Monday, February 6, 2017

Gaga Was Good and So Was the Game

I can't lie.  I thought Atlanta was going to win the Super Bowl last night.  What an exciting match.  The first Super Bowl game ever to go into overtime because the score was tied.  At halftime,  the score was 28 to 3 with Atlanta in the lead.  Then there was a musical extravaganza halftime show.  Then it was "Houston, we have a comeback."  The Patriots rallied.   The game was tied.  Then overtime.   Then the Patriots won 34 to 28.  I hadn't been so stunned since CRASH took the Oscar for Best Picture over BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN. Thrilling game. Great halftime show.
Today on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, an entertainment contributor weighed in on Lady Gaga's Super Bowl halftime show.  Forgive me for not remembering the gent's name.  This was between 7:30 and 7:45am.  He's a classy, silver-haired gent.  Sharp guy.  Good contributor.  He wanted something provocative from Lady Gaga.  Some political gut-punch moment.  Something more.  Mikael Wood of The Los Angeles Times pretty much felt the same way.  He wrote that her 12-minute number "lacked any edge."
Personally, I thought Gaga was flat-out fabulous.  I totally dig her.  I love watching the evolution of her.  Or, rather, the revelation of her talents.  She's gone from the outrageous costumes, such as the meat dress she wore at the MTV Video Music Awards, to a lovely and heartfelt rendition of "The Sound of Music" on last year's Oscars before she respectfully handed the show over to Julie Andrews.  I love her jazzy vocal pairings with Tony Bennett covering standards from the Great American Songbook.

We've been provoked plenty in last few weeks.  Our new President called a U.S. district who disagreed with his controversial travel ban order a "so-called judge."  That has riled both Democrats and Republicans.  In a pre-game TV interview, the President basically praised Putin again.  We recently had Women's Marches all across the country.  Madonna was anti-Trump onstage at one march. She spoke out, dropped the F-bomb on live TV news coverage and sang off-key.  Stars such as Meryl Streep and Ashton Kutcher spoke out on the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards.

We've got the Oscars coming up the end of this month.  We expect more political statements to be made during that awards show.

As an average citizen, I'm at a point now where I wake up early in the morning and I'm a bit afraid to check Twitter for messages.  Why?  Because I fear that Orange Julius Caesar took to Twitter in the pre-dawn hours and wrote something offensive that will make a foreign leader want to attack us.  The evening network news now kicks off just about every day with some White House story that makes millions of us say, What the hell?"

I was just fine with Lady Gaga opening with an all-American message of inclusion and unity and then workin' that Super Bowl stage with a medley of her hits.  It was the breather I needed from the suffocating daily political climate that our country's been in since the inauguration.  Lady Gaga is a disciplined performer who is serious about her craft and grateful for her audiences.  I don't get the criticisms from a couple of guys who wanted more.  She jumped off the stadium roof, flew through the air, danced her butt off with dozens of dancers as fireworks were shot off, she sang live and caught a glittery football.  Please.  Cut Lady Gaga a major piece o' slack and give her the respect she deserves.  Remember Mariah Carey on ABC on New Year's Eve?  She couldn't even walk and do one song live -- and she got the words wrong during the lip sync.

Lady Gaga was so good that I'm now even more eager to see how she's going to follow Janet Gaynor, Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand.  It's been reported that she will take the lead female spotlight in yet another remake of A STAR IS BORN.  Bradley Cooper will co-star and direct.

I guess Hollywood couldn't deal with my idea for the remake:  a same-gender love story with Mel Gibson as an alcoholic fading action movie star ("Norman Maine") and Ryan Reynolds as the young stunt man he discovers and falls in love with as the stunt man ("Victor Lester") becomes Hollywood's new big action star.

You think Hollywood could go for a same-gender love story in a remake of an old Hollywood classic?  I wonder.

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