In the South we call it a "country good-bye," that long, drawn out, lingering at the door, endlessly recapping conversation that happens when people need to hit the road, but would really rather stay and keep visiting.
We'll spare you the Gold Rush version of this co-dependent social interaction.
The blog, started 16 months ago, is going on hiatus after nearly 1,000 posts and coverage of events big and small. It bowled right through Emmy, Oscar, Grammy, MTV Movie Awards, Bravo's A-list, every Spike sci-fi and video game kudofest, country music lovefest and BET thank-God-fest.
Wasn't that fun? And wasn't it awesome that the best picture really did win the Academy Award this year?
Never mind that it pretty clearly says, "Year-Round Awards Blog" right up there on the masthead. The times they are a-changin' -- and that logo will have to change with them.
A number of awards blogs are seasonal, and THR is joining those ranks, planning to bring Gold Rush back in the fall in time for the launch of multimillion-dollar awards campaigns for, oh who knows, Quentin Tarantino's Nazi hunt, "Inglourious Basterds," Martin Scorsese's adaptation of Dennis Lehane's "Shutter Island," Johnny Depp's mobster drama, "Public Enemies," or Peter Jackson's much-anticipated version of "The Lovely Bones."
Plenty of movies to look forward to this year -- the next "Twilight!" "Monsters vs. Aliens!" -- and the boxoffice is already off to an amazing start (we're referring to this as the "Paul Blart" Effect). Oscar season 2010 should be packed, packed, with worthy choices and, if we're lucky, at least a few contenders, a la "The Reader," for us to hate on.
Until then, you can always read our voluminous archives. Just kidding. May we suggest a daily dose of Risky Business for your movie fix and The Live Feed for all-things-television. And, keeping it in the Nielsen family, we'll be spouting on BrandFreak, where you can keep up on quirky, weird, effective and lousy tactics that corporate America uses to get you to buy stuff you don't need. Unless, of course, it's entertainment. We all need that right now, maybe more than ever.
Kewpie doll/Welsh singing star Duffy took home a single Grammy the other night for her pop confection "Rockferry," but she romped at today's BRITs in London.
Meanwhile, recent Grammy lords Coldplay left empty-handed.
Duffy, who was seemingly everywhere promoting her record last year and its soulful, licensing-ready single, "Mercy," won best album, British female and British breakthrough artist trophies. She's sold 5 million copies of that CD so far. She went 3-for-4.
Coldplay, on the other hand, went 0-for-4. (They're in good company, with Grammy champ Robert Plant not even registering a nod at the annual music awards.)
Other winners included Kings of Leon, Kanye West, Katy Perry, Paul Weller and Iron Maiden. Iron Maiden?
Peter Gabriel lost the Golden Globe to Bruce Springsteen but picked up two Grammy Awards last week for the music of "WALL-E." Next stop: Oscars.
Well, yes and no.
Gabriel will attend the Oscars, where his song "Down to Earth," co-written with Thomas Newman, is nominated for best original song, but he decided to "withdraw from the ceremony." He says in a video posted on his Web site that he and his collaborators worked "bloody hard" on the music for the lovable trash-compactor flick and don't think it should be reduced to 60-65 seconds.
Oscar producers, trying to keep the show within three hours this year, have been nipping and tucking. Gabriel's fine with that and all, but he's decided to stage a mini protest because he doesn't think a mashup of the nominated songs is fair. There are only three, after all. (The other two are from, you guessed it, "Slumdog Millionaire").
The Soweto Gospel Choir, which sings on the animated Oscar nominee's soundtrack, may step in in Gabriel's place.
Catching up on other awards news today...
It was a busy below-the-line weekend, and a busy one for "Slumdog Millionaire" yet again. Its cinematographer, Anthony Dod Mantle, walked away a winner against some formidable competition a the 23rd annual American Society of Cinematographers.
Mantle already has the BAFTA under his belt and won the ASC trophy in a field that included work on "Revolutionary Road," "The Reader," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and "The Dark Knight." More details here.
The Little Movie That Could also swept the Cinema Audio Society's awards Saturday, won for best edited feature film drama at the ACE Eddie Awards ("WALL-E" was the first-ever animated film to win the Eddie musical/comedy) and took the Art Directors Guild Award for production design on a contemporary movie ("Button" won for period flick and "The Dark Knight" for fantasy).
Can there be anybody left out there who doesn't think it'll be a "Slumdog" kind of day Feb. 22?
A couple of famous men who didn't attend the "40th NAACP Image Awards" last night loomed large over the event, but for very different reasons.
In keeping with the trend this season of awards ceremonies doubling as political forums, the show from the Shrine Auditorium included no less than a dozen shout outs to President Barack Obama as evidence, in the 100th year of the NAACP, of how far people of color have come.
"If there had been no N-A-A-C-P, there would be no O-B-A-M-A," co-host Tyler Perry said at the opening of the two-hour telecast.
Pictures of Obama and civil rights leaders accompanied a searing Beyonce performance of her new song, "Halo," and Stevie Wonder started an Obama chant during the closing number, "Black Man," with the packed house on its feet waving a sea of pint-sized American flags.
It's enough to get a viewer all choked up, but more on that later.
As expected, hip-hop singer and Image Award nominee Chris Brown was a no-show but wasn't completely absent, with nosy reporters asking stars on the red carpet about his current legal troubles. Brown is being investigated for an alleged attack on his girlfriend, pop superstar Rihanna.
Celebrities gave a host of innocuous comments along the lines of, "Our thoughts are with them," and Tia Mowry offered up a "hope he goes in a better direction" that came a little closer to the issue.
It was up to the Image Awards producers to handle a delicate situation, namely what to do if Brown won for outstanding male artist. He didn't -- Jamie Foxx did. And the show, either in a prescient move or a lucky one, didn't present that award live. (That was true for a number of honors, even if the winner was in the house; presenters just read the name and moved on).
So that's how they handled it. Deftly done.
And speaking of winners, they ranged from "The Secret Life of Bees" to "Seven Pounds" co-stars Will Smith and Rosario Dawson, "Tyler Perry's House of Payne," "Grey's Anatomy," Jennifer Hudson, Beyonce, current Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson, and Sean "Diddy" Combs. And, not to be left out of any kudofest, "Slumdog Millionaire" picked up some more hardware for best indie film.
There's a whole passel of luminaries -- Magic Johnson, Maya Angelou, Muhammad Ali, Russell Simmons, Will Smith and Queen Latifah among them -- in the mix for trophies at "The 40th NAACP Image Awards."
There's also Chris Brown, the embattled hip-hop artist who's being investigated by the L.A.P.D. for allegedly beating his girlfriend, pop superstar Rihanna. As new details come out today about the couple's possibly violent relationship and the potential charges against him, a question popped up: What if he wins?
Both he and Rihanna have canceled concerts and other public appearances this week, and the two were no-shows at Sunday night's Grammys, where both were scheduled to perform.
Technically, Brown fits the bill of the NAACP kudofest's mandate to "celebrate outstanding achievement and performances of people of color in the arts." But giving him something called the Image Award? Um, that would just seem wrong.
The show's nominations in music, movies, TV and literature came about through industry recommendations that were then churned through specially-created NAACP committees and subcommittees. Any NAACP member could vote online when the nods were whittled to the final five. It looks like the group, kicking off celebrations for its 100th anniversary, retains most of the control over the process.
Brown's fellow nominees -- Common, Jamie Foxx, John Legend and will.i.am -- should probably buff their acceptance speeches, you know, just in case.
Go here for a full list of nominees -- "Seven Pounds"? Really? The show, with hosts Halle Berry and Tyler Perry, airs live on Fox at 8 p.m.
Sure is easy to poke fun at the Jonas Brothers -- go ahead, everybody does it -- and teen queens like Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift.
But it looks like they were at least partly responsible for pulling in some eyeballs for the 51st annual Grammy Awards on CBS on Sunday night. And those would be the important, advertiser-coveted eyeballs (18-34 years old), not the jaded old out-of-the-demo eyeballs (you talkin' to us?).
Not only did the 3 1/2-hour show do well in the ratings overall to the tune of 19.1 million viewers, an increase of 2 million people from last year's record low, but it bumped up its 18- to 34-year-olds by 23% and its 12- to 17-year-olds by 30%.
The lineup of A-list musicians, young and "heritage," pop, rock, hip-hop and country and the full-scale marketing attack by the Recording Academy couldn't have hurt. Neither did the lead-in, which was the "60 Minutes" interview between Katie Couric and the crew from Miracle Flight 1549 where pilot Sully Sullenberger became the Hero on the Hudson.
But don't relax, Oscar producers. This doesn't necessarily mean viewers are over their awards-show fatigue. It just means they had a hankering for T.I., Justin Timberlake, Estelle, Kenny Chesney and/or Katy Perry (dancing in a giant gold lame banana). And you don't have any of those folks. Do you?
It wasn't exactly an Anna Nicole or Elizabeth Taylor or Lauren Hutton awards show moment, but almost. Whitney Houston, looking flawlessly beautiful, helped open the 51st annual Grammy Awards last night with an extended flash of her gam and some incomprehensible comment about boots during an almost coherent presentation.
Shout out to Clive Davis! OK, we got that part. Just not sure about the rest of it.
Mario Cantone, the bitchy comedian always ready to take celebs down a peg, seized on Houston's brief appearance with a rant on this morning's "The View":
"Why can't you go out for five minutes and give an award without taking some kind of catnip? Why? Why?"
He also noticed that one of the Jonas Brothers had "a Peter Brady" moment when his voice cracked as the band performed "Superstition" with pop legend Stevie Wonder. Puberty and chastity belt jokes ensued.
And to show that he's an equal opportunity offender, Cantone asked why the members of Coldplay showed up dressed like The Wiggles.
Paul McCartney didn't really have to win at the Grammys last night -- he didn't -- to loom large over the event. Larger than the Chris Brown/Rihanna domestic situation? Well...
It did for those of us watching from a distance, meaning not at the Staples Center. In fact, it was impossible to overlook the reverence for a raft of rock royalty on display at the 51st annual Grammy Awards. That included Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles nervously giving a shout out to the Beatle from the podium after winning a trophy for her empowered-other-woman song, "Stay."
And Coldplay's Chris Martin apologizing for ripping off Sgt. Pepper's with the band's military-esque getups. (Those are getting old, honestly, or is it just us?)
And a Coachella ad that aired in Los Angeles, and maybe nationally, that touted Sir Paul as the headliner of the three-day May desert music fest.
That's a lotta Paul.
But he wasn't the only veteran who held sway on the event (he performed "I Saw Her Standing There" with Foo Fighter frontman Dave Grohl sitting in on drums, in another trend of the night, mixing icons with younger talent). Robert Plant, whose iconic Brit rock band Led Zeppelin never won a Grammy, took the biggest swag of the night with his "Raising Sand" co-star Alison Krauss, who's now the winningest woman ever in Grammy history (26 awards in all).
Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Neil Diamond, B.B. King -- they all contributed to a show that was more about the performances (thankfully) than the awards themselves (winners were completely predictable).
And speaking of those performances, it would be well worth your time today, dear readers, to track down a few of those on the YouTubes like Al Green (who was a last-minute fill-in because of the Chris Brown/Rihanna cancellations), Radiohead with the USC marching band, show opener U2, and Lil Wayne and Robin Thicke's tribute to New Orleans.
But see our fave below, where a nine-months-pregnant M.I.A. did her best Amy Poehler-on-her-last-"SNL" impression, accompanying the Rap Pack (Jay Z, Kanye West and T.I.). Awesome. And go here for a full list of winners and tons more Grammy coverage.
It's a world where "The Dark Knight" and Will Smith's alcoholic superhero co-exist with "SpongeBob SquarePants" and "iCarly."
It's the yin and yang of being a tween today, where these mini-adults are trying to shed the trappings of childhood and step gingerly into the teen years but, in the meantime, have a foot in both places. It's kind of schizophrenic, as any parent of kids in that age range can no doubt tell you.
For awards season proof of that, look no further than the nominations for the "Nickelodeon's 22nd Annual Kids' Choice Awards." Here we have some of the biggest stars in the business, no surprise there, like Smith, Jim Carrey, Beyonce, Reese Witherspoon and Adam Sandler, who certainly aren't out of their element at the Grammys or the Oscars (OK, Sandler's debatable).
The kids dig Anne Hathaway, just not for the same reason that she's been nominated for an Oscar this year for best actress (for the indie drama, "Rachel Getting Married"). Instead, they preferred her in "Get Smart."
And there are stars that show kids are still kids, despite the toy industry and marketing mantra that says, "Kids Are Getting Older Younger." They are, but apparently they still like the animated gem "The Fairly OddParents," the squeaky clean "Suite Life of Zack and Cody" and all-American fresh-faced singer Jesse McCartney.
They're into the purity ring-wearing Jonas Brothers (hey, judging by record sales, a lot of people are) and Miley Cyrus, despite her latest photo controversy. In fact, they show a lot of loyalty to their pop culture icons, still listing "Zoey 101" as a favorite TV show nominee even after its 16-year-old star Jamie Lynn Spears became an unwed mother.
Then we get back into split personality territory -- T-Pain, Pussycat Dolls, Linkin Park, Katy Perry's bi-curious ode "I Kissed a Girl," bong fan Michael Phelps. And there's George Lopez as a first-time contender for his voice work in "Beverly Hills Chihuahua." Well, no one said they had good taste.
Sociologists, get to work on this, would you?
Go here for a full list of nominees and go ahead and fret (or not) about the psyche of the MySpace generation.
Cast members of the Emmy-, Golden Globe- and SAG-winning series "Mad Men" were back at their Rat Pack best in Vegas this week with '60s-era songs, fan dances and Sammy, Dean and Frank-esque onstage patter.
Glad to see the NATPE convention still believes in its high-powered entertainment.
For a full account of the event -- can't you almost smell the bourbon? -- go here.
So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."
Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."
Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.
Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.
Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)