JA from MNPP here - according to JustJared, everybody's favorite (heh) Oscar host Seth MacFarlane has been asked to return to host the awards next year. It's not terribly surprising since the ratings were great and that's what most matters to the people who run this televised spectacle, but I have a feeling that those of us who were critical of Seth's performance won't take too kindly to this news. MacFarlane is on the record as not wanting to do it again, but who knows? Now that the offer's on the table he might just have spent the past few weeks thinking up new lyrics to rhyme with "boobs." So... what do we think about that?
Entries in Oscar Hosting (14)
All That (85th Oscars) Jazz
The Big Night: Fun Arrivals, Winner's List, Jennifer Lawrence in the Press Room
The Look Back: Funniest Tweets, & Season Finale Podcast
The Fashions: Fifteen Men, The Ten Nominated Ladies, Goodbye Glamour
The Opening Monologue
As today's reviews will surely attest, Seth MacFarlane bombed badly last night in the unenviable host position. Why anyone would want the job is beyond me. Occasionally someone will get 'good job' reviews (Hugh Jackman, Billy Crystal, etcetera) but those positive reviews almost never come directly after the show but later in context once they're sized up in memory against newer worse hosting gigs. Nearly everyone gets mixed to negative reviews in the moment. Fact: people love to hatewatch the Oscars. To his credit (eep), MacFarlane understood this and even attempted to get out in front of the criticism by mocking it. In his interminable opening monologue (18 minutes!) he was visited from the future by Captain Kirk (William Shatner) - a joke more suited to the Emmys which he'd be a better host of given that he's a television personality -- who showed him the headlines from the next morning.
It was funny because it was true. But the gag continued. As the monologue progressed his reviews improved until he got somewhere around "mediocre". It wasn't funny because it wasn't true. [Editor's Note: The "worst" part isn't true. That title will obviously and forever belong to James Franco who couldn't be bothered to show (in spirit) though he undoubtedly cashed the check.]
See, Captain Kirk was right. His jokes were "inappropriate and offensive" and we all DID wish it were Tina & Amy hosting instead (a weird shoutout to the Golden Globes, which were without question the highlight of this awards season as televised events go though Oscar Night usually plays "no comment" on that precursor). Worse than MacFarlane's fratboy jokes though was that the humor seemed entirely centered around HIM, as if we were watching The Oscars to send 3½ hours with MacFarlane and not with the biggest movie stars in the world. Oops. Somehow doesn't know why people tune in to the Oscars.
Each year the media and the producers and even the general public play a little complicit game of "OOOH, ____ IS HOSTING AND NOW WE'RE EXCITED". But it's never the hosts. It's the movies and the movie stars! Mostly the hosts do best when they show up for brief intervals and make a funny but stay out of the way so we can gawk at stars and remember the year's most celebrated pictures and, for the less devoted, make a mental grocery list of movies we want to see now.
Perhaps Captain James T Kirk can tell us if any future Oscar Producers and Hosts figure that out.
The three most terrible moments:
- That joke about Quvenzhané and Clooney. I've since blocked it out but I have a vague memory of being offended.
- Flight reenacted with sock puppets. (Somehow there was a lot of laughter in the Dolby. Please tell me that was a laugh track and not actual enjoyment)
- That weird flying nun / seducing Sally Field skit.
So as not to be a total downer -- I enjoy the Oscars even when they're lame! -- here were a few things I think worked about Seth's performance.
- He sings well. His love of musicals was obvious and gave us fun expected moments like Charlize Theron (originally a dancer) and Channing Tatum dancing together and even a kickline with Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Daniel Radcliffe who both have a song & dance man inside of them.
- As stupid as that "we saw your boobs" number was -- it would have been much funnier if it were shorter -- the actresses who filmed reaction shots were good sports with solid comic timing and the Kate Winslet punchline was great. (Oh shut up, I bet she laughed from home). In an evening full of dumb jokes, inevitably some of them will land.
- Later in the show when he wasn't taking up so much space he was better. His introductions were sometimes amusing (loved the Channing Tatum / Jennifer Aniston intro) and I especially enjoyed the "needs no introduction" introduction for you know who, didn't you? I mean, she doesn't!
Do you have against-the-grain kind words for Seth MacFarlane or are you already making a mental list of 500 celebrities who would have done a better job last night? (If so care to share a few of them?)
And why does anyone want the job of hosting -- beyond the cash -- given that it's rather like having a worldwide target on your tuxedo'ed back?
P.S. Don't forget to like The Film Experience on Facebook. Please and thx
BuzzFeed "The 16 Most Epic Faces Jennifer Lawrence Made on Oscar Night" ...my favorite (pictured below) is the "i can't remember your name" face
Slate who was wrongest in their Oscar predictions?
Gawker all of Seth MacFarlane's sexist, racist and homophobic jokes collected
i09 Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 wins all the Razzies... speaking of did we ever figure out why Kristen Stewart was on crutches... was it the crushing weight of her own celebrity?
Salon on why Lincoln lost
Nick's Flick Picks I think in the Oscar Glut yesterday, a lot of you missed this fun group party wherein a bunch of us picked our favorite wins from past years. Super fun. And more to come.
Nick's Flick Picks also live-blogged the whole show. I haven't read this yet but since it's Nick, you know it'll be good.
Pop & Hiss Adele and Dame Shirley Bassey saved the Oscars
The Great Showdown celebrates the Best Pics in Scott C's wonderful way
Hulu for the first time you can watch the Oscars online in full (for a limited time)
IndieWire watch Quvenzhané Wallis get down at the after party!
And behold, my favorite photo I've yet seen from the After Parties
Answer me these questions three:
- How much do you love both of these men?
- What do you suppose they were saying to each other here?
- Which Ang Lee movie do you think Daniel Day-Lewis loves most?
I can't say I saw this one coming. Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane has been named host of February's Oscars. Honestly I wouldn't even have guessed that if you'd let me guess 100 names.
Rule #1 of Oscar Host selection in the past has always been that the host was an instantly recognizable celebrity and household name, the kind of celebrity that even your grandparents would be familiar with: Whoopi, Steve Martin, Letterman, etcetera. It's never a behind the scenes creative, however famous his name or voice might be.
While MacFarlane is considerably less famous than past hosts that doesn't mean he won't do a fine job... his musical referencing will be a natural fit on Oscar night though the non-sequitor nature of his jokes (at least on Family Guy) might be a stranger fit. Are we in for another "Uma. Oprah"?
MacFarlane's selection is yet another example of the Academy's increasingly schizo "who are we?" identity crisis over the last handful of years. They can't stop themselves.
Are you a MacFarlane fan or were you hoping for someone with more star wattage? Who do you think they also considered before this left turn?
I couldn't let the postmortem on Oscar's 84th close without inviting my ol' podcast pals Katey, Nick and Joe to join me for one last conversation of the season. We ended up talking for over an hour. See we all share this "can't stop talking Oscar!" addiction and none of us will ever go to rehab. So you get the podcast in two parts. Part two late tonight.
Here's part one where we start goofy with Octavia Spencer's ubiquity and end all serious like (well, mostly) with Viola and Meryl. Join the conversation in the comments.
Topics include but are not limited to...
- Octavia Spencer, Angelina Jolie
- "Cut To Camera 3. No, Camera 4. Wait, Back to 2!"
- Spreading the Wealth. What Did They Actually Love?
- Billy Crystal's 9th Go-Round
- Emma Stone vs. Anne Hathaway with a side of Jonah Hill
- Red Carpet Reveals and Lead Actor Presentations
- CLIPS! Commercial Breaks
- Meryl & Viola and the Narrative vs. Performance Problem