2010-03-09 02:54:16 GMT SINA.com
A television show like the Oscars is a strange bird. It's not like SNL or Letterman, where performers come out and do their thing and every one goes home. With awards at stake, awards that might actually change the course of the winners' careers, the proceedings possess an unavoidable and unique tension that does not exist elsewhere. At the Tonys and Grammys, musical performance provides a level of entertainment that the other awards can't hope to match. Yet, the Oscars remain the most important awards program for many people, probably because the movies, at their best, make audiences feel things about themselves and life that other media don't bring into focus as completely or effectively. Only books, I would argue, do a better job.