The Academy Awards may be the biggest night in Hollywood, but it isn’t the best. Last night proved that producers still have a lot of work to do. It’s an extremely complicated thing to perfect, but it’s safe to say they’ve failed. So let’s go back to the drawing board and build this show back to it’s former glory. Let’s talk the three ways to fix the Oscars.
1) Cut Running-Time
This isn’t a new idea. This suggestion has been demanded for years. 3 hours for an awards show is absurd and what’s even more ridiculous is that last night’s show went a half-hour over. That’s just unacceptable. The general public doesn’t care about smaller categories so why bore them with it? I say move them to another night and live-stream the ceremony on YouTube. To be brutally honest, nobody cares who wins in Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Animated Short, or Documentary Short. Now, before the internet becomes outraged, I think these categories are perfectly legitimate and these artists deserve recognition. But having them be apart of the ceremony is wasting too much time. If someone genuinely wants to watch their speeches then they can do so on YouTube. I’m not saying we cut the categories, I’m just saying we move them. Cutting the run-time by an hour would dramatically change the pacing and energy of the show for the better.
2) Celebrate More Films
It’s not a good sign when the best part of an award show honoring movies are the musical performances. Last night, we spent more time focusing on Best Song than Best Picture. The Best Picture nominees had to pair up but Best Song nominees each got their own 3 minute performances. A good fourth of the show was just on that one award. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing- the music performances we’re critical in boosting up the night’s energy. But we need to refocus the show on what it’s all about: movies. If you’re going to put these performances in, make sure they’re promoting the movie they’re there for. The Lego Movie did so brilliantly but some musical performances seemed completely detached from the movie it was apart of. Lady Gaga gave a breathtaking performance in honor of The Sound of Music and I think it was perfect- but it was because the movie played a part in the performance. We’re watching the Oscars- not the Grammy’s. Let’s celebrate why we’re watching: movies.
3) Get Stronger Writers
Despite what everyone’s saying, I don’t blame Neil Patrick Harris for last night. I blame the writers. NPH is strong on stronger material. The jokes loaded on the teleprompter were painful to listen to. The problem wasn’t what they have to go off of. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler found hilarity in everything. NPH’s writing team should’ve been able to do the same. No, they should’ve been able to do better. This is the Oscars. This is the biggest award show- get the sharpest writers. No cringe-worthy puns aimed at fourth-graders. We want wit. We expect hilarity. We didn’t get it.