Seth MacFarlane was a necessary risk that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences needed to take. It was an attempt to modernize a show rooted in steep, decade-long tradition. The jokes were racy, edgy, talked about and yea, not that funny.
MacFarlane, who fancies himself a poor man’s Frank Sinatra (believe me, he’d take that as a compliment), took the chance to indulge in many a musical number that got some nervous laughs from an audience packed with people who, frankly, just wanted things to get a move on. Despite the very lukewarm reception, rumors swirled that the Family Guy creator was still in consideration for a 2014 reprisal.
MacFarlane was only the latest example in what has become a theme of Oscar trying to re-invent and youthenize (you could spell it another way and still get my meaning) its show. To put it very nicely, the experiment failed.
2014 will see a reversal in that trend.
Today, Variety announced that Ellen DeGeneres will how the 86th Academy Awards on March 2nd, 2014. It will mark the second time she has hosted the show, seven years almost to the day since her 2007 Oscar debut.
Honestly, I like this move. The Oscars are about movie industry tradition. It’s an anachronistic show by very definition and I don’t see any problems with them recruiting past, tried and true presenters, especially ones as funny as DeGeneres who works crowds daily for her daytime talk show, Ellen.