Despite the fact that the 2014 Oscars went on for way too long, I truly enjoyed watching all fourteen hours of them last night. Between Ellen DeGeneres‘ amazingly hilarious opening monologue and John Travolta’s amazingly bizarre pronunciation of Idina Menzel’s name, I laughed the whole time. Well except for the moments when Lupita Nyong’o's acceptance speech brought me to tears. But besides that, it was Laughter City in my living room. (Which is conveniently one train stop away from Crazy Town.)
Tim Goodman at The Hollywood Reporter couldn’t agree less with me. Because according to him, the 2014 Oscars sucked. Just absolutely blew. If he could go back in time and spend the night with his head submerged in a clogged toilet instead of watching the show, we can go ahead and assume he most certainly would. While you really should really go read his entire scathing review, I did you a favor and chose my favorite quotes so that you can adequately prepare yourself for how much he hated the show. And be warned, hate might be an understatement when it comes to this.
On the Oscars overall
As a television event, this year’s Oscars was more like an endurance test. It was a turgid affair, badly directed, poorly produced and featuring an endless string of either tired or wince-inducing moments by DeGeneres, who, by the last 30 or so minutes, seemed to have given up entirely.
Last year I attempted to start running. That was an endurance test (that I failed). Sitting on my couch eating delivery in my sweats, not so much. But I always do appreciate the use of the word turgid in an article about celebrities.
On Ellen DeGeneres as a host
She was spotty and flat in those early comments and then tried to spice things up by appearing in the audience not just once, not just twice but — did anyone count? — what felt like 47 times. In any case, it was too much even if she did set a Twitter record by getting a gaggle of Hollywood’s most famous together for a quick cellphone selfie. It still felt like a Samsung ad that was tricked up to feel spontaneous.
Samsung ad or not, I loved the star-studded selfie. If only because Angelina Jolie smiled in it. And not in her usual cold and calculating “I want to take over the world” way, but in a genuine way like she was actually enjoying herself. Who are we to take that away from her? Jennifer Aniston circa 2005?
On Bette Midler’s performance
Nothing wrong with Midler having a go at it, but why not put those who passed on the screen while she sang, not tack her onto the end and make everyone look yet again at the clock in agonized despair.
Look, I agree that Bette should’ve sung during the slideshow and not after it. But agonizing despair? We’re watching the Oscars here, not sitting in the waiting room of a hospital at 2 A.M waiting to see if Pop Pop made it out of surgery okay.
On the commercials
Hell, when the commercials are better than your Academy Award film nominees, something is desperately wrong.
Okay, does this guy even like the Oscars? Sure they’re too long and sure they’re self-important and sure I spend the whole time making snarky comments, but I do actually enjoy watching them. Because part of being in an incredibly intense one-sided relationship with Hollywood’s A-list stars is supporting them on their big night.
On the Oscars overall (again)
But instead, this year’s event felt, visually, like a bag of leaden rocks. It forced viewers to endure it rather than enjoy it.
Again we’re back to enduring this horrible event that we’re all forced to watch at gunpoint. Oh the horror of spending your Sunday night staying up an hour past your bad time to watch celebrities collect tiny statues! Someone call up Party City, because we’re going to need all their best streamers for our Post-Oscars Pity Party. Tim, can you bring the sad clowns?