From Seth MacFarlane’s Bad Jokes to Puppy Purses: the Good, the Bad, & the Ugly of Oscars 2013

PLUS: Was this the strangest, most interminable Oscars show ever?

Maybe it was just me, but this was one of the strangest Oscar nights ever. From Michelle Obama presenting Best Picture to Captain Kirk to the endless array of (random) musical performances, it was an award show that couldn’t decide what it wanted to be. And for a year where six of the nine Best Picture nominees grossed over $100 million, it didn’t seem to be about movies very much.

Part of the issue was Seth MacFarlane. Though he has an incredible voice and is very funny, he is an outsider to most of the audience. So even his slightly edgy jokes came across as inappropriate. Well, except for the really inappropriate jokes. (More on that later.) But most of the blame should go to the producers. In rehearsal, the show was reportedly running near the three-and-a-half hour mark, but what did they do? There were too many montages, too many introductions, and too, too many performances. Though the running time was shy of the 2002 record of 4 hours, 23 minutes, this show just felt interminably longer. It also felt like awards were being handed out like participation ribbons, with each of the top six Oscars going to a different film.

Though I did really well in my Oscar winner predictions with the technical awards and the shorts, my picks for the main categories didn’t do as well. Philly Post readers didn’t do so well either, choosing Lincoln as Best Picture. Alas, we can take solace that we only have a year until we get to do it all over again. Oy.

Here, my picks for 2013 Oscars highlights:

Best Oscars 2013 Moments

  • “It has been crazy.” Quvenzhane Wallis’ response to Ryan Seacrest when he asked her how the award season has been. She was more interested in her puppy purse than anything Seacrest had to say. (But, aren’t we all?)
  • During Red Carpet interviews, Bradley Cooper’s mom kept giving shout-outs to Philly. I think she was also wearing a DiNic’s t-shirt.
  • Sally Field, Channing Tatum, and Charlize Theron. The best parts of one of the weirdest opening numbers ever.
  • Props to Shirley Bassey and Jennifer Hudson for bringing down the house. “Goooooooooooldfinnnnnnnnnngah!”
  • Inocente, the wonderful documentary about a young artist, produced by Eagles owners Jeffrey Lurie and Christina Weiss, wins Best Documentary Short.
  • After beating Steven Spielberg for Best Director, Ang Lee, director of Life of Pi, gives a humble, genuinely classy acceptance speech.
  • Yep, I laughed at the “We Saw Your Boobs” song in the opening.
  • Everyone will be talking about Jennifer Lawrence slipping on the stairs as she went to accept her Best Actress award. But you have to love Hugh Jackman (Best Actor nominee and previous host) for running up to help. Swoon.
  • Daniel Day-Lewis of Meryl Streep: “I was actually committed to play Margaret Thatcher.”

Worst Oscars 2013 Moments

  • Okay, we get it: Ben Affleck wasn’t nominated for Best Director. Move on.
  • This year, the producers referred to it as the Oscars, not the Academy Awards. Perhaps that’s why the show felt like there were no actual awards.
  • You know a show is not going well when perennial presenters Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy bomb.
  • At 10:20 p.m., second acting award finally given.
  • The orchestra was not in the same building as the actual ceremony. Perhaps this is why the music always seemed too loud?
  • Seth MacFarlane, please stop laughing at your own jokes.
  • The twitterverse hates Anne Hathaway, mostly because of her over-rehearsed speeches throughout the awards season. Thankfully, her Best Supporting Actress “it came true” speech felt more genuine, more on-the-spot. But even I got irritated by her last line: “Here’s hoping someday in the not-too-distant future the misfortunes of Fantine will be only found in fiction and not in real life.” Every singing, revolutionary, French whore with tuberculosis thanks you, Anne.

Ugliest Oscars 2013 Moments

  • I thought E!’s Red Carpet coverage was bad (where a “fashion expert” actually said “I like a fairy tale on the bottom). But ABC’s Red Carpet was excruciating.
  • “I would argue, however, that the actor who really got inside Lincoln’s head was John Wilkes Booth.” No, Seth, it wasn’t “too soon.” It was just a really crappy joke.
  • Somehow the three-hour, 34-minute telecast felt twice as long. And definitely should not have had a “Losers” song at the end.
  • MacFarlane made jokes about women’s weight and not being able to let things go. He then makes fun of Salma Hayek, Penelope Cruz, and Javier Bardem for having an accent. Up next, 1965.
  • Receiving an Oscar is the pinnacle of many winners’ careers. To have the Jaws theme start playing when their speech goes long was insensitive, unfunny and completely robbed the winner of their moment. It was particularly awful for the Best Visual Effects for Life of Pi, as their company has shut down.

MORE OSCARS: Click here for PHOTOS: Oscar Dresses, Who Was Hot & Who Was Not … A guy’s take on Oscars fashion.