Monday, August 30, 2010

My 2010 Emmys Review

Shorter than the Oscars and gayer than the Tonys – it’s the 62nd annual Emmy Awards! This year starring Betty White and Temple Grandin.

For the first time ever the Emmys were shown live in Los Angeles. NBC recognized they were up against very stiff competition this year -- the Chabad Telethon.

What an inconvenience that three-hour tape delay used to be. Every year my wife would have to excuse herself in the middle of the show, call home, and say, “Daddy lost. Go to bed.”

Jimmy Fallon was this year’s host. He was amusing at times. But my choice would have been Joel McHale. Or Rabbi Boruch Schlomo Cunin who killed at the Chabad telethon!

The opening production number was great fun. And they established right away, if you need a laugh – go to Betty White. She was in skits, promos, film clips. I was surprised she didn’t appear in a scene from THE PACIFIC blasting the shit out of the Japs. But Betty coaching Jon Hamm on dance moves was hilarious, and in general the number got the show off to a spirited start.

NBC is now so afraid of defecting viewers that during winners’ speeches they alert you to upcoming star appearances. How’d you like to be on stage, maybe celebrating the single greatest moment of your life and on the screen they flash: “In Memoriam in 4 1/2 minutes”?

Lots of surprises this year: Aaron Paul won for BREAKING BAD. He starred in one of our failed pilots a couple of years ago and I just knew if he ever got attached to decent material his career would take off!

A big shocker was Archie Panjabi from THE GOOD WIFE. She's the researcher. So she won an Emmy for, “I was able to retrieve his phone records for the last three years”?

More surprises: Kyra Sedgwick, TOP CHEF beating perennial winner THE AMAZING RACE (they shouldn’t have cut corners by having the teams race through “It’s a Small World” this season), the scarcity of Conan jokes (the over/under was fifty), and the discovery that Julia Osmond is certifiably insane.

Otherwise, was anybody shocked that Kim Kardashian can’t sing or that THE PACIFIC won for Best Mini-Series? It was the only nominee and she has no talent at all.

What was with that set? Every time they went to a tribute to Comedy or Drama or whatever it was like the Caesar’s Palace Sports Book exploded.

I was thrilled that MODERN FAMILY copped Best Comedy, thus keeping the tradition of comedic excellence alive for ABC. First TAXI in 1978, then THE WONDER YEARS in 1988 and now this.

MAD MEN again deserved Best Drama. It’s still the best show on television. Although a note to Matthew Weiner – when you win for writing, it’s usually good form to wait for your co-writer to join you and not trample her on your way to the stage.

This was a bittersweet night for Matt. Yes, he won two Emmys but Temple Grandin got more attention.

Jane Lynch was even more of a lock than THE PACIFIC. And she looked fabulous. She could even get girl parts.

But what was with Lauren Graham? Did she leave a napkin in her dress? It looked like she was wearing a black gown and a white lobster bib.

Eric Stonestreet’s acceptance speech was heartfelt and lovely. And it was his first time. Al Pacino’s won a million awards and his speech was like your uncle Lou’s just before the paramedics came.

It was clearly MODERN FAMILY’S night. Congratulations to Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd for best script. Great speech by Steve but where was Chris? Was there a Clippers game last night?

How could they do a tribute to the year in Drama and not include DEFYING GRAVITY? Or a Comedy tribute and omit HANK?

Edie Falco may be the only actress to win a Best Comedy and a Best Drama Emmy. Gotta applaud her honesty. “I’m not funny!” she exclaimed. Neither was that running Twitter bit.

January Jones wore a giant blue drink umbrella. Why have her present the award for Best Mini-Series when she can’t even pronounce Mini-Series?

You realize of course that you watch a lot more television than the people who made these decisions? If it weren't for screener DVD's, many Academy members would still be voting for HILL STREET BLUES.

It’s about time that Jim Parsons won for BIG BANG THEORY. He’s the young David Hyde-Pierce.

Did you notice that not one winner all night, any category, thanked a network or studio for notes?

Sofia Vergara came dressed as an Emmy.

Equally as stunning was Clair Danes – and she did it without cleavage.

Meanwhile, Lea Michele was quite fetching in her tailored Glad bag.

Hugh Laurie will never win. And Bryan Cranston will never lose.

George Clooney received the Bob Hope Award for Major Movie Star who agreed to appear on the Emmys.

Best line of the night: Writer Adam Mazer, winner for YOU DON’T KNOW JACK: "Jack Kevorkian, I'm so grateful you're my friend. But I'm even more grateful you're not my physician."

Jack Kevorkian was in attendance although at first I thought it was David Caruso.

Anna Pacquin came as King Tut.

What was that hideous song Jewel sang? I hate to say it but it really brought down the “In Memoriam” section.

DEXTER’S John Lithgow, winner of best guest actor in a drama series (even though he was in 13 of 13 episodes) thanked HBO, which is gracious except DEXTER is on Showtime.

Did anybody else notice that host network NBC didn’t win a single Emmy during the broadcast? Again, how does Jeff Zucker keep his job???

Most deserved Emmy: Jeff Greenberg for casting MODERN FAMILY.

The musical salute to 24/LAW & ORDER/LOST was good but I dunno, over at the Chabad telethon Avraham Fried was kicking ass.

Why did they have to ruin director Mick Jackson’s big night by mentioning he also directed VOLCANO?

As Emmy shows go I thought this was a pretty good one. It was nice balance of new blood and Betty White. Thanks to my daughter Annie for helping with the snark. Happy birthday, kiddo.

Oh…

I can’t let an Emmy review go by without a nod to KTLA’s inane Red Carpet arrival show hosted by the “footstool of the footlights”, Sam Rubin and his bimbo de jour, this year – Jessica Holmes, whose qualifications for this assignment was helicopter traffic reporter.

When Paula Abdul told Sam that Simon Cowell will always be in her heart, he’s like a fungus, Sam sought clarification: “So (he’s) like toe jam?” What does it say when Sam Rubin is in a conversation with Paula Abdul and she comes off the smart one?

Not that Jessica is a Mensa candidate. To Jesse Brandt of BREAKING BAD she asked: “So does everybody in Hollywood know each other?” I guess when you cover the industry from 20,000 feet you might think that.

In discussing DEXTER with two of its cast members, she said, “It’s so funny that he’s a serial killer.”

And just when you thought they couldn’t be any more self-congratulatory they add this new little wrinkle: a running crawl at the bottom of the screen with text messages from the audience repeatedly telling Jessica and Sam how beautiful they look. I sent a text: “Sam & Jessica are insipid” and KTLA didn’t air it. But with just a $30 donation, the Chabad telethon did.

53 comments:

Dan Serafini said...

A rather tough broadcast to snark at, but where was the star power "in Memoriam?"

David Wolper ends the death montage? Who had that #16 seed winning?

bettyd said...

Also the death montage left out David Mills who was an Emmy winner!

Alan - what did you think of the questions? I really liked it. And your favorite question was asked - something about the "notes" back from the network. Loved Darlton's response - changed 6 toed statue to a 4 toed statue. Boo-Yah!

bmfc1 said...

Bryan Cranston won't win next year as "Breaking Bad" will be ineligible because it won't air during the Emmy year.

DonBoy said...

Yeah, when Jim Parsons isn't explicitly "doing Sheldon", all the rest of his mostly-unchanged manner kind of reads differently, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

The Pacific had one opponent. Maggie Smith in something or other wearing a bonnet.

SCDP said...

Jon Hamm and Michael C. Hall may actually have a chance next year with Breaking Bad taking a nice long break!

Dave Mackey said...

Unfortunately, Ken, that's the nature of television these days. They're not just content to constantly remind you what channel you are watching but they need to let you know that there are always better shows coming up, TIMES better than whatever crap you're watching now.

A. Buck S. said...

BAZINGA !!!

I was going to quip something like, had I known the Emmys were being broadcast from Temple Grandin I wouldn't have stuck all night with the Chabadathon.

But not having seen a minute of the awards, and knowing they came from Hollywood, I'm pretty sure there must have been 100-125 variations of that out there last night already. Yes KL I read you for the Emmies like the rest of America watches John Stewart for the news. But I'm really sorry I missed them. No snub intended, none taken. What?

Mike Bell said...

I was feeling bad that I spent yesterday afternoon in a dive bar drinking Coronas and tequila with some friends and then fell asleep (passed out) before the show, also forgetting (see above) to DVR it.

Thanks Ken for once again boiling the Emmys down to the essentials.

As a loyal customer of DirecTV, I no longer am able to watch KTLA's pre-show. BUT I would've loved to have seen your text roll across my screen. When I read that, I was rolling on the floor laughing my ass off! (I wish there was an abreviation for that)

amyp3 said...

Hey Ken, I was up 'til the middle of the night here waiting for your review.

"If it weren't for screener DVD's, many Academy members would still be voting for HILL STREET BLUES."

Or Lucy.

Even tho' I'm a TV fanatic I didn't get home until just in time to see my girl, TheOtherAmyP, losing. Judging from clips of the opening and the bit with the Suit trying to improve "Modern Family" I missed the show's best part.

I tuned out most of the rest. (Daniel Craig's hypnotic blue eyes kept forcing me to switch to ABC.)

Kate said...

And how about Ricky Gervais finally bringing the funny during the evening? I didn't realize I hadn't laughed out loud during the whole show until he came out. So glad they just let him run instead of feeding him with the teleprompter.

olucy said...

Yeah, I'd vote Ricky Gervais' comment about Mel Gibson as the line of the night. YMMV.

Myra Mains said...

Gotta give KTLA some credit for apparently knowing what "insipid" means.

EK said...

I'm pretty sure that was Fred Savage they showed in memoriam for Corey Haim. And they showed that same picture in one of the coming-up-soon promos. Maybe it's like George Clooney said--the Emmy folks know something that he doesn't.

Jocelyne said...

I missed the Emmys, but your review of it killed me!! I have no doubt that I laughed harder reading your review than I would have had I watched the show. Thanks for the giggles!!!

Leafy Greens said...

Loved John Hodgman's announcements as winners walked up.

"As Jim Parson walks to the stage now, nerds across America are taking to the streets in joy, setting cars on fire, and then backing away, using their inhalers.”

Also would love to watch KL do his Emmy review live on KTLA--laughed so hard I had to use my inhaler!

mrswing said...

Can't believe that Community and its stars weren't even nominated. They only went and made one of the best sitcom episodes EVER...

word verification: hatie

Stronger than dislike, less virulent than hatred.

D. McEwan said...

Q: What's an even bigger alert that you need to hit mute than the words: "Ladies and gentlemen, here's Jewel to sing one of her own songs"?

A: Jewel saying: "Here's a song I wrote for a friend when she was dying of cancer." You know fun's a brewin'.

But I figured out why they did it. It's so that, instead of feeling sad during the "In Memoriam" montage, we would envy the dead.

Mary Stella said...

The opening production number was great fun.

Loved it!

NBC is now so afraid of defecting viewers that during winners’ speeches they alert you to upcoming star appearances.

Given the "Suits advice for Modern Family" bit and the question about show notes, I thought they used the alerts to poke fun at themselves and their Olympics coverage. True Blood cast in 22 minutes sort of like Slagmoor Kirkegaard luges in 12 minutes

............................................ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
............................................ said...

Volcano was awesome...hater...

Matt said...

The female announcer kept saying:

"...excepting the award..."

Rather than:

"...accepting the award..."

Tom Quigley said...

When not watching it last night, my inclination was to switch over to it and see what was going on... When I was watching it, my inclination was to switch over to something else, mostly a taped delay broadcast of the Bills/Bengals preseason game that was being shown locally, which turned out to be a good deal more lively and entertaining...

Lots of acceptance speeches thanking people for having the courage to develop and produce their shows, films or miniseries, or other associated activities ("I'd like to thank my mother for having the courage to potty-train me when I was two... Lord knows it really would have had a debilitating effect on my career if she hadn't"), which led me to think that maybe they should have been awarding Bronze Stars to the winners instead of gold statues... Best highlight of the night: Claire Danes and her gown -- no, not her acceptance speech, just Claire and her gown....

Anonymous said...

Fallon? He looks great on camera, he's a good impressionist. That's it!! He is so obviously in over his head, but since he looks the part, people don't seem to notice how much he's lacking in the wit department. Remember wit? And his endless guitar bits. Please! I would have rather watched Temple Grandin stand 18 times. I agree, Gervais was among the rare truly funny moments. The voicever announcements en route to the stage were annoying. And I guess I was the only one who thought the opening seemed cloying and was trying too hard to be hip. Though anything Betty White does is okay in my book.

Anonymous said...

Loved it when Gervais handed out the beer and pointed out that THE OFFICE had gone into syndication--he could afford it.

By the way, the weight he's lost in his face has made his vampire fangs more prominent than ever. They should invite him to join the cast of TRUE BLOOD.

Matt Patton said...

While my mom was watching, I was dickering around with Twitter and one of the tweets announced that Betty White was apparently checking out Claire Danes' ass big time . . .

Matt Tauber said...

I don't see why they need to keep fiddling with these "In Memoriam" segments. What's wrong with video over an orchestral music bed. It became more about Jewel than honoring the deceased. And maybe mute the audience. The 'dead guy applause-o-meter' was creepier than usual.

And how about Best Comedy as the last award instead of Best Drama? Wasn't that a first?

johnnyboymalloy said...

Loved how Crazy Julia Ormond started an annoying trend of having someone "hold" their Emmy on accident. Kyra Sedgwick just forced it on Tina Fey, like Tina was a Trophy Shelf. Was already annoyed since Kyra was the "surprise" winner who shouldn't have been, but got the "She's Due!" Emmy. I HATE when they do that over far superior work. Why couldn't it have been Connie Britton?!

Anonymous said...

Stupidist female interviewer award had to go to NBC's inside the theatre bim (never did get her name). She was a total embarassment.

Buttermilk Sky said...

"We're all Bucky Guntz!" I'm putting it on a T shirt.

BTW, we don't get the Chabad here in Memphis for some reason, so thanks for covering it.

Richard Y said...

Regarding the Kyra Sedgwick mike issue. She is not the only one tonight as it happens all the time on all the 'live' shows. Are these people so used to being miked or with the utilization of boom mikes they can not talk normally without leaning over and getting 2 inches away from the standup mike?

Black Bart said...

I do wonder what the voters were watching if nothing I had watched all season was even nominated. OR maybe my cable company is sending me programs from some other solar system.

Anonymous said...

If you didn’t like January Jones’ dress, check your testosterone levels. It was perfect. Very sexy.

Anonymous said...

Jessica is an entertainment and weather reporter and does not fly in the helicopter; however, that doesn't make a difference, now does it?

Norm said...

Another fantastic column.

forg/jecoup said...

I'm very happy Modern Family and Jim Parsons won :)

And I was surprised Outstanding Comedy was awarded last well I guess because there is excitement on which show will win (Glee vs Modern Family) unlike Drama which is obviously going to Mad Men. I know the show is good but Matthew Weiner pompous demeanor when he is accepting awards makes me want to root against the show

bettyd said...

"I'm pretty sure that was Fred Savage they showed in memoriam for Corey Haim"

I thought the same, so I looked it up. http://www.thewrap.com/television/column-post/fred-savage-still-alive-corey-haim-not-20516
The inter-web is never wrong!

Ken - sorry I called you Alan above. I was just on Alan Sepenwall's blog before yours. Spening a productive day at work reading all about the Emmys.

Rob said...

Last night's show was proof that even an award's show that ends on time feels two hours too long. Last night's ceremony began to feel like a giant FU to the American Family Association and Prop 8 Supporters.

I think next year's In Memorium segment would be much better if they had Stewie and Brian from Family Guy do the honors in a Road to Purgatory segment.

VW: Goophin -- A large marine mammal that's always acting like an idiot.

te said...

"Are these people so used to being miked or with the utilization of boom mikes they can not talk normally without leaning over and getting 2 inches away from the standup mike?"

There are frequent screenings of old features at the Motion Picture Academy theater, often followed by Q&A sessions with professionals -- actors, crew, etc.

You'd be astonished at how few of these people -- again, movie professionals -- can deal properly with a hand mic. The chief instinct being to hold it in your hand and wave it around as you speak and the audience strains to hear.

D. McEwan said...

"........................................... said...
Volcano was awesome...hater..."


Best laugh I've had all day.

A volcano is indeed awesome, in the actual meaning of the word. But Volcano sucked on so many levels I could spend a year enumerating them.

D. McEwan said...

"Rob said...
Last night's ceremony began to feel like a giant FU to the American Family Association and Prop 8 Supporters."


How so? Because gay winners kissed their spouses like straight winners do, or acknowledged them like straight people do?

Let's say, for the sake of argument, that it was indeed an intentional and deliberate three-hour "giant FU to the American Family Association and Prop 8 Supporters." An what exactly would be wrong with that?

Just for the record, American Family Association and Prop 8 Supporters: F U!!! And I'll happily spend three hours repeating that. (No offense intended to Felix Unger.)

Lemondrop said...

Big fan of your blog, but clearly you haven't been watching "The Good Wife" - Archie Panjabi is terrific in it, one of the coolest women on television at the moment.

Cure for the Common Poster said...

January Jones' dress aside, she looked like she was totally strung out and completely unhappy to be there.

Mr. Snrub said...

I found the "questions we asked the writers/directors" to be a tad condescending.

Just sort of a collective eye-roll at the mothers who wanted their kids to have realistic dreams. The questions totally were created with the implication and presumption that "somebody doubted them", etc...Goodie for you, artiste. You showed those haters! Fuck you, mom!

Apparently, it's a crushing disappointment to be a plumber instead winning an Emmy award for directing a DIFFERENT awards show.

Zippy said...

Did anyone else notice that Ms. Panjabi ended her speech with "This is going to be so great for my career". Not an ounce of irony or sarcasm. Just blatant careerism? We found it distasteful.

Mike said...

How’d you like to be on stage, maybe celebrating the single greatest moment of your life and on the screen they flash: “In Memoriam in 4 1/2 minutes”?

I actually would love this.

A big shocker was Archie Panjabi from THE GOOD WIFE. She's the researcher. So she won an Emmy for, “I was able to retrieve his phone records for the last three years”?

I didn't see the show so I don't know who she was up against. But when I've watched THE GOOD WIFE at my in-laws (which is pretty much the only time I watch CBS that isn't a comedy, 60 Minutes, or sports), I thought she was the best thing about it. Though I'd never say such a thing to Julianna Margulies. And certainly not to Christine Baranski. She's had to put up with enough co-star bullshit, right?

CBS: The In-Laws Network probably isn't what they're hoping for.

My musings said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
My musings said...

January Jones' umbrella dress served a dual purpose of offering protection from the sun that masqueraded around as Sofia Vergara's dress and of being a place of refuge to hide if Anna Paquin decides to launch any Egyptian invasions in the future.

On the awards front, I'm pretty bummed that Lost didn't win Best Drama. I thought Mad Men ended on a strong note last year, but the entire season wasn't as strong certainly not as good as Lost!

Anonymous said...

From Jan:
I have to agree with Cure for the Common Poster: January Jones looked more unhappy than anyone I've ever seen at an awards ceremony. If I remember correctly, she did last year, too. I'm kind of surprised that no one else commented on it.

Anonymous said...

January Jones' mood could not have been helped by the fact that she was publicly outed as a "fashion don't" on the in-theater screens about 30 seconds before the ceremony began.

(Really, isn't this what producers are FOR? To tell the red carpet snipers to NOT discuss who looked like a hot mess from 4:45 to 5:00, when their program is being played on a live feed into the Emmy auditorium? Maybe?)

I'm not sure how or why, but although I like "The Good Wife" and the actress who won, it is dumbfounding that she shut out Christina Hendricks and Elizabeth Moss.

Albert Giesbrecht said...

Can I say that I may have heard of the titles of these shows, but all I watch on TV seems to be Big Brother Survivor, DWTS, The Bachelor American Idol and America's Got Talent, The Apprentice...

hank Pena said...

"To err is Truman." - Stuck with me my entire life. - Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Mike Bell: "rolling on the floor laughing my ass off" : google ROFLMAO.