I am reliably informed by the bible of the entertainment racket, Variety, that Sunday's Academy's Awards telecast will end with "a special show-closing musical performance." Apparently Kristin Chenoweth and host Seth MacFarlane will participate in a show-stopper after – yes, after – the announcement of the best-picture winner.
Talk about fiddling while Rome burns. Talk about the band playing while the Titanic sinks. Talk about a sad attempt to close the show after the audience has bolted. Honestly. What are they gonna do – build a song-and-dance routine about Argo and Zero Dark Thirty? Bless my soul, but it seems a bit much.
It might seem unfair to speculate in advance, but history and personal experience tell me that by the time the best picture is announced, an enveloping tiredness and grim dismay have gripped the viewer. The last thing anyone needs is another musical number.
The big thing, The Oscars (Sunday, ABC, CTV, 8:30 p.m.), is of course the dominating event this weekend. Perhaps Family Guy creator and by-reputation-cool-dude MacFarlane can make it wildly funny, fast-moving, and please everyone. Perhaps not. A question being asked in the TV racket is if MacFarlane is the right host for the female demographic that advertisers are so keen to reach during the show. Too late to turn back now, especially with the news that the shindig turns into an episode of Glee at the very end.
Red-carpet coverage is what matters to many of you, of course. Frocks, footwear, hair and jewels – they all matter more than the merits of the movies. The red-carpet schedule is confusing to grasp. There's an hour of it on CTV starting at 6 p.m. Then, at 7, the coverage switches over to CTV Two, if you get that channel. Or you can watch online, it seems, as Ben Mulroney and his cohorts attempt to corral celebrities.
The fun stuff tends to be on the E! channel, which begins the frock opera at 6 p.m. and goes until the actual awards show opens at 8:30. Hours and hours of gazing at dresses, and many interruptions for commercials selling hair products. Fun times.
There are alternatives. NBC offers Saturday Night Live in the 2000s: Time and Again at 9 p.m. Relive old jokes and sketches, if you wish.
TLC has a marathon of Gypsy Sisters: Extra Bling (it starts at 8 p.m.), which opens with an episode in which "Nettie worries that her sister Mellie's stripping and fighting are getting out of hand." Something we can all identify with.
There is a new episode of Republic of Doyle (CBC, 9 p.m.), during which the death of Leslie's dad is ruled suspicious; high tension ensues.
Meanwhile, a fresh episode of The Walking Dead (AMC, 9 p.m.) is probably going to challenge the Academy Awards for viewer numbers. This week, "Rick and the group must make a choice when security is threatened." That happens every week, but people still watch in the millions.
Also, there is a new episode of Girls (Sunday, HBO Canada, 9 p.m.) that isn't scintillating; it involves Hannah and Jessa going to upstate New York to visit Jessa's father. Melancholy ensues. By the way, on Saturday, HBO Canada runs a marathon of the first four episodes of this season of Girls, starting at 9 p.m.
Now, if you do stick with the Academy Awards, at least pay attention to the Canadian content among the nominees, which is substantial this year. Composer Mychael Danna has two shots – best original score for Life of Pi; and a co-writer nom for best original song, Pi's Lullaby. (You do know Life of Pi is adapted from the novel by Canadian Yann Martel, right?) Contending for best foreign-language film is Kim Nguyen's Rebelle (called War Witch in English). Canada has two nominations in best live-action short: Yan England for Henry; and Sam French and Ariel Nasr for Buzkashi Boys. Jim Erickson is co-nominated for best production design for Lincoln; and Guillaume Rocheron, with his Moving Picture Company, is nominated for best visual effects for his work on Life of Pi.
Go Canada! Or go watch Girls and Gypsy Sisters. Beware of musical numbers done late at night on Sunday – possibly more horror than you'll find on The Walking Dead.