What The Oscars Can Learn From The 2015 Emmys To Keep Viewers & The Live Audience Happy
Awards shows can be very hit or miss. If one picks the wrong host, it can crash and burn in minutes, leaving viewers bored, infuriated, or both. The same can be said of a poorly received sketch, stiff presenters, disappointing winners, or really any other factor that goes into the broadcast — it's very easy for an awards show to fail. That's exactly why the 2016 Oscars should learn from the 2015 Emmys when trying to create an exciting, satisfying event. From the opening moments of the Emmys on Sunday night, it was clear the show had done at least one thing right: choosing Andy Samberg as host.
The Brooklyn Nine-Nine star kicked things off with a hilarious pre-taped sketch in which he locked himself in a bunker to watch every single TV show, before bursting back into the world the perfect Emmys host. In real life, he may not have seen every series nominated, but he proved that he is more than qualified to host the awards show that celebrates television. Samberg was just one of the Emmys' bright spots that the Oscars could learn from when choosing their host, but that's not to say there weren't a few missteps on Sunday night that other awards shows should avoid. But since this is television's biggest night, let's focus on film's. Here's what next year's Oscars can learn from the Emmys.
Choose A Host Who Knows The Industry In & Out
From his days on SNL, we know Samberg is great at both live television and pre-taped sketches. From his past hosting gigs, we know he can easily switch gears and get the audience ready for other performers. And from his work on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, we know he's great at riffing off a script and acting in an ensemble. And now, from his Emmys jokes, we know that just like everyone watching, he loves TV. Basically, Samberg has all aspects of TV down, and that made him a great Emmys host. He knew which series we all loved and which we hated, so his jokes were relatable and most importantly, made both of his audiences laugh. If the Oscars can find the movie equivalent, they're golden.
Let Presenters Be Themselves
Ricky Gervais is cocky, Amy Schumer and Amy Poehler are hilarious, Will Forte is lovably weird, and so on. Every celebrity has their own style, and rather than try to force them all to read stilted "banter," the Oscars should let presenters do what they do best. The Emmys both succeeded and failed at this, and hopefully the Oscars will use that as both good and bad examples. Let some celebrities speak alone, and when you pair them off, keep celebrities with similar tones together.
Don't Force Musical Numbers
You probably didn't even realize it, but the 2015 Emmys featured exactly 0 musical performances. The Oscars like to cram every Best Song nominee into the telecast, and sometimes even go beyond that, but why bother? The Emmys honor television, so they stuck to TV-themed skits. The Oscars honor film, and should stick to it. Showing a few Best Song nominees is fine, but why not consolidate them all into one quick segment? The Academy Awards are already known for running past their planned end time, and cutting unnecessary musical numbers would help let them flow better, without rushing winners through their acceptance speeches.
Spread The Awards Love
As awesome as Olive Kitteridge writer Jane Anderson's acceptance speech was, did the HBO miniseries (which features a very white cast) really need to win almost every miniseries Emmy? There were so many great TV movies, miniseries, and specials this year, and it would've been nice to see a few others get their time in the spotlight too. Hopefully the Oscar voters will have more varied tastes and can give trophies to a few different films.
Keep The Clips To A Minimum
The most actual clips from TV shows presented during the Emmys came during the In Memoriam montage of series that ended this year, which makes sense. Fans still miss these series, so showing a brief scene from each was a nice way to say goodbye one last time. What the Emmys didn't do, however, was individually present each nominee from the biggest categories throughout the night. Why would they? By the time those categories roll around, viewers have heard the series names come up over and over in others, not to mention during commercials. The same can be said for the Oscars' Best Picture nominees. There is absolutely no reason why every single film should be presented as if it was an award in itself, which like musical performances, only adds to an already long runtime.
Got all that, Academy? If you want rave reviews and happy audiences, all you need to do is take a step back, let the host and presenters show off their talents, and not try to cram in every form of entertainment to one show. Oh, and getting a host as charming as Andy Samberg wouldn't hurt.