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.