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!
Either 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.