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Oscar Telecast Deserved Minimum Attention

Anne Hathaway at the 81st Academy Awards

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To borrow a phrase from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in “The Social Network,” the Oscars had “part of my attention Sunday night. The minimum amount.”

That’s all it deserved.

After it became obvious in the first painful 30 minutes that the distracted James Franco and an overly enthusiastic Anne Hathaway (see right) were painfully miscast as hosts, I frequently wandered over to ESPN to watch some real stars – LeBron, Melo, Dwyane and Amare.

In a way, the Oscars and the NBA have something in common – nothing really important happens into the fourth quarter.

Fortunately, New York Knicks Melo and Amare finished their upset over Miami’s LeBron and Dwyane before the big Oscars started to get handed out.

While the Knicks provided an upset, the Oscars were as predictable as any in history.

I spent the evening on Twitter, commenting on the Oscars and the game.

It is an easy way to critique a show. I think the 5 seconds it took me to tweet my feelings was about 4 seconds longer than the show’s writers spent feeding Franco and Hathaway lines.

Figuring that most of you aren’t Twitter followers of mine, here are the highlights of my tweets about the Oscars last night in order of appearance.

I edited out the Knicks tweets. I didn’t say anything about Kirk Douglas out of respect for my late father. He loved the guy. Here it goes.

* After 20 minutes: “As I feared, Franco and Hathaway are painful as Oscar hosts so far. 0 chemistry. It was nice of Anne to tell us Melissa Leo used the F word.”

* Well after Alec Baldwin’s dreams were the focus of the opening in which Franco and Hathaway were inserted into his dreams a la “Inception” and into the movies nominated as best picture: Alec Baldwin is the new Betty White. Everybody in Hollywood seems to think they can trot him out and it is funny. Not so much.”

 * After 30 more minutes or so: “Franco and Hathaway: Worst Hollywood idea since Beatty and Hoffman in “Ishtar”?

 * After “King Speech” writer David Seidler and “Social Network” writer Aaron Sorkin won for their screenplays.  “Both deserved writing wins. Seidler’s late-bloomer speech was funnier. Loved thank you to Queen.”

* “Anyone wanting more of Franco and Hathaway? Maybe Franco’s grandma?”

* After Franco came out in drag and said “The weird part is I just got a text from Charlie Sheen”:

“It took an hour for a Charlie Sheen joke?”

*  More after Franco came out in a dress and blonde wig: “There is no truth to the rumor that Chris Lee is trying to get a hold of James Franco through Twitter after seeing him in drag.”

 * After two hours or so: Best Oscar prediction: Letterman said Friday that “127 Hours” was how long the Oscars would last. It already seems that long.

 * After Zachary Levi was part of a duet (I was watching the Knicks-Heat and missed the explanation): “Chuck” is singing? No, the wrong TV star. Where is Matthew Morrison? I guess Zachary Levi will be on “Glee” after NBC cancels “Chuck.”

* After Billy Crystal had this to say about long-time Oscar host Bob Hope: “He was what I always thought an Oscar host should be, A really sexy movie star”: Good dig at 2011 choices.

 * “It is 11 o’clock. Do you know why anyone but James Franco’s ma and grandma is still watching?”

 * After Natalie Portman won as best actress for “Black Swan”: “Natalie Portman had time to refine her speech after winning so many previous awards this year. Classy speech.”

*  After Colin Firth won as best actor for “The King’s Speech.” “What a shocker. He 2 had time to refine his speech after so many earlier wins. Great role, great acting job. Mediocre speech.”

 * After best picture: “The King’s Speech” win makes this the most predictable Oscars in history. And maybe the dullest. I’ll leave that to historians.”

 * Don’t count “Today” stars Meredith Viiera, Matt Lauer, Al Roker and Ann Curry as historians. They praised Franco and Hathaway and the telecast this morning and seemed shocked about all the negativity it has received. Their praise was funnier than anything on Sunday’s show.

“Today” also featured a lengthy interview with Sheen, who is taking his war with CBS and “Two and a Half Men” creator Chuck Lorre to the people.

Sheen, who seemed a little manic,  is living in his own world. He wants a $1 million per episode raise to return to the hit show. Earth to Sheen, earth to Sheen.

Stars don’t win when they publicly battle networks or their show’s creators.

Lorre has worked with difficult stars before – Roseanne and Cybill Shepherd come to mind. But Sheen has taken it too far. Clearly, he and Lorre can’t work together again and “Men” appears to be history now.

* This Just In: The Oscar telecast had a 24.1 rating on Channel 7, the local ABC affiliate. That’s down about 7 percent from the 25.7 it had in March of 2010. The Oscar telecast had about half the rating of this year’s Super Bowl on WUTV, the local Fox affiliate.


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1 response to "Oscar Telecast Deserved Minimum Attention"

  1. Pergy's friend says:

    Wow. Surprised people can sit through that torture.

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