The Oscars are broken. Here’s how to fix them. – News 24

His client was having a great evening. He should have been delighted. But on the last Sunday night in April, as this year’s dreadful Oscars continued to unravel, a senior Hollywood representative texted me about the ‘Beyond the Dreadful’ show and worried: “The whole country has disconnected”.

Later, as the ceremony entered an even worse final act that included a piece of sweat-flop comedy and a failed best actor reveal, I received another text from him: “This could kill the Oscars.” It is so bad.

Reviews of the show were almost as scathing, and the ratings released the next day were grim: the Oscars had plunged more than 50% from the previous year, drawing just under 10 million people, the lowest number on record since those numbers were calculated. .

I thought about that drop in grades (and those abysmal texts) quite a bit over the next few months, as a new awards season began. There’s a lot of excitement in Hollywood right now, as premieres and awards shows can once again be in person and the films competing for the awards look a lot bigger. But behind the unmasked smiles of the people, I detect a certain anxiety, as if there is a question that everyone is still too nervous to ask: What if all of this leads to Oscars that no one will watch?

I think it helps that the series returned to 10 Guaranteed Best Picture nominees which should ensure that a wider range of films are nominated, just as the academy’s laudable efforts to diversify its membership should result in a list of nominees who feel less disconnected. But all of those efforts might seem in vain if the show’s audience shrinks so sharply again. After the latest ceremony ravages Oscar reputation and ratings, here are four things the academy should do to make things right ahead of next year’s show.

The last three Academy Awards have gone without an MC, which continues to feel like a missed opportunity. The right host can help bring viewers to the show and deliver viral, memorable moments: One of the reasons the Golden Globes won at the Oscars is that they could promote animated hosts like Ricky Gervais and the duo of ace by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.

Hosting the Oscars was one of Hollywood’s most prestigious concerts, but the show has often escaped that privilege over the past decade: there was the James Franco-Anne Hathaway debacle (which could have run with crisper handwriting and a more committed partner for Hathaway), shrewd turns from Seth MacFarlane and Neil Patrick Harris, and two back-to-back stints from a disinterested Jimmy Kimmel. Since 2018, when Kevin Hart quit the show after refusing to apologize for anti-gay jokes, the ceremony has decided to do without a host altogether.

But if the Oscars are so keen on cramming blockbuster content into a show that often celebrates small indie films, why not invite guests from this tent kingdom? I’d rather watch Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt host the Oscars than star in something like ‘Jungle Cruise,’ and it’s fun to imagine what a quick-witted Marvel duo like Paul Rudd and Simu Liu could too. To do. I’m afraid the Oscars will never restore the host position now that the streak is shorter without. But on that note …

In their never-ending quest to reduce the Oscars to manageable length, ABC and the academy would do well to remember one thing: it’s not about how long the series takes, but how the series uses this time. Why not build on the Oscar mammoth reputation and fill every nook and cranny with something exciting? It still puzzles me that there isn’t a list of comparable Super Bowl movie trailers: imagine how many people would log on if the commercials promised a first look at the ‘Black Panther’ sequel, just for beginners.

When the spectacle is reduced too ruthlessly, it leaves less room for the real human moments we indulge in. These moments don’t have to come just from acceptance speeches, either: I often think fondly of the 2009 show, hosted by Hugh Jackman, which made room for five former winners to feature each of the acting categories. . It was a lovely way to pay homage to the history of the Oscars, and all of the nominees were memorably moved by the tribute. This ceremony was about 11 minutes longer than the one that aired last April, but I’m going to take those 11 minutes out of almost everything the shorter show had to offer.

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The Oscars are broken. Here’s how to fix them. – News 24