Talk Of The Town: Oscars & Its Immediate Appeal To Us

The Oscars, overlooked by some as just another awards show, to others treated on par with the Superbowl. They watch it religiously every year, with complete devotion vying for their favorites to win. The slew of predecessing Oscars has had a variety of hosts, each bringing something different and unique to the show. They are faced with a difficult task, to keep the audience entertained, keep the show running smoothly, and try not to offend anyone.

There have been many hosts before who have failed at these tasks, but this year was an exception. Ellen DeGeneres brought something new to the table. She was fresh. She was funny. She was able to bring attention about some real issues to the general public without insulting anyone and being able to keep the atmosphere lively and jovial.

The audience watching the program on television is getting younger and younger, and Ellen knew that. The “selfie” seen around the world was a wonderful gag, and the Internet-famous Jennifer Lawrence’s love for pizza finally came to fruition during the show. I feel that Ellen was almost making fun of the entire event, putting it in the same league as a pizza party.

The overall feeling of the event was light-hearted and encouraging. Though there was some clear disappointment, as we all waited with baited breath to find out whether or not Leonardo DiCaprio would finally get his Oscar.

But why do we watch the Oscars? Why do we watch when we have no idea who most of these people are and there are obvious biases when it comes to who is actually given the awards? What is it that appeals to us?

Though Ellen was a huge part of why I watched the Oscars, and because I was trying to enjoy the calm before the storm of finals week, I also had no real reason why I was religiously watching the Oscars. I was watching it because I knew everyone else would be talking about it for the next week and I wanted to join in on the conversation.

We watch the Oscars to pretend to be a part of something much bigger. We make the Oscars into a calendar event when in reality, what happens at the Oscars changes nothing. We were all worried about what Angelina Jolie was wearing instead of what was happening in the Ukraine.

I don’t mean to point any fingers, because I am guilty of it too. We watch the Oscars as a distraction from the normal toil and worries of the world. Because if all these people can spend one night getting dressed up and smiling for the cameras, then things in the world can’t be that bad, right?

 

Jacqueline Rosenberg is a second-year literary journalism and cognitive science double major and can be contacted at jrosenb1@uci.edu.