OK, so most (but by no means all) of the reviews for last night's Oscars show and host Seth MacFarlane have not been favorable. But the early ratings for the TV show are up about four percent over last year's show hosted Billy Crystal — and much younger. And that's entirely logical, says Richard Rushfield at BuzzFeed. The top movies up for Oscars this year actually did some good box office, especially compared to last year's critical favorites "The Artist" and "The Descendants." MacFarlane was a much bigger draw for younger American audiences than Crystal — not that he's likely to be asked back, Rushfield observes. And Rushfield argues there's more hunger for shared national moments like the Oscars.
This year...the industry defied the obituaries and produced, as the nominees demonstrate, a slate of big Hollywood productions aimed towards adult audiences, not just teenage boys taking a break from the video games. As a result, it appears that broad adult audience showed up for the big night....
Even as the ratings for the traditional broadcast networks continue to plummet, in recent years (overall if not year-to-year) ratings for the Super Bowl, presidential debates, and the Grammy Awards are all up.
As we break up into our separate lunch tables, there have been signs across the culture of a hunger for these national moments, of people wanting to be a part of the things that everyone is talking about. With Twitter and social media fanning the flames ever hotter, there seems to be an appetite to acknowledge and celebrate them more than ever.
Oscar is the greatest cultural brand America has; an event that has gone on for 85 years almost unchanged....
Cropped photo of Ben Affleck: Oscar.go.com