The Oscars popularity crunch E! News UK

Hollywood has conditioned me to accept a few tweaks and tucks, but what should I do when the Oscars venture into the realm of extreme makeovers?

Tune in on March 27 and you’ll probably notice a refreshed telecast, according to a recent flurry of announcements from the academy. There will be a slimmer silhouette, born from slice multiple live show awards. There will be a new face – three of them, in fact, in the form of hosts. And now that the show is adding two fan-voted awards meant to increase online engagement, I half-expect Oscar’s lips to be as pursed as a media influencer’s trout pout. social.

That’s a lot of change for a TV show that can be very traditional at times. But are all these adjustments a good thing?

Your projectionist has nothing against cosmetic procedures, but I remember in the soapy drama “Nip/Tuck,” plastic surgeons would open each consultation by asking, “ Tell me what you don’t like about yourself.” Too many of these Oscar decisions seem driven by deep-seated insecurity — a kind of academy self-loathing about what the show really is, let alone what it should be.

Let’s look at the changes one by one.

It was the Valentine’s Day gift no one asked for: On February 14, the academy launched a new contest allowing fans to vote online for their favorite film and the most “life-worthy” cinematic moment. Joy,” both of which will be announced on the telecast. The not-so-subtle implication: If John and Jane Q. Public are mad that the Best Picture race snubbed the biggest movie of the year, ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home,’ then this catch-up could still get him. to make room .

The academy’s vision was populist, but the reality is niche: the contest erupted into an internet turf war between armies of fans voting for the year’s most quickly forgotten films. Browse it Favorite #OscarsFanHashtag and you’ll find a cadre of Johnny Depp supporters voting after vote for his little-seen drama “Minamata,” while fans of director Zack Snyder, fresh off their successful push to #ReleaseTheSnyderCut of his movie “Justice League,” try to stuff the ballot boxes for Snyder’s so-so Netflix movie »army of the dead.”

Both offers may not live up to pop singer Camila Cabello’s surprisingly rabid army of fans, whose followers have launched an #OscarsFanFavorite offer to flag her Amazon musical ” Cinderella“, a film best known for the promotional sketch where Cabello co-star James Corden frolics like a paralyzed sleep demon in the middle of a Los Angeles street. (“Cheer-worthy” isn’t quite as I would say.)

The Oscars have walked this perilous path once before, when plans to introduce a popular film award in 2018 were controversial and quickly scuttled. But the presence of bigger movies doesn’t always mean bigger ratings.

“American Sniper” was the highest-grossing film of 2014, but its inclusion in the list of best pictures hardly attracted more attention: in fact, this TV show fell in the ratings of the year. previous year, when “12 Years a Slave” won the award. Best Oscar. And although the Emmys regularly nominate hit shows like “WandaVision” and “The Mandalorian,” and the best drama Emmy has gone to the mammoth “Game of Thrones” four times, the Oscars still attract a wider audience.

Why? Because the rarified sensibility of the Oscars actually means something, and that aspirational golden sheen shouldn’t be watered down — in fact, that’s why people pay attention.

If the academy and its broadcast partner, ABC, cared less about nominated films and more about making the show entertaining, they’d be onto something: A key reason Oscar winner ’12 Years a Slave’ outclassed ‘American Sniper”. Oscars is that the first was hosted by a Ellen DeGeneres taking selfie at the height of his talk show fame.

And on that note…

First of all, after three years without an MC, allow me to congratulate the academy for hiring hosts. Schumer, Hall and Sykes are quite capable, and anything that gets the formidable Hall in front of more Oscar voters is a good thing, because she’s done award-winning work in films like ‘Support the Girls’ and the upcoming ” Honk for Jesus, save your soul.”

Oscar hosts help give broadcast an identity, and they’re often responsible for the kind of newsworthy moments that this kind of show sorely needs. At best, they may even provide a ratings boost: when a good hire is made, viewers will tune in just to see what the host is going to say or do.

But I wonder if the academy missed the mark. This trio looks like programming imported from 2015 – when Schumer was still skimming his comedy on the big screen “Rail accident” – instead of one that has a meaningful connection to the year 2022. And the three women were announced awfully late in the game: just days before their February 15 unveiling, the academy was still in negotiations to add Jon Hamm as the fourth host.

If the Oscars really want hosts who will encourage people to tune in, they should start locking them in a year in advance, because big stars like Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds need that kind of lead time to start clearing their schedule. Instead, the academy typically begins its search after a producer is hired — and this year’s producer, Will Packer, wasn’t announced until October. It’s way too late to start booking A-listers.

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The Oscars popularity crunch E! News UK