The people who produced the Grammys, as in the broadcast, are not the Recording Academy. They have to work with the Recording Academy, obviously, but they’re not responsible for how the Recording Academy manages the Grammys, like the actual awards. So you can have a conversation about how the show looked, and its production value, and also a separate conversation about the Grammys as an institution, and the criticism about the integrity of the awards.
So on the show itself, as I wrote last week, I appreciate the effort, I appreciate that they tried to put together an event with these limitations. It certainly wasn’t lazy. Not all of it worked, but it’s obvious that they went for it, that the ambition was undeniable. Unlike, for example, the Golden Globes, which I’m still mad about. Because when you’re working with that kind of budget, there’s no excuse for how lazy that show was. The 2021 Grammys were Anne Hathaway to James Franco’s Golden Globes.
The show was muuuuuch too long though. Three and a half hours was long enough, and they overshot that by almost 20 minutes. Part of the reason was the inclusion of those record of the year profiles. Usually, during a live broadcast, you don’t want to cut to a non-performance taped piece. The whole point of live is stay live – or, in these times, as live as possible. Those edits weren’t just time-suckers, then, they were energy suckers. And this is probably where the production team had no control because of demands from the Recording Academy. I can’t imagine people with this much television experience (Ben Winston, who EPs James Corden’s show is one of them) would come up with that on their own.
And that pulled focus from what I think was a really well-produced show. They made great use of that space, that stages-in-a-round setup where artists would watch others perform. There was an intimacy to that energy that really came through the screen for me. It felt …exclusive. Like rehearsal. And I know, the whole point of rehearsal is that it’s just a set-up for live but also? Rehearsal is usually no access. So what they were giving us was the closest facsimile of that experience. There was a moment, for example, during Dua Lipa’s performance when the cameras cut to Bad Bunny, who had a drink going right after his own set, and that’s the groove they were going for. It worked for me. And the presentation area worked for me too. The way you could hear the traffic in the background, and how the speeches felt like it was high school assembly, or an outdoor wedding, all of that made me laugh.
What worked for everyone, I think, is Harry Styles as the show opener. If there were doubters before the weekend, there should be no doubt now. He is an electrifying performer. And sexy as f-ck, my GOD. This is the moment that had to be GIFed, non?
grammy nominated harry styles dancing. that's it. that's the tweet. https://t.co/IMYfVLSdOW— coly (@harryzstan) March 15, 2021
More Grammys coverage to come. And Oscar nominations. And JLo.
Yours in gossip,