Though they were likely going for a sense of the unexpected anarchy he brings to his own programming, the seemingly hands off approach by the producers on host Seth MacFarlane unfortunately allowed him to indulge in his worst tendencies. There is nothing MarFarlane likes more than to take a joke and beat it into the ground, and much of his opening Shatner gag felt like that, a sentiment that was pretty much confirmed when it was followed by the "We Saw Your Boobs" song. And his attempts to be edgy -- an orgy joke, Ted's riff on Jews in Hollywood, the Rex Reed/Adele zinger -- felt desperate and fell flat. A firm hand needed to come in and be brutally honest with MacFarlane and toss out whatever didnt' work and force him to come up with better material. Next year, the Academy can't be afraid to tell a host "no."
4. Let 'em talk, don't rush the Oscar speeches
It's been months of campaigning, interviewing, hoping, dreaming and more, so how about letting the Oscar winners have a bit more time in the sun? While the Oscar telecast was more than happy to keep Seth MacFarlane's terrible skits and gags and the extended musical numbers intact, it's a shame that the actual winners were the ones rushed off stage. The acceptance speeches often create some of the most memorable moments for years and decades to come, so let's give those folks a bit more time to cry, celebrate, collect their thoughts and truly express their gratitude. Sure, some of the speeches will be boring, but we guarantee even more will create the kind of movie magic that the Academy wants the show to be remembered for.
5. Find a way to go backstage with the winners during the show
This is will probably be the hardest to implement while keeping the Oscar show moving, but it could also be the most radical. While viewers are treated with literally hours of brainless, empty red carpet coverage, for some reason, we have to wait until the next day to see the winners truly let loose when they get backstage. The press scrum that each Oscar winner dives into when they walk off is massive, but here's a way for the Academy to own it. Choose someone to anchor that stuff, and talk with each winner as they step behind the curtain in midst of the chaos and record it. If you get something truly special, do a quick edit, cut it and punch it into the show later on. Why? Just take a look at Jennifer Lawrence completely freaking out at randomly meeting Jack Nicholson backstage. This is the kind of truly warming, spontaneous, hilarious stuff the Oscar show needs more of and it's more entertaining than 90% of what the MacFarlane and the Academy spent months working on.