This year’s Oscar producers are Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman, and they’ve already made a handful of very promising changes to the telecast.
They’ve jettisoned the performances in the Best Song category, which means half an hour of the telecast is no longer dedicated to a minor, forgettable category. They hired Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin to host the show. Both men are extremely funny, and able to satisfy the humorless, Botoxed egomaniacs sitting on their hands in the Kodak Theater. Furthermore, the fact that the Best Picture category includes a whopping 10 nominees adds extra intrigue to the whole affair.
But Shankman and Mechanic have been adamant about retaining a bit that originated at last year’s Oscars ceremony. If you recall, when the four major acting awards were presented last year, the producers sent out five presenters (all past winners in the category), giving each time to make a heartfelt speech to every nominee. This was long, and painful, and annoying, and only served to make every nominee feel like a winner. Worst of all, in doing so, Oscar producers didn’t even remember to show CLIPS of every nominee’s performance.
This aggravated me to no end. The whole point of watching the Oscars is to see the clips of the nominated actors emoting at their fullest. “YOU CAN’T KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE TO LIVE WITH CANCER, DARLENE! YOU CAN’T!” Those clips are awesome. They allow me to sample the devastating performance of someone like Mo’Nique, without actually having to sit through her entire flick, because that movie looks totally depressing.
Plus, you get to watch the actors react to their own clips right after they’ve been shown. And they all have the same smug look on their faces when that happens. “Yep, I was awesome in that scene.” I always enjoy that. And last year, that enjoyment was THWARTED! Savagely and cruelly.
Mechanic and Shankman have already said they are bringing back this presentation format. Fine. I can live with the droning speeches. But guys, do me a favor and bring back the clips. Please. Last year, I had to hear someone warble on and on about how awesome Heath Ledger was in “The Dark Knight.” But then, they never showed a clip of him, you know, BEING AWESOME. I’d rather be shown something than told about it. So please, Bill and Adam, show me the clips. And spare me the endless chatter.