The Oscars aired Sunday on ABC and left a lot to be desired in many aspects. At the same time, let’s give credit where credit is due. Here’s our list of the “Best” and “Worst” moments of the 87th Academy Awards telecast on ABC.
Best: Patricia Arquette’s speech
Pay equity for women: that was the primary take away from the Boyhood winner’s acceptance speech. Yes, pay inequality for women stretches across all industries including film. Award shows such as the Oscars represent the elite performers within a very large industry. The Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) among others is a large organization in which the majority of its members aren’t necessarily famed or wealthy. They are professional actors and entertainers who make a modest living at what they do. So, hearing a message like Arquette’s on a large stage is always good within the industry and for the country as a whole.
Although, I loved the fact that Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez went wild in approval after Arquette delivered her speech, I don’t think I would choose those two ladies as the poster children for the women’s pay inequality movement. Their combined total net worth is roughly around $340 million.
Best: Lady Gaga’s ‘Sound of Music’
I would rate that as the best surprise of the evening. Lady Gaga showed the world why she’s so talented. The pop star gained initial notoriety through her extravagant outfits and entrances, but behind all of that there has always been a classically-trained singer and musician. Her musical chops are what have carried her and kept her on top. Kudos to Gaga for delivering a wonderful tribute to Julie Andrews.
John Legend and Common continue to rack up awards this year and deliver great performances. This was one of them. Their performance of Selma’s “Glory” was powerful and it definitely had an effect on the crowd. It brought some tears to people’s eyes in the audience. Their acceptance speech was also perfectly on point and it spoke well to the ongoing struggle for equality that we face as a society.
Best: ‘Everything Is Awesome’
This was so bizarre for the usually buttoned up Oscars that it actually worked. You have to wonder if Oprah still has her Lego Oscar award…The theme song from The Lego Movie included lesbian heartthrobs Tegan and Sara, so there’s that, too…
Worst: Oscars Overkill
Yeesh, the telecast ran over 3.5 hours, way over its originally allotted time. Viewers on the East Coast had to stay up past midnight if they wanted to see who won “Best Picture.” So, how did this happen? Well frankly, I’m not sure, but I do know that Neil Patrick Harris didn’t help the situation. Most of his jokes were off-point and definitely dragged down the evening.
Worst: The Lock Box Joke
I hate to pile on Neil Patrick Harris, but this whole routine bombed. Octavia Spencer missed the joke, and I’m pretty sure most everybody at home didn’t get it either. Poor concept and poor execution…Very unlike Neil Patrick Harris.
Worst: Joan Rivers Snub
Yes, let’s not honor the woman who brought red carpet fashion at the Academy Awards (among other shows) to the forefront of media attention. Whose dumb idea was this? During her long tenure on the red carpet, her critical yet comedic style brought a buzz that was never quite there before. I mean who needs viewers (see Ratings below). It’s unfortunate that the Academy chose not to honor Rivers in their “In Memoriam” segment.
The 2015 Academy Awards had their worst television ratings since 2009. It was down 18 percent from the 2014 show. It’s hard to say what this could be attributed to, but here are some possible explanations:
- The lack of notable blockbuster movies being nominated;
- Poorly constructed humor and entertainment within the show.
Probably a bit of both kept people away from watching this year. From an entertainment perspective, it was definitely down the list among the other major awards shows this year. This is not a knock on Neil Patrick Harris or any of the other performers, but rather a knock on the writers and the format of the show itself.
Next year’s show needs some revisions and some tightening up.