Somehow, it managed to get worse - and more embarrassing - with each passing hour. And the hours passed oh so slooowly.
Where to begin, where to begin - that's the conundrum here. Let's see...
There's Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin behaving like two old burlesque comics, with Martin literally turning into Mr. Magoo before our eyes.
But much worse was the bizarrely gratuitous, wildly hypocritical montage celebrating a genre that has almost never been nominated for - let alone rewarded with - an Oscar. That would be horror movies.
Much, much worse, however, was the inexplicable celebration of a hack filmmaker/producer who directed a scant eight movies, only two of them any good ("Sixteen Candles" and "Planes, Trains & Automobiles"), and produced scores of really lousy films. That would be John Hughes.
And even worse than that was a weird, unweildy display of dull "interperative" dancing matched up with the nominated film scores - a spectacle so bad and so drawn-out that it made one nostalgic for the mundane awfulness of Debbie Allen's past Oscar-show concoctions.
But wait! Much more worse (worser?) was the condescending dismissal of film personalities who represent experience and knowledge - Lauren Bacall, Roger Corman, Gordon Willis and John Calley - who were reduced to audience members while someone representing the dismal future of film was given the spotlight on stage. That would be Mylie Cyrus and Taylor Lautner. (BTW, Bacall et al were given their "honorary" awards at an event hosted - seemingly clandestinely and at some secret location - way back in November. Sounds like a much better event to me.)
Much worse, however, was the Oscarcast's orchestra giving the hook to Ric O’Barry - protagonist of the best documentary, "The Cove" - because he attempted to enlighten the viewing audience about his on-going campaign to halt the capture and brutal slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan. Who's he think he is anyway? A star? Mylie Cyrus?
But topping that were the toxic “personal tributes" - in which celebs were made the stand in a line-up, without even a podium to lean on, and fawn over and pander to each and every nominated best actor and actress. That would be arse-kissing of the highest/lowest (take your pick) sort.
Ah, but much, much worse was the Academy's reliably awful "In Memorium" segment, legendary by now for snobbishly overlooking people who worked hard to make the industry look better than it actually is. This year, at long last, the Academy got caught with its petty bias showing when it made the jaw-dropping mistake of purposely ignoring Farrah Fawcett, while celebating Michael Jackson who, by my recollection, made only one - count it - one film. That would be the execrable "The Wiz."
But also overlooked were:
Betty Lou Keim
Alaina Reed Hall
How difficult is it to keep a list of who died and when - and then honor those lost people? And how many extra seconds does it add to the show’s self-indulgent, sprawling running time to flash the faces of these departed? If that’s too much trouble for the Academy, maybe it should start licensing Turner Classic’s In Memoriam, which is always definitive. Of course, the Academy can't even figure out if its memorials represent the preceding calendar year exclusively or if they should cover the span from Oscar show to Oscar show. Decisions, decisions.
Congratulations of sorts go to Bruce Davis, the executive director of the Academy, and to Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic, producers of this year's Oscarcast. Congratulations because, well, they won. The Oscarcast had is best ratings in years, particularly in the much lusted-after 18-to-34-year-old demographic. A dubious achievement, indeed. Yes, an audience was lured and reigned in, but did that audience actually like what it saw?
Or were the viewers as dusgusted as I was?
We'll find out next year when they tune in again. Or not.