I don't normally watch the award shows, as I've got better things to do than to listen to a bunch of celebrities fete one another, but we did TiVo the Grammies last night. I'm clearly a dinosaur when it comes to music, as most of my awareness of pop music seems to have ended with the 1990s, though I do know a few recent musicians/groups like Kelly Clarkson, Taylor Swift, Maroon 5, and some others.
In that sense, one would think the Grammies would have even less appeal for me than, say, the Emmys, given my love of TV. However, the Grammies do have one undeniable advantage: musical performances are short enough that they can be done on the show! Of course, just because a performance fits timewise doesn't mean that it fits in any other way.
Like, what exactly was that exorcism song/dance with Nicki Minaj???
Well, because of the Grammies, the ratings were down for my favorite new show, ABC's "Once Upon a Time," but my dual tuner TiVo doesn't force me to choose between two shows. In the episode "Skin Deep," the show delved into the Beauty & the Beast myth, except the "Beast" was Rumplestiltskin. (Belle was played by Emilie deRavin from "Lost.") All I'll say is that this was a fantastic episode -- it moved the plot forward a bit in terms of letting us -- and some of the key characters -- know who exactly knows the truth about Storybrooke and the Fairy Tale Land, and it showed a fully three-dimensional characterization to old Mr. Gold . . . . I've said it before, but this is why I think TV is ultimate a superior form to movies: when done right, TV allows epic serialization that dwarf what movies can accomplish, with the result of much sharper characterization, plot, themes. I'll grant that Michael Bay can do some things with the movie form that TV can't do, but you can only watch flicks like "Armageddon" so many times before you get bored.
And with that, it's time to comment on NBC's "Smash." I might not be the target demographic, but I was intrigued by the pilot episode. (It conflicted with ABC's "Castle" and CBS's "Hawaii Five-0," and I don't have a triple tuner on my TiVo, but fortunately NBC has invested so much into "Smash" that it's rerunning on more or less all of NBC's cable properties, so I was able to record a later showing.) It's a serialized drama about the creation of a musical based on Marilyn Monroe, with Katharine McPhee (from "American Idol") and Megan Hilty competing for the lead role, and lots of detailed backstories of the writing/producing team (Debra Messing and some guy), the director (Jack Davenport, horribly dull in "FlashForward" but appropriately smarmy here), and others. I applaud anything that's not another cops and robbers procedural, and this does show ambition.