The 2017 Oscars telecast is now only a few days away (Sunday at 5:30pm PT on ABC), and this year, an event that tends towards self-righteously political on its best day threatens to become downright intolerable with barely a month separating us from Donald Trump’s inauguration. You can bet there’ll be numerous smug barbs aimed at Trump, clapplause one liners preaching squarely to the choir, and performative declarations of tolerance and care for the less fortunate. And you know what the worst part about it is? This year, those clapplause one-liners will actually qualify as speaking truth to power.
And then we’ll gag from the pandering, and liberals will scream “Yeah, but it’s true!” (we liberals always think simply being correct is a solution in and of itself), and the Trump folks will be all, “You’re just living in a liberal bubble!” and they’ll both be kind of right, and round and round we go. God, I need a drink already.
That’s where our drinking game comes in. No way you’re going to want to be sober while Yale grad Meryl Streep is brilliantly picking a fight with the nation’s football fans and you can already hear the next day’s Tomi Lahren hot take echoing in your ears. (Honestly, is there any job easier than right wing hot take writer?)
Anyway, Jimmy Kimmel is hosting. Here are the nominees. Here are the odds. I’d list the presenters, but if you don’t want to know, it feels a little spoilery. Suffice it to say, THERE. WILL. BE. PAGEANTRY.
One drink is one drink. Call it a sip, call it a finger’s worth, it’s going to depend on your tolerance and whether you’re drinking beer, wine, banana daiquiris, or scotch. (I would not recommend playing this with scotch.) Whatever, you know what “one drink” is. Be consistent. If you’re in recovery, play with something gross, like Kombucha.
DONALD TRUMP RULE(S)
This is going to come up a lot so we’re going to create three levels.
– One Drink for Indirect References to Trump: Anything with “in the current climate,” “in this political atmosphere,” “In a world where…” Ditto any reference to a wall, immigrants, a travel ban, bathrooms, transgender youth, journalists, “fake news,” alt right, or alternative facts. We’ll call this the “In a World” rule.
– Two Drinks for Semi-Direct References to Trump. As in, “the White House,” “this administration,” “our government,” or the naming of Sean Spicer, Kellyanne Conway, Steve Bannon, M1l0, Stephen Miller, or any cabinet or court nominees.
– Three Drinks if they actually say Trump’s name.
THE ADELE RULE
I didn’t actually watch the Grammys because my eyes can only roll so far, but from what I understand, Adele felt bad for winning fierce diva of the year or whatever for one of her sad sack anthems and onstage, actually gave it up for the true winner in everyone’s hearts, Beyoncé. Obviously we have a bit of a Moonlight vs. La La Land situation going into this year’s awards (FWIW, they’re both wonderful, and I like La La Land slightly better, and I feel a little like Dave Chappelle’s chicken bit, in that I want to believe I like La La Land more because it’s great and not because I’m white).
Ergo, if any of the winners start their speech by saying they’re not worthy or that someone else deserved it more, finish your drink.
THE CELEBRITIES ARE JUST LIKE US RULE
– One drink for anyone caught on camera yawning, nose picking, mowing down food, or doing something klutzy, J-Law style, genuine or not. (For the record, J-Law is ALWAYS GENUINE and she is a delight, and I will fight you.)
These rules never go out of style.
– One Drink for: music playing someone off, a presenter busting out the reading glasses, or stumbling over the prompter.
– Two Drinks for crying. Three if there are actual visible tears.
IN MEMORIAM MONTAGE
– Waterfall. Too many awesome people died this year, so you’re not going to be able to drink from start to finish. Instead, the person with the alphabetically first name starts first, don’t stop drinking until the person directly to your left stops first.
SO, SO BRAVE
– One Drink any time someone uses the word “brave.”
– Two Drinks for “the brave men and women of.
THE JIMMY KIMMEL AND MATT DAMON DO A THING LIGHTNING ROUND
Do you guys know about the Jimmy Kimmel/Matt Damon thing? Yeah, they have a thing. But everyone knows about their thing, and I feel like Jimmy Kimmel knows we know about their thing, and so he might not do a Matt Damon thing just to keep us on our toes. He’s clever like that. Anyway, if Jimmy Kimmel ends up doing a Matt Damon thing, that’s going to initiate a lightning round, after which all drink counts double until the next commercial break.
These probably won’t happen, so if they do, finish a whole drink.
– Someone praises Donald Trump.
– A winner gives it up to his or her personal Lord and savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus rarely shows up at the Oscars, I assume he’s too busy helping the sports people.
– If someone reminds us that all lives matter.
– The “But he was good in Book of Mormon!” rule: chug your drink if f*cking Josh Gad shows up somewhere for some reason. Why is he always everywhere? Leave me alone, Josh Gad.
THE CUMBERBATCH RULE
– If Benedict Cumberbatch shows up on camera, everyone has to squint as hard as they can and shout “CUMBERBATCH!” in their most terrible British accent. Last one to shout has to finish their drink.
That’s it. Enjoy and don’t forget to drink responsibly or whatever.