Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Academy Awards & Golden Globes without Writers: an opera? Reality show?

With the Writers Guild having refused to provide waivers for “The Golden Globes” and “The Academy Awards”, the shows, as they say in Hollywood "have to go on"...but without writers. Trophies can, of course, be presented off camera, obviating the need for writing, which is, ironically, the format for the annual Writers Guild Awards, the premise apparently that writers, unlike actors and children, are meant to be heard and not seen.

If I were charged with revamping the show, my solution would be, “The Oscars are a Slippery Slope” with Jon Stewart, this year's host, flailing around a rink on ice skates. To catch him when he loses his balance, I'd hire Samantha Bee, who hails from Canada, so should be adept on the ice. As presenters I'd have Olympic and professional skaters while award winners would be attached to ropes, lowered and removed from the ice ala the stage version of Peter Pan, a useful device as it would avoid accidents as well as curtail overly long acceptance speeches.

Since the Academy is not being permitted to use film clips, the entertainment between categories would be provided by Sasha Cohen doing her amazing triple lutzes and double toe loops, being careful to remind the talent coordinator to be sure to book Sasha Cohen, not Sacha Baron (Ali G) Cohen.

The Golden Globes is scheduled for January, and with so little time, I’d go with a reality show and have the nominees in each category competing in a variety of ways -- arm wrestling, a bake-off, spelling bee and bathing suit competition -- though the trophies would ultimately go to those who'd already been selected by The Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Not real? Hey, they're called reality shows, but everyone knows they’re not real. They, in fact, employ writers, but call them “segment producers”. That's right, folks! And the reality writers can't become Guild members because the producers are non-negotiable on that since they rely on reality shows to fill their programming needs during a Writers Guild strike.

If they can't get it together to do these formats, the Motion Picture Academy and Foreign Press Association might consider hiring lyricists and turning their award shows into operas.


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