In the three years I’ve been posting on this blog (dear lord, where does the time go), I’ve established a tradition. Every year, I dutifully watch the Oscars, like so many of us in this profession. I sit through the turgid telecast and hold my tongue with each award I happen to disagree with. I sift through all the sniping and the venting on social media to try and sense what sort of larger conversations might be happening around these awards. And sometime after midnight, when the overblown ceremony is finally concluded, I sit down at my keyboard and try to come up with some sort of wrap-up to post the next morning (which by then is just a few short hours away), to try and find something interesting to say about a night that is, all too often, just plain boring.
I’m opening in a show this week, however. (Seriously, opening night is tomorrow! Come check us out!) Last night was a dress rehearsal, in which we started bringing in most of our tech elements – a long and laborious process with no access to television. And by the time rehearsal was finished, and I’d made the long subway commute from midtown Manhattan to the wilds of south Brooklyn, the Oscar telecast was nearly finished, and I had only my friends’ Facebook posts to clue me in as to what was going on.
Yes, Gentle Reader, I missed the Oscars last night.
And by all accounts, they were good.
For the first time in years, people (at least in my circle of friends) were actively cheering the winners. And there was much to cheer! Three Oscars for Black Panther! Awards in non-performance categories for astonishingly gifted black women, after being ignored for decades! Spike Lee finally got something! Freaking Shallow, man!
And the ceremony was short! It seemed like it was fated to be a disaster, given the bad publicity following the departure of Kevin Hart as host and the promise of a rudderless evening. But not based on the clips I’ve seen! The comedic moments actually landed! The heartfelt moments were actually heartfelt! Freaking Shallow, man! And here I am, about to finish this post before midnight for once!
So clearly, we need to start a new tradition when it comes to the Academy Awards. As long as nobody hosts the show, and I’m not able to watch it, it might actually be good!
(Note that many pundits are proclaiming Green Book to be the worst Best Picture winner in a decade. Oh well. You can’t have everything.)