OFF WITH THE SHOW

In Understanding Media Marshall McLuahn wrote that the handwriting was on  the wall for a medium once it became the subject and/or content of another medium.  The other medium would become its successor.  What would McLuhan have made of the Academy Award prsentations which have now become “The Oscar Show”?  What would he have thought of last Sunday’s “The Oscar Show” making itself the subject of its own show?  Doing this on the other medium of television?  We watched the once talented, impressive William Shatner assist Seth MacFarlane in a kind of public masturbation accompanied by fantasies of hypothetical reviews of his own performance in the very show we were watching.  I don’t know if this is evidence of the extent to which so-called reality tv has corrupted show business or of the lack of MacFarlane’s imagination.  I do know that it was all embarrassing and made clear that the misgivings about Meron and Zadan’s much-touted different evening were well founded.

SELECTED LOWLIGHTS

  —  a breakthrough in additional four-letter words available on prime time television

  —  MacFarlane’s comments on The Avengers playing to the lowest common denominator idea that popular movies that the  mass audience likes should always be nominated

  —  two stars as intelligent and dignified as Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson doing scripted horsing around and scripted ridicule of the awards they were presenting

  —  ditto:  Jamie Foxx and his co-presenter citing the importance of the Academy’s making all the live-action shorts available on DVD, then making fun of the category and its filmmakers

  —  a nadir in demeanor and appearance:  the Inocente acceptance bunch

In past years, of course, there were no bunches, no multiple presenters or even duos.  One presenter  —  and no one nominated had the bad taste to appear on stage, not to mention read nominees that include a movie in which you appeared.  What has become of any sense of professionalism or style  —  or even respect for your own craft?  So far no one has presented an award to himself, though MacFarlane seems to have made a first step in that direction.

A HIGHLIGHT

Mark Wahlberg showed real class in handling a tie.

What did my readers think of the evening?  Of the choices? Please let me hear from you.

NEXT POST FRIDAY MARCH 8.

See you at the movies,
Rick

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