That’s right–Sunday night I skipped the show and conducted an experiment: just how different would it be to experience the Oscars in a crowdsourced way, by logging onto Twitter and only following anything with an #oscars hashtag? Would it be as interesting to hear other’s thoughts about hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin instead of developing my own? Would the community discussion influence how I felt about the ridiculously-addendumed title “Precious: Based on the novel “Push” by Sapphire”? Would I be more involved with an annual event I find leaden and boring?
No. No. And no. Experiencing the Oscars via Twitter doesn’t change much at all, aside from robbing one of seeing the dress Charlize Theron wore that apparently featured Cinnabons as pasties. In the end, I lasted about an hour and a half before snapping off the laptop and heading for bed…which pretty much mirrors how I experience the show on TV every year.
Twitter isn’t a replacement medium, it’s an adjacent medium–a way to add sociability to an otherwise snoreburger fest of sitting in front of the tube and waiting for something to happen. In the totally ephemeral 140 characters of @waxgirl333: “#oscars would be so boring without twitter” She’s right–it brings an engaging new layer to passively watching any major telecast, whether it’s the Academy Awards or the Super Bowl or the Olymics (Curling? Yes. Hockey? No–the game moves waaay too fast.). During the long, boring stretches, you can check Twitter and see if anyone has something snappy to say.
Ultimately, the show didn’t hold my attention for three or four hours, but then again, few things do. That said, from the literally tens of thousands of tweets that popped up during my shortened stint, here are twenty favorites:
trentvanegas LMAO!!!! As did the rest of the viewing audience #oscars RT @EW At Elton John party: The whole crowd just gasped at the sight of Judd Nelson
tommytrc RT @DonaBogart: Ouch. The John Hughes Tribute made me feel very old. #oscars
@MC1487 The song “Thank Heavens for Little Girls” will always creep me out, no matter the context. #Oscars #CreepyCreepy
@JacqKD Funny how Taylor Hackford doesn’t mention “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” in his career. #Oscars
@lilnerdette RT @popcandy: Actually, here’s a place where you can watch all of the animated shorts: http://bit.ly/j0KyP
@SuburbanTurmoil Hey Rachel McAdams. Grandma called. She wants her curtains back. #oscars
@ianedgar Weird racially profiling direction. Black people react to other black person winning prize! They must be so proud. #oscars
@TheOnion: King Latifah Returns For Wife http://onion.com/78XfU7 #Oscars
@matthewcrosby Not seen Precious but it looks like the world’s most depressing Eminem video #oscars (via @sonnypike)
@mtgcolorpie Coming up: Tyler Perry, Sarah Jessica Parker and a salute to horror films. My favorite sentence ever. /throws up
@TheDaveCarlson “Well I already have two of these” is the FAIL of the night. #oscars
@kateritchie Did charlieze not think before placing two cinnabons on top of her chest? Stylist fail. #oscars
daddyscratches I can’t remember ever seeing so many painfully sharp-looking shoulder blades and frightfully tissue-free collarbones in one place. #oscars
@moviecricket #oscars 12 down, 12 to go. Settle in, folks. On the bright side, no musical numbers since Neil Patrick Harris.
@quinnnorton: Have just realized this is the original awkward reality show. #oscars
@sreenet: Avatar: The second time you watch it, the special effects get better, but the acting and dialog get worse. #oscars
@NOLAnotes This co-hosting thing is not doing it for me. Two talents squandered instead of the usual one. #oscars
@nowtoronto Best way not to get your acceptance speech cut short: “Thirteen years ago, the doctors told me I wasn’t going to survive …” #oscars
@akmcquade Why isn’t bob costas explaining the difference between sound mixing and sound editing? #shutupcostas #oscars
@andylevy The first four hours of this show have really flown by! #oscars
By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79