news commentary
February 29, 2008


And this Oscar goes to…
viewers who made it through the whole damn show

by Brandon Whitehead

Well, Hollywood managed to celebrate itself again last Sunday, in this case for the 80th Annual Academy Awards, and ended up with lower ratings than Obama gets from the Minuteman Militia.

You would think the end of the writer’s strike would have helped ol’ Mr. Oscar, and given a chance at a good show. I would rather have seen who was willing to cross the picket line to get their free gift bags (really, honestly — even after all the shots of them on the picket lines, do you believe most actors actually care about writers?), because it was hard to tell here just what the writers supposedly wrote. It was almost as if they conspired to make the show crappy as a little payback for their own lost wages…

But no, the problem here lies flat on the well-coifed heads of the “movie stars,” nowadays, who are just…boring. These pretty, buff, tanned and pedigreed fools actually believe their own hype-machine (and that of the paparazzi, who desperately need to puff up C-list talent for their own pocketbook’s sake), almost as badly as Hillary Clinton does.

Well, being that I am a highly paid pop culture critic, celebrated music writer and watch a lot of television, I feel a need to “deconstruct” this year’s show in a simple step-by-step manor for you all, somewhat because that’s easy to follow but mostly because I’ve already written it up this way:

7 P.M.: The show starts: Well, actually I missed the first ten minutes or so trying to get the latest version of “iTunes” to download without eating my computer’s brain. Still, there is hope: Jon Stewart is one of the funniest people on television (and a hell of a writer himself), and a couple of films, namely There Will be Blood and No Country for Old Men are pretty damn good flicks. So is Transformers. but that is another story, and…

None of that made the slightest difference. The pixyish Stewart seemed to be channeling deceased game show host Richard Dawson, and it didn’t help that his normally devilish, spot-on jabs were watered down with ridiculously insincere praise: Every line was tell joke, then say, “Wasn’t that great, everybody!”

No, Mr. Stewart, it really was not that great. Really.

7: 15ish: 38 different awards for sound effects are handed out like no tomorrow, and no one explains why the stage looks like they stole it from Vegas, circa 1972.

7:35-7:59 P.M. This entire segment is nothing but flashbacks to past Oscar winners.

7:59: The first song from Enchanted is performed. Uh, ok…whatever.

8:10: Dwanye “The Rock” Johnson, in a stunning upset, beats Bumblebee the Camero out for Best Visual Effect. Who knew?

8:10-8:30: More flashbacks (later Whoopi Goldberg complains she was dissed by not being included, which was obviously a racist decision and had nothing to do with the fact that she hasn’t done anything relevant in over a decade, and no, The View doesn’t count)

8:40: Ladies and Gentlemen: John Travolta! Thankfully he does not dance or talk about Scientology or flying his own freakin’ plane for once.

8:53: Another song from Enchanted…don’t really know what it was called because I switched over to watch The Simpsons for 5 minutes or so.

8:58: Ladies and Gentlemen: Amy Adams! (no, I don’t know who she is either…)

9:10: Elton John appears on tape, says the Oscar is “no flimsy piece of cardboard,” he’s then given a flimsy piece of cardboard lifetime achievement award.

9:15-9:30: Again, flashbacks.

9:35: Ladies and Gentlemen: Tom Hanks! Mr. Hanks quietly reminds us that gays still can’t marry and oh, yeah, there’s a war in Iraq, then quickly leaves.

9:37: I am startled to learn that a huge South American snake will most likely attack soon, possibly by coming up through the toilet! Holy Crap! We gotta…oh, wait, just another high-quality KMBC Channel 9 News promo! I guess they ran out of pedophiles and. well, whatever else they talk about. My bad.

9:40: Ladies and Gentlemen: Harrison Ford! Even he looks embarrassed to be up on that stage.

9:42: Some foreign chick wins an actress thingy (In fact, a LOT of awards are going to foreigners, which drags the show just a bit, given that, oh, you know, they can’t speak English. Not that that’s bad or anything, it’s just that somebody might have noticed that little barrier beforehand…).

9:44: I realize they have yet to give out ANY of the big awards. The THIRD song from Enchanted starts. I start to cry, go sell something on eBay and fell a little better. By the way, a little suggestion here: no one should do a musical number in archaic British Navel uniforms EVER AGAIN. EVER. I MEAN IT- I WILL FIND YOU.

9:49: Of course, no one is more surprised than I when the Best Supporting Actress goes to Amy Winehouse. Man is she talented, what with the eye makeup and all!

9:55: To my further surprise, Jack Lemmon wins for best actor…wait, another flash back…Sean Penn wins the Oscar, and is classically refusing to be happy about winning and yelling about Hugo Chavez and…dammit! Flashback happy freaks!

9:58: Finally, no more flashbacks: Daniel Day Lewis wins Best Actor, and humbly, contritely, and sorrowfully accepts it with great regret, and the deepest of heart-felt apologies. The guy makes Bono look insensitive.

9:59-???: After that it got a little blurry: There Will Be Blood won the Best in Show or something, then for some reason at the end the orchestra played the theme from Mission Impossible while John Travolta danced with a Hobbit. Ok, I’m not real sure about that last one…and then the whole show ends as mercifully as a train falling off a bridge.

So, what have we all learned from the 2008 Oscars?

#1: No one needs to extend thanks to anyone for anything ever again. The winners thanked something like 147,000 family members, co-workers, agents, caterers, accountants, underwear butlers, etc., so if you are not in there somewhere then just you never will be so get over it.
#2: Nichol Kidman looks like an android.
#3: Anything said in Spanish sounds cool.

So, that’s pretty much your 2008 Oscars, in a nutshell. Now excuse me, I have to go watch Channel 9 News to see when the giant snake is coming.

Brandon Whitehead can be contacted at When not watching TV, Brandon listens to music and writes Soundbites for eKC online.


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