Yesterday's Academy Awards were an odd beast. It was an entertaining show (well, as entertaining as these things tend to be), but with huge wins for Everything All At Once, it signalled a real change in the cultural waters... a generational shift.

The result of this generational shift is a complete obliteration of what we previously saw as 'Oscar bait' movies. Those voting for Academy Awards are no longer just the older, seasoned boomers, but now there's a greater number of Gen X and Millenial voters. Gone is the stodgy idea of what an Academy Award nominated film should be.

I made mention of this in yesterday's newsletter, but in the wake of the #OscarsSoWhite complaints, the Academy broadened its membership body. The hashtag came into effect back in 2015 to raise awareness of the lack of diversity at the Academy Awards (to be fair to the Oscars, it wasn't as if the award show specifically was excluding nominees, but rather it was emblamatic of much broader diversity problems within Hollywood). The way the Academy dealt with the situation was to broaden the membership and to increase the volume of people voting.

In 2015, just 322 members had been invited to join. But numbers exploded over the next five years:

2016 - 683 new members
2017 - 774 new members
2018 - 928 new members
2019 - 842 new members

Invites have since slowed back to keeping up with attrition of membership, with 397 invitations issued. All up, the Academy has 9500 members, but even with the new influx of members, there isn't exactly equality in the diversity stakes. Members who look like me still dominate.

  • Academy members who identify as women: Increased from 25% in 2015 to 33% in 2020.
  • Those from racial and ethnic minorities nearly doubled, increasing from 10% in 2015 to 19% in 2020.

But, new members there are. And with that increase has been an infusion of younger voters into the Academy. We are seeing what the impact of that is with the win of Everything Everywhere All At Once.

It's what I'm thinking about as the "Adult Swimification" of the Academy Awards. That is to say that an entire generation of professionals in the industry have grown up with the weird metatextual comedy of Adult Swim shows like Space Ghost Coast To Coast (which debuted back in 1994), Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Sealab 2021, Tim & Eric, Rick & Morty, and then mix in all the other TV shows and movies and podcasts and YouTube shows and other media inspired by the sensibilities of Adult Swim.

When Everything Everywhere All At Once has a character with hot dog fingers on screen for extended sequences, what was once too weird with the 2001 Tom Green film Freddy Got Fingered, is now culturally permissible. And then add into the mix the dildos and the emotionally stirring Ratatoullie parody/homage/whatever the hell 'Raccacoonie' was. None of that is culturally welcomed without the late night comedy of stoners watching Brak on TV in the 90s.

The kids and twentysomethings watching these shows are now old enough to quite often be in charge and the way they view media is just different. Beauty and emotional complexity can be found in the most unexpected of texts.

Maybe the EEAAO win is an island. Next year we'll likely see Tom Hanks in a Best Picture win for something quite a lot more traditional. But, with recent wins for Parasite and Moonlight and now a win for something as truly off-kilter as EEAAO? It suggests that the door is now open and we're likely to see a broader range of films considered for awards in the coming years - a breath of fresh air for the otherwise stale institution that is the Oscars.

More Oscar mop-up

  • The highlight of the evening was Hugh Grant on the not-red carpet prior to the awards being asked dumb questions by an insipid E! host:
  • That wasn't really Jenny the donkey on stage.
No, that wasn’t really Jenny the donkey from ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’
‘It wasn’t Jenny. We never would have allowed that to happen.’ No, that wasn’t really Jenny the donkey from ‘Banshees of Inisherin’ at the 2023 Oscars.
  • It wouldn't be the Oscars without complaints about actors being left out of the In Memorium section. Mira Sorvino has criticised the Academy for not including her father, the great Paul Sorvino. Also left out were Anne Heche and Tom Sizemore, among others.
Mira Sorvino Slams Oscars for Excluding Father Paul Sorvino From In Memoriam Montage: ‘Baffling Beyond Belief’
Mira Sorvino is calling out the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after her father, Paul Sorvino, was left out of the In Memoriam montage during the 2023 Oscars telecast. Mira, an Oscar w…

Fresh VHS Revue

One of my favourite ongoing web projects is from Australian comedian David M Green: VHS Revue. It is a curated collection of odd TV recordings (expect old TV ads, daytime talk shows, and other clips that would be deemed nostalgic if anyone remembered them) from 1981-2011 with a few jokes inbetween.

DMG has a new season of shows officially debuting this coming Friday March 17. Here's Green looking back at a 2002 taped recording of the 1992 movie School Ties starring newly-minted Academy Award winner Brendan Fraser.

  • Sorry, I forgot to include this one yesterday. Aussie comedy brand The Betoota Advocate has signed a deal for a Paramount+ series. Read: Variety AU
  • Chris Oliver-Taylor has been appointed ABC Chief Content Officer. He started with Netflix Australia in June of 2021. A short tenure... Read: TV Tonight
  • The under-the-radar and actually pretty good Alfred Molina Amazon Prime Video drama Three Pines has been cancelled after just one season. Read: Deadline
  • The BBC has reinstated Gary Lineker following his recent tweets about the UK's refugee policy. Read: THR
  • A call three years ago to review freelance BBC staffers tweets was ignored, which contributed to the policy murkiness around the Lineker situation. Read: Deadline
  • Warner Pass will be offered in France exclusively as a channel on Amazon Prime Video. It will include HBO programs, along with 12 channels, including Warner TV, Eurosport, Discovery Channel, Cartoon Network and CNN, as well as their associated on-demand services. It'll be priced at €9.99 per month. Read: Variety

Only Murders in The Building returns for season 3 later this year.

Yes chef. The Bear will be back on FX in June.

From returns for season 2 from April 24.

That's the newsletter for today. Tomorrow there will be less Oscar talk, I promise. Except for the story I will have about Oscars ratings. But that'll probably be it. probably.