What I’d Like to See Happen:  The End of the Oscars

Does anyone else know why the fuck we continue to watch this insane spectacle of wealth and fame that has so little to do with actual movies?  I mean, actors tend towards being narcissists already, it’s like the Oscars have become a day pass to perpetually honor yourself.  I guess in the 30’s this whole thing was sort of cool because, hey, it was the 1930’s.  You probably listen to the whole thing on the radio and you could imagine what a cool party you missed and then go back to slowly dying in the Dust Bowl.  I’ve got the Internet now.  I’ve seen tuxedos and hot chicks in expensive outfits.  I’ve been to parties and eaten food.  This is better than watching porn, how?

I used to have a subscription to Daily Variety.  It’s the magazine that finally confirmed for me that there is no God.  Weeks leading up to this event, the movie studios would buy ads lobbying for this movie or that actor.  What kind of way is that to win an award?  You’re not running for Congress.  The idea behind an award is supposed to be that you actually deserve it.  Is it really a reward if the guy you work for buys it for you?

The list of nominees this year is just sad.  Maybe three of those movies deserve to be there, another two if you lower the bar and the rest—  Who sees this shit?  And how can you compare a drama to an action movie to a thriller to a horror movie?  There’s rarely any horror or comedy movies on the list.  (Cedar Rapids was awesome and should totally be up there.)

But fuck all that anyway.  Nobody ever wins that you want to see.  No one gives a shit about 90% of the awards.  You’re not going to get to see all the cool parties.  And no matter who hosts, it’ll they’ll be some shitty musical numbers and comedy bits that piss off somebody.

It was cool in the 1930’s because back then, it was kind of exclusive.  It was like, “Oh, by the way, they gave out the Oscars last night.  Here’s the winners.”  Not, “Watch the Oscars!  The most incredible fucking thing you’ll ever see in your life ever!  Throw a party and invite your friends because even though it can’t possibly live up to the hype, what else do you have to do in your sad life?!”  Thanks to the Internet, plenty.

So here’s what I’d like to see happen:

Due to a malfunction in the electrical grid in Los Angeles, the theater where the Academy Awards is being shot goes completely dark in the middle of the opening number.  Live TV, with billions watching, and the whole thing just goes dark.  For the next few minutes, no one is worried, everyone thinks the electricity will come back and they’ll go right back to the show.  But no, it doesn’t happen.  For some reason, the grid has experienced a major, major blowout.

There isn’t rioting, but the celebrities all decide that they’re going to stay in the theater and make the best of it.  And after a good hour of trying to restore power, they see no alternative but to go on with the show.  Emergency lights are borrowed, candles are lit at the tables and the atmosphere becomes more intimate.  Without audio, the singers are forced to actually project to the audience.  Several of the bits are canceled partially due to time, but mostly due to the fact that there is no power and they can’t do whatever special effect they needed for the bit.

Several of the celebs start tweeting the video, which is infinitely more interesting that what the TV producers had in mind.  The celebrities drop their guard because the TV cameras are off and they act like human beings.  And because the show is already an hour behind and there’s no power or audience, no one feels like they have to give a 20 minute speech thanking everyone.  Who cares?  No one can see it.  And everyone with a blog or a Twitter account does their own personal thank you anyway.

Fans get to watch the award show piecemeal through the lens of these individual takes and the award show actually is more about the awards than anything else.  And without the power, they actually end it early and everyone gets to their various parties on time.  Sure, your party doesn’t have anything to watch, but you actually sit around and talk people about film.

The fallout is that the producers lose millions and the TV networks reevaluate why they are running these things on TV in the first place.  Although fans loved the more intimate, hand held shots they find of the Oscars on the Internet, Hollywood finally jumps the shark on the whole Academy Awards.  It becomes cooler for celebrities to actually miss them and do personal videos at home.

Next year, the exact opposite happens.  The producers invest in full-proof back ups for the electricity, but half the celebrities plan to blow the thing off.  It becomes even more rigidly orchestrated than before with half the stars.  Millions are lost again, as fans tune into the Internet, rather than the show.  The Academy Awards broadcast becomes poison in the eyes of Hollywood.  No one wants to produce it and lose money a THIRD time and with the big talent thinking it hip to blow it off, they cancel it rather than scale it back.

I would really like to see that happen.

-by Tony DiGerolamo

Copyright 2012