Why I Still Watch the Oscars

The current cover story in AdWeek magazine is about "Why Oscar Still Matters," titled "I'm Still Big -- It's the Pictures That Got Small." It argues that the Academy Awards are still very relevant, despite the detractors, at least from an advertising point of view. It's still a perennial top rated show, and people like me keep tuning in.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, host Billy Crystal implies that the Oscars might get a bad rap lately because of all the other awards show competition out there.  He says that back in the day, the Academy Awards were the only film awards in town, and now they compete with dozens of other ceremonies that steal the Oscars' thunder. Personally, I don't think that's any excuse to explain away the demerits of a dull production, but he has a point -- we have to ask ourselves, "What makes the Academy Awards special anymore?"  The answer is that it is (or should be) the gold standard (no pun intended) by which all other awards shows are measured. 

While some tune in for the fashion, it's still about the movies, stupid.  For an industry that's all about entertainment, it still stuns me that the Academy often struggles to put on a captivating show.  But folks like me keep tuning in because we love cinema, we love seeing the stars who bring those wonderful characters to life and those artists who make magic by turning stories into our modern day mythology.

So I'm watching the Oscars right now and I'll be sharing my reaction tomorrow. The Academy should forget about trying to be edgy or being a slave to its past and not take any risks. Instead, they should just remember who the show is for -- to honor show biz professionals, of course, but also to delight the millions of viewers tuning in because movies inspire their dreams.