The Oscars are this Sunday, and I for the first time possibly ever, I could care less. I am more invested in the season finale of True Detective and will have zero problems watching that instead of the broadcast, and that bums me out. Like big time. Both that True Detective is ending and my lack of interest in the Oscars.
I love award shows and the Oscars are the Super Bowl of award shows. Everything builds to this and there’s this giddiness I get on Oscar night, but here we are, three days away and I feel nothing. My biggest concerns are if Into the Spider-Verse wins Best Animated film and if the Black Panther score wins an award, and I’m not even sure if the score is nominated! I want to say that it is but I don’t even care enough to Google it. That’s how far removed from the Oscars I am.
Year after year I watch less and less of the big pictures, maybe because movies have just become too damn expensive, but this year just feels particularly off. Everything the Oscars has done this year has been a mess of the highest caliber. Starting with the Popular Film award working its way through a lack of host, and then the awards that would but aren’t being given out during commercials. It is beyond evident that the Oscars are supremely out of touch, and it’s taking its toll on me.
Maybe the whole program needs a facelift. Maybe it’s because I think we’re getting better storytelling through television. Maybe it’s because as I’ve gotten older I’ve gravitated towards films that make me happy not ones that leave me emotionally devastated. I love a good story but I don’t want to leave a movie I paid almost forty dollars to see wanting to cut myself. The Academy seems to be obsessed with those types of films. Movies and the Oscars are losing the casual moviegoer and the whole system is spinning out of control.
There’s a complaint every year that no one is going to watch the Oscars. That no one wants to see self-indulgent actors get publicly patted on the back. What have the Oscars done to make people interested this year? No host to get excited about. Missing the boat on A Star Is Born, arguably the biggest movie of the year. No one wants to watch because there’s nothing interesting to grasp on to. I’m actually having trouble naming the last few Best Picture winners because they all seem like they could be the same movie. But if you put me in the mid-‘90s to early 2000s and I’ll tell you who was nominated and who should’ve won. There’s no buzz like that here. At all.
The Oscars are sadly out of touch or maybe I’ve just outgrown award shows? I still love the Emmys and Golden Globes which makes a case for the out of touch argument. How do the Oscars fix this? I don’t know. Nominate more progressive films? That could feel disingenuous though. Change the entire format? That could be unique but raises the question of how. Or do I just accept the fact that come Sunday I’m going to watch the intro because I’m curious on the possible train wreck nature of a lack of host, and then happily turn on HBO to see how the hell True Detective is going to wrap. And for an award show junkie… that’s a problem.