The Oscars were last night and they were a boring drag.



Yeah, the Oscars were last night and they were a weird, small, slow, low-rated mess that I’m not going to write a whole separate post about because …

But also because this is a TV blog, not a movie blog. As such, I admit that I haven’t seen many of the movies nominated. For our purposes, I’m more interested in how the ceremony itself played out on television. And how it played out was NOT GREAT.

It wasn’t as cringey and error-riddled as the Golden Globes, but it was way too talky and way too long. Ironically, in an attempt to streamline the awards, they somehow made it feel more bloated and laggy. Gone were the host, the orchestra, the musical numbers and comedy bits, but in their place were long, self-indulgent speeches from the winners. For instance, the Best Documentary Features winners spoke uninterrupted for nearly four full minutes. Look, congratulations guys, but literally? NO ONE CARES.

And I don’t know why producer Stepehn Soderbergh moved away from the tradition of showing clips from the movies themselves to having the presenters deliver monologues about each of the nominees, but in a year where most people haven’t seen most of the nominated films … it was a choice. A bad, boring one. It felt like being a kid who is not in the drama club being forced to sit in on the drama club’s meeting and every member of the drama club is talking about how great the other members are and all of them are taking themselves WAY TOO SERIOUSLY.

There were moments that stood out, of course. Highlights include Daniel Kaluuya mortifying his mother and sister in his acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actor for his work in Judas and the Black Messiah:

Best Supporting Actress, Minari‘s Yuh-Jung Youn threw the very best shade at her film’s producer, Brad Pitt:

Glenn Close is now tied with Peter O’Toole for the most acting nominations without a win at 8. This is shameful. This is a goddamned travesty. Still, her loss last night didn’t slow Close down, as you can see in this delightful (but yes, scripted) bit with Lil Rey Howery:

And then there was the “In Memoriam” piece which is always a landmine, especially so in a year that has seen so much death around the world. It was weird. First, the music was inappropriately upbeat; second, it went by way too quickly — as many people accurately described it, it was like listening to a podcast at 1.5 speed. Also, they left out people, as they always do, including Adam Schlesinger, who was nominated for an Oscar for Best Song from That Thing You Do!,  and Jessica Walter who gave an unforgettable performance in Play Misty for Me.

Finally, there were changes that felt like change just for change’s sake, namely that the Best Picture was announced before Best Actress and Best Actor. Combined with the fact that the winner of the final award of the night, Best Actor, was Anthony Hopkins — who wasn’t in attendance — the whole thing ended on a completely anticlimmatic, “wait, that’s it?” note.

All in all, the whole thing was a drag. The nominees were a drag, the presentations were a drag, the speeches, overwhelmingly a drag. I know they were trying to strike an appropriate tone in the wake of a year that has seen so much loss for so many, and specifically to be sensitive as an awards ceremony for an industry that has been so profoundly impacted by the virus. But I don’t know guys, maybe now is exactly when we all could use a little levity? (Here are all the winners if you would like to see them.)

Speaking of questionable levity: Saturday NIght Live announced that its host for the May 8 episode will be Elon Musk, and to say people are outraged and/or confused is an understatement.

And a couple of Saturday Night Live cast members weighed in … for about a second before taking down their posts:

Honestly, Musk is not the worst person in the world who has been asked to host the show — Former President Hot Dog Casing has hosted multiple times, after all. While we’ll have to see how it goes, it’s worth noting that narcissistic assholes like Musk who have a hard time laughing at themselves aren’t usually the best fit for the hosting gig.

In the wildest story of the weekend, a Texas woman discovered there was a warrant out for her arrest in Oklahoma for an overdue copy of Sabrina the Teenage Witch that she rented and apparently never returned back in 1999. Oklahoma authorities dropped the charges, but not before the poor woman thought she was “going to have a heartattack.”

I understand wanting to keep Julia-Louis Dreyfus’ cameo secret, but I would assume putting someone in a mysterious cloak would just create more curiosity:

The showrunner of You wrote a long Twitter thread about shooting the third season during COVID, but this was the most interesting tweet in the whole thing:

Here’s more of what we can expect. FUCKING BONKERS! Can. Not. Wait.

We now know more about the John Wick series that I had completely forgotten about.

Is Jennifer Carpenter returning to Dexter? If the striped shirt fits …

How will How I Met Your Father fit together with How I Met Your Mother … or will the two shows be connected in any way at all? MYSTERY.

Remember that tease from Tom Bergeron that he was returning to … something? Whatever it is, apparently, it’s not Dancing With the Stars. I mean, credit where credit is due: he’s milking the hell out of whatever this is about.

Back in the day, Quentin Tarantino directed an episode of E.R. and he only took one take of each scene so that the episode would have to be his cut. Clever, I guess?

Roku and Google are having a little slapfight and YouTube might be caught in the middle.


Going Viral

Y’ALL. DO NOT SKIP THAT SECOND SHOT. About 8% of Americans who have received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines are not returning for their second shot. Some people are scared of the side effects, some believe falsely that they are sufficiently protected by the first shot, and in some cases appointments had to be canceled because the provider had a shortage of doses. Hopefully that third problem will be rectified soon, but if you’re in one of the first two categories, go get that shot, y’all. (Now, the positive way of looking at this is 92% of people are returning for their second shots, which is pretty good considering we are asking people to be jabbed twice, so.)

Also good news: cases are FINALLY dropping now that the vaccines are in so many more people over the past month or so. 42% of all Americans — 52% of eligible Americans — have been vaccinated as of yesterday, but the demand is starting to drop. Worldwide, a billion shots have been given, which is amazing — and at the same time, not nearly enough.

And in really hopeful news: the EU is planning to open travel up for fully vaccinated Americans this summer.

Alaska state Senator Lora Reinbold had the audacity to call another woman a “Karen” for complaining that Reinbold wasn’t wearing a mask and to bitch about Alaska Airlines’ mask policy. She’s now banned from the airline altogether, which is particularly funny as it’s the only airline that flies from her home city of Anchorage to the state capitol Juneau, and now she has a 14-hour drive to get to her job. They’re a private business, lady. They can absolutely require you to wear a mask.

On Thursday, my husband and I became officially fully immunized against COVID-19, and for the first time in well over a year, we went to a movie theater. It was a special event: our dear friend had rented out a theater for a showing of Jaws to celebrate her husband’s birthday (which is a thing you can do and for not very much money, honestly). We were there with a small group of friends — 12 of us total — all of whom had been vaccinated, in a large theater by ourselves. It was fun, but it was weird being in this very public space again, I have to admit. But the movie industry is desperate to get back to business, and The Atlantic outlines what you can expect comes next for the theater business: more digitalization; more private screenings like I attended; and, sadly, more theater closures.

Related: The Small Business Association will reopen grant applications for movie theaters and live theaters today.

Isralei designer Alber Elbaz has died of COVID-19.

Star Trek Discovery had to shut down production in Toronto.


In Development

Casting News

Mark Your Calendar

  • The Bachelorette returns on ABC on June 7.

  • Master of None will return on Netflix on May 23.

  • In the Heights will premiere in theaters and HBO Max on June 11.

  • Nine Perfect Strangers will debut on Hulu soon.

  • RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars is coming to Paramount+ soon.

  • Lil Duval’s Living My Best Life will premiere on ALLBLK this summer.

  • Super Me will premiere on Netflix on May 8.

  • Alma Matters: Inside The IIT Dream will debut on Netflix on May 14.

  • Ghost Lab will be released on Netflix on May 26.


Charles “Chuck” Fries, Movie and TV producer. He worked on Route 66, Bewitched, Hazel, The Monkees, and Father Knows Best, among others

Marty Bauer, Co-founder of United talent Agency


Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days: I was a Sesame Street kid — it taught me some of the most important things in my life, including how to read, and how to be empathetic. Happy birthday, Sesame Street! 7 p.m., ABC

In Search of Darkness: Part II: This four-hour documentary series explores 1980s horror icons. Shudder

Bull: In the 100th episode, Bull takes on what sounds an awful lot like the Jeffrey Epstein mess. 9 p.m., CBS

Frontline: The Virus That Shook the World: The first year of the pandemic is explored in this two-part documentary, in case you’re already feeling nostalgic. 8 p.m., PBS

Late Night:

  • Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Kate Upton, Moneybagg Yo
  • Late Night with Seth Meyers: Anna Kendrick, Phil Donahue, Marlo Thomas
  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Anthony Mackie, Terry Gross
  • The Late Late Show with James Corden: Pete Buttigieg, Jordan McGraw
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kyla-Drew, the Flaming Lips
  • The Daily Show: The Daily Social Distancing Show
  • Watch What Happens Live: Robin Thede, Gabrielle Dennis, Ashley Nicole Black
  • A Little Late with Lily Singh: Keke Palmer

MON. 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30
ABC Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days
The Good Doctor
CBS The Neighborhood
Bob ♥ Abishola
All Rise
CW All American
Black Lightning
FOX 9-1-1
9-1-1: Lone Star
NBC The Voice

One thought on “The Oscars were last night and they were a boring drag.

  1. My father plays the piano, he has 3 songs memorized: The House of the Rising Sun, Paperback Writer and Misty. He plays Misty for my Mom because their second date was going to see Play Misty for Me. Their first date they saw The Andromeda Strain.

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