I came across a review on this year’s Academy Awards ceremony from the Chicago Sun-Times. It is not kind. Then I tried to find a positive review of the ceremony. I could not. And I wonder… why? I personally thought (and mind you, I did bear through the entire tedious 3 hours or more of it) that it was refreshingly better than previous years’ editions. Thus, I decided to write a retort to this particular Sun-Times article… if I try to retort all of them, there simply would be not enough hours in the day.
I found the article in the Sun-Times to be blown up out of proportion, unnecessary offensive and presenting arguments that throw harsh offenses or criticisms rather than arguments supported by facts. I know from experience, it is very easy to criticize, it is more difficult to find the sense in something you clearly do not understand.
I don’t know about the show from ‘89, I was barely born, though it sounds pretty bad. I also don’t really know much about the overall history of the Oscars. I do have a life. What I do know is, what the trends are now, and Seth Macfarlane is a trend. He is a symbol of a new era of artistic approach of mockery, sarcasm and self-criticism. Traits I appreciate and traits which some artists need to use a bit more on themselves. I really wonder what did people expect when Macfarlane was announced as a host? Schmalz and pink roses? Take a hike! For the first time someone named things for what they are. I believe Macfarlane managed what Ricky Jervais did for the Golden Globes, he made them all laugh at themselves, something they don’t do often. I don’t need to see the “God’s-elect” Hollywood actors pat themselves on the back, I want to see a clever, evolving, self-critical show that feels like an appropriate segment of the popular culture these days. Otherwise, Hollywood is really as worse as its worst critics and for the sake of the industry romantics like me out there, I hope that is not the case.
Should we talk about Anne Hathaway and James Franco, who was so pathetic it looked the ceremony was the last place he wanted to be at and Anne who is cute and.. well.. cute, the rest she should leave to other actresses. Or Hugh Jackman, who is a handsome actor in all senses of the word, but wouldn’t be an entertaining show host if he punched a bloody kangaroo with a fist. Or should we talk about Billy Crystal? No we shan’t, no one gives a damn about Billy Crystal. So based on exactly what criteria does he criticize the host this year, I really do not understand. Seth Macfarlane was confident, highly professional (unlike most of them he actually can sing and talk properly) and just the right amount of fun. He often crosses a line, this time he didn’t.
So why am I writing this? I don’t even care about the Oscars that much, it is a ridiculously glamorous spectacle from this one guild for this one guild by this one guild. Yes, some call it pompous, unimportant, boring, blown out of proportion. I did not write this piece for the sake of the awards, but rather the outright blind criticism that seems to flood the media towards an edition I thought to be rather a slight improvement, with the fresh breath of modernism. Even more, I am writing to stand against the criticism over an approach of a smart, sarcastic, funny and highly critical view of the industry and lots of other issues. An approach not easily delivered, not much appreciated yet extremely valuable. That and of course, I like Seth Macfarlane. Duh.
P.S. I seem to have come across the only other positive review here: http://unrealitymag.com/index.php/2013/02/27/revoke-my-feminist-card-i-think-seth-macfarlane-is-funny/ and I rather like it!