We watched the Oscars from start to finish last night because it’s in
the job description. But at more than three hours long — and that’s
without the red carpet pre-show — not even that gratuitous Jennifer Lopez/Cameron Diaz booty shot was enough to hold our interest.

 

If
the Academy wants people to keep tuning in to their little industry
lovefest, we have a few suggestions.

 

 

Cut the running
time in half

The 1960 broadcast ceremony was a merciful one hour
and 40 minutes — just long enough to build up to the winner (“Ben-Hur,”
incidentally) but not so long that you wanted to push the winners off
stage.

Take it from people who cram an entire newspaper in 20 or
so pages: It can be done, and no one will miss the speech for Best Art
Direction in an Italian Film That Stars an Animated Cat.



Figure out
the hosting situation

We can’t tell you guys how to do this, but we
can tell you it’s not working. Last year’s Anne Hathaway/James Franco
disaster was an argument against duel hosts, young hosts, stoned hosts
and any and all texting jokes, so at least those are off the table. The
2011 ceremony was so painful that it almost — oh, Bob Hope help us — made
Billy Crystal’s tired shtick seem watchable last night.

Start
with a conversation with Chris Rock, and maybe invite Tom Hanks to
lunch. They both look nice in a suit, and were kind enough to salvage a
couple minutes of this year's broadcast for you.



Those
awkward pre-speeches that presenters give to Best Actor and Actress
nominees?
Cut them

We hate them. Everyone hates them. Replace these with a
dog montage. Everyone likes a dog montage.



Don’t let your
host take cheap shots at Nick Nolte

Because he’s possibly the only person
who needs your meaningless award.



Make it 3D

At this point, we all know that 3D is usually just a
trick to mask subpar content — which is exactly why you
might want to give it a try. Take a walk with us: What does a 3D
Angelina Jolie leg add to the ceremony? A 3D leg — and that’s a lot more
interesting than trying to figure out what "Best Cinematography" means.



Keep the booty shot

If only because it kept me from
falling asleep with popcorn in my mouth. I owe you one, ladies.