Let's talk "Pre-Show" first. It's the last pre show before the Millennium, as Joan kept yelling at us.
Joan Rivers and her "Mini-Me" daughter Melissa hosted the E! Pre-Show again. Joan brays "Missy, Who have you got???" Missy grabs at, dismisses, and fawns over the steady stream of celebs who venture her way, twirls them around, and sticks her finger down her throat. The amazing part of this exercise in humiliation is how many stars are incredibly gracious to Joan and Missy, despite the awkward on-camera encounters.
This, of course, serves a purpose by making the star feel magnanimous and superior while allowing the rest of us to be voyeurs.
On those days when we are tough on ourselves, don't we all need a Missy Rivers in our face now and then to remind us how fabulous we really are in comparison to her?
The only real joy for TV-watchers is in watching the stars squirm. You don't even care about the clothes anymore. It's much more exciting to witness social awkwardness.
I mean, who cares about the black dress Julia Roberts was wearing? Far more interesting was Joan fawning over Benjamin Bratt and asking Julia (a nominee herself, but this seemed to elude Joan) how it felt "that this is not about you?"