If it's crap ... We'll tell you
For this week's TV Weekly, I want to delve into a topic that's becoming the hot thing to talk about this week. Literally, every single person has something to say about this event that has just happened, whether it being good or bad, and I feel that I need to ask the question that's been on everbody's mind this past week...
Were This Year's Oscars Really That Bad?
Since the Oscars ended on Sunday night, there has been nothing but story after story after story about how this year's Oscars played out. Whether it was one of the best Oscars yet or it was the worst Oscars of all time.
First off, let me say right off the bat that the people that are saying that this was the worst Oscars of all time need to shut the hell up because they have no idea what they're talking about.
Every single person on the planet who's watched the Oscars in the last few years can easily tell you that 2011's Oscars with James Franco and Anne Hathaway was by far the worst one of all time. Franco and Hathaway are great actors but there was no reason why they had to be chosen to host the Oscars because they were so terrible.
That year's Oscars is still the worst Oscars I've ever seen for a number of reasons. The hosting was terrible, the show fell into clichés that I hate about the Oscars, and they picked the worst Best Picture winner out of the bunch. I'm sorry but The King's Speech was a boring movie that didn't deserve to win Best Picture when it was competing against the far superior The Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit, or Black Swan.
But anyway, back to this year's Oscars.
It seemed to me by looking at all this backlash against the Oscars that a lot of people were really nitpicking many different things about the show.
They were nitpicking about the host, the winners, the presenters, the In Memoriam segment, and so many different other things about the ceremony. That they completely missed out on what made the Oscars really great this year.
I liked that the Oscars try to reach out past its' regular audience, I thought Seth MacFarlene held his own as the host, I liked the fact that he made fun of the future backlash that would come from hosting the show.
And that's another thing that I have against TV critics, no matter who hosts the show, they are still going to say that they sucked no matter who they get. They were saying the same thing about Billy Crystal last year, they said the same thing about James Franco & Anne Hathaway (rightfully so), heck, they even said it about Steve Martin & Alec Baldwin, the best Oscars in the last few years. The critics have never been kind to the Oscar hosts so whoever the producers are, they should really not give a crap on what critics say about the host.
I think TV critics were so harsh against MacFarlene because of their hatred for Family Guy, especially if you read Tom Shayles' review of the Oscars that the Spill crew brought up on their Oscar podcast. Reading some of those negative reviews, the people who wrote those probably have not seen Ted or his SNL season premiere or listened to his album, 'Music Is Better Than Words'.
Did every single joke MacFarlene pull work? No, there were a couple of stumbled jokes that didn't play out as well as I'm sure they thought it would but for the most part, I thought he did a damn good job as the host. In my top 3 favorite Oscar hosts, he's ahead of Chris Rock but below Steve Martin & Alec Baldwin. I mean, don't tell me you didn't get giddy when MacFarlene did a dance number with Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Daniel Radcliffe. Because let me tell you something, I was.
People were also criticizing who won the Oscars this year, they didn't like the fact that Jennifer Lawrence beat out Jessica Chastain for the Best Actress Oscar but I'm sorry, I thought Lawrence's performance in Silver Linings' Playbook was easily better than Chastain's performance in Zero Dark Thirty. Now, don't get me wrong, I was criticizing some of the wins too, particularly Best Animated Feature. I really believed that Wreck It Ralph should've gotten it mostly because Brave didn't deserve to win it. As people have said, Wreck It Ralph was more of a Pixar film than Brave was.
The most ridiculous criticism, I thought, came with the Best Picture presenters. You had Jack Nicholson, who had to have been high during that show because he spent all of the show looking like he doesn't know where the heck he is and there was even a point towards the beginning of the show where he looked like he was passed out, and then by surprise, you had Michelle Obama from the White House to help present the award. And people flipped out against the first lady for presenting the award because they thought she was politicizing the award.
I'm sorry but those people who are saying that are full of themselves, if that was the case then Argo definitely wouldn't have won that award. Argo was considered the frontrunner of the awards ceremony and if the first lady had presented another movie like Silver Linings' Playbook or Lincoln the award, then I would be with them on that but she didn't do that. I think with that one, that's just people who have this prejudice against Michelle Obama. I think if you had any other politician there to present the award, then it wouldn't be a problem.
Instead of wasting your time talking shit about the first lady, how about actually talking about the fact that Meryl Streep didn't even open the envelope for Best Actor. I mean, seriously, watch that part again and they literally cut to her not looking at the envelope and saying that Daniel Day Lewis won. For all we know, he probably didn't win the Oscar after all. That's more than worth talking about than talking shit about the first lady presenting Argo the Best Picture.
The In Memoriam segment had its' criticizers mostly because they forgot a lot of people and this is the only criticism that I actually agree with. Okay, I understand that the show was already too long but come on, when you forget names like Andy Griffith and Phyllis Diller for some special effects guys that most people have never heard of, then you really screwed up. That being said, the tribute to Marvin Hamlisch with Barbra Streisand was perfect, I don't ever get teary-eyed during the In Memoriam segment but when that part came up, I'm not gonna lie, I got a little teary-eyed.
The other criticism that I actually agreed with people with was the god-awful red carpet pre-show. Look, I love Kristin Chenoweth but that 90 minute red carpet show was just so painful to watch. Every single interview with Chenoweth started off with her giving whoever she was talking to a nickname and just asking these stereotypical questions about what the actor was wearing and trying to ask them what was under a mystery box, and you can tell that nobody gave a crap.
Like I said, I love Kristin Chenoweth, she's a great singer, she's a good actress, and she can save any terrible movie that she's in but she's a pretty bad interviewer. Thankfully, she did have a very nice musical number at the end of the show with MacFarlene about the losers of the Oscars.
Instead of talking about the bad moments of the Oscars, let's talk about everything the Oscars got right, at least, in my opinion.
First off, the host. They picked a perfect host that could provide great comedy and also show off his incredible musical abilities because the guy's an amazing singer. Anybody who wants to deny me on that, go look up his album, Music Is Better Than Words, it's a really good album.
Secondly, every presenter had a right to be there and there was no BS with any of the presenters, except for Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy, who came close to topping the god-awful Will Ferrell/Kristen Wiig Golden Globe presentation. My biggest pet peeve about the Oscars in the past was that they have an old actor come to the Oscars and take his time with presenting an award, where he's sitting up there for literally 10 minutes. Going back to the 2011 Oscars, the worst was when Kirk Douglas presented Best Supporting Actress and was up there for almost 10 minutes and even the people nominated had this look like, "Will you get off the stage already?"
And thankfully, we didn't have that. The only really old person they had presenting was Christopher Plummer but he had a right to be there. He had won the previously year and he wasn't slowing up the show, he presented the award and it was a good presentation.
Third, the Oscars actually had a tie this year. I've been saying for years that I wish the Oscars would give out more ties and I'm glad they did that this year, it was one of the show's best surprises.
Fourth, say what you will about the musical numbers, they were all pretty damn good. Shirley Bassey's performance in the 007 tribute was awesome, Catherine Zeta Jones, Jennifer Hudson, and the cast of Les Miserables' performances were all well done, Adele's performance of Skyfall was excellent, and even Norah Jones' performance was very good and showed her at her sexiest, in my opinion.
And fifth, and most importantly, there was never a point where I got bored. Usually during the Oscars, there comes a point where it starts to get boring but this year, I felt it moved very smoothly. There wasn't a part where I felt they could've cut something out, except for some of the jokes that didn't work, it was keeping me in it for the majority of the show.
So, right off the bat, this year's Oscars were nowhere near as bad as some people are saying.
I personally thought it was one of the best ones in years, Seth MacFarlene was very funny, the wins were justified, the musical numbers were very well done, it moved very smoothly, and it was just a great time. For the last major Sunday event of the TV season, the 85th Annual Academy Awards were a perfect conclusion to the major TV events of the season.