LOS ANGELES – Where's Kanye West when you need him?
Sure everyone goes up in arms when someone like West does something unexpected onstage, but without the spice of scandal, award shows can turn into real yawners.
Exhibit A: this year's Academy Awards, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris. Without any major meltdowns, wardrobe malfunctions or politically incorrect gaffes, viewers were largely unimpressed.
Here is a sampling of opinions from across the Twitterverse.
@rosannascotto no joan rivers..boring oscars...Neil Patrick Harris so boring he had to resort to the underwear
— Rosann (@ROSANNA25) February 23, 2015
Congratulations to Neil Patrick Harris, producers for making a boring, unfunny #Oscar snooze fest
— Chuck Mirarchi (@DisneyJournal) February 23, 2015
— Neelima Kulkarni (@starneelima) February 23, 2015
As the evening continued on, several members of the media positioned backstage observed that Harris seemed to realize he wasn't hitting the high notes, and was becoming increasingly frustrated with himself.
"There needs to be a hashtag campaign #bringEllenback," one person quipped, referring to last year's surprisingly successful host Ellen DeGeneres, while another said that it's more on-point for the Academy to hire new show writers.
"The producers would love to think that the awards show is only about who wins an Oscar. But because there are only a handful of awards that the public really cares about, it's the unscripted moments and reactions that usually make the headlines and what people talk about the next day," Glenn Selig, crisis communications expert and CEO of Selig Multimedia told FOX411. "Without that sideshow, the Oscars seem canned."
Most of the ire was vented at host Harris.
"Perhaps the only person who didn't seem entirely prepared was Neil Patrick Harris... Harris had been pre sold as an expert live host, and yet seemed, befuddlingly, stymied by the exigencies of hosting," wrote TIME Magazine. "Whether it was his stumbling repeatedly over names or his truly uncomfortable segues, Harris seemed to violate the awards ceremony host's mandate: first, do no harm. A star who had in every other setting appeared gleefully eager was, at the Oscars, glum and low energy."
"He sang, he danced, he walked onstage wearing only his underwear and he engaged in some humorous wordplay," The Hollywood Reporter noted. "But he managed to stumble over the names of some of this year's presenters."
Decider.com even went as far as to ponder whether the actor and musical theater sensation fell victim to the dreaded "Oscars Host Curse," whereby irrespective of one's past experience, they bomb on the four-hour show.
But it may not have been all Harris' fault. Long before the arguably "flat" Oscars ceremony, early rumblings anticipated that the show would take a ratings hit, as the offbeat crop of smaller films which dominated the nominations from "Birdman" to "Whiplash" to "Boyhood" - weren't box office hits.
Selig did point out that overall, while scandal sells, those tiny touching moments wield plenty of power with audiences too.
"The speech from Graham Moore for 'The Imitation Game' was a standout," he said. "Unexpected, moving moments like that make the Oscars worth watching."
The young writer, who took home the golden statue for Best Adapted Screenplay used the stage to give a powerful speech shedding light on mental health, depression and suicide awareness.
"I tried to commit suicide at 16 and now I am standing here. I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she doesn't fit in anywhere," he told the star-studded Hollywood crowd. "You do. Stay weird. Stay different, and then when it's your turn and you are standing on this stage, please pass the same message along."
Hollie McKay has been a FoxNews.com staff reporter since 2007. She has reported extensively from the Middle East on the rise and fall of terrorist groups such as ISIS in Iraq. Follow her on twitter at @holliesmckay