Save Oscar

More streaking, less speeching and other ways to improve the broadcast -- courtesy of Salon's reader community, Table Talk.


Salon Staff
March 2, 2007 4:02PM (UTC)

Movies

Oscars 2006

Ranse -- 08:53 am Pacific Time -- Feb 26, 2007 -- #283 of 406

Ellen D was pleasant and likable and amusing but not often funny (except we liked the vacuum cleaner bit). That's OK though, because she's so darn pleasant and likable.

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As for the montages, sorry but one thing that kinda bugs us about the Oscars and Hollywood generally is the relentless, depressing emphasis on the now, on what's hot, on what have you done for me lately. So anything which calls attention to the rich, colorful past we will applaud.

We'd recommend for instance extending the In Memoriam segment to go into a little more archival depth on 2-3 of the truly big ones who've moved on to the next plane of existence. As it is, they simply move too quickly past even the giants of the industry.

Also, show highlights of Oscar telecasts of yesteryear. This stuff has been televised since the '50s, usually by ABC, but it all goes down the memory hole. No wonder Americans are rightly criticized for not knowing their history. In Hollywood and elsewhere, most of our televised past is safely tucked away in corporate vaults or has been destroyed. What a shame.

Time saving to compensate could come from eliminating or drastically shortening some of the technical awards. Really, how many non-insider techies really care about Best Editing? Or Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing, Best Makeup, Best Set Design, Best Special FX and probably 3-4 other categories. Imo, it's the very narrow categories, which only a hundred people care about or pay attention to, which really pad the ridiculous length of this show.

SteveH - 09:51 am Pacific Time -- Feb 26, 2007 -- #287 of 406

Every year I enjoy the Oscars. A 4-hour show is predictable and the people who are shocked, shocked that it runs over are as disingenuous as Claude Rains in "Casablanca." When I was younger I remember the music and dance numbers just seemed to go on forever (thank the good lord Debbie Allen has retired or disappeared), but they've really streamlined those segments.

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In recent years it was only the Letterman-hosted show that kinda sucked. I even liked the one (or two) that Whoopie Goldberg hosted.

This stuff, to me, is reliably entertaining and the Ferrell/Black/Reilly bit was far funnier than anything I've seen on "SNL" in at least 10 years.

Also, I think Seinfeld was auditioning for a hosting gig and that would explain why he seemed so nervous.

AndyF - 10:56 am Pacific Time -- Feb 26, 2007 -- #301 of 406

I liked it. I thought Ellen was good. I liked her vacuum cleaner routine and the bit with Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg. The song with Will Ferrell, Jack Black and the other guy was funny.

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There did seem to be more skits and the speeches didn't run over as often. I see that this is because of a "Thank-you cam" they had backstage. People could thank as many people as they wanted as long as they wanted on the video, which was then put on the Internet. I've long thought they should do something like this, though my idea was a written page of thank-yous rather than a video. After all, I think that's what a lot of people being thanked really want. They want to see/hear the winner mention their name, especially if they are co-workers who might want to use the thank-you on a résumé.

As far as people who routinely complain about the Oscars, I say this should be a show for people who enjoy movies by people who make them. It should be entertaining, but should not go out of its way for the sake of ratings. If you're looking for the host to do a monologue, there's plenty of other shows on the air for that.

Ranse - 01:00 pm Pacific Time -- Feb 26, 2007 -- #340 of 406

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Been sayin' it for years. The lib Hollywood establishment seems to have meekly bowed to the far-outnumbered far-right reactionaries in town and gone overbored (sic) in trying to stifle opportunities for speech deemed too "controversial."

I miss the days of Brando and Sacheen Littlefeather and the streaker and the lefty political statements and winners rambling on incoherently. That was a huge part of the show -- the unexpected.

Now it's all about women's fashion it seems.

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Sorry, but they all look fine to me (preferably, some of 'em anyway, without so much clothing ...).

More controversy, stupidity and network censors having a heart attack please.

Best of Table Talk is an ongoing feature of Salon's vibrant community forum. Older posts of the week can be found in TT. Want to join the discussion? Sign up here.


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