social media watch

83rd Annual Academy Awards: How Tweet It Was

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 28, 2011 11:30 AM

The 83rd Academy Awards came and went in a blur of glory and social media haze. As the New York Times' David Carr and A.O. Scott discuss in the above video, there wasn’t much “cultural consensus” as to where and who the broad mainstream audience is, but there was a lot of irony.

With host duties performed by a lackluster, visibly uncomfortable James Franco and a perky, eager-to-please energetic Anne Hathaway, the consensus around water coolers this morning is that there is no water cooler and Monday morning quarterbacking — if you were watching the Oscars, chances are you were also Facebooking or Tweeting the proceedings at the same time.

The Oscars encouraged this behavior, including directing viewers to Oscar.com for behind-the-scenes content during commercial breaks — a move that must have thrilled its advertisers. Co-host James Franco strolled onto stage checking his smartphone in one gag bit, while he tweeted the backstage proceedings throught the evening. Mark Ruffalo, nominated for best supporting actor in The Kids Are All Right, even pre-tweeted his acceptance speech – thanking all appropriate, as he did not anticipate winning.

Tweets during the telecast were better written and funnier than most of the actual show patter, as captured by the Canadian Press:

"Is it me or does it look like James Franco would cut his arm off to get out of hosting the Oscars?" — comedian Kevin Nealon
"Watching the Oscars. Not crazy about the womb Natalie Portman's baby chose to wear." — late-night host Conan O'Brien
"And now, Gwyneth Paltrow, in a tribute to the saying 'Don't Quit Your Day Job.'" — comedian Andy Borowitz
"No African American nominees? If you're black and want to make it on Hollywood this year, you better be a swan." — TV host Bill Maher.
"Daniel Day Lewis has the depth of commitment to the craft of acting to die just to liven up next year's death montage." — comedian Patton Oswalt
"This night will be a waste if Anne Hathaway and James Franco don't do their hilarious 'Who's On Firth" bit.' — Late Night writer Paul Masella

The 83rd Academy Awards may go down in history as the year tweets, from pro comedians and amateurs, bested the scripted action, even while a stuttering king’s speech soared above the din of buzzing social networks — and The Social Network itself failed to take home top prize.

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