Well, I saw my 2nd Oscars in as many years last night. And well, Seth MacFarlane....I'll cut to the chase here. He wasn't great, but he wasn't the worst host either. And he was better than Billy Crystal was last year. I think we had been all forewarned about MacFarlane's frat boy humour, and he definitely proved it with the now-and-forever infamous "Saw Your Boobs" song-and-dance. To be honest, I had no particular problems with the humour....at least, the jokes that didn't land with a thud. But there was a bit of a desperation with Seth as the night wore on, especially when the show went beyond its mandated 3 hours. Apparently, the ratings were quite a ways up when all was said and done, so there is a pretty fair chance that he may be asked back, and while I was watching it, I was actually tensing up whenever he showed up just to see and hear what other terrifying thing might emanate from his mouth. But then again, I wouldn't be surprised if the producers decided to keep on searching. Amy Poehler and Tina Fey hit a grand slam apparently at The Golden Globes, something that Seth pointedly did not do.
Still, it was nice to see Shatner ham it up, MacFarlane bring back some of that ol' time big band glitz that he loves so much, and even some of the stars get into the act like Charlize Theron and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Christopher Plummer was class personified, and Barbra/Shirley/Adele brought the house down, especially Dame Bassey with "Goldfinger". She's older than my Dad but she just slammed that song out of the park. It's too bad that the so-called Oscar tribute to James Bond was just quick cuts of the movies and a couple of songs by the orchestra. But Sir Sean is too frail and Pierce is probably too embittered. The Les Miserables cast performance was fine until Russell Crowe burst in when it truly became the miserable. And I was getting desperate when I was witnessing Paul Rudd and that lady from "Identity Thief" bombing as they were trying to present an award. But I guess that's what audiences also wanted to see.....who will soar and who will die.
I think the Oscars reflects not only what the fashion is like for the year but basically what pop culture is like. In our current time of reality show programming and lowbrow humour, getting a lot of nasty jokes and "WOW! He actually said THAT?!" moments on the biggest show of the Hollywood year is part and parcel. It's probably what we deserve although I have never and never will watch a (sur)reality show. But when I see a terrified Ben Affleck throw an irritated verbal missile at Seth (who is probably the first host in a while since David Letterman to have already had a built-in list of celeb haters, thanks to "Family Guy" ) and Salma Hayek come out to present with a plastic smile after Seth had made a pretty insulting introduction about her linguistic abilities, I kinda wonder if it's time for the next host to not only bring back old time music but to bring back some form of old time class to the proceedings.