t watch them live, either. I fast forward through almost 95% on the entire show! How can you get me a gig with the Academy? I mean, seriously, how can you? Because I would LOVE that job! 🙂

  7. I don’t even bother trying to watch any of that because it’s about 15 minutes of ACTUAL award coverage that is the PURPOSE of the show and over 3 hours of filler. So not cool. If they did as you suggest, I probably WOULD watch them. *sigh*

  8. You are better than me because I don’t even bother with the Oscars. I wait for the next day commentary and a quick synposis. Well, actually, I wait to see the best of worse dress list so I can oooh and ahhh and then get pissed that someone is wearing a gown that cost $50,000 when they could have helped a sistah out by paying off my student loan. What happened to Hollywood participating in community service? I digress. Great post! Lol.

  9. I have never been really into the Oscars (I’m more of a music girl, so I live for the Grammy’s that dissapointed as well), but I did see snippets of the show and while I was browsing through the channels a couple hours later and noticed it was STILL on, all I could think was, “Damn…the Oscars are going to be on ALL. NIGHT”! The parts I saw were very dissapointing and boring! I did enjoy watching the red carpet though.

  10. I ended up watching the whole show, even though I havcen’t seen any of the movies. Of course, it is 2 hours earlier here. And there wasn’t anything good on the other channels. You make a bunch of really good points. They could shave it to 2 hours, easy.

    • You haven’t seen any of the movies? Not Argo or Zero Dark Thirty? I would definitely make it a priority to check those out!

  11. Thata girl!!! You always know what’s best and I agree with it all!! I don’t even watch the stuff, but I still hear all about it and so the story goes… good grief on all fronts!! Hope they see this post and make some changes!!! 🙂

  12. I did wind up watching the entire thing – and I agree with everything you said! I am really tired of the Oscars trying to top Billy Crystal – it’s not going to happen – so get someone with class and style who basically introduces the guests. I am really tired of hosts thinking it is funny to insult these people – sheesh – give us more credit than that. There is so much below the belt – just tire of that. The Oscars is not a comedy show – it is an awards show – and you can be cute and funny – just stop with the insults. And someone above commented they did not like the back jewelry – I actually did like it, based on the people who were wearing it – just something different. Loved this rant! 🙂 I hope someone with Oscar pull sees it!

    • Thanks Michelle! I thought long and hard (I mean ranted and raved to Lisa on the phone) about what I wanted to say! 😉

  13. Haha I hope the Academy sees this blog post!!

    Tiny and Amy nailed it. Why would they think Seth could even come close to competing?! I agree, they need a way better host.

    Move montages are the best thing ever.

  14. Loved this Ashley! I think you should host it next year. Yes, those long montages are such a waste….I mean, point me to a website if I want more – right? Yes, that opening act went forever….oh and don’t even get me started on the red carpet. They brought a TIGER because it wasn’t enough to show all the celebs in their glamour.

  15. This. Yes. ALL of it.

    These are the notes the Academy needs for next year.

    I was very, VERY disappointed in that Bond tribute. The montage was so “artsy” that for most of it you couldn’t easily tell which movie the clip was from. And seriously, it should have been clips in chronological order. And should have ended with every Bond and Bond Girl on stage.

  16. See, I thought the Oscars were pretty funny. But I like that sort of humor. Seth MacFarlane created Family Guy and my husband and I love it. If you don’t get the humor then I can see how people wouldn’t like it.

    Granted, I didn’t watch the Oscars. I watched The Walking Dead and caught highlights online.

  17. It has been going down for a number of years now in my opinion and after red carpet, I’ve been losing interest. But maybe if they could it down to a brief, 2-1/2 to 3 hours, that would be a start to get me to hang in there a little bit longer….well said!

    • I could not agree more about how it has been going downhill. I have set it up on TiVo for at least the past 3 years and fast forwarded through most of the show.

  18. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again- Seth MacFarlane is hilarious, but he’s not right for the Oscars. Unless they want one thing- ratings. Which jumped 19% this year. Because Seth is singlehandedly (which I’m saying because I’m begrudgingly accepting the fact that the Simpsons jumped the shark) carrying the Fox Sunday night lineup. And he’s doing it with the demographic that is NOT watching shows like the Oscars. The Oscars really want that category. And so we’re not going to get another Billy Crystal. They don’t want another Billy Crystal. The audience who watched him will watch the Oscars no matter how much teeth-clenching the host causes. They want a younger audience, which means pulling in the likes of Seth. The kinds who don’t care about any of the movies up for Best Picture because, let’s face it, the movie that won an Oscar that made the most was Brave (best Animated), and the top two Best-Pictures nominees barely made more than the last Twilight movie, and were totally creamed by superhero movies.

    • They might be aiming for that demographic, but I doubt they are receiving it and more importantly, in the process, they are not capturing people like me. I don’t watch simply because I have to.

  19. Wow, you have a lot of comments! And I’m so glad – I sincerely hope this post goes as viral as can be and that lots of people read it. We were just talking over here about how embarrassing it was, and how the writing was so bad that it made many distinguished and talented and charismatic people seem as interesting as a block of wood. The host..well..that’s a whole other story.

  20. “the talkies”. I’m sorry, I was having a hard time reading the rest after that little tidbit. Between the laughing and snorting (don’t ask), I just couldn’t focus. How about I just come here every year for the recaps? That’ll save me 3 1/2 hours. 🙂

  21. I can’t admit to watching award shows. Other than the clothes, I don’t see much point…and those I can get in a “Best and Worst Dressed” recap the next day. However, this quote: “if we could all live our lives in montage moments complete with soundtrack we totally would”. So true.

  22. I went to bed after that bizarre tribute to musicals with Catherine Zeta-Jones and then Jennifer Hudson. Didn’t we celebrate those movies when they were nominated, many years ago? Who has time for all that? Grumble grumble grumble.
    That said, I really enjoyed Christopher Plummer complaining about how they introduced him with the theme from The Sound of Music. He’s a national treasure.

    • Yes, we did celebrate those movies then Suzanne! You are totally correct! 😉
      Christopher Plummer is the greatest. 🙂

  23. So sorry for being late. Two reasons. One, I thought you might have written about the winners and I haven’t seen the show yet. So I’m refraining from any Hollywood news or tweets or posts. Two, I’ve been so freaking busy with assignments they swear were due yesterday and I didn’t want to just skim through your post.
    Now that I’ve read it, this is so true. Especially about the technical awards. But I love Seth MacFarlane though 🙂
    I really miss having cable tv 🙁

    • You were wise to wait and read after you had watched…there is nothing worse than being spoiled by someone telling awards before you have seen them!
      So sorry you have been so busy…hope this weekend will give you a chance to put your feet up and relax! 🙂

  24. We shut off the TV at 10:40 p.m. here in the Midwest. It was way past our bed time. Even our dog thought it was too late – the look he was giving us was priceless. We DVR’d it thinking we’d catch the end Monday night. No such luck though the timer for the show stopped ended 10:30. So I’m with you keep it moving, class it up a bit and make it about the movies and maybe I’ll stay with it ’til the end next year.

  25. You nailed it! My kids aren’t so into the pre or show itself, so I hit the DVR tucked them all in and curled up and enjoyed 90 minutes of red carpet interviews and dresses… I was very happy to be able to zap through the opening bit and get to some awards… but sadly I did have to go to bed before the big awards!

    I will admit I did watch the boob bit as someone mentioned it on FB…. as inappropriate as it was I did have a little chuckle (my inner 13 year old must have come out!)

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