Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Look at the Writing Staff for the 2015 Academy Awards Ceremony

Greg Berlanti
It has been awhile since we found out that Neil Patrick Harris was hosting the 2015 Academy Awards Ceremony. With many still excited over what is likely to come from the Gone Girl star and all around host maestro, the news continues to roll out for the people who will be putting on the show. This past Friday, the news was announced of who the writing staff is. While these names likely will not grab you as much as Harris', they still carry with them a particularly exciting weight that will hopefully elevate the show's material to something greater. The following will be a quick rundown of the team that will have the thankless job of writing and entertaining us. Here's a hint: It doesn't feature Bruce Villanch.

Among the names announced, the one with the most importance is Greg Berlanti, who has been chosen as the head writer. Many of you are likely asking "Who is that?" Well, the answer is quite simple if you are a superhero fan or an avid viewer of CW programming. He is a powerhouse of sorts that while writing the lackluster The Green Lantern movie a few years back, he has made his name with TV programs, most recently with the rather enjoyable series The Flash (which he also produces). His resume also includes the shows Arrow, The Tomorrow People, No Ordinary Family, Everwood and Dawson's Creek. Yes, these credits don't exactly sound like Academy material, but he does has a relationship with making compelling TV that appeals almost entirely to a youthful demographic. While being somewhat faithful to the source material, he has made his stories rich with contemporary interests and humor. It may not help the hopes of Harris turning into a song and dance show, but it does feel like a good start.

Andrew Kreisberg is another TV veteran. In fact, he currently works on the same series as Berlanti in a lot of cases. Besides The Flash and Arrow, he has also worked on Fringe, The Vampire Diaries and Boston Legal. Speaking as the two likely have a chemistry already, there's a good chance that their writing will be able to mesh together rather well and they'll be able to piece together something compelling and interesting. The only thing that seems a little odd is that so far, this is very much a CW affair with pinches of superhero throughout. I am almost sure that superhero films will be locked out of Best Picture this year, so that will make their humor a little more creative and interesting.

Still, these wild cards are nothing compared to the\ wild card in the deck: Seth Grahame-Smith. If that name seems the least bit familiar, you will likely know him from the mash-up properties that have recently been coming out. With his name attached to produce reboots of a lot of horror films, he seems even less logical than the previous two. Still, try and find something that isn't interesting about a man whose resume includes Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Tim Burton's Dark Shadows. Yes, they each have a nice level of wit that may work in this context, but the love of supernatural culture so far is a little off putting. Maybe the Academy is working harder than ever to appeal to younger viewers. That makes logical sense why they would decide to hire the author of "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" then.

Finally, there's Michael Green. To run down the credits that have already been discussed, he has worked on The Green Lantern and Everwood. He even goes further back with CW's superhero series with the original flagship origin story about Superman known as Smallville. He has also worked on Heroes, which rounds out the superhero spectrum of early 00's TV comic culture nicely for this list of writers. Together, they form an almost unanimous body of CW writers creating something that will air on ABC. 

What can we gather from this? It looks like Harris will be matched with writers who are just as edgy and up to date as he is. He will likely be bringing a lot of relevant references and seem more appealing than last year's dreadful Ellen Degeneres. If nothing else, this list seems like a whole lot of fun and is a nice mix-up from the regular patterns. Maybe the segments will be more interesting and have something creative to offer. All we can really do at this point is wait and find out.

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