academy awards 2019

Just Skip the Oscars This Year

Photo-Illustration: by Preeti Kinha; Photos: Getty Images

You don’t have to watch the Academy Awards. You don’t have to watch the Academy Awards. You don’t have to watch the Academy Awards. Say it with me: I don’t have to watch the Academy Awards.

It might surprise you to learn that the Oscars are this weekend. It surprised me when I remembered I had to write something about them, and it surprises me anew each time I get distracted from the assignment and remember again. Eep! The Oscars are on Sunday. It somehow seems at once like they’ve already happened and like they should not happen for at least three more months. This is probably because we’re all tired and time is moving simultaneously too fast and too slow, and because the dreaded Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody are likely going to win big, and who wants to think about that? Regardless of why, the awards are a reliably tedious exercise in the thrill of live appointment viewing, and this year more than ever it seems the tedium is outweighing the communal fun.

Just skip them! Why not, who cares.

You might be thinking, “Wait — do the Oscars still not have a host?” Yes, they still do not have a host. Kevin Hart was jettisoned after some homophobic tweets surfaced and his replacement was never announced. Apparently there is a theory that Whoopi Goldberg might be a surprise host, but more likely is the fact that all of the presenters are going to take over as Group Host. Sure, this might be in part a projection but it’s hard to read this as anything other than apathy on the part of the Oscars planning committee. Even those guys don’t care, whoever they are. They’re tired. They’re over it. To me, it’s all very reminiscent of the past two years I spent as commissioner in my fantasy football league. (Though in the Oscars’ case I do believe the winners will at least be acknowledged.)

I “hate” to come off as a grouch, which is a lie — I don’t care, but I do understand that, to some, the idea of skipping the Oscars altogether may come off that way. Why not just let everybody have fun and watch this stupid bullshit for 100 hours, pardon my language? First of all you can do whatever you want. Jump off a cliff. I don’t even know you (unless I do). But I must ask — do you really have fun watching the Oscars? Or is it at best boring and at worst anger-inducing, and just makes you sleepy the next day because no matter how quickly they start that music to play people off the stage it still seems to last until four-million a.m.?

I love a party, but you can still get together with friends and have a party with snacks and champagne without having to be mad that Green Book won another thing. Maybe you can celebrate friendship?

For those of us not in the film industry or the entertainment writing industry, I think the Academy Awards feel “important” the way Twitter feels “important.” It has a draw because it’s there, and it’s happening, and you don’t want to miss it, because then you aren’t a part of it, and what happens if something happens and you miss it? It also feels like Twitter because it makes you mad at how lousy it is, and at how the wrong people are awarded, and at how much time you’re spending on it. It’s hard to get off of Twitter, I know, but it’s pretty easy to just not watch the Academy Awards. You just have to not.

When I’ve argued against the Oscars in the past with a tedium that rivals the Oscars themselves, some have made the argument that the awards can highlight a type of filmmaking that production companies might otherwise be afraid to spend money on, and that that is a good thing. Okay. You know more than I do, probably, if you’re making that sort of point. But I’m not saying they shouldn’t have the Academy Awards (right now). I’m just saying instead of watching them you can watch a good movie or go out to dinner with someone you like talking to or go to bed or look at a dog.

It feels nice to relieve yourself of a task. And honestly, who cares about this one. Just skip ‘em. You’ll catch them next year maybe.

Just Skip the Oscars This Year