2006 OSCARS: The Recap (Part One)

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It’s been a long time coming, but it is finally here. The 78th Academy Awards are here. It has been a long, bitter journey but here we are. I predict a pretty boring, predictable show with the words “Brokeback Mountain” a few hundred times.

The Oscars are usually a pretty tepid affair in my book. They’re usually pretty boring with not enough host to keep it alive. Here’s the problem with the Oscar: He’s really, really insecure and he constantly must keep reminding himself (and us) how great he is. This usually comes in the form of a montage. They’ll throw out a few actors like Tom Cruise or a director of Steven Spielberg to remind us how important movies are in our lives. We get it, we get it. We shall serve no other master and all that jazz.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before we tackle the Oscars, we have to tackle that other abortion of television, the phenomenon that is the Oscar Pre-show. The most famous is the Joan and Melissa Rivers Oscar Pre-show which begins two and half hours before show time. Two and a half hours of glitzy schmaltzy crap? No wonder the Middle East hates us. I even hate us! But wait…as if the Joan and Melissa Rivers pre-show wasn’t bad enough, no sooner did I flip the channel to mentally prepare for this dynamic duo that I find out there’s a countdown show to Joan and Melissa’s. Did you get that? There is a friggin’ pre-show to the friggin pre-show! I am not making this up. Just ask any desperate housewife. It’s four in the afternoon here on the east coast, a full four hours before The Show That Never Ends and I already have to suffer through two vacant but undeniably hot model-turned-anchors keep me company before Joan and Melissa show up. Sweet Baby Jesus, these people are just begging for an earthquake.

I switch to another channel; even I can’t take this crap. I’m able to grab the Suns-Mavs game. I once again feel like a man. I go downstairs to grab a Heinie, encouraged by my Y chromosome. Suns are getting back in the game, they were down by as many as 15. They’re behind 8 right now. I put my feet up and smile. It’s a commercial break. I figure, why not and throw back the pre-pre-show.

Then suddenly…I get hooked in. First off, the countdown to the pre-show has these hot model “personalities” who seem to be competing on who comes across as being the most upbeat. Naturally, it’s a hot blonde pitted against a ravishing brunette. Neither of them is going to have sex with me any time soon (truly great schemes take time and careful planning) so I don’t have to puppy up at their feet. Immediately I sense that these chicks are not only boring but legitimately brain-dead.

Then, they throw me for a loop: a legitimate question was just asked by the sexy brunette. “Will the show’s nominees foresee a trend of more serious-minded and independent films?” Hmm, maybe I got these chicks pegged all wrong. Maybe these girls aren’t the bimbos I want them to be.

Never mind. After discussing the different nominees, which include Felicity Huffman and Philip Seymour Hoffman, the blonde just exclaimed, “Hey, two Huffmans might win! Hee Hee Hee!” The other hot chick they’re interviewing has to remind Dummy that one is Huffman, the other is Hoffman. And neither of them are Dustin. Look sweety, I’m making fun but the important thing is…you’re really hot. The blonde then introduces an aerial shot of the Kodak Theatre and it’s so cute how she says “aerial”. She places the accent on the last “a”. It’s as if she were reading it off a cue card for the first time.

Okay, enough dissing those bimbos. I can’t take anymore. I change the channel back to Suns-Mavs games until the dark hour begins.

Now, before we get to Joan and Melissa Pre-show, a little free advice from me to you. Chalk this up as one of those safety tips you used to see on “G.I. Joe”. You know, the ones where Sergeant Slaughter would come out and yell a kid’s head off for sticking his tongue into a power socket. Those were always fun. Anyway…if you haven’t seen Joan Rivers lately, you really need to prepare yourself. I suggest the following:

  1. You’ll need a healthy dose of Nyquil. If you plan on driving home afterwards, you might want to get someone to slap you in the face 8 or 10 times or enough to numb you senseless. But the Nyquil is the preferred method.
  2. If you have a weak heart and no Nyquil is available, a minimum of three full glasses of grain alcohol is necessary before proceeding. Do not make the mistake of taking this suggestion casually. Heed this warning.
  3. Go here and study for a good 3 or 4 hours to prepare yourself.
  4. Strap yourself with a bible, and pound out a good 12 Hail Mary’s and 10 Our Fathers. Even if you’re not Christian it is time for all religions to unite. I don’t believe in the stuff myself, it’s more of a tradition than anything else, anyway.

From jump-street Joan is slurring through her words like a real champ. She starts babbling thank-you’s and nothing’s even happened yet. She then vomits this one out: “Thanks to our camera crew and we have John our sound guy…(she gets corrected off-camera), Uh, I mean, Steve. Steve, our sound guy! We have a black person…I don’t know what he does…but we’re color blind here…ha ha ha…I’m really bad with names.” After listening to her ramble for five minutes it’s clear it’s not the botox that’s making her slur. She’s been hitting the bottle for at least a good four hours. You know somewhere off-screen is the pre-show’s producer sweating bullets, biting his nails, wondering what kind of meltdown she’s going to have tonight. He doesn’t have to worry, though. The elderly can get away with anything.

Joan just gave a shot-out to her plastic surgeon, a “Dr. Stephen Hoffman”. Did she mean Huffman? You can’t make stuff like this up.

Rivers strikes me as that aunt who always drinks more than a little too much at parties. An embarrassed nephew or cousin always ends up trying to guide her by the shoulders away from the main crowd. She calls him an asshole, shouts how she’s a grown woman and doesn’t like most of this damn family anyway. It would be fitting if something like this happened. Instead, we get Melissa Rivers who is actually worse than her mother. See, Joan can actually be funny every once in a while. Melissa thinks she’s her mother. But she isn’t. She just looks like her.

Joan has always had a hoarse voice, but she sounds like she just got off the set of Ladder 49 or something.

She just asked Terry Pheto from Tsotsi, the South African Foreign Language Film nominee about her necklace which is “Very African, but at the same time, not very African”. She was not being ironic.

Joan interviews the producer of March of the Penguins. The March posse arrived with big stuffed penguins. Melissa demands her mommy get one of those stuffed penguins or she will not be allowed back into her house. Spoiled brat. It’s all so cute I want to smash my face into the TV once and for all.

Finally, my favorite part of the Joan and Melissa pre-show, the commercial break. Let’s see how that Suns-Mavs game is doing. Looks like the Suns sealed it. Nash had 25 pts and 11 assists. Best point guard in the league. The guy is insane.

Back to Joan and Melissa. Joan is still just barely recognizing her consonants. Even Courtney Love is starting to get concerned for her. Joan is just rambling now. She’s gotta be doing this to piss somebody off, am I right? She has it in for the producer, yes? Somebody really needs to take her ass to the hospital. This is cruel exploitation at this point. I have to change the channel to something more interesting before my eyes pop out of my skull. Two channels up I hit color bars. Nothing cleanses the mind better after such a traumatic experience.

I hate everything about this show. I hate Joan. I hate Melissa. I hate that retro disco-style bumper music. Just for the record.

Melissa tries to pump up the Felicity versus Reese race which really isn’t a race at all. Reese has this so far in the bag it’s ridiculous.

There is a red bar on the bottom-left corner of the pre-show screen that is there to update us all on who arrived at the Kodak Theatre off-screen!!!! The red box is now telling me that even though I’m watching Joan throw herself down on the ground in some kind of bizarre tantrum about her wanting her plastic surgeon “right now”, Matt Dillon just arrived from out of his limo. Whew! Thank God for the red box! We can all collectively wipe off the sweat from our brows now.

The Straight Story is on UPN. David Lynch managed to make a movie about an old fart trekking across the country on a lawnmower more interesting than this crap.

The Cashback (Live Action nominee) posse is here. Everyone seems to have a posse these days. I’m behind the ball. The director has a Mohawk. Weird.

Joan asks Brokeback Mountain screenwriter Larry McMurtry how he is tonight. He says fine, only he isn’t Larry McMurtry, he’s…Lee Majors. Col. Steve Austin baby! That’s right, the 6 Million Dollar Man has fallen so far that he is getting mistaken for a screenwriter of a gay cowboy movie. The 40 Year Old Virgin would be pissed!

Holy cow, a Gary Busey interview! Busey tells the following joke to Joan: “What’s a smart blonde look like?” Joan shrugs her shoulders. She looks back at the cameraman and takes two steps back, obviously frightened for her life. Busey says, “A golden retriever.” Gotta love Busey. Meanwhile, Melissa Rivers just called Gary Busey a legend. If it were the 18th century and I was French and I wore gloves, I’d take them off and smack her clean with one of them.

Joan Rivers is interviewing Clooney. She is gushing and comparing him to “>Cary Grant. Wait a minute…WOW! She just got on her knees and serviced George Clooney on national Television. Clooney looks disappointed. He then reaches down and hands her back her lips. But in all seriousness, Joan just said the following to George: “You’re going to go home with a little gold person that is not Jackie Chan.” Only Joan could get away with that, God Bless her.

Thank Heavens a commercial break! These are not coming quick enough. I check the time…it’s 7:25. I don’t think I’m going to make it. My brain is literally trying to escape my skull through my ears. It seems to have been planning this all afternoon. I foil it’s escape attempt (it got bloody) have a drink for the fallen.

Joan ambushes Will and Jada Pinkett Smith. I learn Jada is in a metal band! Whoa! Are you freaking kidding me? I love Jada. She is beautiful, smart and now in a metal band that is on tour with Sevendust. That is insane. I have to hear this CD.

Joan asks Ludacris about the trend of hip-hop artists wearing diamonds in their teeth. I can’t believe this is happening.

Okay, ABC just started their Oscar pre-show telecast which means I can escape from the clutches of Joan and Melissa’s grasp. Unfortunately, this show is more vanilla than Joan’s pre-show. At least the old bag will say something that is either unintelligible or biting. The ABC show is just ass-kissing in a much more professional and nauseating way. After weighing my options, I end up switching to ABC (Melissa Rivers comedy swayed me).

If I hear one more of the vanilla anchors say “Good night and good luck” I am going to scream.

Uh-oh, a Matt Dillon interview. Well, it’s 7:55, let’s see how long this lasts. Okay, he’s gathering his thoughts on a question just posed. He’s begun answering…he’s going…he’s going…he’s going…it’s 8:15…he’s going…10:30, the award show is halfway over…here it comes…the same security guard that knocked Matt unconscious at the Golden Globe show is back. Like a pro he clubs the Academy Award nominee in the head. Dillon’s arms flail for a quick moment and he nearly knocks down the cameraman. A smooth cut to commercial and I, along with the rest of America almost forget it happened.

Felicity Huffman gets interviewed in an ABC promotional blitz for Desperate Housewives.

Rachel Weisz is pregnant and still looks like a knockout. She’s in a class of her own.

Jessica Alba looks amazing…seeing her in that dress almost made the torture of these pre-shows worth it.

The show begins… Click here to proceed to Part Two

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Weekend: Nov. 22, 2018, Nov. 25, 2018

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