Hope you’re ready for our yearly, Who Cares About the Oscars column! Listen, I’ve noticed that over the last couple of years I’ve been coming here either surprised that the Oscars are happening in a short amount of time or wondering if anyone actually cares that the Oscars are happening in a short amount of time. It’s got me feeling like an old man trying to return a sandwich to a deli because they forgot pickles or didn’t toast the bread. After so long, who cares, right? It’s just the rantings of someone who is just a little bit off.
And maybe that’s what it has become at this point. The Oscars are this Sunday and I felt compelled to open up a new Word document and type about how I could care less…again. Riveting stuff.
The truth of the matter is, I haven’t cared about the Oscars for a while now and I think a part of me is reconciling with that by coming here every year and bitching about how I don’t care. It’s like the friend who says they’re over their ex but continues playing “their” song on repeat until they’re blind from crying. Is this much different than that? God, I hope so. Maybe those past columns were written to try and force me into caring. “It’s an award show and you love award shows. Stop acting like an uptight loser and watch the show and be happy. Yes, you can get emotional during the speeches.” But I honestly, lately I could care less. Sure, I’ll hop on Twitter and pay attention to who’s winning and watch those speeches but as far as the broadcast goes, I’m tapping out.
This would be much easier if Tournament of Champions II didn’t just wrap last Sunday but I’m sure the Mrs. and I will have no problem finding something else to watch. Perhaps a re-watch of Mortal Kombat will be in order? She’s not much of an awards show person and I’m not going to force a show I could care less about on her. Seriously, I think I could only name a handful of the films that are nominated and performances. I’m so clueless on these awards and I’m calmly fine about that.
In years past, I would make it a point to watch as many of these nominations as possible. This way I could take part in the conversation and act like a snob when a specific performance I loved lost to a performance that was a safe choice by the Academy. Because you know the Academy loves to be safe about their winners. Insert eye roll here.
I can’t be the one who takes the full blame here either. It seems like the Oscars have given up on trying to draw in new viewers or viewers at all. This is year, what, without a host? When I was a kid, and in my twenties, hosting the Oscars was a legit gig. Who doesn’t love an opening monologue about movies and the actors in them? Nothing like a good roast to set the tone for an eighteen-hour show, am I right? Now though, no one wants any part. Why would they? You’re either ripped in the press for being boring or too edgy or you get hired and then fired because of past behavior or in an even worse fate you’re James Franco and Anne Hathaway. The Oscar hosting title is something no one wants to touch with a ten-foot pole and because of that, the broadcast has suffered. Cool, another video montage. Sure glad we don’t have a human being injected the in-between moments with humor.
The Oscars’ inability to modernize doesn’t help any either. Sure, there was that moment when they said they were doing the Popular Film Award and I was all for it but after digesting the announcement I realized my hot take was not a good one. I should have walked it back but then some other things that were more important happened and I didn’t care enough to do that. That award was designed to remove Black Panther from the Best Picture conversation but luckily voices were heard and that sham category was removed.
The Oscars continue to nominate arthouse movies that very few people have seen, especially during a Pandemic because why am I going to watch movies that are going to make me feel worse and wonder why viewership is down. These films, while some are quite excellent, aren’t speaking to the general public. They’re just not. I’m not saying don’t nominate them but maybe find a way to include pictures that casual movie viewers know about it instead of a list of films where people are left saying, what’s that movie that looks like it’s going to make me hate myself when it ends?
Literally, the only two things I care about come Sunday is that Daniel Kaluuya wins for Judas and the Black Messiah because his performance was breathtaking and that Chadwick Boseman gets recognized for his excellence. Other than that, meh. The Oscars have lost a viewer because they refuse to change or grow. In the past, I would have been really bummed out about this but now… well, now I’m writing another column about the Oscars. I don’t know what that means, I’m not a psychologist, but the end result is the Oscars just feel lame. And that’s that I suppose.