The Oscars Recap: A Night Full of Disappointment

US-OSCARS-SHOW

When my fiancee picked me up at the airport in Los Angeles on Sunday evening, she told me how she had never seen Trader Joe’s more packed than when she went there earlier in the day. The employees at the grocery store told her the three busiest days every year are the day before Thanksgiving, Super Bowl Sunday, and Oscars Sunday.

I knew plenty of people liked to watch Hollywood’s biggest night (Robin Roberts’ words, not mine), but I never thought it was cause for madness at the local markets.

I guess that means there should be lots of people eager to read a recap of last night in running diary format. Let’s dive in:

  • 4:00pm (Pacific Time): The Oscars Red Carpet Ceremony kicks off with Robin Roberts telling us we’re going to see the red carpet tonight like we’ve never seen it before. Which I think just means it’s a slightly different color of red this year.
  • 4:02: The first celebrity shown during ABC’s opening is Anna Kendrick. Never have I been more optimistic about the next six hours of my life. Kendrick = happiness.
  • 4:04: The first live interview by Roberts is with Common, his mom, John Legend, and his wife Chrissy Teigen. And four minutes into the coverage, we have our first name screw-up as Roberts calls her “Christy”. We can also hand out the award for the most aggressive dress slit of the night, as Teigen’s goes well above her vagina.
  • 4:11: Sorry, Rosamund Pike, but your dress slit is laughable compared to Teigen’s. Better luck next time. Also, adding to my dislike of this woman is the fact that her two children are named “Solo” and “Atom.”
  • 4:15: I support ABC’s decision to replace last year’s red carpet style expert (Tyson Beckford, whose most notable style comment was “She’s wearing a nice pink dress tonight.”) with this guy from Yahoo who is considerably more knowledgeable about style and considerably more gay. I mean, I don’t personally care, but I’m sure the people who watch this show to hear about the dress makers and the stars’ accessories love it.
  • 4:32: Robin Roberts says “congratulations” to Julianne Moore and it seems like they both know Moore is the guaranteed winner for Best Actress in a Leading Role tonight. There’s a chance this is going to be a very, very boring Oscars. It feels like one of those years where the odds-on favorites are going to win in each major category. Let’s hope that’s not the case. There’s nothing more boring than predictability.
  • 4:41: Kerry Washington, wear an uglier dress, I dare you to. Here’s my simple advice to the Oscars women, as a man who likes looking at women: Don’t make your hips or hip area look larger than it is. Should be simple.
  • 4:42: Chris Pratt and Anna Faris should host awards shows. I’m assuming it would be the first ever husband-wife combo to do so, but they’d kill. I would actually watch a three-hour show where Pratt does nothing more than cut a loaf of bread. He’s that hilarious.
  • 4:52: Reese Witherspoon brought her A-game tonight. And it’s not a coincidence that her dress doesn’t enlarge her body by 36 sizes like half of the actresses here tonight.
  • 4:55: I’m nominating Jennifer Lopez as the person that sparks the most “she’s still so hot at her age” Tweets throughout the awards ceremony. I think she looks fine, but nothing special.
  • 5:19: The ABC correspondent interviewing Lady Gaga says, “You never let us down with your fashion.” Really? I would have said, “You always let us down with your fashion.” And I would have put the word fashion in air quotes.
  • 5:30: And finally, we’re live from the Dolby Theatre as the 87th Academy Awards officially gets underway. Neil Patrick Harris is the first-time host. It’s raining in LA. I think the last time it did that was during last year’s Oscars. I’m going out on a limb and saying NPH’s first joke will be about 50 Shades of Grey. (He can’t joke about the weather because Ellen led off last year’s telecast with rain jokes.)
  • 5:31: “Tonight we honor Hollywood’s best and whitest…I’m sorry, BRIGHTEST.” Dammit, he went with a race joke to lead it off? Who knew?
  • 5:33: Anna Kendrick joins NPH during his opening musical number. Between Anna being the first celeb shown on the red carpet and now putting her front & center during this opening, it’s like the Oscar producers are trying to make sure one specific person stays tuned in all night long: Me. And they’ve done their job. I’m hooked.
  • 5:36: NPH’s six-minute song & dance ends after Jack Black joins in as the comic relief. It was a solid performance, but I’m already thinking this should be the new normal for The Oscars: NPH and Ellen co-host, and NPH is in charge of all the theatrics, singing and dancing, while Ellen is the joke-teller. I feel like that’s a solid compromise.
  • 5:41: I do appreciate that the Academy gives us a taste of what we’re actually here for by announcing the Best Supporting Actor as the first award of the night (before boring us with hours of technical and irrelevant categories). And in what will likely be the least surprising winner of this night, J.K. Simmons takes The Oscar for his role as the abusive jazz conductor/teacher Terence Fletcher in Whiplash. If you don’t know how large my erection is for Whiplash and Simmons, you can read all about it HERE.
  • 5:42: Wait a sec. Was Simmons tearing up while watching the 15-second highlight of his performance that the show played when announcing the nominees? Does that immediately make his performance the most powerful in acting history? The actor who played the role is crying while watching himself in that role!
  • 5:47: Liam Neeson makes what must already be the 10th joke of the night about the movies being criticized for constantly basing its stories on comics, books, remakes of old movies, etc. The football equivalent would be if the NFL did a “year in review” montage during halftime of the Super Bowl and it highlighted Roger Goodell’s 176 missteps of 2014. It’s teetering on that line between self-deprecating and awkward.
  • 5:49: Wow. I was way off tonight. It took 19 minutes into the telecast for NPH to make a 50 Shades joke. Dakota Johnson’s on stage to intro Maroon 5, who is performing a song from some movie that Adam Levine apparently acted in? This seems like a great time for my annual “this is why I DVR The Oscars” comment. No one can force me to listen to this pompous, talentless jerk-off sing on live television.
  • 5:56: And here we go. The start of what I’m sure will be a long run on categories absolutely no one cares about. J-Lo and Chris Pine are announcing the “Achievement in Costume Design” category. The Grand Budapest Hotel wins the first boring award of the night! Congrats.
  • 6:00: Reese Witherspoon, who was intro’d by an awful NPH joke about “she’s so lovely you could eat her up…with her spoon,” announces Grand Budapest as the winner of “Achievement in Makeup & Hairstyling.” Since this movie has almost no chance to win for Directing or Best Picture, I’m glad to see it taking home some of the more technical categories.
  • 6:03: Channing Tatum is on stage talking about something even more boring than the technical categories: The “Team Oscar” winners. No one understands what this is and no one cares. Who are these people? What is their purpose? Why should we care? It’s like ABC forgets that the point of a TV show is to hold viewers’ attention and therefore make money from advertisers who want as many eyeballs on the screen as possible.
  • 6:12: Congrats to Poland (or more accurately, the director from the Foreign Film winner who happens to be from Poland) for being the first to get the “wrap up your speech” music of the night. Except even that couldn’t deter him. They had to stop the music and re-start it just to let him know they meant business.
  • 6:18: Lonely Island is performing “Everything is Awesome,” the theme song from The Lego Movie. I’m pretty sure I’m the only person left in America who hasn’t seen that movie. More importantly, I wonder how many people predicted Lonely Island would eventually be on stage at The Oscars when they were producing “Dick in a Box” and “Jizzed in My Pants” a decade ago?
  • 6:26: With Jason Bateman and Kerry Washington announcing the “Live Action Short Film” award, we get a rare moment where my fiancee and I are both satisfied with the eye candy on stage.  Meanwhile, we started down this boring categories path 30 minutes ago and we’re still going strong. If only they could do the pointless awards at some off-screen ceremony where people could still be honored but the TV audience wouldn’t be subjected to such lame entertainment….Oh, what’s that? They have that exact scenario in place already? They gave out a bunch of awards on February 7th this year? Then what the hell am I doing watching speeches from the winners of “hairstyling & makeup”?? C’mon, Academy!
  • 6;27: I hate to stereotype but it appears only the foreigners don’t understand what the “get off the stage” music means.
  • 6:32: iaasieeieeeieieeeieejnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn””””””””doookkkkkkkkkffffffffffff
  • 6:34: Sorry, I passed out on my keyboard from boredom.
  • 6:35: Gwyneth Paltrow comes out…See? Here you go, Oscars. If you’re going to bore us to death with content, please roll out the hot blondes to deliver that boring content.
  • 6:46: Sound Mixing category up next. And just like that, they put Sienna Miller on stage. One minute before, they had Margot Robbie presenting (the actress from The Wolf of Wall Street and some upcoming Will Smith movie). This is a calculated move by The Academy to keep our attention just a little during this downtime.
  • 6:51: They throw us a curveball by bringing out a hot brunette as the next presenter. It’s Jared Leto! (Sorry, that was a recycled joke from last year. Had to do it.) Mark it down. Fifty-five minutes of bullshit categories and announcements. And Patricia Arquette wins for Best Supporting Actress, another category that seemed decided before the ceremony even started. Let me take this moment to wonder out loud if Keira Knightley is simply Winona Ryder after the name change?

ryder knightley

  • 7:06: Anna Kendrick is back out there to present “Best Animated Short.” Here are the people and order in which I’d organize the presenters for the entire night: Anna Kendrick, Jennifer Lawrence, Reese Witherspoon, Margot Robbie and Kata Mara (who I didn’t even know existed until I binged on House of Cards recently). Repeat that order over and over until there are no more categories left to present.
  • 7:09: I’d like to make an immediate amendment to that order above. Zoe Saldana absolutely should be included. And she will be. Once I’m the producer of this awards show.
  • 7:17: I would rate NPH’s hosting attempt as adequate so far. He’s not doing outstanding; he’s not doing horribly. He just doesn’t have the comedy chops of Ellen. I know some people will ridicule that, mostly the people who assume Ellen is only funny to middle-aged women. But she’s an experienced stand-up comedian who has been on TV, in movies, on talkshows and even host of awards shows. Bring her back in 2016!
  • 7:37: Over the past 20 minutes, they ran through a couple more technical categories and did the “In Memoriam” tribute. As we kill some time, I’ll go ahead and nominate Robert Duvall as this year’s “person in the audience who refuses to laugh or smile at any of the jokes, specifically any aimed at him.” Because this night is NOT about having fun and being self-deprecating if you’re a super serious actor, apparently.
  • 7:44: I’ve reached that point in the night where I’m fast forwarding almost every acceptance speech. I guess I’m truly in this for just the seven major categories, the hot blondes and the Ellen jokes.
  • 7:46: As Terrence Howard speaks, I have to ask, are any actors in Hollywood actually American? Or are they all from England and have simply perfected their American accents? Every year I’m confused by the number of actors with British accents.
  • 8:03: Idina Menzel is on stage. Hey, Idina, thanks for costing me $5 with your extra long rendition of the National Anthem before the Super Bowl! I hate you!
  • 8:04: Holy shit! I just heard thunder for the first time in the three years I’ve lived in LA! THUNDER! IN LA! THIS CAN’T BE! WHY DO I LIVE IN THE CITY THAT HAS THE WORST WINTER WEATHER IN AMERICA?!?!
  • 8:08: John Legend accepts the award for Best Original Song and says, “There are more black men in correction facilities today than there were slaves in 1850.” One person in the audience claps. Perfection.
  • 8:12: ScarJo! Say it ain’t so. Why are you purposely trying to look like Tilda Swinton? I know this is blasphemy, but 1) I dislike short hair on most women, and 2) That slicked back short blonde hair looks like, well:

[www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tilda_Swinton linktext:Tilda Swinton]

  • 8:20: As Lady Gaga sings The Sound of Music medley and then Julie Andrews joins her on stage, my fiancee, who never wants to watch movies and seems generally disinterested in the film industry, is now schooling me on the deep history of all things Julie Andrews…vocal chord problems she used to have, reciting her IMDB page from memory. This is weird.
  • 8:21: OK, Grand Budapest just won its 4th award of the night. Granted, they are all in minor categories, but I’m starting to wonder if this groundswell of winning is going to lead to an upset in the Directing or Best Picture categories.
  • 8:23: “Wes Anderson, you are a genius” has replaced “I want to thank Harvey Weinstein” as the most uttered phrase at this year’s Oscars.
  • 8:29: Eddie Murphy is now presenting. He could say no words and just urinate on stage and it would still be more compelling than his appearance on the Saturday Night Live 40 show.
  • 8:30: I love how they stretched all those meaningless awards out over an hour in the middle of this broadcast and now they’re going to rip through the remaining five or six important categories in the final 30 minutes. This makes no sense. Anyway, Birdman wins for Best Original Screenplay.
  • 8:33: The Imitation Game wins the Best Adapted Screenplay award. I’m just going to say it and hope it doesn’t come off as offensive: These award winners make it very very difficult to make fun when every speech includes something about gay rights, racism or gender inequality.
  • 8:44: Ben Affleck announces the Directing winner, and it’s Birdman. It’s on its way to sweeping the major categories now.
  • 8:47: Cate Blanchett presents the Best Actor category, which is won by Dennis Reynolds of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia fame:

dennis

  • Whoops, sorry. Turns out Eddie Redmayne is actually the winner, for his role in The Theory of Everything:

eddie redmayne

  • 8:52: Julianne Moore wins Best Actress. So at this point, the favorite has won in the following categories: Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Actress, Directing and Best Original Screenplay. This is a tough year for underdogs.
  • 9:00: Only one more category left, the big one, the moment we all tune in for, the award we’ll be taking about for years…AND MY DVR STOPPED TAPING RIGHT AFTER JULIANNE MOORE’S SPEECH!! I EVEN EXTENDED THE BROADCAST FROM THREE HOURS TO 3.5 HOURS, AND IT STILL WENT OVER!
  • FUCK YOU, ACADEMY AWARDS! I’M BOYCOTTING NEXT YEAR (unless Ellen returns to host).
  • Oh, and Birdman won for Best Picture, which I had to google to find out.

I saw this headline on Monday morning: ABC Telecast of The Oscars down 10% in overnight ratings to four-year low.

See? It wasn’t just me. Everyone hated this year’s Oscars. So here are my quick fixes that The Academy should immediately adopt:

  1. Do away with most of the live music. It’s boring and there are almost never any songs we want to hear being performed.
  2. Do away with that full hour of bullshit categories.
  3. Fill time, if you must, with trailers for upcoming movies, highlighting specific performances that The Academy is excited about. This is a win-win because people love seeing movie previews, and it would almost definitely cause more people to go to the movies in the upcoming months.
  4. Stop celebrating arbitrary things that happened an arbitrary number of years ago (“Sound of Music turned 50 this year, let’s spend 10 minutes on that!”)
  5. Put Jon Lovitz as the last face of the “In Memoriam” tribute.

Can someone please start a petition for Ellen’s big return in 2016?

Also, where the F was Jennifer Lawrence this year?

What a disaster the 87th Academy Awards were.

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