Lefsetz: Nobody Under 30 Cares About The Oscars Anymore

016_OSCARS02_0Could it be that no one wants to hear what actors have to say (which generally speaking is nothing)?

We’re at the threshold of the death of Baby Boomer constructs, and art too. The belief was that when classic rockers passed, concert attendance would crumble, but live events are burgeoning. There are more stadium acts now than there were at the beginning of the century and youngsters have an attachment to performers from their era, and are interested most in those who have something to say.

Well, it’s complicated.

We have too many two-dimensional stars in music, those who are propped up by the work of others. But no one doubts that Taylor Swift‘s words are her own. That’s what made her the biggest star in the land, along with a plethora of hooks. But actors, playing roles, reading the lines of others – there’s no there there.

If you want to entice the younger generation you’ve got to include their heroes, not just their infrastructure.

Sure, it’s great to employ Snapchat, to shoot selfies, but today’s adolescents are enthralled by YouTube stars and others who evidence a personality. There’s a human bond between them and their heroes and there’s this feeling that the famous and the hoi polo are in it together. It’s not about being put on a pedestal, especially not in a culture where kids view themselves as stars, especially on Instagram. Right now that site is driving the culture, it’s mostly where you’ve been with whom, but also about fashion. However no one can afford the outfits worn by the stars Sunday night, but they can put together a look from cheap and vintage clothing.

So the Oscars have become unmoored from their audience.

This self-hating outfit, which sells lowest common denominator cartoon tripe to the masses leaves those flicks in the rearview mirror and trumpets low-grossing adult fare at awards time.

No wonder younger people don’t care about the Oscars, they’re not adults!

Chris-Rock-PromoEither make the show about what they’re interested in, acknowledge they’re propping up the industry, or they’ll abandon you. Because today we’ve got endless entertainment options and if you don’t purvey what we like, we’re gone.

That’s what Baby Boomers can’t fathom, the inability of today’s kids to stay tuned in at length to that which they don’t care about and think is lousy. Kids today don’t have short attention spans, they just have incredible shit detectors. If it doesn’t appeal to them, NEXT!

Now I’m not saying long form visual entertainment has no future.

Story is king and we’re looking for rallying points. That’s why “Star Wars” became a phenomenon, why the big become even bigger, trumping all contenders. But what I am saying is that you can’t keep going by the old playbook and continue to win.

The Oscars is a bad TV show.

It wouldn’t get sold to HBO and despite being on a network is canceled in the minds of so many. We keep hearing that a billion people are watching. But if only 34.4 million are viewing in the U.S., who’s watching this live telecast elsewhere? Is jt’s another lie in an era where people are searching for truth. There’s no bite, no edge, just endless formula.

And the one thing the internet has taught us is people are constantly in search of new.

But more interesting is what other Baby Boomer constructs will fall by the wayside.

It’s the boomers who keep terrestrial radio alive.

Youngsters can’t tolerate the commercials. They believe music is an on demand item, and he who disbelieves this is forced to throw out their DVR and cancel their Netflix and Spotify accounts.

And jokes are forever, but Chris Rock is 51. It should have been Kevin Hart’s gig. But the oldsters in charge would say “Kevin, who?” You don’t play it safe, you take risks. Isn’t that how the techies took over the country?

At least the Grammys featured music, that’s what everybody tuning in wants to see. They don’t want to hear speeches, they don’t want to see TV stars, they only care about a few awards. Remember when there used to be classical segments? Those were excised long ago, because most viewers don’t care. Tragic, but if you’re making a show for consumers…

That’s right, if the Oscars were a party, not a telecast, it would be fine to please the members. Then again, the membership does not reflect America. Still, it would end up more like the Golden Globes, but with teeth and true humor, with put-downs and references and all the elements that make everyday life interesting and what’s made for mass consumption boring.

That’s the story of 2016.

You want authenticity, credibility, from those with edges who are willing to display them. If you want to succeed with millennials you’ve got to deliver your truth, something they can bite into, digest and reflect upon.

Otherwise you’re the Oscar telecast, a barge set out to sea in search of a port that no longer exists.

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7 Responses to Lefsetz: Nobody Under 30 Cares About The Oscars Anymore

  1. Orphan of the Road says:

    I don’t often watch the Oscars but when I do they are wieners on the grill.

  2. CG says:

    People under say 27 just watch facebook, their own stuff on Utube and so on…total social media and thats bout it…we’ve destroyed movies, tv and so on…soon their will be few if any real stars…everyone is a star online…right..for how many and how long…its brief…I find it all very sad…hey we don’t have men about town anymore except a ballplayer or two…nobody is well known from the nightlife or much else these days…no media coverage like Hearne used to do, no radio talk bout local anybodys…very sad..I was lucky to have received all that noise years ago and still do somewhat…but its a sad new boring world we go too these days…so yeah why would anyone younger care about the Oscars…they don’t care bout movies, actors not much of anything hell rock n’ roll died…but hey all this is from the ‘older’ folks what do they know…

    • again dummies….almost 30 million viewers….as high as 45 million
      in the last 4years……that’s some big numbers.
      Problem was there were no bangbuster movies out this year and
      I never heard of many of the movies nominated.
      And chris rock’s appeal has fallen.
      Bring back the better hosts….shortenthe show …….move it
      quicker but still won the night in the young demos.
      too long a show………speed it up……update it.

    • KCMonarch says:

      OMG! Thank you for taking some time away from shooting kids off the lawn to type this comment Crag.

      And to save you from having to Google it… OMG is interwebs shorthand for Old Man Glazer.

      • CG says:

        Lets see isn’t kcmonarch a name for the Negro leauge of the 20’s? Hummm….everything I said was true has nothing to do with being older, just wiser.

  3. chuck says:

    “hoi polloi”

    Your best yet Lefsetz.

    The “Melissa Click” Oscars will be remembered as a “Safe Space” for millionaire victims who insist that they made it in spite of “Whitey” when, in fact, they made it because of “Whitey”.

    I read Meryl Streep’s latest proffering in the Huffington Post. The article was instantly forgettable, but Streep’s self anointed status is listed accordingly as “Actor Activist”. Brutal. The typical Brobdingnagian egos of these folks, who, as you say, “read the lines of others…” is breathtaking.

    As the presentation limped along between steady applications of “White Guilt” and recriminations of “RAYCISSM” levied against what must surely be the most Liberal gathering of human beings since the Bernie Sanders Thanksgiving Dinner, I wondered at the injustice of Tyler Perry’s movies failing to garner the awards they so justly deserve. It makes one think that we have come a long way, but have a long way to go.

    Joy Mangano must have remembered Obama’s “You didn’t build that” speech as Whoopi worked that mop handle. She should give the company to Kanye and make things right.

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