In another universe, this weekend could mark one of the biggest party nights of the year.
Instead, I’ll spend Sunday night hanging out in my pajamas, staring at my computer and exchanging witty banter with my dog.
Why have the Oscars failed to significantly impact the party scene?
The 84th Annual Academy Awards airs Sunday on ABC. Once again, we’ll hear about glitz, glamour and parties in the days leading up to the ceremony.
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And once again, I’ll wonder why more “real people” aren’t excited about the show.
My colleague Katie McCarthy recently suggested TV-watching parties -- including Oscar-viewing shindigs -- might be more of a myth than a reality.
“I remember a couple of years ago calling around to see if any local party stores had people coming in asking for items suitable for an Oscars party. The answer was no and in a tone that implied I was an idiot for even asking,” she wrote on her blog.
Make no mistake: People will watch the show.
But for all the hype surrounding the Oscars, it’s surprising that the viewing experience doesn’t usually amount to something that makes people walk into the office Monday morning and say, “I’m exhausted, but last night was SO fun.”
In her aforementioned blog post, Katie brings up a good point: a big crowd of people can interfere with the attention required to follow the Oscars.
Plus, the ceremony is on a Sunday -- a night rarely associated with crazy cocktail parties.
But that’s no excuse. The Super Bowl also falls on a Sunday and comes with images of elaborate food spreads and alcoholic beverages.
So why don’t we see a similar appeal with the Oscars?
A big factor is the ceremony’s inherent sophistication. There’s something a little odd about savoring beer and pizza while admiring tuxedos and high-end gowns.
And while the Super Bowl has acquired a clear association with wings and pizza, we have yet to see a “signature” entree or cocktail accompany the Oscars.
Sure, you can make dishes tied to the nominated films. But unless you’re dealing with a food-themed movie, these items often require a large level of interpretation -- not to mention preparation time.
Finally, the ceremony often simply doesn’t deliver the suspense necessary to warrant a late bedtime. Unlike big football games, which generally carry an “anything can happen” feel, the Oscars have delivered few surprises in recent years.
A Hollywood Reporter writer recently wrote, “These past few years, the Academy Awards have become so predictable even presenters have had to feign surprise as they open those envelopes while the losing nominees applaud politely like so many expensively dressed extras.”
Amid that stale feeling, I’ll watch Sunday’s ceremony with a predictable belief that next year, my viewing experience will be a little cooler.
Sonya Sorich, reporter, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-571-8516.