As Time Passes, The Slap Still Stings
After a couple nights sleep, this thing doesn't look any better
by Richard Rushfield
Two days later, the media takes cover the ground like confetti and the apologies have trickled in. The ratings have been counted, while the central questions largely remain non-answered, sidestepped or referred to a committee. (The Academy, in perfect form, called an emergency meeting on Monday…to meet Wednesday.)
So ours is not to add to the mountain of takes already out there, but to ask where this leaves The Academy after the big night. And how The Slap fits in with the road forward.
This night was momentous. If the ratings had collapsed even further from the previous year's all-time low, it would've been if not coitains, something pretty close. But instead, it bounced back a bit.
So the good news — the apocalyptic ratings prediction of the Disaster Queen, as Bruce Vilanch labeled me in our pre-game podcast, didn't come to pass. Entertainment Strategy Guy (who pegged it at 16 million) wins the Ankler wager. Froyo's on me at next year's Ankler Oscar Gala at The Bigg Chill.
But by adding a few million to its catastrophic tally of the previous year, do we really call that a comeback? At the second-lowest number of all time? Or have we found a new sea level in the low-teens to tweens? Which by any previous standard, remains fairly catastrophic and has to herald a massive reworking of the budget over there in AMPAS-land.