As you likely know, the Oscars are this weekend and cinephiles couldn't be more excited. The average dude, on the other hand, is looking forward to something to watch as sports are in their dead zone between the Super Bowl and the NCAA conference tournaments and March Madness. Did you see the vigor with which guys followed the Olympics? We'll watch ANYTHING with a remotely competitive aspect this time of year. We watched curling for Sasquatch's sake!
But the Oscars broadcast could be more entertaining for dudes, similar to how the Super Bowl has witty-if-misogynistic commercials and halftime shows for the ladies. Here's how:
- Gambling. If you could involve gambling in watching paint dry, dudes would be down. Vegas puts odds on the Oscars and if the papers and show itself referenced these odds, we would watch. And the prop bets? Forget about it, if I could bet on Avatar taking Best Art Direction and Best Cinematography but losing Best Director and Best Film to The Hurt Locker and get 10 to 1 odds on that bet, I'd be watching. Read: Who Will Be Jeremy Renner's Oscar Date?
- Microphones on celebs. If Twitter is any indicator, some celebrities have fun things to say. We would love to hear a few bon mots during the show and expletives when they lose.
- Fewer awards. The Oscars should take a tip from The Grammys and give up some of the awards that the at-home audience really doesn't care about. I see 40 movies a year in the theater and I could care less about Sound Editing OR Sound Mixing. Those guys deserve the award but our eyes and ears don't need the torture. Turn this thing into two hours, tops. And limit the speech length—have the orchestra on an hair-trigger.
- Add sketches. We watch TV to be entertained or informed but not to gush over celebrities (unless LeBron James is involved). Throwing in something from Andy Samberg or the Funny Or Die guys and just space the pageantry.
- Have Mr. Skin host a red carpet show. Ladies watch the red carpet for the dresses and guys watch for the cleavage. Step it up a little and have Mr. Skin tell us which movies, and how many minutes, in certain stars get naked. NetFlix could sponsor this. Throw us a bone: "There's Anne Hathaway wearing a stunning Versace gown, check out Havoc at minute-82 to see her topless!" People helping people.
- Actually entertaining red carpet interviews. Questions like "Who are you wearing?" and "Who is this with you?" grow tiresome. Have Fred Armisen play a whacky foreign correspondent. Invite Fuel TV's Jordan Morris (twitter.com/jordan_morris) to gaslight a celebrity or twelve. Wouldn't it be great if an interviewer switched characters any time Robin Williams did?