Friday, February 24, 2012

The Oscar silly season

This is the weekend when some organization out in Los Angeles gives out some gold-plated statuettes that look like the uncle of somebody who was giving out those awards 80+ years ago. I have to be honest, and admit that I don't care about the Oscar telecast all that much. Actually, to be more honest, I've already admitted that, back when they awarded the stannous globes in 2009.

But for the people who do care about watching the awards shows, apparently the viewership for the biggest one of them all has been going down, at least in the United States. With that in mind, columnist Virginia Postrel presents some ideas about how to get the viewing numbers back up. Her first point mentions that the Grammy Awards had record viewership this year because it came one day after a prominent singer's death. But I don't think that killing off a prominent actor would be a good idea, even if there are some actors out there who are prominent but lousy.

However, I don't think Postrel's ideas would ever be taken seriously, even if they were good, and I'm not so sure I agree with them. Two categories of Oscars based on how successful movies were? The one thing I found most interesting about that is just how few movies sold more than 10 million tickets in the US, when you consider that 10 million is well under 5% of the number of people who can see an R-rated movie without parental consent. Even if you add in people aged 75 and above as too old to drive themselves to a movie theater, you're apparently under 10% of people seeing most movies.

And looking back on awards from 30 years ago? I don't think the sort of people who vote on the Academy Awards are going to be in step with the tastes of the rest of America, even 30 years on. And even there I disagree with Postrel's slagging of Chariots of Fire. Still, the article is an interesting enough time-waster for those of you interested in the Oscar telecast.

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