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For the ninth time, that is.

After last year’s fiasco of a performance by James Franco – who would have thought that ironic detachment isn’t a desired quality in an awards show host? – and the recent dropout by Eddie Murphy, the Academy was likely eager to seek out the safest possible choice. And while Crystal drips charisma and embodies a family-friendly schtick (pharmacy jokes, ho-ho!), it would’ve been nice to see Murphy in the spotlight, primed for a comeback with the late praise of his performance in Tower Heist. Hell, there are a million different directions the Academy could have gone. One of the many good late night hosts, a repeat performance from Jon Stewart (who I thought did great) – or Colbert, in character, which would’ve been fantastic – or even relatively new blood like the multi-talented Donald Glover. So while Crystal is likely to be enjoyable, it’s also pretty easy to envision a night of bland comforts. Which, really, is what the Academy defines itself by. I wasn’t even 2 when GoodFellas lost to Dances with Wolves but I’d like to think I was still somehow aware and pissed off.

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