I had no interest in this year’s Oscars. I ended up watching just about the whole damn thing.
Yet, there I was for hours on Sunday night thoroughly entertained by something I cared so little about.
My interest in the Oscars is proportionate to what movies I’ve seen and how much I loved them. I can still vividly remember sitting around my friend’s dorm room, playing poker and drinking beer during the 2001 Oscars ceremony as we waited for Russell Crowe and Gladiator to win their deserved awards. We loved that movie. We said “Are you not entertained?!?” so often that it lost all meaning. We needed to see Crowe get that Oscar.
In 2009, I watched the Oscars for a similar reason – I adored the Wrestler and wanted to see Mickey Rourke get his much-deserved Oscar. Now I may be a tad biased as an obsessive pro wrestling fan, but Rourke’s performance was transcendent. He lost to Sean Penn. I became blindly enraged, made more humorous by the fact I never saw Milk and still haven’t. Who cares, right? The Hollywood elite jobbed my guy and I hadn’t paid much attention to the Oscars since.
This Sunday night was to be no different. I gave the opening a whirl if only to see how badly Seth MacFarlane would bomb. To my dismay, he didn’t. At least not initially as he cracked his best joke of the night – the one about Argo, classified information and Ben Affleck’s snub. His opening monologue/pseudo-Family Guy bit had good moments, namely the Flight sock puppet reenactment, but anything featuring a Captain Kirk at the Oscars can’t last for 20 minutes. With that mercifully over – the “sleeping with Sally Field” bit was groan-inducing – I prepared to move on with my life.
I turned on the Penguins/Lightning hockey game and settled in to watch some sports. Because if you read my blog, or my Twitter, or talk to me for like 6 seconds, you’ll know that’s what I usually do. It was a fairly entertaining game but as it reached a commercial break, I checked my Twitter.
Everyone was watching the Oscars. Everyone was hating the Oscars. Everyone was enjoying hating the Oscars. Very quickly, I felt like the guy who hadn’t seen 21 Jump Street yet*.
*Channing Tatum deserved an Oscar nomination for his performance in that movie. That’s not a joke. That movie made a ton of money and was a million times better than it had any right to be for a comedy. Why? Because Tatum owned it. He stole every scene. If you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t….go see it!
From the moment I turned the Oscars on, I became enthralled. The Twitter hate was coming fast and furious and the show deserved every moment of it.
The beauty of Twitter is that no one is immune. If you’re bombing, people let you know. If you’re not getting the job done, there’s no time to spin it. If you’re losing, you’ve lost the world.
The portion of the telecast between the Christoph Waltz’s Best Supporting Actor win and the real awards (Actor, Actress, Picture) past 11:30 p.m. Eastern was one of the most brutal things I’ve ever watched on television.
I can say, without any hesitation, that there is no way I would’ve watched any of it – much less all of it – if it weren’t for Twitter. Let’s just say my 2005 self ends up watching a lot more sports on Sunday night.
The parade of Hans Gruber henchmen that won sound editing awards? Comedy gold.
The endless singing? Tremendous overkill. I was about to make a “This has become the Tony Awards!” joke until I realized “Tony Awards” and “#tonyawards” were both trending worldwide. It’s always nice to be reminded that my jokes aren’t that funny and everyone else already said them anyway.
The In Memoriam forgot Andy Griffith, which seems insane. The musical Chicago received 2 tributes because, well, the producers of the Oscars were the producers of Chicago. Adele performed and you could barely hear her. Ted and Mark Wahlberg presented an award – and okay, that bit was so painful, I changed the channel at that point.
It was a glorious, beautiful and eye-catching train wreck and I simply could not look away. Inappropriate jokes about 9 year olds? Check, even though the Onion’s Twitter feed locked down that title for the night. Kristen Stewart showing up looking disheveled, possibly (ha, possibly) stoned and bruised? Check. Renee Zellweger being unable to read a cue card? Check.
My favorite part of the night came when Ben Affleck, throwing some Michelle Obama-level shade at MacFarlane, said, “Maybe you’ll turn it around.” Apparently he didn’t like a Gigli reference. I liked it all.
In the end, the entire exercise proved what social media pundits have been portraying for years but finally came to fruition.
We still live in a water cooler society. We still want to share in communal events. Except we don’t want to wait until Monday morning – in fact, I had one brief conversation about the Oscars today at work and neither of us really gave a shit about the show.
And that’s the beauty of it. Nothing about the Oscars were truly memorable. Nothing about the movies this year will likely stand the test of time, to reach the pantheon of its recent predecessors like Gladiator, Up or Sideways. More than likely, this year’s movies will fall in line with Crash or Million Dollar Baby – films that were good, not great, overly awarded and quickly forgotten.
One of my favorite movies to watch is Sweet November, the definition to me of a good bad movie that is so terribly terrible that it becomes an enjoyable pleasure to watch.
The 2013 Oscars ceremony was the Sweet November of award shows.
Damn, I wish I had thought to tweet that Sunday night. Well, better late than never.
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