Sunday, August 27, 2006

The 2006 Emmy Awards

It’s hard to take the Emmys seriously when the best drama (LOST), best dramatic actor (Hugh Laurie), and best dramatic actress (Edie Falco) weren’t even nominated. It’s like the ’84 Olympics when the Eastern Bloc countries and allies pulled out and the US was the big winner over Mauritania, Qatar, and Seychelles.

This year the ceremony was held at the cavernous Shrine Auditorium. Capacity: everyone who ever watched HUFF.

Conan O’Brien is a lot funnier at 1:00 in the morning. In other words, the end of the Emmys not the start.

A MUSIC MAN parody? Even the Hasty Pudding Show at Harvard would not have let Conan do that.

There is no room where Bob Newhart is not the funniest man in it. He doesn’t even have to speak. I am in continual awe.

How could Ellen Burstyn lose? Sure, her total screen time was 14 seconds but 12 of them were BRILLIANT.

Jennifer Love Hewitt saved some money and wrapped herself in tin foil.

Great questions on E!’s red carpet show. Isiah Washington was asked his porn name. Ryan Seacrest asked Steven Colbert if Jon Stewart was a prick? Class-eeee. He then asked Hugh Laurie: “Do you find that you’re less clever with the American accent?” Bring back Sam Rubin and Mindy Barbano! At least they gave out Altoids.

First Emmy article in the LA TIMES Sunday CALENDAR section: Page six. Page one story: “Gidget gone global”.

What does it say about the Television Academy’s stature when the seat fillers now ARE the nominees?

Sandra Oh was wearing Conan the Barbarian’s jewelry.

What was Warren Beatty doing there? Did he think he was getting a lifetime award for his work on DOBIE GILLIS?

Evangeline Lily looks spectacular even when she’s not soaking wet and trapped in a net.

So much for Steve Carell being the mortal lock of the Emmys. Kevin James must’ve been the Ralph Nader who split the votes.

Note to Candice Bergman: “the Little Mermaid” is not a good look for you.

I only voted for Blythe Danner because the last time she won she bashed Bush. This time she thanked the cast of HUFF. She might as well have thanked the waitresses at Bob’s Big Boy. No one knew who the hell she was talking about.

The fact that Jack Bauer has saved the world fifteen times over the least we could do is give him a goddamn Emmy.

Lovely tribute to Dick Clark. Only topped by his touching courageous speech.

Had to replay several times Barry Manilow’s final comment to Mr. Clark. He said, “all right, Dick” not “I love Dick” as I first suspected (and hoped).

Jeremy Piven came dressed for nomination only.

The Aaron Spelling tribute reminded me of my one encounter with him. My partner, David and I helped punch up a pilot. He called that night, praised us to the heavens, said he wanted to make a big development deal with us and send a limo to get us every day. The next morning when we saw him we said hello and he said, “Do I know you?”

It would have been nice if one of Aaron’s family members accepted for him instead of CHARLIE’S FACE LIFTS.

Kate Jackson’s skin is now so tight you could bounce a quarter off her face.

How LA is this? A winner at last week’s non-televised-so-who-cares ceremony brought his Emmy to the gym yesterday. The other Emmy winners who now can’t get jobs weren’t impressed.

Cheryl Hines looked like she backed into a chandelier and took some of it with her.

Cloris Leachman won again. I guess SPLANGLISH wasn’t a career-ender for everyone.

Why do they still give an award for best main title design when no shows are allowed to have main titles anymore?

Allison Janney came as the world’s tallest flapper.

How could Gregory Itzen possibly lose??? Jesus Christ. I wonder how many confused Academy members voted for Alan Alda because they thought he was really running for President?

This isn’t the first time Alan Alda beat out a more deserving nominee. But I’ve gotten over it.

Barry Manilow won over Hugh Jackman? I guess word got out that Hugh Jackman was straight.

Best line of the night: Steve Colbert, “I lost to Barry Manilow?!”

Accepting the award for Jon Cessar – Joe Montagne. No wait, that WAS Jon Cessar.

Kathryn Hiegel would be gorgeous even without the Macy’s Day Parade balloons.

There was a tie for best Children’s Program: HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL and I HAVE TOURETTE’S. How do you choose? It’s the same show.

The best actor in THE COMEBACK was not Lisa Kudrow. It was James Burrows.

I’m sure ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT will get nominated again next year even though it’s been cancelled. Critics will just assume it would have been one of their better seasons.

So James Gandolfini didn’t turn in a nomination worthy performance on THE SOPRANOS but Chris Meloni of LAW & ORDER: SVU did? Who will ever forget Chris’ big moment when he said, “we’ve got to get that sicko off the streets!”?

Why was Charlie Sheen up for Best Actor and Jon Cryer up for Best Supporting Actor? In TWO AND A HALF MEN, is Jon the half?

Jeremy Irons (ELIZABETH 1) won for playing a fop. What a stretch for him.

Helen Mirren thanked writers. She’s my favorite actress in all the world.

Was that Calista Flockhart or House’s cane?

There’s a category called “Makeup for a series (non-prosthetic)” which in fact means, “Makeup for every show other than DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES”.

Glad “Best music for a series” didn’t go to PRISON BREAK since for a big mood scene they used the HOUSE theme. Maybe SOMEONE at Fox could have flagged that? How do they expect us to watch that network when they don’t even watch it themselves?

Ben Stiller lost to Leslie Jordan. That should keep him from appearing in another television show until 2017.

I’m happy THE OFFICE won. It’s not as good as the British version but sure better than anything America has to offer.

And if LOST and the SOPRANOS and HOUSE didn’t win for Best Drama, I’m glad 24 did. I can’t wait till next year when Jack Bauer has to plug up the Ozone Layer.

And finally, there was a show called HOW WILLIAM SHATNER CHANGED THE WORLD on the History Channel that was nominated for best writing of all things. That’s it. It’s now officially time to retire the Emmys.


Ger Apeldoorn said...

I also loved James Burrows on The Comeback. The obvious question is: is he really like that?

I like the American version as much as the British one because although the British on is more extreme, I get the impression the theme resonates more in America. In the UK it is 'just a bit of fun'.

Do you know there is a french version as well?

J.K. said...

I am continually disillusioned by the fact that awardee speeches are drowned out by the orchestra, and inane filler pieces get longer and more contrived.

Remember when Bob Hope would give a one or two line joke and then get out of the way?

For many, this night is the pinnacle of their careers and they must choose between thanking those they work with, and those who supported them, because there's clearly not time for both. We have to go to a commercial which, in reality, is the focus of the show.

I actually didn't notice any men's wardrobe other than Jeremy Piven's. I liked that he included a scarf inside his open collared shirt. It was a look that, to me, illustrated a sense of style without homogenizing his appearance. He was neither metrosexual nor frat-boy. He was pure Piven.

I personally was surprised to learn that I'm apparently in the wrong for believing that Jon Cryer is the lead and Charlie Sheen the comic supporting cast in TWO AND A HALF MEN. Not that this is the first time I disagreed with an award show. I'm still scathing over Jamie Foxx's "Supporting Actor" nomination for COLLATERAL - a film in which he was clearly the lead, and would have been recognized as such if he were playing opposite Jason Statham or Michael Biehn.

Did anyone else notice that in the audience cut aways during the Aaron Spelling tribute, Tori Spelling was shown briefly and early on? I dunno. I'd have had her close up linger a bit, and definitely would have saved it for the end.

(For the record, I avoided HOW WILLIAM SHATNER CHANGED THE WORLD the first few times it came on, but ultimately watched it out of curiosity. It's a much more interesting and engaging documentary than it's premise would suggest.)

Anonymous said...

When Craig Ferguson repeated Helen Mirrin's ass-over-tits line towards Calista Flockhart, all I could think was, but she has no tits.
Ferguson also repeated one of Stephen Colbert's jokes. Man, he can really repeat other people's jokes well.
Stephen Colbert should host next year. In fact, he should host all awards shows next year.
No question that Bob Newhart, as usual, was The Best, but he should have done his Emmy presentation from inside his suffocation chamber.

The Curmudgeon said...

"There is no room where Bob Newhart is not the funniest man in it. He doesn’t even have to speak."

No, he just has to blink a few times.

* * *

My vote for the funniest sitcom ending in history would be the last episode of "Newhart" -- with Bob Newhart waking up with Suzanne Pleshette on the set of "The Bob Newhart Show."

Anonymous said...

Oh for God's sake, Levine! You have to ruin a funny recap by praising the second season of Lost, in which an exciting and promising show with an excellent cast turned into an incoherent mess of overwritten patches on an unsalvageable story (the hatch)? Lost went from clever to pseudo-clever, from fast-moving to glacial, in the span of a few months; its characters stopped making sense once the writers tried to push them beyond their one-line summary descriptions in the show bible. I watch the show and enjoy its overwrought melodrama, but what was praiseworthy this year beyond three or four performances and at best a half-dozen scripts?

That show was all structure this year; there were no real people on it, no unforced emotions, and very very few interesting human questions (vs. comic book conspiracy questions). The writers spent the year moving chesspieces. Credit where it's due, but let's hold these people to a goddamn standard!

Emily Blake said...

How William Shatner Changed the World was freaking hilarious. Damn right it had good writing, but writing that only works if spoken by William Shatner, who hosted his own fabulous tribute as only he can. I love that man.

And speaking of Jeremy Piven, have you been up on Hollywood lately? I can't be the only one freaked out by the fact that the guy from PCU is a model for The Gap.

Anonymous said...

The House theme isn't an original song. It's "Teardrop" by Massive Attack and it's been used a ton in movies and tv over the past 5 years, usually with the vocals by the chick from Portishead.

If you're going to knock Prison Break for musical unoriginality, include House too.

Anonymous said...

Somebody's watching too much television.

Anonymous said...

What bugs me about the Emmy's is that if an actor wins one for his role in a series, that should be it. No more nominations ... no more Emmy's for that role. Because he is playing variations on a theme after that. To win 3 or 5 or 7 Emmy's for the same character is absurb. One time ... win ... move over and let other actors have a chance.

Tenspeed & Brownshoe said...

I was shocked at the comedic quality of the Emmy telecast last night. It was really funny.

And they ended 3 minutes early!

Conan did a fantastic job.

And how many Queen movies is Helen Mirren gonna do anyway? Is Judi Dench retired or something?

And am I missing something with the whole Two and a Half Men show? The only difference between that show and Yes,Dear is that their fat character is a grown man and the former's fat character is a kid.

Oh, and was Simon Cowell booed?


Anonymous said...

Actually, since Helen Mirrin is currently playing Queen Elizabeth II in a movie about he death of Princess Di, I believe she's the only actress to have played BOTH Queens Elizabeth, two women not generally considered to resemble each other.
Was Simon Cowell booed because people hate him, or because his shirt was open to his navel, displaying that body only he thinks is hot? I'm gay, and he made me nauseaus.

Anonymous said...

"Teardrop" by Massive Attack and it's been used a ton in movies and tv over the past 5 years, usually with the vocals by the chick from Portishead.

Yes, it is an original song, used in tons of movies and TV shows off the album "Mezzanine." But the singer is Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins, not the Portishead lead singer.

Anonymous said...

Conan rocked ass with the opening montage, but I could have done without ' The Music Man' spiel.

I once heard David Hyde-Pierce describe Bob Newhart as a "minimalist"; meaning he gets laughs even though he is economical with words and actions. Okay, I buy it.

Charlie's Angel should be working at the Bellagio in Vegas as ventriloquists, because those mouths don't move much when speaking. Joan Rivers was laughing. I think that was a laugh, or a smile, or a frown.

I want to thank all the actresses for exposing as much cleavage as allowed during primetime. I haven’t seen that many upright cans since my days stacking soup at Acme Markets.

Not since last week in other words.

Dante Kleinberg said...

I didn't even watch the Emmy's and this still made me laugh.


Evangeline Lily -- hottest woman on TV?

U.S. The Office is better than U.K. The Office

Veronica Mars is the best drama and/or comedy on TV, and Kristen Bell and Enrico Colantoni are the best actress and actor

Two & Half Men is not funny

Bob Newhart is funny

There's a show called Huff?

Julie Goes to Hollywood said...

What? No mention of Mindy Kaling's Janet Jacksonian nipple reveal?

Harriet said...

I also liked the line right after "...lost to Barry Manilow."

"I could understand if I lost to Wolverine. He has claws for hands..."

(With a nice, desperate tapering off delivery.)

I had to spec a sitcom last spring (class assignment) and it was sliiiiiiim pickings. But I have to say, I've learned to respect "The Office," and I'm cautiously optimistic about the second season of "My Name is Earl."

In related news, the borish-husband genre is off to an early start with the "Till Death" campaign. Okay, so Brad Garrett is funny and a star. I get that he deserves top billing. But could you put Joely Fisher's name on there SOMEWHERE? Maybe?

Z said...

Long time follower, first time poster.
Linked your site to my revamped blog, but I surely don't expect the same. Just wanted to say thanks for giving us all those snippets of old scripts-- always nice to see what could've been.

To keep on topic, I'll just add this:

During the cutaway to the nominees for Best Actor in a Drama Series, all I could think was, "Thank God Denis took of his shades."

If anybody watches Rescue Me closely or knows the man, you know what I mean.

laura linger said...

I concur. The American version of The Office is superior to the English version.

I say this as a television snob who almost always prefers things from across the pond. Not so when it comes to this show.

I mean, the American version has Dwight. And Creed. And Stanley. Do I have to say more?

Anonymous said...

I happen to like the theme song from house, and the second anonymous person is correct... Liz Fraser did the vocals, not Beth Gibbons from Portishead.

Quite possibly the only music video that can get away with being performed entirely by a singing fetus and not come across as a right to life propaganda piece.

Buttermilk Sky said...

Am I the only person who doesn't see why Tony Shalhoub is in the comedy-actor category? MONK is not a comedy. It has some funny bits, but so did HILL STREET BLUES.