Monday, February 28, 2011

Oscar? I Hardly Met Her

Well, the good news was that my defense at yesterday's game of ultimate was not as bad as the Oscars.  But that is not saying much.  More good news--twitter made the event eminently entertaining.  Heaps of snark abounded online, from expected places (Tim Goodman, Dan Feinberg, Alan Sepinwall, Bill Simmons, Dan Drezner)* and the unexpected--post-doc and scholar of Canadian politics: Emmett Macfarlane.  Indeed, since I was arriving a few minutes late from my game, I was tempted to just wait an hour and then watch via DVR to skip the commercials, the technical stuff and so on, but that would have put me out of synch with the twittering.  So, twitter made seeing the live version more desirable.  I am not sure the internet will actually save TV in that way, but for big, widely shared events, perhaps.

* For professional reviews of the show, see (here, here and here).

I like Anne Hathaway and James Franco, so I am sorry to see that they (especially he) were miscast.  Nothing made that clearer than when Billy Crystal walked out.  Showing Bob Hope's hosting as a great way to make Anne and James look even worse.  The whole changing the stage thing may have looked good in person, but was a waste.  The only presenters that popped where Helen Mirren and Russell Brand.  Mirren can do no wrong--now she is an action star and host-material.

Biggest hypocritical moment: if Robert Downey Jr was really upset at Ricky Gervais, then his mugging with Jude Law was pretty strange to see.

Best moment to be in Canada:  Melissa Leo's speech--no bleep here.

Second best moment to be in Canada: I don't what ads were shown in the US, but an ad for Battle Los Angeles during the middle of a lame Oscar broadcast caused me to ponder this in a tweet:  "After these oscars, are we gonna root for the aliens in BATTLE Los Angeles?"

Best change of the night: few montages!!

Worst timing: Best Director was way too early.  Reduced any uncertainty about the outcomes.

Second worst timing: Tom Hanks talking about trifectas and then Alice in Wonderland wins the category to kill that idea.

Most tragic use of guest presenter:  Tom Hanks.  He can bring a lot of charm and fun to the show.  But his scripted bit was a waste.

Worst Choices: Three for the montage of death: 
  1. Celine Dion: She may have her fans, but not among the twitter-verse.  And if you want to go young and hip with Anne and James, then Celine is not the right person anyway.
  2. We could not hear applause for the folks who died!?  How do we know who Hollywood loves?
  3. Finishing with Lena Horne and Halle Berry was a mixed blessing.  Was Lena the biggest, most beloved name?  Plus it undermined the gambling for those betting who would be shown last (yes, that is a real bet people could place at internet gambling sites).
 Thanks to twitter (and much better decision-making on the ultimate field), the night was not a total loss.

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