Not even Michelle Obama could save the Oscars. Well, duh. Why would anyone other than a leftist Obamaton think so?
Mary McNamara gives her review off the Oscars in today’s Los Angeles Times:
Well, that didn’t work.
Despite the valiant efforts of Adele, Barbra Streisand and a surprisingly witty Daniel Day-Lewis, not to mention a last-minute surprise appearance by First Lady Michelle Obama as co-presenter of the best picture award, touted as the first Oscar telecast with a theme — a tribute to musical Hollywood — was long, self-indulgent and dull even by the show’s time-honored dull-defining standards.
And we had such hopes. The choice of Seth MacFarlane as host of the 85th Academy Awards offered the tantalizing possibility of a new sort of telecast — sharp, peppy, with more than a little bite. The edgy, high-energy creator and costar of a trio of television shows including “The Family Guy,” as well as this year’s feature film “Ted,” has made his career satirizing, often profanely, the contradictions and self-indulgence of American popular culture. The entertainment community prepared to be roasted, the Standards and Practices folks went on high alert.
Then the show began.
Or tried to begin. After a few jokes that carefully pushed a few buttons — the story of “Argo” was so top secret that “the director is unknown to the academy,” the story of “Django”was “of a man fighting to get back his woman, who’s been subjected to unspeakable violence — or as Chris Brown andRihanna call it, a date movie” — MacFarlane spent more than 16 minutes discussing how badly he was going to fare as a host. Pretty badly, according to William Shatner, who appeared in a pre-taped bit during the opening as “Star Trek’s” Captain Kirk, returning from the future to keep MacFarlane from destroying the Oscars.
Here’s the thing about making a joke about bombing at the Oscars: For the joke to work, you really need to avoid doing that. As expected, MacFarlane was occasionally crude and mildly offensive; unfortunately, he wasn’t very funny. Which is a pretty big problem for a comedian and one not at all mitigated by playing up the possibility of being named the worst host in history.
His opening included three song and dance numbers (one simply a musical list of female performers who have bared their breasts called “We Saw Your Boobs”) and an adaptation of the film “Flight” by sock puppets. It was ambitious, but unforgivably self-conscious and, like the rest of the show, it couldn’t finally decide what note it was trying to strike.
Though if Amy Poehler and Tina Fey are not, as MacFarlane promised, available to host next year, may we suggest the sock puppets? Or William Shatner. Or Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway.
Oh, wait a minute, those two hosted already, with mixed results; maybe if they did it together this time.
Never as entertaining as the Tonys, and recently in danger of being eclipsed by the Grammys or even the Golden Globes, the Oscars have yet to hit upon a tone that is both interesting to modern audiences and can carry the show from year to year. Glamour just doesn’t cut it anymore; as Adele said of her dress, it’s pretty, but it’s so heavy that hitting the high notes can be a chore.
The rest here.