March 4, 2004

Bored by Whores

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You may be wondering why anyone would want to review E!’s Academy Awards pre-pre-show, or why I am using the first and second person in a newspaper article. Let me address your initial inquiry by saying that I am beautiful and can do whatever I want. As for the second question, when you are reviewing a subject as inane as this, you just don’t care ’bout speakin’ proper, nahmsayin’? Seriously though folks, E! Entertainment Television should have a surgeon general’s warning preceding every broadcast. I’ve known too many expectant women who have lost a child to “just one harmless episode of Style Court.”

The show began a full eight and half hours before the awards ceremony, terminating six hours later with a shot of the still-vacant red carpet. In between, E!’s refused to spare its viewers from having to endure fashion whores donning their finest, yet deficient, parlance. Sometimes, a string of tedious pedicure interviews strained mind and body. To further delineate the network’s noxiousness, there was a countdown to Joan and Melissa Rivers’ Red Carpet Show, effectively making the viewer wait only to wait some more. I threw up at every commercial break, with the only thing preventing my innards from spewing forth during the program being the noose around my neck as I tried to end the pain. Nevertheless, like the occasional gluttony and wife-coveting that I enjoy, the vice of preparing for the Oscars with E! is alluring in a filthy, self-degrading way.

Bobbie Thomas (who?) hosted the event with Nicky Hilton (Paris’s sister), who, I presume, got the part solely based on merit and achievement. Their clumsy banter, awkward staring, and general avoidance of each other reminded me of a conversation one would have with Medusa. The studio from which they conducted these enlightening conversations, the lavish Oscar Room, was no more than a camera outpost in a parking lot dressed with stools and drapes. Always at a lack of relevant discussion topics, the show relied heavily upon interviews with random plebians on the most banal of Oscar subjects. It is always fun hearing Billy from the mailroom talk about what he thinks of the Best Actress nominees while coworkers cheer him on in the background.

As if the festivities were not already in full gear, E! drafted the services of the Party Patrol to enforce merriment upon a handful of Rodeo Drive floozies. The Patrol consisted of a domineering hoochie mama, and a blank-faced blonde who never spoke a word. After busting a few skulls, the no-nonsense duo succeeded in getting a baker’s dozen of inconnus to stand quietly in a circle and munch on appetizers while the cameras rolled. Certainly, this is TV at its finest.

Yet, the show did impart the patient viewer with some relevant bits of information. For instance, I learned that the awards would be aired with a five second delay so that ABC could censor any nipples that might bust out onto the scene. The censors were not allowed, however, to gag any political statements, thank God, lest the country rely entirely upon Billy Crystal’s neutered joke list for some flavor. Also, every Hollywood diviner gave his or her predictions and opinions for the upcoming ceremony. One pundit went so far as to claim that when it comes to showbiz’s leading ladies, “the more pregnant you are, the more beautiful you are.” What an interesting trend this will become! Later, a “fashion insider” leaked that Ren