By A.J. Serrano
I realize that only a few weeks ago I wrote about my feelings towards the Academy Awards but, my God, last Sunday’s Oscar telecast could have easily been mistaken as a substitute for Somabien. The disastrous show simply cannot go unmentioned.
An improvisatory drinking game proved to be the only reason I made it through the rotting sludge of weary-eyed presenters and mediocre jokes. Though I am a bit hazy in remembering the exact rules of the game, I do remember my viewing party and I gulping down Stellas every time a bearded filmmaker won an award, a presenter awkwardly fumbled open an envelope, and the camera cut away to Martin Scorsese.
Unfortunately, my state of fuzzy-headed inebriation could not fool me into believing this show was anything but forgettable. The show’s paltry Nielsen ratings serves as further proof of America’s growing disinterest in Hollywood’s biggest self-congratulatory party. But why should America work up the motivation to watch the telecast when there is little room for shock and surprise in the proceedings? The images of moustachioed streakers dashing across the stage and rambunctious Italians playing hopscotch on audience members’ heads are distant memories of Oscars’ better days.
Aiming to recreate the spontaneity and fun of those past shows, I have compiled a list of three possible solutions for injecting some life back into Hollywood’s biggest night.
1) Get Sacha Baron Cohen to host and give him carte blanche. Cohen’s irreverent comic genius shone with his wild antics on the red carpet before this year’s show. Arriving as his controversial Dictator character, Cohen managed to “accidentally” spill Kim Jong-Il’s “ashes” all over a visibly distraught Ryan Seacrest. American audiences would rush to their TV sets to watch a theater-full of Hollywood’s elite being subjected to Cohen’s bitingly satiric comedy.
2) Build a Crocodile-Filled Moat in Front of the Stage and Have the Nominees Swim Across for the Prize. Delivering a great performance and making an excellent film used to be the only criteria for winning an Oscar. Not anymore. With this new change of rules, the nominees will truly have to demonstrate how much they want to win by swimming across a crocodile-infested moat. Think of it as a more realistic version of Survivor.
3) Slime Time. The Academy is always lamenting that the 18-35 age demographic just isn’t tuning in to the telecast. Why not steal a trick from the popular shows of this demographic’s youth? There was no better TV in the 90s then watching buckets of booger-green slime pour all over contestants of Nickelodeon’s popular Slime Time Live. Angelina Jolie’s ridiculous right leg flash was decent television, but throw in a bucketful of Nickelodeon slime and the Nielsen ratings would blast through the roof.