The Oscars added a 'Best Popular Film' category, and Twitter is roasting them
Every year, the Academy Awards honors outstanding achievements in cinema. And every year, the Academy is shocked to discover a stuffy sluggish sanctimonious four hour awards show gets terrible ratings. Sometimes they try to spice things up by asking an edgy comedian to host, or promising killer live performances, or flooding the auditorium with angry bees. But unfortunately, nothing has worked.
In their latest lazy attempt to increase viewership, the Academy announced some changes for the next Oscars: The ceremony will take place earlier in February, to avoid awards show fatigue. They promise the telecast will be only three hours, and "globally accessible," whatever that means. And, most notably, they created a new category: outstanding achievement in "popular film."
Critics think people don't watch the Oscars because they haven't seen any of the movies nominated. If they haven't seen the nominees, who cares about the winner? The "popular" category would honor blockbuster films from genres that are typically ignored by the Academy - superhero movies, science fiction and fantasy, action, horror, comedy, etc.
However, this ignores the fact that "popular" movies have been honored by the Academy before. Instead of creating a category for popular films, why not just be more open-minded? Last year the Academy took great steps to increase diversity, and honored two very unlikely movies: The satirical horror film Get Out and the romantic fantasy, The Shape Of Water (aka the movie where a woman bones a fish-man). They could have continued taking positive steps forward - like, by nominating critically acclaimed mega-hit The Black Panther.
Twitter roasted the Academy for giving snobby members an excuse not to vote for genre movies.
The timing is suspicious.
Sure, a movie nominated for Best Popular Movie can also be nominated for Best Picture, but how often do you think that's going to happen?
Soon every Best Picture nominee will be dour dramas about World War 2 or fawning depictions of Hollywood in the 20's.
Do the most popular movies of the year really need the publicity?
The Oscars is basically turning into the MTV Movie Awards.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won eleven Oscars, and was juuuust a little popular.
Also, why cut it down to an arbitrary length? Embrace the spectacle! (The Super Bowl is how long again?)
And the Oscar for Best Sarcasm goes to...
It is like high school. And the nominees for Cutest Celebrity Couple are: Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande...
Actor Rob Lowe is literally - literally! - not happy about this.
I think the Oscars get bad ratings because a lot of people watch it in groups, at viewing parties, which do not get recorded by Nielsen's primitive system. Also, most people don't want to watch the full ceremony. They'd rather go online, skim the winners, check out the fashion and watch the highlights, which are posted in real-time.
We'll have to wait and see if they stick with this plan. Fun fact: Last year, the Lonely Island pitched a hilarious sketch about this very same topic, but the Academy rejected it because it was "too expensive to produce."