Did anyone see the TV LAND AWARDS? This has become my new favorite awards show and its no wonder. Donny and Marie sang together! "Little House" star Allison Angrum (Nellie Olson) and "What's Happening" superbrat Danielle Spencer (Dee Thomas) tied for "Most In Need of a Time Out" award! Anson Williams wore shades onstage! There were bountiful cutaways of Charlene Tilton! That's what I call two hours of paradise.
The whole thing is like one big "where are they now" show with fake award categories that suit whoever the channel was able to book that year. Donny and Marie beat the Mandrell Sisters and the Partridge Family for Best Singing Family. It doesn't matter that the Partridge's are fake and that they'll win something else next year when they pay Susan Dey enough money to sing a duet with Sir David Cassidy. (And I will be cheering them on when they do.).
Donny and Marie still have "it" by the way. They have rapport, spunk, humor - everything they had when they were big. Marie has 8 kids now, has put on more than a few pounds, is a doll empresario, and her TV appearances of late are limited to talking about her bouts of depression on "Larry King". But she knows how to work a stage and when she's up there with Donny, it's magic. I read somewhere that dvds of their show are FINALLY coming out this summer. I can't wait.
GOOD TIMES won the "Impact Award" - I don't know if they've ever given that award before but it felt like my birthday watching John Amos, BernNadette Stanis, and the lady who brought Wilona Woods to life - Ms. Ja'net DuBois - all gathered onstage together. Add JJ and "Bookman" and Ralph Carter (Michael) and you have a classic! They all thanked Norman Lear and there were several shout-outs to Esther Rolle. I heart "Good Times" and have always loved Wilona especially.
I will report that amidst a sea of Shelly Long and the (now butchered) ladies of DALLAS, the two best looking, most well preserved ladies of the night were BernNadette Stanis, who played big sis Thelma, and my girl Ja'net DuBois. Temporary Layoffs? Good Times! Scratchin' and Sur-vi-vin'? Good Times! Aint we lucky we got 'em? YES! How long did it take the GOOD TIMES cast to accept their kudos? I know it was longer than the :45 it took on TV, that's for sure. Everyone's speeches are edited to death, which leaves one wanting to see the REAL train-wreck that transpired on the night the show was taped.
The sad headline of the night is that Maureen McCormack has gained some serious weight. Why am I so upset by that? Isn't it her right? I don't know but I've been obsessing about it. Is there something more I need to know? Is there something that I can do? Can Marcia be....heavy? The show ended with a performance by Diana Ross. Wow. I've only watched her performance twice so I haven't really fully digested it yet but I will report the following:
** Miss Ross had a flawless hair system in place where, in her situation, is overwhelmingly more skyward afro than side-to-side mess that keeps getting in her eyes.
** Miss Ross sang a medley of sorts that began with "Touch Me in the Morning", continued with "The Boss" (!!!), which segued to "Do You Know (where you're Going to)" and wrapped up with "Ain't No Mountain High Enough"
** I wish I could say it was a great performance but I was "underwhelmed" as Mr. Kors would say. Was she hoarse? I'm just so glad for the experience that I might not be too upset (although I secretly am.)
** Miss Ross sported a classic sequin dress with some sort of boa-meets-chiffon-meets-stole sort of thing that she flailed around, dropped, picked up, twirled, dropped again, and then picked up at the end and carried offstage like a person at the end of the show.
** The cutaways of the audience were surreal. Charlene Tilton loved it. Linda Gray loved it. The "Good Times" table loved it. Some lady cried. Patrick Duffy was "in" but Shelly Long was not. Hard to know what was going on inside Mary Tyler Moore's head, but isn't that always the case? I'm off to buy GOOD TIMES on dvd.