Here are some of my candid observations about last Sunday’s Oscar® telecast.
First of all, someone obviously confused “class” with “crass.” To put it bluntly, which is what this entire program was evidently about (being blunt), it was an unmitigated disaster. That 20-minute opening back-and-forth spiel between host Seth MacFarlane and a relatively benign William Shatner (in his Captain Kirk outfit — ill-fitting at that) was, if anything, simply soporific (that means “sleep inducing,” Seth).
The dance number “We Saw Your Boobs” not only wouldn’t pass muster on “Dancing with the Stars,” it wasn’t even funny. In fact, it was downright offensive to the ladies in attendance (and at home, watching this trash). I won’t even comment how offending it must’ve felt to gays. The 50th anniversary compilation of James Bond clips were, well, clipped! How about some live-action footage for a change of pace? For instance, why not get the current 007, steely-eyed Daniel Craig, to jump out of a helicopter or something and parachute onto the stage…? Oh, wait… They tried that already, didn’t they, over in England last year, during the Olympic Games… the opening ceremonies, right? There goes that brilliant idea! That worked like a charm, didn’t it?
Even worse were those so-called “musical” salutes to movie musicals. “All That Jazz” from Chicago, featuring a matronly Catherine Zeta-Jones, was simply dreadful (Bob Fosse, where are when we need you?). The Dream Girls segment with Jennifer Hudson (what was all that yelling about, anyway?) was no better. And what’s with that ersatz, makeshift staging of the Act I finale to Les Miserables? In tuxedos, tiaras and evening gowns??? That made absolutely no sense! Les Miserables translates to “The Downtrodden.” It’s supposed to be ABOUT the downtrodden, not the rich and fatuous! If there was anyone on that stage that was “downtrodden,” it would have to be the producers for perpetrating this mess. This is not the Tony Awards, fellas, but the Oscars! (There IS a difference, you know). In sum, all the production numbers were poorly sung and poorly choreographed (oh, was that what that was?).
Beyond that, Dame Shirley Bassey really belted it out of the ballpark with a super spectacular rendition of the song from Goldfinger (“He only loves gold” — you said it, Shirl!), while Barbra Streisand and Meryl Streep positively reeked of class, not to mention the surprise visit (via live hook-up from the White House) of the First Lady herself. Ah, now, that’s what I call class — something that was sorely lacking throughout. You got that, folks? C-L-A-S-S, CLASS! Not crass, Mr. McFarland. Oh, did I spell your name wrong? Maybe I confused MacFarlane with McFarland, as in Spanky McFarland, of the “Little Rascals” and “Our Gang” comedies fame. You know, juvenile humor? Never mind, you’re too young to remember anyway. And, yes, Ted was indeed a mediocre effort, along with 90% of this show. No, let me revise that forecast: 95.99999% bad, 4.99999% mediocre.
“Once I knew a man named Oscar… Oscar, Oscar, Oscar…” So sang the late Tony Randall of TV’s The Odd Couple. But the oddest couple of all on Sunday night was Seth and poor old Oscar. About the only thing missing was the sword — the better for the host to fall on, my dears.
Copyright © 2013 by Josmar F. Lopes