Ratings for the "81st Annual Academy Awards" are coming in, and they look to be 13% better than last year, with some 36.3 million people tuning in to the live telecast.
So, that's not bad news for ABC and the Academy.
But the reviews are also in, and some of them are downright hateful. While Defamer has declared it "pretty darn gay," meaning that in a good way
, and THR found it
"a heartfelt, elegant and stylish affair that played with uncommon flair," the L.A. Times took issue with what the bitter critic called first-time host Hugh Jackman's "chorus boy spaz-out" and the "mini-mentoring sessions" as prior winners introduced current nominees.
Hey, we liked that part.
So did Brian Lowry at Variety, who found a number of high points
but ultimately thought the overhauled show from the "Dreamgirls" team of Larry Mark and Bill Condon was "unlikely to expunge the Oscars' age lines or chart a new direction for the telecast."
Gold Rush commenter Mary thought Jackman hit it out of the park and Philippe Petit should be invited back every year but, like us, still finds the whole shebang butt-numbingly long.
"The truth is someone in the Oscar show editing room is going to have to drown some kittens if they really want me to have faith in the live show. They may find their time-wasting montages precious and irresistible but I don't! And, seriously, a pink slip to the person responsible for including a snippet of 'Nights of Rodanthe' in any portion of an Oscar broadcast. Quickly, my smelling salts!"
"Another strong recommendation: either cut the show to under three hours or start the damn thing earlier. Think of the Super Bowl, people! That baby goes on forever -- forever! -- yet viewers actually get to see the end of the game, regardless of their time zone, because the action begins at a realistic hour."
Now there's an idea -- the Super Bowl for Women learning something from the Super Bowl. When even the manly men
at our party were digging the kudofest, we'd thought it was going rather swimmingly. We sure didn't sense a bomb.
Other suggestions for improvement out there? Reaction to the show? Let it fly.