What’s Worth Watching: Sing Along With Neil on The Oscars
87th Academy Awards (Sunday, Feb. 22, 7/6c (4 PT), ABC)
It’s the Everest for any showman, tackling the hosting honors for Hollywood’s biggest and often longest night of self-congratulation. And even if Neil Patrick Harris can’t produce an Oscar moment quite as spontaneous and memorable as last year’s all-star group-selfie with Ellen, we’re confident the song-and-dance chops he’s displayed while hosting previous awards shows — most memorably at the Tonys — will serve this versatile entertainer well. (And if he can keep us entertained even during the Oscar show’s inevitable slow stretches, then he truly is a magician.)
Producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, themselves Oscar winners for the film version of Chicago, plan to keep the night singing with a deep bench of musical guests to support their star in a number of special sequences, with a roster including Jack Black, Anna Kendrick and Jennifer Hudson, in addition to the performances of nominated songs and a tribute sequence led by Lady Gaga. And lest you confuse any of this with the Tonys or the Grammys, there will be awards handed out to various movie stars, directors, writers and producers. (If you’re like me, you’ve still got lots of catching up to do to see many of the nominated films.) Will Birdman or Boyhood win the big prize? Either’s OK with me, as long as we enjoy the show.