Do the Oscars Need a Host?

If you’re new here, you should know that I like the Oscars, like a lot. It’s kind of my thing.

This Sunday’s telecast though, left me feeling like David Oyelowo here:

I’m sorry, NPH, but you just weren’t doing it for me. (I’m not the only one who thinks so, apparently: see here, here and here.) It’s not all on Neil Patrick Harris though — the show was way, way too long, and even worse, you could feel how tedious it was. Instead of honoring industry greats with the usual “In Memoriam” montage (who didn’t want to see another Robin Williams clip?), we got a slideshow and an unnecessary musical performance by Jennifer Hudson (singing a song from a canceled television show). Then, close to the scheduled end of the ceremony at 11:30 P.M., we were still forced to sit through a Lady Gage medley of The Sound of Music. (Granted, Julie Andrews is wonderful and The Sound of Music is a landmark film…but seriously?) Finally, there was the awful prediction-magic trick running gag that kept interrupting what little rhythm the show had.

I want every second of my life wasted on that bit back.

So no, all of the ceremony’s problems weren’t Harris’s fault, but the host is still the vehicle of the show. Worse, in this case, he served as a distraction from the night’s highlights — powerful and touching acceptance speeches. So if the host is a distraction, why is one necessary?

If the Oscars want to retain some semblance of relevancy, the ceremony needs to be less bloated. Cutting back on the technical awards during the broadcast, as some have suggested, is not the answer. What makes the Academy Awards special is that they honor so many behind-the-scenes aspects of movie magic, instead of just focusing on the acting and writing. Eliminating excessive musical performances would also help.

Still, I firmly believe that in most cases, hosts really don’t add much to the ceremony. It is so difficult for a hosting gig to go well, and when it so often doesn’t, the result is a bogged down show. So maybe we should just remove the pressure? I love the SAG Awards because it’s actors honoring actors, but they also don’t have a host. It just moves on nicely, and I’ve never felt like a host was missing. Maybe it’s time for the Academy to try that strategy, and see if we can avoid another clunker of a ceremony.

~ Sarah

Gifs via Vulture.

Trailer Tuesday: Drinking Buddies

Last week, Nick and I watched Drinking Buddies on a whim after finding it on Netflix. Anna Kendrick is in it, which is mostly why I said yes (and we didn’t have any beers or ciders in the house, which is why I almost said no). I’m not entirely sure that the trailer fits the vibe of this indie flick — I’m not even sure I’d call it a comedy, which it seemed to market itself as. It’s not overwhelmingly quirky either, but I would say it’s melancholy. (I mean, Berger Ron Livingston is in it, so maybe I should’ve seen it coming?) I think Drinking Buddies is an ideal movie for a rainy night in when you’re not sure what movie genre you’re in the mood for. There’s some chuckles and there’s a few moments of poignancy.

Anyone else catch up with Drinking Buddies?

~ Sarah

Review: Colgate Optic White VoxBox

I received these samples to test and keep from Influenster and Colgate, but the opinions in this post are honest and entirely my own. Besides the product, I was not compensated in any other way. Please read my disclosure policy here.

There’s no way around it: when it comes to my smile, I’m definitely self-conscious. My teeth have always been sensitive, especially after four years of braces. Braces and all my tea-drinking (and before that, soda) have also left my teeth prone to stains. I’ve tried whitening strips and gels in the past, but they never really whitened my teeth as expected. Needless to say, I was really excited to try out the Colgate Optic White Toothbrush and Whitening Pen, courtesy of Influenster.

The idea is simple: a specialized brush with bristles designed to remove stains with a built-in whitening pen in the barrel of the brush (it’s actually super nifty). When used with a whitening toothpaste, Colgate says you’re supposed to see whiter teeth in two days.

Now to be fair, I didn’t follow the instructions to use the whitening pen at least twice a day after brushing. At first this was because I was wary of any sensitivity the gel may have caused, like what I’ve experienced trying to whiten my teeth before. Then my excuse for using the pen every other day was my rushed mornings when I’m getting ready in the dark and exhausted evenings. The instructions also were vague on how long I should avoid eating or drinking after applying the gel, which made me hesitant to use the pen in the afternoons.

The good news is that the gel actually didn’t cause any sensitivity except for one day (after three weeks of on-and-off use), and I’m not even sure it was necessarily related to the whitening pen. The brush itself however had harder bristles than I’m used to, so it caused some gum soreness and bleeding. (I am overdue for a cleaning, so that could have contributed as well.) Applying the whitening pen is also easier than whitening strips, and it doesn’t taste as awful. It’s also very compact for traveling, and I didn’t feel weird packing the toothbrush and toothpaste for a quick trip to D.C.

The biggest question though: did it work?

I’m not sure to be honest. Even the best comparison selfies are unclear (I promise these are unedited — hello, blemishes — but I just couldn’t get the same lighting). I think some of my more minor stains were removed, but the most stubborn stains linger (I really should schedule that dentist appointment). But I do think any improvement was achieved easier than through whitening strips, so I wouldn’t discourage anyone from purchasing the toothbrush/pen combo.

Looking for a DIY way to whiten your teeth? You can never go wrong with flossing (my last dentist recommend twice a day for me) and using baking soda after your regular toothpaste.

Have any of you heard of or tried this new whitening pen yet?

~ Sarah