In 2009, Hugh Jackman directed one of the biggest song and dance openers in the history of the Oscars, starting with a pleading question: "Why are comic books never nominated? How can one billion dollars not be cultivated?" He was ashamed that he had omitted one of the best nominees of the year: "The Reader", Kate Winslet's terrible blow of the Holocaust. "I really wanted to see The Reader," he sang. "I even went to the theater, but there was a line – all people saw 'Iron Man' a second time."
The Academy, it seems, has finally evolved into Jackman's viewpoint: she has announced the creation of a new Oscar, this one for "Outstanding Performance in Popular Film", ie the best image people have actually seen. The film snobs have scoffed, and one can understand their concern: it would be terrible if it undermines the academy's artistic and intellectual reputation, an organization that is so god-fearing for an actress, Emilia Clarke, that she routinely fails for that Dialogue on "Game of Thrones" (she made oatmeal from "Breakfast at Tiffany's" on stage in New York) with the great spirit behind "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle."
That's pure fear, and it's delicious.
The forces that are in Hollywood are disturbed by the declining attendance of the Oscars, which reflects those of other formerly great events such as the Super Bowl. The audience of the Oscars fueled nearly 20 percent in 201
So they've added the People's Choice Oscar, they'll be showing the nerd prizes (sound editor, etc.) in commercial breaks, and they'll ruthlessly work on keeping the broadcast to three hours.
Critics, conservatives among them, point to the stupid and unfounded political externalization that is now defacing virtually every Oscar ceremony, and they suggest that this may explain some drop in broadcast. They make the same argument about the Super Bowl and NFL broadcasts in general. It could also have something to do with it: Trump voters are also going to the movies, and they are watching TV, and they are probably not keen on being insulted by a lot of scoundrels who sucked up Harvey Weinstein until the day before yesterday. Even Meryl Streep can not polish up this tired old stuff.
Less politics would be good for the Oscars, just as it would be for the NFL, Broadway, and many others.
But that could not be enough to fix the Oscars.
The average Oscar viewer is on the threshold of seniority discount at Arby
The problem is structural. I'm a middle-aged man who came of age mainly in the pre-internet age, not a millennium with an attention span of 11 seconds, but even geezers like me are remarkably reluctant to watch TV.
What time does "The Walking Dead" run? Whenever I think it's damn good, that's the way it is. I can not remember the last time I said, "Oh, better done, whatever I do, this TV show runs at 7 pm." What is this, the Ford administration?
The premise of the Oscars – that every mentally normal adult person really wants to see three full hours (or so) of a business congress – is already questionable.
The Academy Awards are just another industry award program; It's a more glamorous and less intelligent version of the annual meeting of the American Dental Association, with more Dom Perignon and less appletinis. Yes, you could schedule three hours for this – or you can always watch the best tracks online.
The Oscars have a problem, but it's not just the Oscars: The The Bachelorette season finale There's also a three-hour live broadcast, and this year's version scored a 14 percent drop over the previous year. Semi-pornographic garbage like this one should be as popular as Chicken McNuggets – and it's very popular – but not enough to park three-hour bumps on sofas on someone else, all in declining proportions. The Oscars have declining and older numbers: The average Oscar viewer is on the threshold of senior discounts at Arby.
Hugh Jackman will not be remembered as Jean Valjean – he's Wolverine, and he knows it. So be sure to give one or two Oscars for a movie that someone else might have seen than the Upper West Side snobs. But the kids will probably still skip the main show for the highlight role online.