This may surprise you, but the Oscars were on last night. I hadn’t seen any of the nominated films, but a college professor once told me that to be active in the entertainment industry, it’s important to watch awards shows. So I made myself some green tea and flopped down on my couch.
I tried to watch the opening montage but, even with that relevant Justin Bieber cameo I lost interest and switched over to a DVRed episode of SNL about five minutes in. Post Walking Dead, I switched back, so I caught Angelina Jolie propping herself up by throwing her right leg as far out as she possibly could. People say she did it to show off the slit in her dress, but after seeing how skinny she is, I think she was just trying not to faint from starvation.
When I was in college getting my BFA in Musical Theater, we had our own little award show every year; the Alphies. The entire department would go to this little bar with an outdoor patio and eat catered food and drink too much. We did skits celebrating and mocking the year’s shows. Awards would be given out. Seniors would make good-bye speeches; some heartfelt, some booze-fueled. It was a great night; full of inside jokes, ass-kissing, and ass-grabbing. Our emcee was always a beloved member of the theatre department. But we didn’t televise it. Or invite outside attendees. Because no one cares about the inside awards and compliments that a group of people decide to give to each other. At all.
The Oscars are a little different because everyone theoretically can see the movies and opine loudly at a party to celebrate them, but at the end of the day, they are really just fancier, more boring, less drunk Alphies. Watching a bunch of actors and directors and producers and writers telling each other how moving and important the other is boring. And while I liked the interviews with actors about their love of movies, when Adam Sandler said that he made movies because he was in constant search of the truth, it was way too much for me.
Performing and making art is really important. Awarding people for doing so in a giant, overly expensive ceremony is not. Award shows should be fun and keep their subject matter in perspective. Billy Crystal’s opening comment that “…nothing can take the sting out of the economic crisis like watching millionaires give each other golden statues”, said it all. What I saw of the show was lackluster and out of touch. I would much rather watch a bunch of drunk kids make fun of their professors for a couple of hours while eating overcooked rigatoni.