Not Sports: The Academy Awards show is an outdated relic from a bygone era
Once upon a time there was an award show that celebrated everything about the "glitz" and "glam" of the movie business. And that show was appointment viewing that often lasted for an entire day, captivating 30, 40 or even 50 million people on television.
That time has come and gone.
Where as once, the pomp, circumstance, wonder and amazement as "movie stars" paraded along an immaculately choreographed red carpet wearing a potpourri of rare and incredible outfits not available to the general public. The event as a whole I believe has lost its relevance.
You can chalk up the abysmal TV numbers to any number of factors and yes, the fact the broadcast event lost at least half the audience from 2020 and the year of the pandemic should tell you---and anyone else paying attention the love and devotion to movie stardom is beginning to fade.
And yes, you can also chalk up the 93rd edition of the show's crappy ratings to the long, drawn out and off-kilter production. But you'd only be telling half the story in my opinion.
Oh, and before some of you say it: NO, politics did not kill the show or turn people off from the movies. There are not nearly the amount of people that you think who are not watching because they don't believe in the politics. That group hasn't impacted anything else, why would it impact this?
I believe---and yes, I could be wrong; that people just don't have the same excitement, the same enthusiasm to devote 3 to 4 hours of their night to watch the show. I believe the era of the $30 million a film movie star is over.
In fact, you could argue the era of an arthouse movie capturing the imagination of the mass public is gone. Yeah, sure, there are plenty of "film fanatics" out there who will devote large chunks of their lives to watch movies. I just think those who are devotees of super high quality, artsy productions are of a certain demographic and that demographic just plain is outnumbered.
And yes, before you ask: There will still be the "Event films" like superhero flicks and a handful of others that will draw the masses and should. But when you combine a dying theater business with the exponential growth of streaming services, and "Boom" you suddenly have splintered a splintered audience.
Me, I'm older (in my 50's). I love a good movie. But I don't love the Oscars. The show is painfully hard to watch. For me, I don't care what a particular star is wearing, the designer or how much the outfit is worth. What does it matter? How is it relevant, to well, anything? You're talking about a mega-rich person wearing some outrageously priced outfit that they don't have to pay for, why should we be mesmerized by it?
I don't care about seeing the reaction of someone nominated for an award for a production I've never seen or heard of. Seriously. What does any of that matter?
Why does anyone want to see someone wearing a $50,000 dress or tuxedo blathering on about thanking their producers or directors or co-stars or the other nominees? How is any of it relevant to current/modern day society?
Honestly, you can apply all of this to just about any awards show/broadcast. The only one of these type shows that is even moderately entertaining to me is The Grammy's and that's mostly because so many of the artists actually perform their music during the show.
Yes, there was undoubtedly a time where the Academy Awards were a glamorous showcase for movie stars and directors and the common folk ate it up. That era may have ended after the turn of this century. It certainly started the death cycle. COVID-19 and the rapid growth of entertainment options have accelerated it.
I know if they read it that many of my friends will disagree with everything I said and argue I'm totally wrong here. But I wonder if they can explain why I'm wrong....
Sure, it wouldn't be the first time nor will it be the last time. I'm wrong a lot. But not this time.
If you can tell me why a large percentage of the population under the age of 50 should care about the Oscars and that they truly are relevant, congratulations. you've outsmarted me. If you can prove their relevance in a modern 2021 society, well, then you've been able to prove that I'm completely out of touch with reality. Just because you thought it was a big deal as a kid doesn't mean it is a big deal now. Things change. Times change and so do the things that are important in the world.
And hey, listen, I really don't have an issue with the movie community naming or awarding those who excel in their field. I really don't. There are plenty of professional organizations that acknowledge those who standout with their performance. There's nothing wrong with that.
Heck, I'm not against the "Oscars" continuing either. Just don't anoint it a "Mega-Event" that should draw 20-30 million viewers in a world where there are half a zillion entertainment options. Don't make it the cultural event of the year because it no longer is.
If you want a cultural baseline or measuring stick--well, I'm not 100% sure there is one these days. There are far too many options and other tings to do to say one event, one day, one moment in time should be a bonding experience for the masses.
I'm just not so sure the current world in which we live works that way any more.