OpinionArts & Entertainment

No one cares about the Oscars

Forget about it. Everyone else has.

Oscar given at the Academy Awards. Credit: LanKS/Shutterstock.
Oscar given at the Academy Awards. Credit: LanKS/Shutterstock.
Daniel Greenfield
Daniel Greenfield is an Israeli-born journalist who writes for conservative publications.

Hollywood’s top-ranked award show dominated media coverage for the day and will be forgotten well before the week is over. The big FYC billboards will be rolled up and recycled, and the little golden statues will eventually end up on eBay.

The Academy Awards started out as a private industry party and has become that again. And the Oscars are less relevant than ever because Hollywood is less relevant than ever.

Industry figures used the awards to celebrate “Oppenheimer” and “Barbie,” but the summer’s phenomenon is already dead by the time the awards arrive. Of the two, only “Barbie” was ever really relevant. It’s where the industry is, in ripping apart any recognizable IP and turning it into a movie, a series and more money.

Hollywood isn’t art, it’s Disney+ and Netflix. It’s an insane amount of money being spent by insanely wealthy dot coms and Hollywood studios trying to keep up with them on IP-based content. “Madame Web,” for all the jokes, is more relevant than “Oppenheimer” is.

But how culturally relevant are the big franchises? That’s debatable too.

The whole point of the franchise is that the individual items are disposable. Disney became expert at turning every third and fourth-tier comic book character into a movie or series. But the only reason any of that works is that it’s disposable. And it’s become so disposable that the machine is starting to break down.

The problem is the familiar one on the internet.

Social media rewards a constant stream of content. The faster the content is churned out, the more clicks it can potentially get. But a machine churning out content becomes disposable gruel that no one notices anymore.

Just because the gruel costs $250 million and has the Star Wars or Marvel label on it doesn’t change that.

In “Why Old TV Shows Are Beating Hollywood’s Billion Dollar DEI Machine,” I wrote that “in 2023, more people were watching ‘NCIS’ reruns than the top two streaming programs combined. And more are watching old episodes of ‘Friends’ than either ‘Ted Lasso’ or Star Wars’ ‘The Mandalorian’ despite an estimated $120 million per season budget.”

“After an unfathomable $238 billion in Peak TV spending that year, most viewers were comfortable dialing up old episodes of ‘NCIS,’ ‘Criminal Minds,’ ‘Gilmore Girls,’ ‘Seinfeld,’ ‘Supernatural,’ The Simpsons’ and ‘Heartland’: a show about a horse ranch set in Canada.”

Does this suggest that Hollywood is culturally relevant today? The billion-dollar gruel isn’t sticking, and the whole point of the Oscars is the pretense that what is being celebrated is timeless.

Do you remember what the Best Picture of 2021 was? What about 2020? Do the names ‘Spotlight’, ‘Moonlight’ or ‘CODA’ ring any bells?

Forget about it. Everyone else has.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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