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Doug’s 2024 Oscar Reactions

When I first started watching the Oscars, they started at 9:00 p.m. ET (6:00 p.m. PT), and often ended after midnight. In part, I suppose, because of the telecast’s growing penchant to near the four-hour mark, now ABC has started airing the ceremonies starting at 7:00 p.m. ET (4:00 p.m. for those out on Hollywood and Highland). And yet I’ve been finding the evening more exhausting than ever of late. Have I gotten older, or has the whole thing felt more tired?

Overall, this was a calmer affair – while often polarized of late, this year’s audience seemed largely ready to welcome a festoon of awards love for Oppenheimer and attention for Barbie. There was a palpable sentiment of goodwill this year. Nonetheless, this year’s Oscars, hosted once more by Jimmy Kimmel, got off to a bad start. Instead of kicking off right at 7:00 p.m. with a bang, there was a slow trickle of the network’s red carpet arrival, then a commercial – apparently due to security snafus in L.A. that kept the ceremony from starting on time.

Once it got started, though, the Oscars got off to a great start with a moving speech from newly-crowned Best Supporting Actress Da’vine Joy Randolph.

A few of the other highs and lows:

  • The return of five past winners to introduce each acting category didn’t work the same as it did fifteen years ago. The surprise element was gone, and the connections just weren’t the same. It felt phoned in.
  • The reunions were fun! Seeing Michael Keaton and Catherine O’Hara of Beetlejuice of Beetlejuice and Danny Devito and Arnold Schwarzenegger of Twins (and later, Junior) present technical awards sure did make me miss 1988. But the production team should have made sure that the nominees’ names were read in the Best Song and Best Picture categories – Al Pacino (presenting alone instead of with his intended co-presenter, Michelle Pfeiffer) was left to fumble and look addled. Overall, a sense of history and grandeur is gone.
  • Kimmel is serviceable but his work is always flawed – and he calls himself out on it.