Oscar night has always been a ritual for me. And frankly, I don’t care that last year’s ratings were so pitiful, ABC is probably regretting that they signed a broadcast contract through 2014. Or that Walt Disney is hesitating to renew its deal for foreign rights. And furthermore, it means little to me that all five best picture nominees grossed less than half the earnings of “The Dark Knight,” which wasn’t nominated (while The Academy may prefer to award box office hits, those films are usually less nuanced and interesting than the smaller, art-house fare anyway; though, in this case, “The Dark Knight” was fantastic!). What bothers me is that the show’s producers are pulling out all the stops for a never-before-seen version of Hollywood’s biggest night and the media seems determined to ruin the surprise.
Last Friday, I posted a story published in USA Today featuring an interview with Academy Award producers Laurence Mark and Bill Condon. It was enough to peak my interest without thoroughly rendering the act of watching the Oscars obsolete. Not like this morning’s NY Times story, Oscars Suspense: Will People Watch?, which applies both sophisticated analysis and investigative journalism to decipher the top secret ceremony, but in the end, gives too much away.