Weeks on chart: 11 Peak: No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot 100, March 16, 2013 Current radio play frequency: N/A
YouTube hit count: 20,240,160
For a while now, I’ve been forwarding a half-baked theory that Bruno Mars is the reincarnation of Billy Joel. Granted, the seed was probably planted because both men happen to have hit songs called “Just the Way You Are.” But Bruno and Billy are also guys who I would describe as “old pros” — they have a special knack for turning out easy-listening chart-bait that would be popular no matter the era, and performance-wise, they display an affinity for durable show-business pizzazz deriving from the non-rock worlds of the ’50s and ’60s.
As the Grantland staff looks back this week on the highlights of the year in music, TV, film, and sports, we would obviously be remiss if we left out the one medium to rule them all: the Internet. Here are our picks for the best (and worst) of the Information Superhighway in 2012.
"12-12-12," Wednesday night's action-packed Hurricane Sandy relief telethon, offered, for better or worse, more than a few moments worthy of your attention. Let's first remember that, yes, this was all for a good cause, and hopefully enough money was raised so that no hurricane shall ever again dare bring its meteorological phenomena to the New York/New Jersey area. And now, to the highlights! …
All season, Grantland Idol experts Jay Caspian Kang and Mark Lisanti will answer five very important questions after each performance episode. Yes, "all season." That's a really long time, right? It didn't feel quite that long when they agreed to this.
We're down to the "Top" 10. (R.I.P., Shannon Magrane.) Who was the best of this sorry-ass lot on Billy Joel night?
Lisanti: Before I get to the unsavory task of selecting a favorite, I feel compelled to mention that this was one of the more miserable two-hour experiences I've had sitting in front of a television, and this is coming from somebody who live-blogged Human Centipede on VOD. Watching a Teutonic madman (rubber-glove-pound, Dieter Laser, you my junge!) lovingly sew anuses to mouths and then chase his shuffling abomination around a swimming pool like some kind of Mengelized Benny Hill at least made me feel something. Even the DVR skip button didn't help things; I somehow caught up to the live broadcast and then had to slog through the last half-hour in real time, 28 minutes of which was comprised of Coke Zero commercials.