Monday, 10 June 2013

Hollywood Babble On & On #1030: Tony, Oscar, Shilling & Suing


Last night I did something I haven't done in a long-long time.

I watched an award show without flipping to something else.

Okay, I only watched 2 hours of said awards show, but since my previous record of the past decade is less than 30 minutes, it's bordering on a miracle.

How did this miracle occur?

I think it was because it was the Tony Awards.

Now I know some of you live in caves, so I'll do a little explaining.

The Tony Awards is the show honouring the best in American Theatre.

Okay, technically not American theatre, since only shows in New York can qualify. Also, it's not only New York theatre since to qualify for a Tony Award the theatre your show is performed in must be in the theatrical district accepted as "Broadway."

Now I don't really follow Broadway, and my knowledge of the Broadway scene is limited to a dichotomy of musicals for tourists visiting New York City, and straight-forward plays geared toward the upscale New Yorker community.

So why did I sit through more of 1 night of the Tony Awards than I have for over a decade of Oscars combined?

The opening number might illustrate my point...

(Update: CBS has had the video pulled because they believe that people seeing the best commercial they ever had to watch the Tony Awards on CBS violates their copyright. Smart.)

To sum it up, the Tony Awards show was something the Oscars haven't been in a very long time.


The show moved quickly, only had a few minor missteps in the humour department, and for the most part the speeches were quick and even sincere for a change. No one tried to prove they were better than the audience, and a whole bunch of other things that the Oscars either do badly, won't do, or overdo to the point of annoying.

So why do the Tonys work better than the Oscars?

Probably because Broadway knows a little more about putting on a stage show than people who normally do movies, but I think there's a secret ingredient they don't really acknowledge...


You see there is no reason for CBS to air the Tonys aside from winning viewers. They aren't connected by various corporate inbreeding to most Broadway producers. Dropping the Tonys won't annoy major media conglomerates with big advertising deals the way dropping the Oscars would.

This means that aside from any statement they must make, the Tony Awards must be entertaining first. Meanwhile the Oscars take themselves way too seriously, and must impress upon the world just how important they are before taking that step into the realm of entertaining.

That's my theory, what's yours?


The Federal Trade Commission is reportedly interested in investigating celebrities like the assorted Kardashians on social media like Twitter and Facebook to see if their frequent product placements is a violation of trade and advertising laws.

I have two problems with this.

1. I'm leery of the government regulating what someone says, even if they're just pitching shoes on social media.

2. If these celebs can't shill, then what else do they have? People don't follow them for their wit and wisdom.


Back in 2010 JP Morgan's subsidiary Content Partners LLC. ended their relationship financing Paramount movies by filing a $45 million lawsuit against the studio calling shenanigans on their accounting practices.

Paramount has decided that they're really the victim, and have filed a counter claim against Content Partners LLC. saying they were the ones pulling shenanigans.

Now I'm not going to pass judgement on the merits of either side of the case. What I will pass judgement on is the simple fact that the percentage of investor/studio relationships that end in bad blood and litigation is so high the people running Hollywood should feel shame if they were capable of it.

The whole business is dysfunctional, and seriously needs reform, because eventually you will run out of other people's money.

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