5 Ways to Fix the Oscar Ceremony

This was supposed to be the year the Oscars dumbed themselves down, to appeal to the masses. There were 10 nominees for best picture, specifically so that crowd-pleasing films such as The Blind Side, Up, and District 9could make the cut. Neil Patrick Harris wasn't the host, but he still randomly opened the show, with an over-the-top (and strangely unmemorable) song and glittery tuxedo. The list of presenters seemed to be packed with male eye candy: Ryan Reynolds, Bradley Cooper, Zac Efron, Taylor Lautner (presenting a montage of horror movies—huh?), and John Travolta (wearing jeans?!). One of the show's executive producers, Adam Shankman, is a reality-show judge on So You Think You Can Dance, which meant we got a never-ending, Debbie Allen-esque interpretive-dance sequence. There was even an overindulgent tribute to John Hughes, Shankman's friend, with a frightened Molly Ringwald and pale Macaulay Culkin, who looked like he'd been sprung from an underground bunker. If either of them wanted a reality show on VH1, it would be theirs by the end of the business day.