5 Steps to Fixing the Oscars

No more tweens, boring categories, unfunny hosts
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2010 11:52 AM CST
Host Alec Baldwin, right, and Steve Martin are seen on stage at the 82nd Academy Awards Sunday, March 7, 2010, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
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(Newser) – The Oscars tried really hard for a broader appeal this year—10 best picture nominees! A Neil Patrick Harris appearance!—but even so, Ramin Setoodeh is "having trouble remembering anything that happened during the lethargic 210-minute ceremony." He offers five ways the Oscars can really improve in the future in Newsweek:

  • Hire hosts who are actually funny: Joining the now decade-long tradition of hosts who have bombed, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin “opened the show like the old uncles at your family reunion.”

  • Keep the clips, but keep them short: Omitting the 15-second acting clips, shown when a nominee is announced, is not a good idea. But neither is what the Academy did this year, showing “a clip long enough to be a movie trailer, spliced together like a YouTube mash-up.”
  • Skip the tween presenters: “Do we really think fans of Miley Cyrus and Amanda Seyfried are going to sit through the whole boring telecast to catch a glimpse of their idols in fancy gowns? They have Twitter for that.”
  • Slash the boring categories: Or at least award them off camera. Likely candidates for the ax: best sound mixing, best sound editing, best costume design, best visual effects, "or any award with the word ‘short’ in it."
  • Incorporate a public vote: No, not on the actual categories. On anything. “People just want to be invested—this is why Idol is the No. 1 show on TV.”

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