Early reports suggest the 2018 Academy Awards show had the lowest ratings ever. The pundits tell us it’s because viewers are tired of movements, political commentary, and perceived Hollywood elitism. They opine that the show is too long, the speeches boring, the jokes juvenile and predictable.
As for me, I watched the entire four plus hours. And I enjoyed parts of the show. A few moments were even cheer-worthy. Of course, gorgeous gowns and stunning jewels always hold my attention.
But overall, fans just aren’t very excited about the Oscars anymore. And I think I know why . . .
In the old days, when Hollywood was a marvelous, mysterious place, access to movie stars was limited. They were seen on the big screen and only the big screen. Stars were magical, untouchable, larger than life. They could be anything or anyone. We rarely, if ever, saw them as themselves.
Then, once a year, we were invited into their world. The glamour, the glitter, the riches. A moment in which we experienced actors in real life. They spoke in their own voices, delivered their own words, and gave us a fleeting glimpse of the person who brought a character to life. And then, like a spark, they vanished, not to be seen again until the next big screen production.
How can anyone be sparkly and magical when they are visible 24/7? Open a magazine, go online, watch the news. We are privy to celebrities’ every word, every move, every humiliating behavior. We see photos of them eating, shopping, and yelling at their kids. We know when they’ve cheated on their spouses, broken the law, abandoned their families. We hear about their foibles and failures and sins. They are on constant display in all their glorious imperfection, and unless we live under a rock, we are bombarded by it.
Unlimited access to anything makes it less special. I’m not blaming the actors or the paparazzi or the magazines. I’m not suggesting that something should be fixed. I am merely pointing out that movie stars, with a few notable exceptions, are stars no more. They’ve become ordinary people we see every day. Factor in the recent headlines, and is it any wonder fans are jaded and disappointed? Poor Oscar isn’t bright and shiny. He’s tarnished.
The curtain has been pulled back, the wizard has been revealed, and the bright lights of Hollywood have lost their allure. That’s not only sad for Oscar, it’s sad for us.