Oscars 2013: Why We Love to Watch Absurdly Long Awards Shows

The Oscars are coming! The Oscars are coming! The Oscars are coming! Ugh, sorry I was just channeling my inner Paul Revere again. All revolutionary war jokes aside, the 85th annual Oscars  are indeed coming, this Sunday on ABC and I, along with about 40 million other Americans, will be tuning in.

Over the past week, I've asked myself a lot of questions. Are Beats by Dre headphones really worth my $200? Why is Pluto no longer a planet? Am I really drinking on a Monday night? And of course, WHY do people watch award shows? Honestly they’re boring and longer than Zero Dark Thirty and Titanic combined.

But if there are two things Americans love most (not counting large beverages) it’s contest TV and escapism. Award shows are the fusion of the two.

We love the slice of glamour. We love that amidst unemployment and guns and war, borrowed jewels and shiny hair can for a moment make everything seem okay. If the 2012 Oscars are any indication, we apparently love Billy Crystal. I asked my friend why he watched the Oscars and he said he enjoyed the low-cut dresses. We all do. We love judging people who are way hotter than us. Angelina’s lips, Bradley Cooper’s strut. We love a good speech, teary eyes, I think even more so we like a weird possibly drug-induced speech that goes on way past the music has cued. (Oh hey George Clooney circa 2006: your speech was so bizarre that South Park parodied it). My favorite part is personally the pre-show red carpet. I love Elie Saab dresses, bow ties, awkward questions. I love to make arbitrary predictions about movies I haven’t seen (and am probably pretending I have.)

I will watch with my friends. We will likely talk throughout the whole thing. The Oscars remind me of Super Bowl Sunday: food is ordered, drinks are consumed, advertisements are plentiful, but typically there are less men in leggings. Seth MacFarlane as host should prove to be a spectacle, especially if he does the whole show in the voice of Stewie Griffin. Whatever, a girl can dream. 

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Grace Gallagher

lover of short stories, yoga, people watching, summer and places where it always feels like summer.

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