Everything you need to know to watch the Oscars

Who is this old guy hosting? Why is it suddenly okay to make jokes about racism? Dogs can go to the Oscars?

These may be the questions you ask yourself tonight during the Oscars if you haven’t been following Hollywood closely this season. Not to fret! I’m here with everything you need to know to follow the show and understand all the poorly-delivered presenter jokes.

The Host: Meet Billy Crystal. He is probably your mother’s favorite comedian (I know he’s my mom’s). At the age of 63, this will be his staggering 9th time hosting the Oscars. He brings a polish and sophistication to hosting that was lost last year with the crackhead antics of James Franco and Anne Hathaway. Eddie Murphy was supposed to host the Oscars but dropped out over a disagreement about the choice of this year’s Oscar director.

The Dog: If you didn’t go see The Artist at the Avon last week, then you missed out on meeting the movie’s star: Uggie the dog. Extremely well-trained and coordinated, this dog is destined to do a little dance when The Artist wins Best Picture. P.S.: The Artist is a silent film…  just in case you live under a rock.

The Help: Racism is alive and well in Disney’s picture The Help, nominated for four Oscars including Best Picture. You may say to yourself, Wow, people keep making jokes about racism and Octavia Spencer making people eat poop. Don’t worry; it is only natural. This movie, adapted from a best-selling book, takes place in 1960’s Jackson, Mississippi. Almost all white people are racist and everyone else wears maid uniforms. Viola Davis will win Best Actress as long as Meryl Streep doesn’t swoop her fake British arse in there for another win.

Meryl Streep: The most well-respected actress in Hollywood and the favorite for this year’s Best Actress Award — as she is every year. Meryl Streep holds the record for the actor with the most Oscar nominations — 17!  The Iron Lady could be called her best performance to date. She plays a perfect Margaret Thatcher (former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom). Otherwise, The Iron Lady is generally considered a pretty bad movie with the exception of Meryl’s acting and the makeup that keeps her looking so Margy-licious.

George Clooney: Every person in America wants to bang him, including the Academy. George is the favorite for Best Actor and is nominated for the script of The Ides of March.

Hugo: Hugo, directed by Martin Scorsese, basically just sucks film restoration’s you-know-what. Just know that Georges Méliès is a very famous French illusionist and early 1900s filmmaker.

Old White Men: Like the signers of the Declaration of Independence, the people the make up the Oscar voting committee are almost exclusively white males. This season’s voting group is 94% white and 77% male.Ouch! Looks like the Oscars need their own version of Viola Davis.

Tree of Life: It was real weird. It involved dinosaurs. Spanned generations.

Woody Allen: Married his adopted daughter and has adopted the habit of making wonderful movies. Midnight in Paris is about going back to the 1920s in Paris. Think The Great Gatsby.

Quick notes…  Glenn Close plays a woman playing a man in Albert Nobbs — confused yet? Bridesmaids has two Oscar nominations for best original screenplay and Melissa McCarthy for best supporting actress. Not so bad, funny ladies! Yes, Puss in Boots got an Oscar nom. Don’t worry about the documentaries or shorts… the Academy didn’t watch them, either. Nine movies are nominated for Best Picture? Please, Hollywood is as confused as you are. Just pretend it’s only The Artist, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, The Help, and The Descendants.

The preshow started at on E! hours ago, but the real show is at 7pm EST on ABC. Watch it. It is worth it. I’m sure one grown man will cry when he gets his Oscar.

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