Monday, September 22, 2008

Worst Emmy Awards Show Ever?

Wow. If it was as painful for the attendees as it was for those of us watching at home, our condolences. Other than a few bright spots, this was a dull-as-dishwater Emmy telecast, a curiously bland affair which gave lipservice to the idea of the 60th anniversary of the awards but did nothing to evoke any emotional response to the notion.

I'm sure those who advocated for the new Reality Host category were tickled pink, but to repeatedly hand over precious minutes of the telecast to the wincingly unfunny blathering from the five-headed do and know-nothings was a crucial mistake and sunk the awards. What was up with the timing of the show, anyway? Some people were hurried on, some winners hurried off, as if preserving those awkward host bits were job one. More of those hosts rather than something from Kristin Chenoweth and Neil Patrick Harris? I don't think so.

There were a few bright spots -- Ricky Gervais, who unfortunately didn't take home any awards from his superb nominated Extras: The Extra Special Series Finale, was droll and unexpected, a bit confrontational and fascinatingly so.

And every time Tina Fey was on, she was a delight. Boy, if she isn't a terrific role model for smart girls everywhere! I also liked the interaction between Fey and Julia Louis-Dreyfus during her Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy acceptance speech, when Fey joked that her husband had told her to act like J L-D, and that it was working out for her really well. To which Julia did a hilarious thumbs-up.

As our correspondent Scott noted, the Josh Groban TV theme song medley was pretty good, not exactly a sentimental walk down memory lane, but an interesting pastiche of eras.

In terms of the awards themselves, biggest disappointment for us was Stephen Dillane not getting the Emmy for his Thomas Jefferson in John Adams, and that Tom Wilkinson got it for his Benjamin Franklin. It was that beaver hat, I tell ya. They went for the flashier performance, not that Wilkinson wasn't excellent, but hmmm...still think Dillane should have gotten it. And we also desperately wanted Ashley Jensen to get hers for her supporting role in the Extras finale.

Nice showing for John Adams overall, excellent wins for Mad Men, both well-deserved. And when that Mad Men cast went up on stage -- what a stunning ensemble. It's a really different looking group, not blandly glamorous, but so very interesting to look at. Let's get more people hooked on this tremendous show!

What were your Emmy impressions? Loved the Awards, hated the show? We did.


Jane said...

Excellent post Lisa. This year's Emmy awards was an enormous disappointment, and it had such promise with all the great programs nominated. The reality show multi-host was a multi-headed monster. Disasterous! I was thrilled about Mad Men, Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey. And as I put in my other comment, Ricky Gervais was amazing! Well, onward to the next year I guess. So far it's three for three: Academy Awards, Emmy Awards and MTV Video awards...all sank like stones. Bad host choices can really derail the whole program.

Dean Treadway said...

I predicted, privately, that the show would be painful because of the hosts, so I missed it. But I am going to YouTube Tina Fey and Ricky Gervais, because they are two of the cleverest of the circa-2008 crop out there, if not THE cleverest.

By the way, this is totally off the subject in many ways, but I've been watching THE OFFICE on Hulu, and I'm wondering when more people from that show are going to be nominated for Emmys. One thing about the NBC OFFICE that I love so much is how they've expanded the roles of the people behind the main cast. In particular, since he uttered his first word on the show, Leslie David Baker as Stanley has become a favorite of mine. He's got such a terrific face, and in season four's "Did I Stutter," he really got the central role he deserves. I'd love to see some of the little people on the OFFICE get their due.

By the way, the only disappointment about the Emmy wins to me (not haveing seen JOHN ADAMS) was the EXTRAS shut-out. Ashley Jensen deserved an award for her contribution to the show, for sure.

Great overview, Lisa!