As an awards show host, songster and actor, the gifted Neil Patrick Harris has enjoyed a remarkable run in recent years, and deservedly so. But his opening number tonight was just…OK. Marginally clever lyrics, a forgettable melody, and NPH seemed a little out of breath—-but I guess that means he was actually singing live, which is becoming a novelty these days.
As for the brilliant tandem of Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin…their opening monologue was neither outstanding nor historically deadly. There’s no way those two were going to bomb, but I think most of us were hoping for more than a medley of scripted one-liners, some much funnier than others. (Any joke that ends with “get a life” is not much of a joke.)
And now, as is almost always the case with the Oscars, the hosts virtually disappear for the remainder of the broadcast, acting mostly as traffic cops as they introduce the presenters who inevitably stumble a bit as they struggle with the PrompTer.