Have the Oscars Jumped the Golden Shark?

First, AMPAS stressed over catering to the millennial and nerd vote with all those haphazard, terrible science fiction, fantasy, and comic book movies that do nothing but make $700 million at minimum. So, the “Best Popular Film” category was born…and later killed.

Then, all that ballyhoo over Kevin Hart. They give him the hosting job, then someone went trolling a decade ago, followed by buyer’s remorse, which was preceded by Hart apology tour, and then Oscar getting that golden rod stuck straight up their elitist rear end.

What’s the adage? “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

All this tinkering must mean something is shattered on the Red Carpet in Tinseltown. What makes that city go ’round? Money.

You’ve heard the 2018 Oscars had the worst ratings in its history, plummeting 17 percent from 2017 (which was already the owner of that dubious distinction of worst ever).

THR Nielsen
Source: THR / Nielsen

They are desperate! It’s obvious. Their gold-plated boxers are showing and no one in those famed hills knows why. Meanwhile, they are looking at those numbers cross-eyed. Now, they are trying to tell to whittle away at the “lesser cared known” categories.

Deadline reports four awards are going to be given where no one knows their name. That’s right, while you belly up your private bar or go potty thanks to being in your bar too much, the Academy will dole out its awards to Live Action Short, Film Editing, Makeup & Hairstyling, and Cinematography.

Academy President John Bailey shared a letter to members to explain why those awards will be given during a bathroom break to make way for the beautiful people. Here are some excerpts and an attempt to speak “Hollyweird”:

Viewing patterns for the Academy Awards are changing quickly in our current multi-media world, and our show must also evolve to successfully continue promoting motion pictures to a worldwide audience.

(TRANSLATION: Ratings are in the toilet. We’re dying here.)

I want to reiterate however, that all 24 Academy Award-winning presentations will be included in the broadcast. We believe we have come up with a great way to do this, and keep the show to three hours.

(TRANSLATION: No one knows these winners so we will cut them out. Diplomatically, of course.)

And, with the help of our partners at ABC, we also will stream these four award presentations online for our global fans to enjoy, live, along with our audience.

(TRANSLATION: That’s where the kids are, right? Because they ain’t watching TV.)

The executive committees of six branches generously opted-in to have their awards presented in this slightly edited timeframe for this year’s show, and we selected four.

(TRANSLATION: Either they approved of the bathroom break viewing or they were going to be cut altogether. They knew it so we “compromised.”)

So, buckle up! We are committed to presenting a show which we all will be proud of.

(TRANSLATION: Dear God, I hope this ‘no-host’ thing was a good idea because we have no idea what’s about to happen. Can I get my teaching job at the Art Institute back?)

Where Does Oscar Go From Here?

Oscars-Questions-Illustration

The ratings are hemorrhaging. No one wants to host the show. There are eight to 10 awards tops that anyone wants to see.

And, oh yeah, the movies that usually win come out December 24 to get in under the wire, are sent to critics only, and those homogenized artisans get a snoot full of indie film and there’s your ‘Best Picture’ and just about everything else.

(The English Patient, The Artist, Manchester by the Sea, Sound of Water…we’re talking to you.)

What is a stag golden statue to do? Roam Hollywood and Highland in a sandwich board vying for attention of wannabe actors? Whatever Oscar decides to do, if 2019 sinks another 17 percent in viewer ratings, AMPAS is going to have to do something it is not accustomed to performing–look in the mirror.

It’s there and only there where bougie dudes like John Bailey will finally understand it’s not the length of the show that deters us from being committed. It’s the shows themselves.

People in a horror movie can act very well (see Toni Collette in Hereditary). People in action movies are talented (see Russell Crowe in Gladiator). People in sports movies have chops (see Sly Stallone in Rocky). And, dare we say it? People in science fiction or CBMs have a little skill (Need we remind you of Josh Brolin in…well, they already know).

The point is this: Oscars are supposed to go to the best in a given field. While the “popular film” category was a flop of an idea, it was a clear misnomer. What AMPAS meant to call it is “the best movie the rest of us watch and enjoy.” The most popular film does get all the love. The problem is among the small niche circle of snobs in which the film getting all the love is popular.

Cinephiles, nerds, the rest of us. We don’t want Black Panther in the nominations because of the popular pity vote and because it’s what they think we want. That’s pandering, you twits. We want films of that ilk to win because they are genuinely fit to win–and some of them have been. Crap like that just makes us mad and resent Mr. Oscar.

If the ever get that right, The Academy could have a voice-over guy announce the categories, introduce famous person to give out the shiny award, and hand it out. If not, well, it’s just Fool’s Gold.

 

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