It's always amusing to watch older people (and yes, I am one) try to figure out what "the kids" would like to see, because it's always so tragically, desperately wrong. I'll give the folks who put together the Academy Awards credit for trying to shake things up a bit, but if you're going to bring in the kids, a self-important, pretentious quasi-intellectual indie guy and a Liza Minelli-lookalike who did a couple of princess movies and seems to also be a big presence on the indie circuit is hardly the way to go.
Last night's broadcast, described today by Randi Rhodes as "the worst television viewing of our lifetime" started out promisingly, with James Franco and Anne Hathaway in an Inception dream sequence. But it went rapidly downhill from there, and as soon as it devolved into Hathaway bickering with her mom on worldwide television and Franco making sure everyone know he's still young enough to have a grandma, I knew that I was going to watch the American Masters documentary on Ahmet Ertegun that was being broadcast on Channel 31 instead. Because the only thing I really wanted to see from last night's broadcast was this:
Because I doubt there breathes a woman in this country over the age of thirty-five who hasn't been madly in love with Colin Firth ever since this:
So I wanted to hear what The Man Who Will Always Be Darcy had to say, and as one could have predicted if one had watched any of his interviews this season, he knocked it out of the park.
I dare say that Colin Firth could do a quite lovely job hosting the Academy Awards, with a light froth of self-deprecating charm mingled with the self-important ponderousness that this annual festival of industry self-congratulation requires. And after watching Joel McHale's obsessive tubthumping the night before at the normally very funny Spirit Awards about what he referred to as "having lunch down at the Y" and missing John Waters, who used to host the Spirit Awards, terribly, the show could do worse. But what a step down that would be for the Divine Mr. Firth, who having finally received the brass ring he's deserved for so long, should finally become a household name outside of those households occupied by sighing middle-aged women.
But that's not who I'm thinking should host this show. I'm not thinking in terms of George Clooney either, for while I like him as an actor, and respect his good works, his dimply adorableness would probably wear thin after three hours.
It seems to me that what the show needs is someone who can pull off the infusion of snark that this annual spectacle of self-importance so desperately needs, while doing it so quickly and so deftly that the bejeweled and botoxed divas and identically-tuxed men won't even know what hit them. It needs a man whose television work every week never fails to make me say, wonderingly, "HOW THE HELL DOES HE GET AWAY WITH THAT IN PRIME TIME???"
I speak, of course, of this man:
Listen to Seth MacFarlane's rendition of "Singin' in the Rain" and think of what he could do with the kind of cheesy musical number that usually opens the show:
He's already hosted the Writer's Guild Awards:
And while he doesn't wear a suite QUITE as nicely as Colin Firth, he wears it quite well.
So, if you're with me in believing that only Seth MacFarlane can save the Motion Picture Academy from dishing up three hours of this kind of crap next year, go tell them so.
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