February 11, 2013

Grammys.

I have no interest in this topic. I mean I was slightly interested in this photo of Ellen DeGeneres aiming her nose at the "keyhole" opening of Katy Perry's dress and in the fact that Lena Dunham has a boyfriend and he's in a band that had the "Song of the Year." And I'm interested in speculating about whether it was because of the Grammys that they ran such an atrocious episode of "Girls" last night. (The last few episodes of the show had been great, but this one descended into real estate porn: The girl gets a boyfriend seemingly for the purpose of letting us see all the rooms in his expensive house. Oh, that wasn't all there was. There was Lena Dunham — in one of said rooms and in nothing but her panties — playing ping pong. That carried forward the show's theme of really awkward nakedness. That's why I had to correct myself after I said "I might as well be watching HGTV.")

56 comments:

Mitchell the Bat said...

I hadn't known that Katy Perry had such nice teeth.

Nonapod said...

These kids with their hipping and hoping, it ain't nothin but clicks and whistles I tell ya. Get off my lawn before I blow your fool heads off.

Surfed said...

Vis a vis Ellen - People'e eyes go to where they find interest. Last month I taped a Hershey Bar wrapper to my chest in the teacher's lounge. EVERY woman teacher that came in immediately laser focused on the chocolate wrapper. I had to tell each one of them "my eyes are up here". Lot's of bemused laughter and smiles. You look at what you like. As the Aussies say, - Good on Ellen.

Jay said...

I have no idea who Lena Dunham is, but she is hideous and fat.

Ann Althouse said...

"I have no idea who Lena Dunham is, but she is hideous and fat."

That's why it's so edgy when she plays ping pong in her panties.

And when (spoiler alert) she walks away from the handsome doctor with the lovely brownstone.

EMD said...

Downton Abbey stretched the suspension of disbelief with its kid glove treatment of a gay man in early 1920s England, while the Grammys stretched the suspension of disbelief by giving Best Rock Album to The Black Keys nine years after the release of Rubber Factory.

AprilApple said...

Hollywood. Just say no.
A pathetic pack of self-congratulatory rich people slapping each other on the back, crying on cue and handing each other golden statues. Again. No thanks.

TosaGuy said...

There is some quality music being made right now. There is also a whole bunch of over-voiced, hyperactive crap that we will be embarrassed to listen to 10 years from now....sort of like hair metal in the 80s.

EMD said...

Oh, and what is this 'traditional pop' vocal performance album bullshit?

Just an excuse to give another Grammy to Paul McCartney.

lgv said...

We will look back in a few years and ask, "Who or what was Gotye?"

The good news is that there really are some true musicians out there creating some good and interesting music, rooted in different genres such as folk, bluegrass, alternate, and to a lesser extent country.

While Kelly Clarkson will get awards, Florence Welch is the true talent.

The rebirth in real music includes The Black Keys, Civil Wars, Avett Brothers, Imagine Dragons, Lumineers, Green River Ordnance. So little of it leeks into places like the Grammy's. Oddly, they get picked up more for TV commercials.

EMD said...

While Kelly Clarkson will get awards, Florence Welch is the true talent.

I love Florence & The Machine, but Clarkson has pipes and can write a hook.

Basta! said...

Yeah, I have no interest in the Grammys either, but I did notice elsewhere a different picture of Dunham with her *boyfriend* --- here, it looks as if he's frozen up, about to pull back from her public kiss --- and what struck me is how overall ugly she looks, which is even more striking because she is at a high-profile glamor event. Do you think this is deliberate, some sort of hipster ironic pose, or can she simply not help it? A solid canary yellow dress with a blousey cinched waist is guaranteed to make a chunkster look even fatter. Add to it the arm tats, the styleless hair. . . She's presenting herself as the quintessential dumpy broad. A dumpster. Dive in, boys.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Hey, I want to know why none of the Grammy nominees in classical chamber music were "traditional" ensembles like string quartets and piano trios, and why nothing in that category was from before the 20th c. (unless you count the Modern Mandolin Quartet's pathetic arrangement of part of Dvorak's "American" quartet on their album).

But this is not the sort of thing people think of when they think of the Grammys, is it? You have to scroll down a loooong way on the list on the official site to get to the classical-music entries.

Jay said...

That's why it's so edgy when she plays ping pong in her panties.

I'm happy there is so much about pop culture I don't know.

Carol said...

I am a musician but I never watch these things...I hate all award shows because I cringe at the speechifying, and the music performance is plastic and overwrought. There seems to be no demand for just, people playing music live. It's all circus acts now.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Carol,

I think awards shows are the exclusive video material provided in Hell. All I do is read the lists the next day.

Ann Althouse said...

"Do you think this is deliberate, some sort of hipster ironic pose, or can she simply not help it? A solid canary yellow dress with a blousey cinched waist is guaranteed to make a chunkster look even fatter. Add to it the arm tats, the styleless hair. . . She's presenting herself as the quintessential dumpy broad."

Yes. It is intentional. Her thing is to make us feel uncomfortable with her... and maybe more free within ourselves.

The dress must be a joke. You get a clear view of the zipper that reveals it's a cheaply constructed garment. It looks like a vintage mother-in-law-dress for a middle-class wedding.

EDH said...

Okay, I'll go out on a limb here.

I'm not sure that last episode of "Girls" wasn't a dream sequence.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Dunham in the next episode, still working in Grumpy's, startled out of a day dream fantasy she entered when seeing that yuppy arguing with her manager.

It had all the indicia of a TV daydream fantasy:

1.) The absolute ridiculousness of the the guy in his position falling head over heals for her, begging her to stay, etc.

2.) He was an archetype: the guy was the actor who had an affair with Kate Winslet in "Little Children".

3.) The absolute zero contact with her friends during the entire stay at his brownstone.

It would be a good set-up to Dunham's character confronting her bourgeois needs rather than her idealized bohemian aspirations, which has been an undercurrent in her character development lately.

Ann Althouse said...

I remember the original Grammy events, which go back to 1958, not long after the rock and roll era began. They just pretended that rock and roll didn't exist for the longest time. I therefore grew up thinking Grammy = obtuse and beside the point. When I cared the most about new music, the Grammys weren't there. I've never cared about the Grammys, and now new music means close to nothing to me, so there is no way the Grammys can get off my shit list.

EDH said...

Not only no contact with, but no appearance by, any of the other characters in the show.

None of the other story lines were developed.

Was it all in her head?

Oh, and the topless ping-pong.

Ann Althouse said...

"I'm not sure that last episode of "Girls" wasn't a dream sequence."

I entertained that theory too.

"The absolute zero contact with her friends during the entire stay at his brownstone."

That's the main thing that struck me. Now, I mostly think they just wanted to bank an extra episode that they could show in a pinch if they weren't done working on the next real episode (real, meaning an episode that advances the overall narrative of the season).

The idea that Hannah is having isolated adventures so she can write articles about them is a component of the season's narrative that allows these one-off stories to fit (in an ungainly yellow dress kind of way).

It's very similar to the way dream sequences work, and it's the equivalent of a dream sequence, but it wasn't actually a dream.

EDH said...

Day Dream Believer

Oh, I could hide 'neath the wings
Of the bluebird as she sings.
The six o'clock alarm would never ring,
But six rings and I rise;
Wipe the sleep out of my eyes.
My shavin' razor's cold and it stings.

Cheer up, Sleepy Jean.
Oh, what can it mean
To a daydream believer
And a homecoming queen?

You once thought of me
As a white knight on his steed.
Now you know how happy I can be.
Oh, and our good times start and end
Without dollar one to spend,
But how much, baby, do we really need?

Cheer up, Sleepy Jean.
Oh, what can it mean
To a daydream believer
And a homecoming queen?

Cheer up, Sleepy Jean.
Oh, what can it mean
To a daydream believer
And a homecoming queen?

Cheer up, Sleepy Jean.
Oh, what can it mean
To a daydream believer
And a homecoming queen?

Cheer up, Sleepy Jean.
Oh, what can it mean
To a daydream believer
And a homecoming queen?

EDH said...

"Together, they're perfect."

Go Hannah?

Bob R said...

The Grammys haven't stopped being slow on the uptake. For instance, Mumford & Sons weren't even nominated for the 2009 album Sigh No More (though to give the Grammys credit, they were at least nominated for the song Little Lion Man). They win album of the year this year for Babel I personally don't think it's as good as the first album, but at least it isn't taking the Grammys forever to find out what is going on.

mishu said...

That tat on her arm is hideous.

Methadras said...

Katy Perry looked really good. Toned down, demure, yet that dress looks really good on her.

EMD said...

now new music means close to nothing to me, so there is no way the Grammys can get off my shit list.

It's a mistake to not partake in things that are new.

Or are you done growing and learning?

sane_voter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chickelit said...

I'd rather watch fully clothed, uptight people on "Downton Abbey."

sane_voter said...

All I caught of the Grammys was the "in memorium" followed by a great performance of "The Weight" that was nearly ruined by whatever Mavis Staples said/sang/grunted at the very end.

almost all the performances can be found
here

Alex said...

So I guess the professor is not into dubstep.

Methadras said...

Alex said...

So I guess the professor is not into dubstep.


She secretly listens to Skrillex.

Petunia said...

I really liked Katy Perry's dress; the color and the neckline embellishments (no, not the boobage!) were very pretty IMHO.

I watched "Girls" for the first time last night. Wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I was not impressed. From the OTT reaction of the cafe owner to the ridiculous excuse for a plot to the gratuitous nudity, it just wasn't very good.

On the one hand I admire Lena Dunham for going nude with her chunky, oddly-shaped figure and hideous tattoos. Too many people like plastic, too-thin women. But OTOH the nudity didn't advance the plot at all and seemed mostly exhibitionist to me.

Jana said...

My take on last night's Girls:

Dream or not, it's an isolated experience outside the normal milieu of the show, designed expressly for Hannah to learn a truth about herself -- EDH called it her "bourgeois needs."

Typically self-possessed, she never gets Joshua's name right, and she insists that her pain is always more acute than anyone else's (the story about her babysitter maybe touching her inappropriately versus Joshua's story he told in response). But she still had an epiphany, of sorts.

The nakedness is starting to feel Game of Thrones-ey, where you're like, "Oh, come on, really?" But I guess she's deconstructing onscreen nudity, so OK.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Last night's Girls was the best episode of the season so far, and better than most from season 1. Brilliant and perfect.

Baron Zemo said...

Katy Perry's dress is in the color of the season (spring) as determined by Pantone. Unfortunately it is a color that would not work for most women who do not have the time or money for personal trainers, nutritionists and expensive plastic surgery.

You are going to see a bunch of knock-offs of that dress in the stores soon and it will not be pretty.

Baron Zemo said...

Adele's dress was made by Valentino and while they had the right idea still made about ten glaring errors in the execution of the transformation of that dress into plus.

It was great to see her wear something other that basic black.

Baron Zemo said...

Lena Dunham could have dressed properly and looked a million times better but she dressed as she writes....with a big fuck you to normal boushy Americans who she delights in mocking in her condescending hipster douchebag way.

Which is fine.

We were all young once.

Baron Zemo said...

Actually I think her boyfriend would rather be dating Leon Durham!

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Clyde said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Clyde said...

My favorite new album is Susan Kane's A Word Child, which came out in November.

Here is a live performance of one of the songs on the album, "Paulita's Lament". My favorite song on the album is "Black Roses," but there's no video for it so this will have to do if you'd like a sample of her work.

Alex said...

Why am I not shocked that uber-lefty Zach loves Girls?

Baron Zemo said...

He is their target audience.

SteveR said...

Why they don't matter:

In 1979, A Taste of Honey won Best New Artist over a group which included Elvis Costello and The Cars.

EDH said...

Althouse: I entertained that theory too.

Not so fast... "That is my theory, it is mine, and it belongs to me, and I own it, and what it is, too."

Sigivald said...

And people wonder why viewership is down?

(I'm with AprilApple.

I don't watch any of it, because it's not even amusing, let alone interesting in any other way.)

el polacko said...

i was pleased that, at least, there was an emphasis on pop, country and idie-rock rather than the rap and hip-hop of recent years. both jack white's performance and the song by fun. were high points.
as for the relationship between the fun. fellow and that hideous lena person, it's much more likely that she is a trendy friend who happens to be a girl rather than a girlfriend, no ?

el polacko said...

p.s. never been much of a katy perry fan, but i must say that she did look terrific last night.

furious_a said...

Oh, and the topless ping-pong.

Yaarrr, that one's going to replace the white whale in me nightmares.

If Girls were set in New Orleans they'd throw beads at her to keep her clothes ON.

AlanKH said...

mean I was slightly interested in this photo of Ellen DeGeneres aiming her nose at the "keyhole" opening of Katy Perry's dress

"I am the Keymaster! The Destructor is coming. Gozer the Traveler, the Destroyer."

William said...

There's only a brief window where one is aware and appreciative of pop music. At a certain age, you turn to Mozart or Sinatra or whoever for balm.....I suppose there must be some rap singers with real talent, but I just know there's nothing in it for me. Lately, I've been getting into the patter songs of Gilbert & Sullivan. Those guys are where it's at.

Alex said...

William - I suggest you check out some 1980s pop.

Chris Althouse Cohen said...

I might want to watch last night's episode again. I watched it thinking something big was about to happen, and now that I understand what she was going for, maybe I'd like it more. It was a surprising break from the tone of the series and from the rest of the characters, but it did have some artistic quality.

*spoilers*

I don't think it's a dream sequence but maybe you're supposed to feel like it might as well be a dream. She escapes from the reality of her life and briefly experiences this near-perfect house/guy/etc, only to realize that she is too full of emotion and too artistic to stay there. It connects with a running theme of the show that I'm having a hard time putting into words. Anyway, I think the episode is supposed to be like an arty short film, disconnected from the rest of the series.

But I'm not sure it worked. Part of the problem was the lack of real chemistry between the two actors. I suspect Patrick Wilson (who had plenty of chemistry with Kate Winslet during their numerous sex scenes in Little Children) just wasn't attracted to Lena Dunham. But the bigger issue is that I think she could have done everything she did in this episode much more succinctly and had some side stories with the other characters, which would've been much better. She takes too long to make her point, and it's the same point she made in the episode where she went back to Michigan and in the episode where Jessa leaves her rich husband. Why not have the serious arty stuff mixed together with a funnier story with Shoshanna or Jessa or Marnie?

Ann Althouse said...

I liked the allusion to "The Great Gatsby," when the guy guessed her name to be Daisy and then later she was interacting with his shirts.

chickelit said...

Wow! ZPS and CAC both rave about the same show.

I guess the Baron was right.

My wife and daughter are enjoying Joan's snark more than the show itself.

jr565 said...

Showtime shold make a show called Boys where the guys date archetypes of the girls on Girls and show how those girls are pretentious spoiled princesses who,the guys use for sex and then stop taking their calls.