No thanks, Academy
Whenever I watch the Oscars, I end up regretting it. The overblown opening is usually cute, but since when is a few minutes of cute worth a four-hour investment of time?
The Academy Awards are beyond predictable (you almost have a better chance of seeing an upset in a Texas-Lousiana Monroe college football game).
And people think the Olympics are packed in-between commercials?
Still, this would all be endurable if what passes as Oscar humor would draw a laugh from anyone on any other day of the year. Even Carrot Top and Dane Cook would be considered side splitting in the context of the Kodak Theater. As movie stars have grown more and more media conscious the acceptance speeches have grown more and more dry — to the point where they almost all now sound like they were written by the winner's accountant.
Sandra Bullock offers a glimmer of hope — but do you really think she's going to bring anything more than super enthusiasm? Fear of the ultra pretentious James Cameron already caused the Academy to remove Sacha Baron Cohen from the show — and there went the last chance for something truly wild and water cooler worthy.
Do you really want to hear Mr. Titanic wax on about all the symbolism in Avatar? (When in reality, its "story" is less deep than the narrative of The Hangover.)
The two co-host gimmick for this year's awards makes one think that the Academy realizes that neither former A-Lister could get the the job done alone too.
When Steve Martin was last legitimately relevant, Joe Montana was still throwing touchdown passes in the NFL. Alec Baldwin can be funny (even if he owes the second shelf life of his career to Tina Fey), but with Baldwin telling every TV publication in the world that he wants to honor "the seriousness" of the night, you can be certain that there will be plenty of sleep breaks.
So what's a conscientious Oscar objector to do?
Why not head out to Minute Maid Park for the finale of the Houston College Classic?
There, you can enjoy an alternative to the fake glitz with a few thousand other rebels. Attendance for the showcase Texas-Rice game on Friday night maxed out at a little more than 10,000 and there figure to be many less souls than that for this evening's 6 p.m. Rice vs. TCU concluder.
Which means an even greater choice of seats for you. It's $13 to get in (with kids under 4 free) and once you're in, the ballpark is pretty much your playground. Sit where you like (with the exception of the suites) and replace overstaged "entertainment" with underrated baseball. TCU is the seventh-ranked college team in the country and Rice might remember its Rice any day.
I'll be there, knowing that I can follow both the red carpet posing contest and the show itself on CultureMap anywhere — without any danger of being bored to distraction. Our Oscar team — Caroline Gallay, Sarah Rufca and movie-know-it-all Joe Leydon — all have more up-to-date jokes than Steve Martin. Of that much, you can be sure. Or, just catch up with all the moments after the game at CultureMap.
Ah, the Oscars — guaranteed to squeeze out less excitement per minute than baseball.