Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Kennedy Center Honors-At Last an Award Show We Can Love

We have done a lot of complaining about the poor quality of Award Show programs this past year. Both the Academy Awards and the Emmy's were disappointing. And even the MTV Video Awards suffered from that psycho comic from the UK.

Last night, CBS aired the Kennedy Center Honors, and it was magnificent. It made me remember what I love about Award programs when they are done right.

The first step to success is to nominate the right people! This year's 2008 honorees could not possibly have been more diverse and worthy. A choreographer (Twyla Tharp) a couple of classic rock legends (Pete Townshend and Roger Daltry from The Who), an accomplished actor (Morgan Freeman) a country singer (George Jones) and a star so Super Nova she defies categorization (La Barbra Streisand). The entire show was, to coin a phrase associated with the latter, "like buttah".

A great deal of thought also went into the performers and announcers, who were all top notch and in many cases, legends of their own. BB King performed, and both Clint Eastwood and Denzel Washington gave terrific homage to Mr. Freeman. The rock Gods from the Who, both praised for coming to the rescue of NYC after 9-11, were introduced by an unusually humble Jack Black and serenaded by a choir of NY police and firemen who performed Teenaged Wasteland! Lily Tomlin introduced Twyla Tharpe and a magnificent example of her dance genius was performed to a Frank Sinatra trilogy. Country superstars Brad Paisley, Randy Travis and Garth Brooks all sang songs to country legend George Jones. The latter was introduced by the first lady, Laura Bush.

Of course, they saved the greatest pop Diva of all time for last. La Barbra was introduced by a very charming Queen Latifah, and sung to by the gorgeous Beyonce who did a lovely version of "People". My only complaint is that every shot of Ms. Streisand in the balcony had James Brolin sitting so close that he appeared to literally be perched on her shoulder.

It was a grand, grand night. You can click on the link above to see some of it streaming on the CBS web site. Sorry I could not find any video to post here, the only good stuff out there in cyberspace has been disabled.

Happy New Year everyone! May your 2009 be happy and healthy and filled with great TV!


Lisa said...

I missed this and as you mentioned, CBS seems to be hellbent on eliminating all video other than their own, which is a HUGE mistake. They ought to be thrilled that anybody wants to watch the footage -- when will these networks learn that it's all about the exposure these days? I will try to find clips and see what I missed -- I have faith that viewers will prevail and that the video will show up SOMEPLACE! :-)
Happy New Year!

Jane said...

It was only sheer dumb luck that I stumbled across it. I seldom watch CBS and I was looking for something to wind down with and scrolling through the channels. I don't think it was promoted very well, which is a shame. And yes, it is truly stupid that CBS yanks the video down. Too bad it wasn't on FOX or NBC, they both "get it" when it comes to online video.

Happy New Year to you too Lisa! I hope you have snow! We are back to 60's and 70's again, oh well.

Dean Treadway said...

I have always respected the Kennedy Center Honors more than any other awards show. If you add the Mark Twain Comedy tribute and, sometimes, the AFI yearly award tribute, you get a trifecta of quality that is unassailable. (That said...MICHAEL DOUGLAS as this year's AFI award winner? They're scraping, when they don't need to be.) I have to see this special. I hope YouTube has it, because any show with Tharp, Freeman, Daltry, Touwnshend, Streisand and the INCREDIBLE George Jones has GOT to be something worth catching! Thanks for the heads up, Jane!