After last year’s Seth MacFarlane fiasco, the Academy apparently took a long, hard look at itself in the mirror and asked, “What the hell were we thinking?” because it wisely invited Ellen DeGeneres to host in 2014.
Asking Ellen DeGeneres to return to hosting duties in 2014 was a necessary palate cleanser after the bad taste MacFarlane left in America’s collective mouth, especially with the gleefully misogynistic ditty “We Saw Your Boobs.”
In the first promo spot for the upcoming awards ceremony, DeGeneres promises to deliver 100% less frat-boy bullshit. Instead, she puts her own stamp on the Oscars: cheerful, wholesome, energetic, and eager to please.
After MacFarlane’s “edgy” schtick, DeGeneres may feel like a safe choice — an angle the trailer pushes by showing Ellen doing an old-fashioned song-and-dance routine in her familiar Converse kicks. She also displays her appealing squareness with a few seconds of the now-stale “Gangnam Style” dance — she’s about as hip as your mom, and she wants you to know it.
But DeGeneres’ friendly accessibility belies the fact that she’s a much more provocative and subversive host than MacFarlane could ever hope to be. The comedian and talk-show host is only the second female and the first openly gay emcee in the Oscars’ 84-year history. And the awards ceremony enjoys a global audience, making DeGeneres America’s ambassador to the world — a honor and responsibility all-too-rarely entrusted to a gay woman.
Needless to say, DeGeneres makes us much more excited about the Oscars than we’d be otherwise. We’ll be rooting for her.