Wonder why this year's Oscar telecast was unanimously lambasted, despite a 2% ratings bump over last year?
Well, in an EW.com poll in this week's edition of Entertainment Weekly, the magazine's readers were asked to vote on:
What was the biggest Surprise of the night?
And the rousing winner, weighing in with a whopping 42% was
Alan Arkin wins Supporting Actor
Be still my beating heart! Close behind was the fact that "The Lives of Others" beat "Pan's Labyrinth" as Best Foreign Film.
Still awake? Double espresso, anyone?
No one-armed pushups from an aging Jack Palance. No Sacheen Littlefeather accepting on behalf of Marlon Brando. No Roberto Benigni climbing over seats to get to the stage. No streakers, dancing Snow Whites or Best Actress winners saluting their parents in sign language or gushing "You like me! You really like me!" No wonder people are bored with the Oscars.
Familiarity breeds contempt, particularly in marketing, and with the Oscars, Hollywood is ostensibly marketing its industry in what was once a wondrous bash.
You can't plan spontaneity, but viewers deserve more than what the Oscars--well, Awards Shows in general--seem to be pumping out these days: bland, formulaic showbiz sausage. The cream of the creative crop should start drinking their own Kool-Aid. Or better still, some Tequila shots.
Next year, somebody had better take some sort of a chance, or "Jack Nicholson wears a midnight blue tux" may be tied with "Clint Eastwood has trouble reading the TelePrompTer" as EW.com's biggest Oscar-night Surprise 2008.