Monday, September 21, 2009

Once Upon a Time, When There Were Emmys

One of the great tragedies of me being gainfully employed in this dismal economy is that I have to wait until the next evening to blog about the Emmy Awards for free. What a world.

Anyway, so a wildly successful Emmys at a time when it seemed like we as a society had lost our ability to do anything but bitch heartily about award shows. A little Doogie will do it, it seems. Neil Patrick Harris was pretty much everything good you could possibly be: funny, charming, cute, gracious in defeat (maddening, maddening defeat), and he kept the show hustling along without making you feel rushed. That was my main takeaway from last night, aside from some of my favorite winners: the easy pacing of the show. No speeches were hustled through by the music, nothing felt like it dragged on too long, and the whole thing was done by 11:05. It reminds me of what I always say about Cat Deeley vs. Ryan Seacrest; Ryan always gets credit for managing the Idol behemoth and hitting his marks and hustling this guy onstage and that girl offstage. He gets all that credit because the whole enterprise looks quite...effortful. Cat Deeley manages to do a much similar job and make it look like it takes no effort at all, and that's why she's the better host. NPH made hosting an awards show look like no effort at all. He's earned every bit of goodwill he's getting.

As for the rest of the show, I was about 90% happy with the winners. Even the ones like Alec Baldwin or Cherry Jones where my vote would have gone to someone else. But honestly, was this the geek-friendliest batch of Emmy winners in recent memory or what? The three best moments of the night (at least the ones not involving John Hodgman) were the wins for Kristin Chenoweth, Toni Collette, and Michael Emerson.

Who knew there was much love for Pushing Daisies among television's stuffiest? Cheno's weepy speech was a squeaky delight, and Roommate Mark and I got to talking about how she's currently halfway to a Grand Slam (she's got a Tony and an Emmy ... and I could actually see her getting a Grammy, or even an Oscar).

Collette's win was pretty unexpected to me, too. There was a lot of talk that she could be a spoiler because of the multiple-personality awards-bait nature of the role, but that's not really how the Emmys work. Certainly not in Lead Actress in a Comedy, long the haven of your Helen Hunts and Patricia Heatons. Showy bait is Oscar's thing. And Toni's performance transcends all that business besides. So very happy for her.

And then Michael Emerson, who I thought was probably too good to hope for. Probably the best case for the most deserving nominee winning. And who knew he was married to Carrie Preston, a.k.a. the awesome Arlene on True Blood, a.k.a. one of my favorite characters on TV? Didn't think I could love either of them more, but here we are! Thanks, 2009 Emmy Awards!


Mertseger said...

Re: Chenoweth and grammy. Her "Taylor, the Latte Boy" (I'm adding that youtube link blind from behind a work filter, and so appologies if it's taken down) crops up on Pandora for me, and is well worth checking out.

Admiral Neck said...

Emerson's speech was totally adorable and unnerving, simultaneously. I expected we'd have to wait until next year to see him win, though I'm hoping Lost will have a Return of the King moment and win more than one Emmy for its final year. Provided it doesn't fall apart in the last year, of course.

patty m. said...

No matter how brilliant NPH was as host, and how happy I was about Chenoweth and Emerson, the whole night was spoiled for me when Jon Cryer won. Loved him as Ducky; hate, hate, HATE him as one of the "Men."

adam k. said...

Am I the only one who thinks NPH came off a little bit smug? I'm just so over that "look, I'm such a cool host, and my voice is so well trained!" act. Seemed a world away from the adorable exuberance of Hugh Jackman, or even Ellen DeGeneres. I just didn't find him very endearing at all.

The winners were great, though, for the most part.

Am I the only one who saw that Toni Collette win coming? It's not like Tina Fey did anything that revolutionary as Liz Lemon this year... or that they even had any reason to give her the lead comedy emmy when she easily won that OTHER one (an Emmy for Palin! hee!)