GRAMMY NIGHT — A better than usual show for sure, but it was certainly not anywhere near The Brits (the U. K.’s Grammy-show); but I think that’s more producer’s Ken Ehrlich’s tepid-handiwork more than anything else. He’s been doing this a tad too long and his expertise is waning. His idea of great TV is a duet between two disparate acts. That’s true, but that idea has long run it’s course.
I didn’t care for host’s James Corden’s pratfalls early on; but, seeing Morris Day made it a whole lot better. Adele cleaned up (song, record and album of the year) and Bruno Mars was simple delicious during his Prince-tribute; although seeing him adorned in a purple-Prince getup was at first a little creepy. Bowie went five for five; and the much-hyped Lady Gaga/Metallica duet proved pretty terrific, despite some early on audio issues.
Adele’s George Michael-tribute was terrific and showed yet again what an inspiration Michael was. His music will live on for decades.
We’re also positively chuffed by the Broadway Records win for the cast album of The Color Purple. We’ve raved here about the labels’ Van Dean and his terrific prescient work and we’re quite proud. Regrettably, the presentation was only broadcast on the NARAS-web site, but a win’s a win.
Paris Jackson’s appearance bordered on the bizarre, but it was great seeing Neil Diamond; although only an handful seem to know the words to “Sweet Caroline” and seeing John Travolta is always a treat, as was The Bee Gees tribute, with Barry Gibb sitting front-and-center. And, Ed Sheeran’s new sing, “Shape Of You,” is just fantastic. He performed it on Saturday Night Live, and The Grammys last night. The song’s a winner.
Again, better than average for sure; but Mr. Ehrlich … take another look at last year’s Brits. Gary Oldman’s remarks during a terrific Bowie-tribute were truly moving. Style and grace, that show was pretty perfect through-and-through.
JARREAU PASSES — Sad to report that legendary jazz/pop singer Al Jarreau passed yesterday. Best known for his 1981 hit “We’re in This Love Together” – he died just days after retiring from live performances, his team announced. He was 76. The seven-time Grammy winner abruptly canceled a string of concerts on Tuesday, saying he was hanging up the microphone on advice of doctors.
“We’re in This Love Together” topped at No. 15 on the Billboard charts in November 1981. He also sang the theme to the TV show Moonlighting which reached No. 23 in July 1987.That show, starring Cybill Shepherd, went on to become a smash hit and launched the career of Bruce Willis.
He also sang on the 1985 charity song, “We Are the World.” A true talent and a delightful man … he music will live on. RIP Al.
SHORT TAKES — We watched F/X’s Legion and really enjoyed it. Written and directed by Fargo’s Noah Hawley, it shared some stylistic points with Fargo, but was great for sure. Based on a Marvel comics-title (about a mutant who doesn’t seem to understand, or be able to control, his powers), lead actors David Brenner and Rachel Keller were just stellar. Jean Smart, also from Fargo, is in it, and made a very dramatic appearance near the end of the first show. Ironically, the show it most reminded me of was Stranger Things. Go figure. I’m in … The weekend’s SNL was funny; but enough of Alec Baldwin as Trump. I mean, it’s beginning to border on mean. Melissa McCarthy reprised her Sean Spicer-bit, but wasn’t nearly as funny as her first shot last week. I mean, the genie’s out of the bottle … Micky Dolenz’s weekend show at Chicago’s Arcada Theatre was pretty perfect according to sources on site. SRO as well. His upcoming shows at NYC’s Feinstein’s/54 Below are almost sold-out. March 24, 25 and 29 … As a writer, I always know it’s better to come up with a snappy-headline, as opposed to one that’s not. TV Line last week headlined their Flash review with this title: West Whirled. Pretty sharp for sure. I’m jealous … Watched Lion this weekend and just loved it. Amazing how much the camera loves Dev Patel. Nicole Kidman is terrific too. What a great actress. Also watched Arrival with a stellar take from Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner. Just a terrific, thought-provoking movie all around. Some terrific movies this year for sure. Again, my fave is La La Land, with Noctural Animals a close, close second. The Oscars should be terrific this year.