Friday, January 17, 2014

The Word From On High

"This is Hollywood, and if something kinda works they'll just keep doing it until everybody hates it." These were the words of the prophet, Tina Fey. She was speaking from the pulpit of the doomed, in the Beverly Hilton Hotel. To her everlasting credit, she was referencing herself and her partner in truth-telling, Amy Poehler when she made this assertion. She was also speaking to a room full of hard-drinking celebrities and the rich and powerful, as well as a golden global television audience. 
And yet, I couldn't look away. I sat there, captivated by each fumbled introduction, tediously opened envelope, and borderline incoherent list of people who needed thanks for putting on the show that got them to the stage where they were putting on a show that was awarding those who put on a show. We are in the midst of the self-congratulatory season of the Entertainment World. People's Choice, Oscars, Grammys, Emmys, Prizes for make believe. Please understand, I know how hard the folks in Hollywood, Nashville, New York and points in between work. This is why I respect them so very much. This is why I fill out those Oscar ballots ahead of time, in spite of the fact that I am not a voting member of the Academy. This is why I look at the recaps of the awards given out and scoff, as if my opinions would have spared us all the terrible injustice visited on Ben Affleck last year. This is why I sit, transfixed, as all those tuxedos and designer gowns parade down red carpets, waiting for my own personal tastes to be validated. 
And still I am drawn back to Ms. Fey's comment. Endless repetition. Marvel Studios just announced that Academy Award and Golden Globe and Emmy winning Michael Douglas has been cast as Ant Man. An award-winning actor playing a super hero. Apparently the initial casting news of Paul Rudd wasn't enough to stir the pot. Marvel likes the big names. These guys got Sharkespeare's pal  Kenneth Branagh to direct Thor. Big names, big talent, comic books. It's a formula that has been working for years now. Since Ben Affleck missed his chance at an Oscar, his consolation prize is the Batsuit. It's show business. Until we're sick of it.