Sunday, September 21, 2008

Quick Post-Emmys Thoughts

For the most part, I agree with what everyone has said (or will be saying tomorrow): painfully long show mostly due to the crappy decision to let the five reality nominees host. And just so I can get ahead of the curve: no, they didn't suck because reality shows suck, you silly silly reductive thinkers whose columns and blog posts I can already envision. It's because two of those five (Heidi Klum and Jeff Probst) don't host live events in front of audiences, two more (Howie Mandel and Ryan Seacrest) are painfully unfunny as a rule, and they didn't let the fifth one (Tom Bergeron) do the heavy lifting like they should have. It's was shitty decision making on the part of the producers, I'd say. And, while I do like to bag on Jeff Probst, I do have to say that his acceptance speech was self-aware and, dare I say, gracious. Or as gracious as one can be looking like a groomsman at 4 AM (put on a tie, d-bag).

That being said, speaking solely of the awards winners, this might have been the best Emmys of my lifetime. After starting off the evening inauspiciously with Jeremy Piven's excruciating third-straight win, pretty much every single acting winner was very respectable (Jean Smart, Glenn Close), often my personal choice for best in category -- for real, Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Dianne Weist, Zjelko Ivanek, Mad Men, and 30 Rock all would have gotten my vote. Even the customary Super Shocking Upset, Bryan Cranston taking Best Actor from Jon Hamm and Hugh Laurie, was miles more deserved than your average James Spader win. Well done, Television Academy. Never thought I'd say that.

But the show itself really was bad. I have as much respect for Laugh-In as anyone born in 1980 can, but that shit was painful. No more painful than that mess with Josh Groban, of course. Or that godforsaken clusterfuck of a monologue. The Jimmy Kimmel reality show parody for the reality show host nominees would have been funnier had it not been at the 3-hour mark after the audience had built up so much animosity for those five people. As if Hollywood wasn't already filled to the brim with self-righteous hatred for reality TV.

Anyway, weird night. Good winners. Ricky Gervais was a life-saver. Laura Linney's shout out to community organizers was brilliant. Tiny Fey deserves every accolade she gets. One day Neil Patrick Harris will get his due. And the new TV season begins in earnest tonight. Heroes better goddamn well be good.

13 comments:

Greg said...

I actually thought the Groban think was kind of funny. I do think though that they should stop with the music if your speech goes too long. If you run over 30 seconds they should just cut your mic and go on to the next segment on the other side of the stage.

Also they should drop the TV movie and mini-series awards from the live show. I mean at one point TV movies were a big deal, but now they seem to mostly seem to be either stuff that no one will see, or a trick so that shows that only last one season or are imports can win an award.

Plus why not give out the best guest actor award on the live show, if they are going to spend the time calling them out anyways?

Sarah D. Bunting said...

You think that was boring, you should have been watching the full-culture BJ Yankee Stadium was getting on ESPN. Relief at the appearance of Michael Kay seldom bodes well for any evening's "entertainment" and that was never truer than last night. We get it; it's historic. Hire the wrecking ball and let's all get on with our lives.

Jenn said...

Here's an idea - the previous year's best comedy actor and actress host the show. And then if they're not funny, maybe people will stop voting for them.

And if Tina and Alec decide to bring the rest of the cast of "30 Rock" to help out next year, no complaints here.

Joe Reid said...

My whole thing is: if the presenters are just going to ad-lib jokes about how interminably long the ceremony has been, why do you even need a host? Pick one person to open the show with a monologue, pepper in your Conans and your Colberts as mid-show presenters to ad-lib along the way. It's not hard.

jessica said...

The Groban thing was so terrible/fabulous I can't even think straight. Truly the most bizarre, hilarious, surreal thing I've seen on TV since Paula Abdul stepped into the future on American Idol.

The hosts were so, so bad. Poor Heidi stumbled over every line, I think, and Seacrest apparently can't function if he's not in control of the whole show. Tom Bergeron was the only good thing, but he was barely there. A lot of the time, they just had an announcer introducing the next person on stage, so what the hell is the point of a host anyway? So stupid.

And I am far beyond over Jeremy Piven's slovenly uselessness.

Linda said...

What I liked about it was that it validated my constant insistence that Tom Bergeron kind of fucking rocks, and is a really, really, REALLY underappreciated guy.

Joe Reid said...

My own little bit of completely unfounded speculation is that Ryan was having a total diva fit throughout the whole show. We're already hearing Probst talk a little bit about how that abortion of a show-opening was honestly because the five of them couldn't agree on anything, which I totally think is code for "Ryan wouldn't play ball." He just had that look about him that he wasn't getting his way. Totally unfounded, but I wonder if things will start to trickle out about that whole deal.

Vance said...

I actually loved the Josh Groban thing. Totally hilarious (and you KNEW he knew that it was weird and he just went with it which is why I love the guy).

But yeah. drop the movies/ mini series thing.

Joe Reid said...

I've seen the Josh Groban get some love around the internets as a lovable trainwreck, but I just can't go with it. Thinks-he's-self-aware-and-funny Josh Groban is SO much worse to me than straight-up Josh Groban. It's so desperate for approval that it makes me uncomfortable to watch.

And I'll stick up for the miniseries awards too. That's where I get to see Laura Linney! Don't take that away from me! If I had to hear about all those Angels in America wins from a nontelevised ceremony back in 2004, I'd have been pissed. The Emmys don't usually have a problem with overlength; that's the Oscars' deal. It's just this year because the hosting thing was so mismanaged.

JS said...

If the movie/mini-series awards go, where else will we get our fix of Judy Davis appearing at an awards show and possibly winning in the same category over and over again? Emmy loves her more than the Golden Globes and SAG.

Joe Reid said...

Or of Judi Dench being nominated for some PBS-type thing and having to show a still photo of her because she's not there? ...Oh, I guess that's the Oscars too.

Greg said...

I don't know the thing that bugs me about mini-series and movies is they take up almost a third of the show and for something that isn't anywhere near as big a deal as it was in the past when there were a lot of mini-series and TV movies produced each season (it would be like the oscars still having separate awards for black and white movies). Plus it just seems like a combination of filler and an extra layer of self-contratulation. Also I can't seem to figure out why for some catergories mini-series and movie are separate and for some they are together.

Stephanie said...

If Ryan Seacrest's diva fit was the reason that I didn't get to see a Kristin Chenoweth/Neil Patrick Harris bit, so help me God...

I bet they were going to sing something too. Damn you Seacrest!!