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5 Ways To Make Next Year's Oscars Better Than The 2013 Ceremony

by Kevin Jagernauth
February 25, 2013 1:55 PM
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Seth MacFarlane Flying Nun Oscars
3. Don't give the host free reign
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.

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  • KrazyJoe | February 27, 2013 12:31 PMReply

    I knew this guy was a fool when he started by slamming the brilliant Shatner bit. That was the best Oscar intro ever.

  • Adam | February 26, 2013 8:28 PMReply

    I don't know why everyone is hating, I thought Macfarlane did an amazing job as the host. He had that edge mixed with that Hollywood type class, plus he can sing, dance, and hold that stable confidence on stage (true qualities of a showman in my books). Everyone who's hating on him still thinks its the 1950's or something, a generally old and conservative audience that are bashing what they were already warned about, a little edge. Compared to any of Macfarlanes shows or Ted, this was nothing, he could have been a lot more worse in terms of crude content. What the hell do you guys want? I sure don't want Anne Hatheway desperately trying while James Franco is baked out of his mind, or Billy Crystal for God knows how many more times (that and I don't like his face, too rubbery, nuff said). Oh and I agree with point 5, that and i'm kind of biased because I like Family Guy in regards to my positive review of Seth's hosting job. And everything I said about why its wrong to hate on Macfarlane's hosting job applies to the year Letterman hosted the Oscars (he was a good host, idk why people hated him).

    Oh and c'mon, Macfarlanes humor shines a true light on Hollywood that everyone else is afraid to delve into. Django Unchained is probably an idea for a date movie for Chris Brown and Rihanna, people probably lost weight due to the flu, Zero Dark Thirty does remind us that women can never let anything go (well that depends actually, but still kind of true), and that you have to be Jewish to get a job in Hollywood (that's sooooo true, I don't see why its not nice to point out that a majority of people in Hollywood are Jewish, at least that's what my Jewish friends said, and I agree with them).

    All in all, stop treading on Seth, he brought a newer, younger and fresher light to this years Academy Awards.

  • Holden | February 26, 2013 5:19 PMReply

    It took 17 minutes, until the opening bit ended and the show really started. (I recorded and had the benefit of the counter on my DVR.) 17 minutes! No single segment of an award show should go that long!

  • moi | February 26, 2013 4:09 PMReply

    I'd say - find a funny, charming host (that thing is subjective but can I mention Chris Rock, Steve Martin, Billy Cristal, they all were great, and I'm not senile), find best director, some terrific writers, classy producers, so that things are lovable, smooth and in good taste. Last year's ceremony was OK, but the last time I truly enjoyed the Oscars was the Steve Martin-Alec Baldwin duo night. This year it was boring, tasteless and extremely discordant. Cheers.

  • Sky | February 26, 2013 3:41 PMReply

    This was awful. They shouldn't reign back the host if the host isn't Seth Macfarlane. Each Oscars is different. And letting them talk? That's a TERRIBLE fucking idea. Very few of them actually have entertaining speeches. Look, I agree, it's their time to shine, but we give them enough time. It's just saying a bunch of names we don't know. It's like staying til the end of the credits of a movie. Boring as hell.

    If you could ensure everyone wrote like a poet then sure, let 'em talk. But you want to make the Oscars better/more interesting? More speech time is not the way to go. And that backstage idea is dumb as heck man. Stuff that happens back there is RARELY newsworthy, let alone interesting enough to put IN the Oscars. The host should have time to do his thing, maybe they should pick a better host, sure, but he should still have time to make the show fun. The best parts of the show are always the hosts jokes, ALWAYS. This list is dumb as hell.

  • aubpire | February 26, 2013 2:07 PMReply

    Cut the musical numbers? I will never forget "Shaft" or "Live and Let Die" and, especially Celine Dion subbing for Babs which won her a whole new following. If you have nominated songs, you must have musical numbers. I think adding Justin Timberlake as host would allow for music, comedy and taste!

  • Dizzi800 | February 26, 2013 1:31 PMReply

    The ;look backstage would be a great 'second screen' experience. but not neccisarily to cut away from the show

  • Jamie | February 25, 2013 6:03 PMReply

    The Seth Shatner show was a definite mistake ... too long and clunky. The Les Mis number was the best thing in the whole show. Maybe there needs to be a rule that at least one well cast musical needs to be made every year. Oh and Hugh Jackman must host the Oscar show.

  • ali | February 25, 2013 5:09 PMReply

    The show didn't have focus. It was all over the map. I hope next year the academy hire better producers and director

  • Matt | February 25, 2013 3:28 PMReply

    #5 is such a good idea, I'm blown away they haven't attempted to do something like that. I guess in 2007, they came close. I recall there being a backstage cam that Tom Hanks "hosted" but still, could really loosen the show up if done well.

  • MAL | February 25, 2013 2:44 PMReply

    Personally, I liked MacFarlane, though I agree there needs to be some curbing regardless of the host. I absolutely agree with you on point 5! The backstage stuff can be truly priceless.

  • Marko | February 25, 2013 2:34 PMReply

    Or to summarize: "We hated Seth Macfarlane as a host. Never get him again"

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