The Emmys (Much Belated)
Well, I was out of town last weekend–which was cool, because it meant I got to watch the Emmys with my mom, who is my favorite awards show companion–but it led to me putting off the Emmys write-up for a day or so and then completely forgetting about it for another week.
So, here is a quick and dirty discussion of my impressions of winners, losers, etc. (Oh, that’s an expression. What follows will not be in any way dirty.)
The opening act: I’ve never wanted to watch Glee before, but this song-and-dance number really made me want to. So, when Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Joel McHale, Jorge Garcia, and Jon Hamm all guest star on Glee (in the same episode), I will watch. Until then, I will content myself with watching this performance via online video.
Comedy awards: Well, I weep for Amy Poehler. No, not really, because she’ll totally get another shot next year. (If NBC ever brings Parks and Rec back.) I do think that Edie Falco is great—but she’s right that she’s not really a comedian, and Nurse Jackie, which I’ve seen here and there, is not really a comedy. It’s super-broad–there’s a character with like, anxiety-induced groping disorder, and at least one episode where Jackie flushed a human ear down a toilet–but it’s also about addiction and adultery and death and way more conducive to the serious, poignant moments that tend to win Emmys than, say, 30 Rock. So it’s kind of not a fair comparison, but I’m not going to take that argument any farther because believe me, it goes nowhere.
All I have to do is purchase the second season of Parks and Recreation on DVD. And I will watch the episode Amy submitted, “Telethon,” again and again, so I can see Leslie Knope smack herself against a plastic window on a sugar high, and attempt to fill airtime by flipping coins (“Ooooh, what’s gonna happen next? Tails! Another one for tails.”), and try to defuse a potentially embarrassing situation by threatening to remove her pants. The second time she’s done that this season, incidentally. (And if none of that grabs you, don’t you want to see Perd Hapley doing the worm?)
Click ahead for more on comedy, plus drama and the rest!
I have to start watching Modern Family, I guess. I only saw one episode last season, and my favorite character was the one played by Eric Stonestreet, who won the Supporting Actor Emmy. He had lured some kid away from a date so his little nephew could sneak in there, and he was distracting the kid with some fake customer survey in an even faker Texas accent. That’s my kind of comedy. So I wouldn’t quibble with that award. (P.S. Netflix, please make the first season of Modern Family available for Instant Viewing, so I don’t have to buy the set or stew for six months on the library waiting list.)
I am not going to start watching The Big Bang Theory. I’ve tried it. I’m glad for all the people who think Jim Parsons winning Best Actor in a Comedy is long overdue, but his character annooooooooys me. He will clearly just do more of the same as he has now won an Emmy for the feat. Again, respect to the show and the people who love it. It just doesn’t float my boat. Same with Glee. If I want to see Best Supporting Actress winner Jane Lynch, I will just watch any Christopher Guest movie. Or the first season of Party Down. Or The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Or every other TV show and movie that’s been produced in her lifetime. Lady gets around.
Drama awards: No real surprises here, hmmmm. Mad Men won again, which makes me happy happy for Mad Men (of course) but a feel a bit sorry for the other shows. Yes, they deserve chances, too. Breaking Bad, for example, had a nail-bitingly amazing third season, but I guess the academy feels content that they’ve done their job there by continuing to give Bryan Cranston Emmys that he continues to deserve. I was really excited when Aaron Paul won his as Best Supporting Actor. Oh, the ups and downs that Jesse Pinkman went through this season! Poor kid’s all over the map. And he got the last shot of the season finale—because the last camera shot was of him. And it was of him shooting somebody. Wordplay!
Best Supporting Actress went to the joyously-named Archie Panjabi. I’ve not watched The Good Wife, but my mom loves it and says Panjabi’s character is quite awesome. To me, she’ll always be the slutty older sister from Bend it Like Beckham. I really would have liked to see it go to Christina Hendricks for “Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency” and that great scene where she talks to Don in the emergency room. So resigned, because she knows she is stepping away from a life where she kicks ass to serve her totally unworthy husband. But then she might come to regret that dress in future years, and be glad that pictures of her hoisting an Emmy in the air will not forever be besmirched by a lavender bridesmaid’s gown circa 1982. Yes, I thought it was actually worse than January Jones’s plastic blue thing. In my mind, both women deliberately dogged it so Elisabeth Moss could step out and be the hot one, for once. She is on an Anne Hathaway-patented breakup tour, after all.
Kyra Sedgwick was cute. I was actually surprised to learn that she hadn’t won before. It seems like she wins all the time, doesn’t it? In fact, she is a multiple nominee at both the Emmys and the Golden Globes—every year like clockwork—but she’s only one the Globe once and the Emmy never until this year. I admit that I still watch The Closer, even though the tread is pretty worn down at this point.
The behind-the-scenes creative awards spread the love a bit. Mad Men won Best Writing, for the third season finale (which was spectacular) but lost Best Direction to Dexter for its season finale with its jaw-dropping final moments. I won’t argue with that, although I will note that it rocks that Breaking Bad‘s nominated episode, “One Minute,” which was FULL of suspense and violence and a specialized bullet that explodes its victim’s head on impact, was helmed by a woman. Yay for director Michelle MacLaren! Keep disturbing our delicate sensibilities as well as any man!
Other awards: I agree that it’s totally time for The Daily Show to stop winning Best Variety show; it’s the same every year, and I refuse to believe that shows like The Colbert Report are not only not equally deserving of an Emmy, but also so inferior to TDS that it couldn’t possibly win instead. You see what I mean? Honoring Colbert doesn’t mean TDS wasn’t also good, know what I’m saying? It’s even more egregious than your Mad Mens and your Frasiers, because those shows have arcs that eventually have to end. The Daily Show is non-fiction and could conceivably go on forever, or until our country’s politicians stop embarrassing themselves.
Honestly, I think academy keeps giving it to TDS because it’s built up this political clout—it’s a comedy show but it’s also taken seriously by scholars and politicians all the way up to the president, who appeared on it four times between 2005 and 2008. (Yes, Obama has an IMDb page.) It’s a totally safe bet. Everyone knows it’s good, everyone knows it’s serious. Nobody will look bad. But I think Colbert has earned that by this point, too.
The same thing has been happening in the Best Competitive Reality category, with The Amazing Race taking the award six years in a row. This year that streak was broken (YAY Top Chef! Dude, how happy and excited did they all look? Season Six really was pretty awesome with the Bocuse d’Or and the French episode and Jen and Beardo and the Voltaggio bros.) and maybe next year the Best Variety show will follow suit. (Also, too bad for Conan. Wouldn’t it have been awesome for the annals of history if his 6-month Tonight Show experiment had been Emmy-winning? But, then, I am not a fan of awards that are more about the story of the nominee than about the quality of the nominee’s performance.)
Fashion: I will, as usual direct all readers to Go Fug Yourself. Here is their best/worst-dressed reader poll with links to every Emmy entry. Hey, guess who looked awesome this year? Tina Fey! Great gown, and very cute in her “Born to Run” dress as well. And now we’ve come full-circle. Thank you, and good night.