Thursday, March 19, 2015

Topic Of The Day: How The Oscars Can Improve Ratings

Hello, Bloggers, here is another Topic Of The Day regarding the Oscars. Now, apparently, the Oscars have just had the lowest ratings in six years. But I figured I'd provide my own insight as to why that is and how they could improve on it. Here we go:

First off, the show tends to go on at least an hour and a half too long. That might be because of an excessive amount of musical numbers which might cause some viewers to tune out. I think they should either not only keep the performances of the songs nominated for Best Original Song but keep them short and sweet or don't have any performances at all. The Oscars are meant to celebrate the art of film and we don't want viewers to feel like they are watching the Tonys. Plus, there were some complaints about Neil Patrick Harris' comedic timing. But I blame the writers. Next time, they should either hire better writers or hire a host who does great improv. Three words: Tina and Amy.

Another reason they might be in a ratings rut is their predictability factor. While it was nice that Patricia Arquette, Julianne Moore, and J.K. Simmons won, my biggest issue with their wins is that they went according to plan. Nowadays, there are hardly any surprises. Even though Eddie Redmayne's win stunned plenty, even that win wasn't much of a surprise. Each year, I always cross my fingers for an Adrien Brody, Marion Cotillard-type win. One that'll get audiences leaping from their seats so that the ceremony doesn't feel like a highlight reel of the entire awards season. But I think one possible problem is that the eventual winners aren't given much competition since the dark horse contenders that have strong fanbases end up getting snubbed (i.e., Albert Brooks for Drive, Jake Gyllenhaal for Nightcrawler, Michael Fassbender for Shame, Mila Kunis for Black Swan, Adele Exarchopoulos for Blue Is The Warmest Color, etc.). That actually brings me to my next point.

One of the biggest reasons that the Academy is in a ratings rut is that they tend to have some trouble recognizing an audience favorite to please the masses that drive their box office receipts. Not only that, but in more recent years, they have become very PC with the films they nominate. Take for example, half of this year's BP lineup which is made up of more important films over the likes of Gone Girl, Guardians of the Galaxy, Interstellar, Lego Movie, and Nightcrawler. I think they should do it how they did in the 70's where they had films like Jaws, E.T., Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Exorcist, American Graffiti, Star Wars, The Godfather I & II, and even something as dark and twisted as Taxi Driver competing for the big prize. Even if most of these films didn't have a shot at winning, they still recognized that they were quality films. So they should pick something fun or edgy next time around. Get crazy!  That way, they have the best of both worlds: films that'll get the masses excited and films for the more artistic crowd that is into cinematic filmmaking.

So those are my thoughts on how the Academy can come out of their ratings rut. Whether you agree or disagree, please feel free to write your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks for reading!