Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

What It Will Take to Watch Next Year's Oscars

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

What It Will Take to Watch Next Year's Oscars

Article excerpt

If you're anything like me, and I certainly hope for your sake that you're not, your reaction to the recent Oscar ceremonies ranged somewhere between slack-jawed boredom and white-knuckled anger, with an occasional pause along the way for the consumption of chips and salsa. (I know I'm a bit behind, but I was so stunned by how bad this year's Oscar's were, it's taken me a few days to recover.)

Perhaps the thing that whitened my knuckles and slacked my jaw the most, though, was that we had been promised - promised - by the producers of the Oscar show that there were going to be real changes in the telecast in order to bring some new excitement to the proceedings.

These changes - having the nominees on stage as a group, giving awards at various other places in the theater - have already been roundly criticized for many reasons by many people. The only one I care about, though, is that they do nary a whit to up the excitement quotient of the proceedings.

My pulse, for example, did not quicken when Scarlett Johansson appeared in a box above the stage with some of the earlier technical Oscar winners, rather than onstage. Nor did my palms sweat when Jeremy Irons appeared in the orchestra section. Not more than they normally do on a day to day basis, anyway.

And the less said about the importation of Shrek into a classic Charlie Chaplin sequence the better.

Being the civic-minded person that I am, always out to improve the social welfare of millions of Americans without engaging in anything so sweaty as actual public service, I herewith humbly offer some suggestions for next year's Oscar telecast. If even a few of them are adopted, I guarantee some real excitement.

1. One nominee in each category wins Oscar; one other nominee forced to co-star with Carrot Top in next movie. Both names announced at same time. …

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