This past Sunday, Hollywood’s best and brightest gathered at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood to say goodbye to a tradition spanning seventy-nine years—The Academy Awards. Hearts swelled as stars and special guests braced themselves for what would be one of television’s most surprising series finales.
“After so many years on the air, so many cast changes, and so many twists and surprises, we really just wanted to go out on a happy note,” said Academy President and Executive Producer of the series Sid Gaines. “There were a lot of rumours circulating of course: that Jack Nicholson would finally kick the smack and tie the knot with Suzie Branson, that terrorists would attack, that Oscar would actually turn out to have been black the whole time…but in the end, we thought, enough surprises.”
In the last few minutes of the episode, audiences beamed as one of the show’s most beloved and long-running characters was presented with the top honour. Martin Scorsese, a beloved cast member on the show for over thirty years, had always been seen as the edgier, somewhat violent brother with a heart of gold. To see him finally come full circle overjoyed viewers across the globe—and inspired the series creators to end the show.
“There’s really nothing else for us to show,”commented Gaines. “Without rehashing old plotlines… or bringing Billy Crystal back on the show…I think we’re done.”
From its season premiere on May 16th, 1929, to its highly anticipated finale on Sunday, ‘The Oscars’, as the series is affectionately known, brought viewers all across the globe into a world of suspense and raw entertainment. While the first season began with a pilot of little more than fifteen minutes, it boasted such stars as Charlie Chaplin and Janet Gaynor. However, despite its promise, the pilot episode attracted weak rating—only 250 people watched.
The show soon spruced up its colors by adding such frivolities as a “red carpet” that the show’s stars could walk in on, and musical performances—which would eventually become staples of the series.
Despite a history of overwhelmingly positive review, however, there are those who feel the show jumped the shark long ago, when actress Marisa Tomei was given Best Supporting Actress in what many saw as a gimmick to “sex up” the proceedings.
“We’re not proud of everything we’ve done during our long run,” recalls Sid Gaines, “but fuck you. Yeah, you heard me.”