KRISTY: I too love when they do big showy musical numbers. I still revisit the Jackman-Hathaway clips from 2009. But MacFarlane's nostalgic affection for showtunes isn't enough to win me over. I find his sense of humor cynical and smug, and I don't want that at the Oscars.

KATEY: I agree about that in the vacuum, but the Oscars are also inherently smug, and they could use a little cynicism Hosts throughout the years have had a really hard time balancing gosh-I'm-just-so-glad-to-be-here enthusiasm (Anne Hathaway) and knowing humor (Jon Stewart), and if MacFarlane channels his love of Old Hollywood but throws in a few jokes (he does occasionally have them!) he could balance that well. After all, he's just had a huge hit movie-- he doesn't want to get up there and bite the hand that feeds.

KRISTY: I don't agree that cynicism is a valuable asset to the Oscars. I totally admit they've grown staid, but the way to fix that is through the nominations, not picking a smartass to host.

I do think his awe of Hollywood will keep him from biting the hand that feeds him, as you put it, but for me it's not even so much what he will actually do, it's that the Oscars picked him at all. If they wanted broader appeal, there are better choices.

KATEY: Oh Lord, asking the Oscars to fix their nomination process is a way, way harder thing than picking the right person to host-- I'm just grateful when Clint Eastwood doesn't automatically win Best Picture every year.


KATEY: As for the broader appeal question, I agree that it's stupid for the Academy to constantly try to find someone "young" and "hip" to host-- as if the choice of host really matters that much, or anybody is going to tune into 4 hours of the Oscars just to see the monologue from the host. I'd be genuinely happy with Billy Crystal hosting every year.

But as choices to reach out to younger audiences go, MacFarlane isn't that bad. And with the low expectations we're giving him, he's almost guaranteed to do better than we expect-- which at least takes us out of Franco/Hathaway debacle territory And even if he's bad, isn't that part of the fun of watching the Oscars? It's a group run by old people constantly tripping over itself trying to appeal to everybody.

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