So how did everyone like 127 Hours: The Oscar Show?
Past experience has lowered our Oscar night expectations, but the enormity of this year's train wreck was hammered home when the starry audience stood and cheered as Billy Crystal took the stage midway through — as if to say: "Come back, Billy! Do something! Please save this show!"
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Melissa Leo's wasn't the only F-bomb dropped along the way. Oscar "Fatigue" set in early, giving us time to realize that maybe the Grammys are on the right track, reaping its highest ratings in years because it doesn't even pretend to be an awards show anymore. The Oscars, of course, don't have that luxury, and this year the musical bits were among the show's weakest, from the mediocre best-song performances and the overdone Auto-Tune mash-up to the peculiar decision to have Hathaway, a terrific singer, deliver a pointless parody of a song from Les Miserables. Which isn't even a movie.
After Leo's bleeped gaffe, which more inspired hosts might have been able to turn into a running gag, Hathaway piped up: "It's the young and hip Oscars!" Is it too much to ask for our old and unhip Oscars back? Kirk Douglas' presentation of the supporting actress award may have had its awkward moments, but he displayed a charming mastery of comic effect as he milked the reading of the winner, reminding us what it feels like to be in the presence of a true star.
And isn't that what the Oscars should be all about? I would much rather have spent the night playing movie Charades with the Modern Family cast.