Sunday night the television audience for the Oscars telecast will be as large and as social as for any other event except the Super Bowl. Many will have the bright idea to invite all your friends over for an Oscar Party. For those playing host, here are some common party fouls to avoid.
Don't Start Too Early
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the cabal of old, rich, white men that may or may not be a cult (it is) and decides who wins the awards, thinks that your Oscar party should go all day, much like a classic Super Bowl kegger. While drinking starting at 3 p.m. might be the only thing that will make Billy Crystal's opening monologue funny, this is a long telecast and if you don't want to be blotto by Best Picture time, so you should try and pace yourself. Tell everyone to show up at 6 p.m., they'll all be there by 7 p.m. for the major red carpet arrivals (and picking on Ryan Seacrest), and everyone will be settled down with their second cocktail just in time for the show to start.
Don't Hold an Oscar Pool
Oscar pools are stupid. Everyone already knows who is going to win in the major categories, so this thing always comes down to who can make the best guesses about Best Documentary Short and Best Sound Editing and other stupid awards like that. Unlike betting on the Super Bowl, which really could go any way and actually often does "make things interesting," betting on the Oscars is a fool's game. If your guests are savvy they're all just going to take the predictions from the same news sources and you'll end up having to split the measly pot a million ways. It's doesn't leave enough money to splurge on anything but a cupcake.
Don't Make Everyone Dress Up
Just because you're wearing some gown does not mean you're a celebrity. You're still just a schmo who wasn't invited and no one will be asking what you're wearing. ("Psst. It's Chrisitan Siriano for Kohls.") You're not going to a fancy awards show or a ball or a party. You're going to sit your ass in front of a television and watch rich people make fools of themselves, just like you do every night. Even Pajama Jeans are suitable for such an activity. Don't go thinking you're all fancy just because you're dressed nice.
Don't Serve All The Food at Once
As we mentioned, this is a very long show and the last thing you need is your drunken friends getting too full on pita chips and hummus and little bagel pizzas and slipping into a food coma before we can even pass out the Best Costume Design trophy. Space it out. Give people something to look forward to. Save dessert for 10 p.m. You're going to need the sugar rush to make it through the "Here Are The People That Died" montage, anyway.
Don't Have Everything in One Room
What some people don't seem to understand about the Oscars is that some of us actually want to listen to what is happening on stage. Unlike at a Super Bowl party where the only thing to drown out is a bunch of color commentators saying boring things in between plays, you actually have to watch and listen to this thing. If you don't, Bruce Villanch shows up to your house and gives you a raspberry on your belly. The best strategy (if you have the party in your house) is to have one room for TV-watching and one room for socializing so that those of us that want to can hear the damn show. If everyone is jammed on two futons in a Manhattan studio apartment, do the pop culture kids a favor and keep your chatter to Oscars-related barbs. Thank you.
You're at a party (hopefully) full of lively and witty people. Pay attention to them, not the damn internet. Live tweeting the Oscars is for shut-ins and people with boring friends. That's not you, right?
Don't Force People to Stay
It's a Sunday night and some people have to get up early on Monday and don't really care to see (spoiler alert) The Artist get its Best Picture trophy around midnight. Don't put up a fuss, just let them go and get back to watching the show. You shouldn't be trying to kick people out, but by the time the nightly news comes on, it's that much easier to clear your couch if it's already half-empty.
Don't Make Crappy Jokes
For example: "Is this still going on?" "I haven't even heard of half of these movies." "Who even knows what sound editing is?" "Transformers 3D: Robotic Maneuvers in the Dark should have been nominated." "What is that Tilda person likes like David Bowie on Halloween." "The Help? I'd rather help myself to suicide. Right? Haha. Right, guys? Right!"
Your stupid movie jokes are not funny. We have heard them all before. If you want to join the conversation, then you'd better bring some good original material to the table. This is the Oscars. Sure, they totally suck, but we love them nonetheless.