Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Great News About Those Terrible Oscars: You Can Watch Them Again!

oscars seth macfarlaneTwitter and Facebook consensus about last night’s Oscars: Worst ever!

Weirdly, though, all of you seemed to keep watching, or at least typing about it. Presumably so you could warn everyone else about how bad it was?

In any case, this is normally the point where I tell everyone who didn’t watch it that they’re both lucky and unlucky. Because Disney, which broadcast the show on ABC, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which produces the show, aren’t making it available online. Which makes no sense, because all anyone wants to do the day after the Oscars is watch clips.

But not this year! For the first time ever, you can watch the entire show via Web replay. It’s on Hulu right now, up through Wednesday. And supposedly it’s going to be available through ABC and or/the official Oscars site, though I can’t find a link on either.

Also as important, ABC and the Academy have clips of the show’s highlights/lowlights, which you can either watch on the Oscars site itself (weirdly, the video clips are labeled “blogs” there), or share with your pals. Even more progressive (or long overdue) was the fact that some of the clips went up when the show was still airing.

Here, for instance, is the “We Saw Your Boobs” number that host Seth MacFarlane opened with, which seemed to upset all of you so much that you had to keep watching for another 3.5 hours.

Content aside (was all of it like that? I really didn’t see.), this is all good, even if it should have happened years ago. Next step will be getting the clips and streams where people will actually see them: Once again, the Oscar’s day-after presence on the world’s biggest video site is a joke. The show’s official YouTube page is a graveyard of old clips you don’t care about, and searching for clips on YouTube gets you none of what you want.*

One day this will get simpler, because it ought to be a no-brainer. Still: It’s 2013, and you don’t have to break the law to watch a day-old TV show. Progress!

And in that spirit, here’s the first 17 minutes of the show — the part where everyone insisted they would stop watching but didn’t.

*The good news for YouTube is that its ContentID program, designed to automate takedowns of stuff copyright owners don’t want up there, has gotten ultra-efficient.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik