Has Ricky Gervais Officially Doomed Us for the Safest Oscars Ever?
Now you've done it, celebrities. You're pretending that Ricky Gervais's zingers were anything but expected at Sunday's Golden Globes, and now he's never coming back. You malnourished spazzes! Would you prefer he can-can in front of a Best Picture montage like Billy Crystal? Wear Pleasantville costumes and flash Oda Mae side-eyes like Whoopi Goldberg? Jesus. Now we're screwed for the awards show we actually care about: The Oscars.
It's important to note that the Oscars were doomed anyway: James Franco and Anne Hathaway are safe emcees, ones who'd never dream of questioning The Tourist's qualifications in front of a congregation of friends and colleagues. They're not even capable of a good "Hitler memorabilia" joke at Meryl Streep's expense. (By the way: What was wrong with Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin's performance last year? Why aren't they back again?) We're in for a smiley night of golf claps, and while the strong competition will fulfill the dramatic wishes of Oscar statisticians, the ceremony's bound to leave most viewers -- and most connoisseurs of actual entertainment -- underwhelmed.
Ricky Gervais's barbs towards important Hollywood institutions like Burlesque, Scientology, and Tim Allen haven't helped matters. He's apparently set in motion a hunger for propriety that won't dissipate by Oscar night, and a general distaste for irreverence. Critics claim he was simply unfunny, but I beg to differ: Robert Downey Jr.'s well-documented woes have been public knowledge for a generation, and Gervais's Betty Ford jokes earned a resounding laugh before RDJ came out to remind us it was not very funny. Interesting how RDJ and Tim Allen are the ones who've seemed to color our perception of Gervais's performance, and not Gervais himself. Then there's Judd Apatow, who believes Gervais's humor is comparable to that
unmatched comic legend meanie old lady Joan Rivers. Nice put-down, mean Mr. Apatow.
This is insane. Without Gervais, the Globes' would've been pedantic, pure and simple. The argument for more award shows with Gervaisian flair goes like this: Award shows are the most ridiculous, self-important, self-congratulatory ceremonies on the planet. If we can't offset their accolade parade with off-color monologues, there's no reason to have them -- because if all it takes is sardonic host commentary to dampen a trophy night, those in attendance must not believe in the merit of the awards themselves. I'd propose that a good roasting mitigates competitive tension and reemphasizes the humanity that fuels decent filmmaking. I have to hope that Gervais will be back to host another stateside gala soon, but I know better. Said HFPA president Phillip Berk earlier today, "He definitely crossed the line. And some of the things were totally unacceptable. But that's Ricky. Any of the references to individuals is certainly not something the Hollywood Foreign Press condones." Headmaster has spoken.
Meanwhile, now that Gervais has dropped his bomb on Hollywood, I have dimmer hopes for an Oscar ceremony where attendees are challenged to mock themselves and celebrity for half an evening. Once again, expect golf claps.
Or maybe I'm just being too cynical, and Franaway will dress as Zombie Angelina Jolie and Zombie Johnny Depp and do a live reenactment of The Tourist trailer.
Do you think the reaction to Gervais's performance will affect the Oscars?