Monday, February 25, 2013
Last night show did something that hasn't happened in previous years, it did NOT put me to sleep. So there was something new for an Oscar show as the ceremony lasted three hours and thirty-five minutes, making it one of the longest telecasts of the past 20 years.
Without getting into what I think of Seth McFarlane, there was something REALLY new in the show, he REALLY was a host as he never "disappeared" as has happened with many American awards shows where the host does a monologue/introduction, we see him/her a few times, disappears to sometimes show his/her face at the end. McFarlane was the host that also introduced presenters during the entire show, making the ceremony to seamless flow in a normal, common way, like many entertaining variety shows do.
Can't recall where I read it but I was aware that this year instructions for the show called for "an entertainment show that gives awards" instead of "an award ceremony that sometimes has entertaining moments". In this sense I have to admit that the purpose was accomplished as definitively the show was more about entertainment than "giving awards". Was a good purpose? I do not know yet as ratings are not available at this hour; but based only in my own experience it was a good purpose as did not put me to sleep, even when almost everything I predicted will win, won. Update: according to early estimates, rating is up 4%, making the best score since 2007; also, according to Twitter, Oscars generated 8.9 million tweets, 2.1 during red carpet and 6.8 during awards show but BIG winner was the Best Picture moment (thanks to the presenter) with 85,300 tweets per minute (TPM), followed by Adele's Skyfall performance with 82,300 TPM and Best Actress for Jennifer Lawrence with 71,600 TPM. For reference Super Bowl was the subject of 24 million tweets and the Grammys, 14 million; so third place is not really a good place to be on social media (used mostly by the younger generations).
So according to me the show structure worked, but what about substance?
Me for one highly enjoyed some of the musical moments, from gorgeous looking Charlize Theron dancing, to Jennifer Hudson singing the song that gave her an Oscar, Dame Shirley Basset singing Goldfinger (yes, still today I'm humming the song) and Barbra Streisand (looking so young) performing one of her classics, The Way We Were. Sorry but We saw your Boobs song bombed for me, the only thing I liked was the sarcasm behind it as the all male chorus was none other than the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles (that obviously do not care about seeing any woman boobs).
Did not enjoy out-of-sync Catherine Zeta-Jones Chicago performance (Oscar show producers are also movie producers) nor the awful Les Mis cast singing (who told them that they can sing? - alright, there are two or three that can sing); there was something wrong with Nora Jones (I like her quite a lot) and believe that was the song she was singing that was simply not one that I could like and talking about sound mixing, Adele performance had terrible tech specs, orchestra should have been lowered and/or microphone sound risen.
But what was highly disappointing was James Bond's 50 years anniversary celebration, not even Bond deserved such a lame collection of movie clips that reduced the very successful franchise to a few minutes of nothing much. Of course, Dame Shirley Basset sang Goldfinger and I highly enjoy it, but is that what James Bond means? Only one song? No.
Have a soft spot for crooners, so when crooner Seth McFarlane sang non-stupid lyrics he was alright for me but find his humor highly unfunny, many times offensive and totally deprecating. Please recall that I highly enjoy Ricky Gervais that when compared to McFarlane becomes the King of offensive material as Gervais really has "class" to say the most offensive things in very well-delivered, well-timed way. McFarlane timing and deliverance was truly on the most bad side of the scale. Won't get into analyzing the jokes, many have done that, nor will comment on the use of the future to tell host what he does wrong for him to fix it as for me was most unfortunate use of viewers time. But if you check youth-oriented sites you will find readers polls that name him a "Genius", like in MTV site. Sigh.
Usually gay sites praise the Oscars show but this year to my surprise and as of this moment, not many are praising last night show; most have the news with what seems like editorial describing what happened during the show. That is unusual. Then you have dispatches from what could be the American right press that trash the show as they claim is sold for "Family Viewing" and definitively was not. Morning TV news were mostly polite saying that "is hard to please everyone" but also saying that show was "controversial".
So the second most viewed TV show in the "domestic" market (meaning USA) and the first in the world was again in general, disappointing for many viewers. But no matter what you read or hear people saying, for many show was also not a sleeping pill (I am not alone in this), so there is something new that perhaps the Academy should consider for future shows, keep the structure but change the substance. If they do that then perhaps someday we will have a show that evenly mixes structure and substance, translates into good ratings (like in the "old" days) and pleases many. Sigh.
The Red Carpet
Was very surprised to find so many live streaming of the infamous red carpet which suggests that we are arriving to a "real" starting point of live streaming, which is great as slowly but surely we are reaching the moment when device watching will become a real choice for viewers. This fact allowed me to follow whatever I was interested in watching in many sites, including TV channels, and was most fascinated by being able to follow Charlize Theron all over the place (lol!).
Most disappointed by my first experience with (ABC) Oscar app that allowed us to go backstage, not even the six cameras made something worth watching. Today's multiple videos have better backstage entertaining moments than the ones I saw, but then to be honest got so bored that turned off my iPad as was distracting me from watching the show (lol!). Now is time to do the winners post but was more interesting doing this one first.
I am truly glad the American award season is over, was not one of my favorite seasons at all for all the "changing of opinion" by critics, the mixing of politics and (fictionalized) movies, the mediocrity of many honored movies, performances, etc. and on top, another uneven show. So let's close in a positive note with some spectacular photos (love black and white photos) and one interview I saw on TV this morning and made me laugh hard, Jennifer Lawrence and Jack Nicholson moment. Lawrence is so refreshing in Hollywood mostly "plastic" world. Note: Last photo does not have good quality but is here anyway (lol!)