In interviews before the Oscars, host Seth MacFarlane had revealed his hopes of striking a balance between respect for Hollywood and some necessary sass – I personally think he accomplished just that despite the fact that practically every critic is rushing to proclaim just how badly he did last night.
I’ve never been a fan of Family Guy, and was mostly expecting the Oscars to feel a bit like an episode of the animated sitcom but instead, I found myself actually laughing at the jokes unlike the Oscars in 2011 when Anne Hathaway and James Franco’s hosting gigs made me cringe and look away from the TV screen for most of the ceremony or last year when Billy Crystal had me checking the time every few minutes to see how much longer I had to endure the snooze-fest.
MacFarlane started the show off with a series of one-liners, all of which were funny, including a much-needed jab at the Academy for snubbing Ben Affleck for Best Director. The joke about Rihanna and Chris Brown: "Django Unchained, now that was an intense film. This is the story of a man fighting to get back his woman, who's been subjected to unthinkable violence. Or as Chris Brown and Rihanna call it, a date movie."
The joke left most of the audience with dropped jaws rather than giggles, but like Seth Rogen says, “Good comedy is subversive.” Besides, what else you could you expect from anyone who worked for Family Guy?!
His bits from the future were also genius because he was able to bring in all the raunchy and juvenile jokes that Seth MacFarlane is famous for without really getting him in trouble. by saying it was what he shouldn’t be doing. The fake musical number, “We Saw Your Boobs” was also arguably the best part of the night, though the sock puppet re-creation of Flight didn’t exactly pale in comparison either.
Asides from the jokes, Seth MacFarlane was also surprisingly charming. It’s almost par for the requirement that an Oscar host be able to dance, sing and entertain with a string of slightly offensive jokes but it was in those moments, when MacFarlane was dancing and singing that he was the most likable throughout the night. If you found the “We Saw Your Boobs” song at all tasteless, he more than made up for it by crooning along to "The Way You Look Tonight" as Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron performed a graceful dance, followed by a musical number with Daniel Radcliffe and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (swoon).
There were a few dubious moments — not all of it was good and funny, like for example, the closing number with Kristin Chenoweth — but for the first time in a long time, I didn’t find myself utterly bored during the ceremony.