DOCTOR T AND THE WOMEN: MY NIGHT WITH THE OSCARS

It’s me amongst countless other bloggers!. Real time blogging? No. I said ?sort of.? Remember? It?s since been decided that chronological coverage will better suit the evening. Thanks for reading. You make up a group that?s .01111298th the size of, say, Cintra Wilson?s readership for her annual slice-and-dice.

The TV wasn?t consistently on until one or two, and even then, I was a bit flighty with E!?s Countdown to the red Carpet. Clever programming (in regards to ME) on other channels, including Next of Kin (Turner South) and an episode of “Homicide: Life on the Streets” (Sleuth Channel), proved distracting. Reliably resembling a capital ?B?, Bruce Vilanch gave explicitly unfunny answers to a straight man?s questions, thus we were spared the meltdown (in my apartment) that might have occurred at the hands of E!?s ELLIOT!!!!. According to this, Vilanch?s is experiencing year two of unwitting absence from the ceremony?s writing credits. At some point, the camera was trained on Gary Busey?s arrival…for what felt like a two full minutes. Gary Busey is no longer a punch line, not even for SLIGHTLY FUNNY people. Admittedly though, I want “Shasta McNasty” as an allowable punch line for me. And was that a fade-out of Helena Bonham Carter calling Tim Burton?s microphone-shover an ?asshole??

Oh but how they crept up! It was time! Mere minutes before the hour mark, I curiously conducted a little cable survey. Competing channels in my sufficient (but not huge) plan seemed to adopt a ?fuck it? approach to tonight?s programming. Some even showed the same film back-to-back (AMC with M*A*S*H, TBS with Scary Movie 3, and Turner South with Snake Eyes). FX dolled out The Core, Sci-Fi aired a sequel-only Hellraiser marathon, and PAX donated an episode of ?Early Edition.? We don?t have time to discuss that show. Later. Maybe. HBO phoned it in (?Deadwood?), and Showtime was Showtime (The Faculty).

I live in a Billy Crystal-free environment, so consider the intro sketch negated. Death to Smoochie joke? Not bad. I also laughed at the ?period pieces? joke, or maybe it was the Jew joke, perhaps both, but Jon Stewart was holding up nicely, as he would throughout. Going on jotted notes here, people. Ok, I?m reading, ?Charlize Theron has a red-tailed hawk perched on her shoulder? with no remembrance as to why that was noted. Enter the deluge of Crash nominations. I dearly despised this film. A preachy rotgut of poor-man?s (later) Altman and even poorer-man?s Paul Thomas Anderson, Crash is a suffocating, humorless, racial ambulance-chasing finger-pointer. It is the new Shamesploitation pile-topper. Beware of a film that makes me so hyphen-happy. A red flag, for sure. It was around this time in the evening that Syriana garnered one of its only mentions. A glorious thing.

Best Achievement In Costume Design? So, the costume designers for the nominated Walk the Line watched ANY 50?s/60?s PERIOD PIECE FROM THE LAST TWENTY YEARS??? Took a look at what hipsters were filching from thrift shops in 1994? Deep research!!

Then came Morgan Freeman, who was able to present an award by taking some time off of the case that brought him out of retirement. There went Good Night and Good Luck, along with Tab’s new energy drink. I guess that one must get all jacked up to keep a scrapbook, read Lewis Grizzard, or fuck a roofer.

The stuffed penguin fiasco caused hate towards a documentary that I previously enjoyed. Thanks. So as not to make lonely that cringe-inducing moment, the Crash theme was then belted out amidst a clusterfuck of burning automobiles and multi-culty interpretive walkers. FIRE!!! BEHIND YOU!!! FIRE!!! Truthfully, I?d watch this nonsense over the simultaneously aired Bad Religion concert on VH-1 Classic.

The ?issues? montage was a mess. John Stewart?s taking the piss (?none of these issues were ever a problem again?) was funny, but not quite on the mark. Three Mile Island was, actually, never a problem again. See, that joke doesn?t even work. The China Syndrome was released a few weeks BEFORE the Three Mile Island incident. Better luck next time, Earles. Closing out this stretch was the evening?s token long-winded speech, given by Gustavo Santaolalla, the man responsible for the Brokeback Mountain score. You can?t really blame him; the speech is only four seconds long in Spanish. I did not steal that joke from Taylor Negron.

Jake bombed (the DVD player joke?wow) through the next intro, and I was soon tickled to find that someone else considers Smokey and the Bandit an ?epic.? A montage backed with a montage! Altman?s tribute quizzically excluded Popeye, Pret-a-Porter, and Dr. T and the Women. A portion of Three Six Mafia behaved (I counted minimal profanity edits) and gave two full shout outs to Memphis, TN, the city in which I sit. This performance (and win) created a blank canvas for bad pimp jokes, which sadly continued for the remainder of the ceremony.

Hillary Swank and her Mary Tyler Mouth presented Best Actor, John Travolta mispronounced ?Memoirs,? and Reese Witherspoon (probably the jibbering, paint-peeling nag that she always portrays) and Jack Nicholson shared the distinction of being openly laughed at during their respective speeches/intros. The last two laughs of the evening came courtesy of Ang Lee. First was the footage of him directing Brokeback Mountain in a cowboy hat, then the jokes! The jokes!

?Tee hee, I can?t quit you, tee hee.?

I have but one source of outrage concerning the tonigt. I could, by this point, care less that Crash won. Not a surprise. My beef ties in Dustin Hoffman?s Best Adapted Screenplay presentation with the In Memoriam montage.

Hoffman showed blatant frustration when describing the adaptation process. You could hear it in his delivery. He should know. Hoffman struggled for years to make his vision of Edward Bunker?s No Beast So Fierce. He gave up, and Ula Grosbard turned the book into the devastating Straight Time (starring Hoffman).

Edward Bunker, who passed last July, was excluded from the montage. Troubling.

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