It's a dull show, a mighty dull show, but here are two things they might as well consider:
-If you're going to show the awards that the bulk of the populace considers "boring" (sound editing, special fx, shorts, docus) in the main telecast and not the tech-awards ceremony, give the winners the dignity of making a full minute/minute-and-a-half speech. The musical fanfare and disappearing mic business is obnoxious shit. This is the winners' one and only moment in the spotlight, and it's rather doubtful they could be as pointless and rambling as the "stars" who have wasted minute upon minute of my life (Mira Sorvino, Gwyneth Paltrow, Hallie Berry, Julia Roberts, shall I go on?). I was glad that Jon Stewart spotlighted how ridiculously obnoxious this rule is by letting the Song award winner return to make her tiny little speech. If we are supposed to watch their award, let's see their speech also.
-First let me say that I am perennially amused at how New York Times critic A.O. Scott tells us constantly how this is the Golden Age of Movies, cinema has never been better. Yes it has, A.O., there were indeed periods when even the B pictures had a crackle to them (and I'm not just talking '30s/'40s, '60s/'70s also fits the bill). This is the era when a good movie is an exception, not at all the rule. (Unless the formulaic mainstream is what you're constantly watching—then a halfway-decent indie would indeed appear to be extraordinary.) That said, let's acknowledge that the Oscar is about MOVIES, no matter the level of quality. So... let's watch some freaking clips, folks. It's been rather evident for a few decades now that these folks can't do a variety show properly, or showcase songs or sketches (like the Tonys or Grammys can...because those are PERFORMANCE awards, straight up). Thus, the only thing that makes sense would be to show longer clips, since that is, indeed, the only thing these symps can actually do. Take a look at the AFI ceremonies that were broadcast in the '70s — yes indeed, they were full of the same self-congratulatory nonsense, but the montages were healthy, chunky affairs that truly did introduce us to the work of the participants. The Oscars will always be a drag of a evening's TV watching (the Alan Carr days are long since gone, and Billy Crystal really did suck, man did he suck). Let's watch some fuckin' movies, can we?