grammys mean nothing. nothing!

Little late today, but here we go:

oh wait, nbc is still on the air?

oh wait, nbc is still on the air?

And so it begins. Perhaps we’re being a little too extremist over what the implications of the Comcast-NBC Universal merger — either thinking that face of entertainment will change completely or not change at all — but the only thing for sure is that there will be some changes, somewhere. I outlined a bunch of the changes I thought would be coming, but I’m in the camp that this is a good thing. How could it not be? Unless you’re a competing company with Comcast — which, I guess I am, as an employee of News Corp. — you’re probably going to love everything that’s going to change in your TV viewing habits. Shows will be available OnDemand quicker, online quicker, on your phone quicker. Universal movies will show up on cable channels like USA and SyFy quicker, possibly even circumventing premium channels like HBO and Starz and going straight to USA. Especially the second-tier movies — Land of the Lost, Couples Retreat — could show up on cable before anywhere else. The one thing that makes this so dangerous is Comcast’s historically bad competitive relationship with both DirecTV and Verizon. Those companies now NEED Comcast even though they’ve been trying to circumvent the cable giant for years. Just don’t expect it to happen anytime soon.

Since the Grammy nominations were announced last night, it’s time for the annual PopRox Grammy Joke — “Hey, I think I got nominated for one!” There are just too many nominees in too many categories to take this awards show seriously. Music is changing all the time, with new genres seemingly created overnight, so it stands to reason that you need more categories. It’s not fair when someone like EPMD has to compete for best record with Aerosmith. Those are two different kinds of music. But there has to be some kind of limit because we’re at the breaking point here, people. The Oscars would never add a “Best Comedy” category, so why do the Grammys have to add “Best Metal Record” or “Best Alternative Song” category? Whatever. I’ll treat it the same way this year that I treat it every year — by not giving two turds about it.

Except for the Best New Artist category, where Silversun Pickups — a band I like a lot — got a nomination. Huh? You mean the same Silversun Pickups who had a hit alternative song in 2006? And that was such a hit that Fox used it in all of its promotions for the 2008 MLB All-Star Game? Those Silversun Pickups? Same for MGMT. I remember them doing Time to Pretend on Letterman in January of 2008.

I think I remember hearing it on Gossip Girl later that year too. It was used in the trailer for the 2008 movie Sex Drive. How does that make them new artists of 2009? Whatever the rules are for Best New Artist — the same rules that kept Lady Gaga from being nominated — need to be changed. Isn’t that just a tad insulting when bands that have been around for a couple years get a Best New Artist nomination? “Maybe you were around for a while, but we didn’t notice you until now. So technically, since we’re the smartest people in the world, you’re new.”Years ago, baseball writing god Peter Gammons started the trend where he wouldn’t vote for Japanese players for Rookie of the Year because it insults the Japanese league and what those players accomplished there. I didn’t necessarily agree with his stance in that case, but I most definitely agree with the premise of that now. The Grammys are telling you that whatever the bands did at clubs and on personal record releases didn’t matter, but once they hit it big, then they matter. That’s crap and it’s why people just don’t care about the Grammys.

Now this is more like it. A pure, virginal awards event that hasn’t been tainted by commercialism and outside pressures — as long as you’re talking about the Sundance Film Festival of 1995 and not 2010. But for all its excesses and its Hollywood-invades-Utah reputation, it’s still the one film festival I’d love to visit. This one looks like it might be better than last year, when not much came out of the fest that’s made it to theaters other than Precious.

No surprises here as Sons of Anarchy is coming back for a third season, likely the week after Labor Day, the same time it’s premiered the last two years. Better news is that all the series regulars are coming back for the third season — this is about the time when broadcast networks and their broadcast network dollars start calling. It’s a fantastic ensemble and would be hurt by any major cast departures.

Some other shows are starting to look dangerously close to cancellation — like Heroes and Ugly Betty. It’s no secret Heroes has been hemorrhaging viewers for two years, and ABC moving Ugly Betty to Friday — where it predictably tanked — was a disaster. It looks like last-ditch time for both of these shows to start pulling out everything in their bag of tricks if they want to stay on the air next year. But from the ratings, it doesn’t seem like many people would care.

ok, you got me. i'll watch.

ok, you got me. i'll watch.

Speaking of shows being set up to die, we bring you the remnants of Chuck (returning Jan. 10) which will be coming back on Mondays at 8, the same time slot that nearly destroyed it last year. Oh, those smarties at NBC. It isn’t enough to nearly kill, a show, you have to make sure you stab it repeatedly and call the coroner too. Maybe Chuck will have to be killed the same way Vigo was finally killed in Ghostbusters 2 — poisoned, stabbed, shot, hung, stretched, disemboweled, drawn and quartered. but, as long as Yvonne Strahovski stays in the cast, I’ll at least check it out every now and then.

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