Monday, September 19, 2016

Thoughts on last night's Emmys

No actual Emmy review because I was flying back from New York during the ceremony. I thought, perhaps I’d be in luck because I was flying JetBlue and they have DirectTV. But the ONLY channel they didn’t carry was ABC. 17 Fox news and sports channels, 12 ESPN’s, 4 Nickelodeon channels but not the American Broadcast Company.

However, they had a CW affiliate that did air the Sam Rubin red carpet show. Without sound it’s just this tuxedoed elf and malnourished former Miss Pacoima shamelessly fawning and drooling over everyone they come in contact with. The woman next to me watched for three minutes then turned to the Food Channel where they were cutting up beets.

Here’s the only thing I saw of the actual ceremony: We landed at Burbank Airport at the farthest gate. As we were walking through the terminal there were monitors along the route. We noticed that Jeffrey Tambor was giving his acceptance speech. Five minutes later we’re still walking and Jeffrey Tambor was still giving his speech.

Even though VEEP is not my favorite comedy I was thrilled it won because it is a COMEDY and sets out to make people LAUGH.

Glad Tatiana Maslany won. I’ve been lobbying for her for three years. Now I know how long it takes the Academy to react to this blog.

It’s shocking how many winning shows and actors I don’t watch. Is it just me?

HOUSE OF CARDS lost pretty much everything. At least the Television Academy knows not to vote for an asshole president who views the public with nothing but contempt.

I see Jill Soloway won for directing. It’s like the Academy wants to recognize TRANSPARENT but doesn’t know where to put it, so they give Jill a directing Emmy. I’m sure she deserves it, but it’s kinda like giving Barbra Streisand a Grammy for Best Album Cover.

Fortunately, there are now two non-televised Emmy ceremonies to go along with the Primetime show. They probably needed the extra time on the televised show just for Jeffrey Tambor’s speech. I wonder if he was still talking when we got in the cab.

Happy for all the winners but did wish that FARGO won more. Ted Danson deserved an Emmy for his FARGO performance. Oh well, Ted. Now we know. You’ll receive it in three years.

John Oliver is the new Jon Stewart.

Another flame out year for the big broadcast networks. Forget HBO, FX now kicks their asses. And CBS, don’t expect to reverse that trend with KEVIN CAN WAIT.

Glad THE PEOPLE VS. O.J. won, and especially glad that Sarah Paulson won. If she had tried the case instead of Marcia Clark she might’ve won.

Congratulations to Steven Moffat and SHERLOCK.

I’m glad Jimmy Fallon lost. And after that shameful interview with Donald Trump last week I hope he never wins. (Actually I hope they both never win).

I think to increase interest among the industry, the TV Academy decided to nominate EVERYONE in television this year.   Let's see how the ratings are.  If it worked and they went up, then next year maybe EVERYONE in television will WIN an Emmy.   Congratulations to those few thousand who did win this year.

I'm still on East Coast time and have been up now for almost 24 hours.  I'm going to bed.  If I missed anyone, I'll catch you next year.    What did you guys all think of the show? 


Wendy M. Grossman said...

I didn't see the show, but from what I read Tambor gave a heartfelt tribute to the late Gary Shandling, which seems to me an entirely appropriate reason to speak for longer than normal.

Soloway won the directing award for "Man on the Land", (S2e09), which struck me as the half-hour comedy equivalent to Robert Altman's NASHVILLE given all the people and characters and crowd scenes to track.


norm said...

They gave Jeffery Tambor the Emmy in the opening monologue so that his 20 min. speech would be shorter.
Guess that didn't work.

B.A. said...

I didn't see the show but I'll assume "Two-Butted Goat" from BOB's BURGERS was robbed of an Emmy.

DwWashburn said...

It was one of the more entertaining award shows of the past years. Kimmel was pretty funny except for the sandwich bit.

Jeb Bush trying to make himself more likable? Keeping that Bush tradition alive of being too late.

The Cosby joke was great. I loved the reaction of Tina Fey. I also liked the Caucasians-as-minority bit.

Lots of people left out of the In Memoriam segment (Pat Harrington, Jack Riley, Marvin Kaplin, et al) but there were so many celebrities that passed this year. They could have left out Glenn Frey and Prince because they were not really television stars

Bob Gassel said...

I thought Jimmy Fallon was great...seemed like it was his own writers who did the show. The prank intro of Bill Cosby was genius

Jeff :) said...

I'm curious to hear further thoughts on why you dislike Jimmy Fallon. In my opinion he's the only watchable late night host on network television (maybe Kimmel too). It seems like he's genuinely excited to do his show and having a good time with it. Contrast that with Leno and Letterman, who by the end just seemed like they were going through the motions to collect a paycheck. I know he was criticized for the Trump interview, but like anybody else he has a job to do. If they tell him Trump is going to guest star it would be extremely unprofessional to sulk about it and give him any less enthusiasm than he gives any other guest. Just my two cents.

Douglas Trapasso said...

If Oprah Winfrey hosted the Emmys . . .

"YOU get an Emmy and YOU get . . . " (it's too easy, I know, but couldn't resist).

Cat said...

Fargo deserved to win at all, I think they only won two at the non televised ceremony. This season was brilliant, I could not wait for each episode to air. And yes, Ted deserved to win, but was not even nominated. How many Emmys does everyone think he has? He only has two!

Perhaps next year for The Good Place, I read reviews where they say he's wonderful in it.

Covarr said...

I am surprised and confused that Superstore didn't even get a nomination. It's one of the most laugh-out-loud funny (read: funny, not just awkward) shows I've seen in a while. But I only even discovered it this last week on Hulu. It's the first comedy that I've binged in years, since Frasier on Netflix in 2013.

But I guess Surreal is the new Funny. I assume that's why Kimmy Schmidt got a nomination. (Not gonna toss hate, but the praise that show gets is genuinely confusing to me. It's got more weird and plot than jokes, like a less good Arrested Development).

Don Jennett said...

I didn't see the show, either, but once again (like the Oscars), those responsible for the "In Memoriam" segment screwed up royally. No Pat Harrington, Jr.? The man was a TV staple from the late 1950s through the early '90s.

blinky said...

Why do they not ban the practice of thanking individuals? Is it because nobody would come if they did?
Check out Louis Andersons speech. It is a long list of first names. We need that on prime time?

Chris said...

As much as I might like and/or admire a show, I never have and never will vote for one that is in the wrong category, e.g. Desperate Housewives, Nurse Jackie, Orange Is The New Black (when it was listed as a comedy), Transparent. Judging from the lack of writing Emmys (if not nominations) for these shows, I suspect my fellow writers feel the same way. May it always be so.

The Bumble Bee Pendant said...

* I heard Tambor spoke in Hebrew. At least my non-Jewish coworkers said he did. Of course, they wouldn't know Hebrew from Klingon.

* Is it also true that 2 men (Tamber and Louis Anderson) won for playing roles as non-men (a transgender and a woman). Hmmm, what does that say for actual transgender or female actors???

I haven't seen either show, so it's possible i'm completely wrong.

* Happy to hear an actual comedy show won the comedy category. Otherwise it'd be Jethro Tull all over again.

Good thing you go out of NY when you did. You just missed the BIG rain storm we are having.

slgc said...

I love the fact that Sarah Paulson brought Marcia Clark to the ceremony!

Joseph Scarbrough said...

Didn't we already have the Emmy's twice this year?

And I just had to sit through six CAPTCHA puzzles. Why is it the street sign ones that always insist on repeating themselves over and over again?

Norm said...

I watched the whole show but was doing lots of other stuff at the same time so I could say I didn't blow three hours.

They kept it moving.

I would have loved to hear your reaction to the "phony" intro for Bill Cosby. Maybe you can catch it ON DEMAND.

H Johnson said...

I watched the show. Kimmel was very funny and that bit with Matt Damon was great. I hope they keep that gag going.
The memorial segment was touching as usual but what's with the rock stars? Tori Kelley sang beautifully.
I agree with one of your commentors about the acceptance speeches. I think you should thank the organization, your co-workers by title and you can say the word family, once. But the first actual name mentioned should start the orchestra.
Too many shows in the wrong category. And with a kazillion shows being produced, why the same half dozen over and over again?
Overall it was a fun watch. I'd do it again.


Unknown said...

Only watched ~15 minutes of the show. Never saw the OJ show, except for the live coverage from many years ago. EVERYONE who watched the first few episodes of OJ show, said how bad it was, but they somehow kept glued to it. I believe you were one of them. NOW it wins an Emmy?
Why during the in memorial section, Glenn Fry and Prince were mentioned, they had nothing to do with TV/cable.

tb said...

The bits I did catch were all cringe-worthy, I mean jokes totally bombing, crickets. It was painful Ken, you need to watch it, just so bad.
And boy, I guess Hollywood people must really throw hissy fits if they're not thanked, jeez, everyone droning on and on, wouldn't wanna forget anyone, gawd, kill me now...

michael said...

Glenn Fry did some acting for TV, most notably Miami Vice and South of Sunset (where he starred).

Buttermilk Sky said...

Is it significant that one of the principal sponsors was AARP? Does no one under 55 watch award shows?

Don Jennett said...

All left out of the memorial tribute. Most of these folks enjoyed 30-60 year careers primarily on television, the medium celebrated last evening: Joe Santos, Marty Ingels, Marvin Kaplan, Pat Harrington Jr., Janet Waldo, Jack Riley, David Huddleston, Gloria DeHaven, Marni Nixon, David Spielberg, Earl Hamner Jr., Julius La Rosa, Anne Jackson, James Noble, Madeleine Sherwood, Peter Brown, Larry Drake, Noreen Corcoran, Kevin Corcoran, Beth Howland, Marjorie Lord, Martin E Brooks, Jason Wingreen.

Hey, I'm as big a fan of Gene Wilder and Alan Rickman as anyone, but they're hardly known for TV.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

covarr: The most fun about SUPERSTORE, for me, is the weird shenanigans the customers get up to in the background. I like it a lot.

Don Jennett: And yet, Gene Wilder did win an Emmy.


Mike Barer said...

I have not yet seen Fallon's interview with Trump, but I think he is likable and extremely talented. It sounds like even without the interview, you don't care for him. I'm glad the Veep won. It's my favorite show. I was saddened that another political comedy, Alpha House was cancelled, the lead character played by John Goodman was a decent Republican who could work across the aisle and that may have been two unbelievable for the public. Friendly correction. House Of Cards is about a diabolical congressman, not the president. Tina and Amy can be funny, but they are terrible on awards shows. Jimmy Kimmel, I must be old, I thought some of his OJ-Johnny Cochran jokes were rather tasteless.

gottacook said...

Glenn Frey (unlike Prince) was a TV actor - in the 1980s, he was in the Dead Dog Records story arc on Wiseguy and held his own in scenes with Tim Curry and Paul Winfield (and Debbie Harry).

As for House of Cards, the congressman (F.U., Francis Underwood) finagled his way to the vice presidency and then engineered the demise of the president, who had to resign, so he has indeed succeeded to the presidency - at least in the version I saw on Netflix.

Stephanie said...

Didn't watch the show but saw clips after the fact. Favorite part: Aziz Ansari's reaction to getting played off before he could give an acceptance speech. For his own show!
Funny dude, though. I'll watch "Master of None" based on that alone.

Charles H. Bryan said...

I watched the broadcast. The whole damn thing, I'm not sure why. I guess I just wanted to see how many cast and staff GAME OF THRONES could get on the stage.

My favorite bit was Kimmel blaming Mark Burnett for Donald Trump.

And my biggest disappointment was Bob Odenkirk not winning for BETTER CALL SAUL. 2nd biggest: Jonathan Banks not winning. But I think many of the actors' awards were well deserved, especially for PEOPLE VS OJ SIMPSON.

It wasn't great tv, but it was an okay awards show. I don't expect them - other than the Tony - to be inherently entertaining.

MikeK.Pa. said...

I didn't realize Joe Santos had passed away in March. THE ROCKFORD FILES is still a favorite. He deserved to be remembered, as did Schneider (Pat Harrington Jr.).

Patrick said...

Why dont you care for Veep??? Its the only COMEDY right now that actually makes me laugh out loud every episode.

DBA said...

Tambor's Shandling tribute was a totally separate bit, not part of his acceptance speech. He introed a whole prefab package on Shandling, clips and everything. Then later he won and gave a most-people-were-played-off-by-now length speech. I know Ken was making a joke, but he was onstage a LOT, for different reasons, not just one super long speech.

For Ansari, I get why he was upset, but the thing is it's pretty common that when a duo win together, unless they immediately start by standing at the mic together and talking at the same time, whichever one speaks first, is the speech, and then they get played off. I don't know if there's a rule or a warning in advance that tells folks if there are two of you, decide who talks in advance because only one will get to, but I was not at all surprised after Yang spoke and seemed to finish, they started the music and the two were done. My memory is that's what always happens.

By Ken Levine said...

There is a warning in advance and multiple winners have to declare beforehand just who will be giving the speech. Only one person can give the speech now, not everyone.

Mike Barer said...

Dear Gettacook,
I'm still on season one. I preferred thinking Ken was making a mistake.

D. McEwan said...

Well, Game of Thrones broke Frasier's record by one Emmy last night, and is now the fiction TV series with the most Emmies ever. Winter is coming --- for your Emmy records.

While the Sherlock crowd was onstage, Amanda Abbington, who plays Mary Morstan Watson on the show and is Martin Freeman's wife offscreen as well, had her purse stolen from under her seat, with her wallet and phone in it. Who steals from Sherlock Holmes's best friend's wife? Someone needs to frisk the seat-fillers. Whenever asked what advice he would give to any young actors starting out, George Burns would say: "ALWAYS take your wallet onstage with you." Clearly Amanda never got the memo.

You may be secretly pleased that George Clayton Johnson was omitted from the "In Memorium" reel.

The nominees for Lead Actor in a Drama Series got 30 to 45 second clips with some acting for each. The Nominees for Lead Actress in a Drama Series got their names read out over quick shots, raced through so fast that the entire nominee-clip package had less screen time than ONE nominee clip for the men. What's up with that?

I saw a friend in the In Memorium reel tonight. Fortunately, he isn't dead, just standing behind Doris Roberts. I sent him a message to the effect I was sorry he was dead. He replied that maybe his now being dead will be a good career move.

Unknown said...

I speed-watched the "Creative Arts" awards the night before.

They had their own Memorial segment, which gave fleeting mention to Earl Hamner, Janet Waldo, and "Marvin Kaplin"(sic).

That still leaves 20 names on Don Jennett's backup list.

Shortly, I'll be checking my back issues of Classic Images (and remember that I have to go back to September 2015) to see who else got (excuse the expression) stiffed.

Yet to come: The Screen Actors Guild, which will no doubt call out their three former Presidents for special tributes ...

Malaspina said...

Definitely glad Tatiana Maslany won.A close second for me would have been Keri Russell.Third would have been Vera Farmiga if she had been nominated.Sarah Paulson was brilliant as Marcia Clark.John Travolta and Cuba Gooding Jr. drove me nuts so I didn't watch the complete series.

I didn't watch the Emmys show.I never watch award shows but I do look at the results.

My favourite show is The Americans.Game Of Thrones is OK but many people seem to watch it for the violence and nudity.

Oh ... Go Mariners!It is very frustrating to be an Ms fan.

H Johnson said...

I see how Kimmel is getting flack for the Johnny Cochran joke.

First, it was funny, and two, since when can't we make fun of attorneys, even dead ones (the best kind, ask Shakespeare)? Geez it's our only defense.

And you can rationalize all you want, but he put a murderer back on the streets. So wah wah to the sensitive lawyers.

Clem said...

I was indifferent to Fallon until the Trump thing. He has a whole "isn't everything awesome" vibe which is fine for promoting celebrities, movies and TV shows. But over this campaign thus far Trump has been caught: embracing white supremacists, cheating charities, making fun of the physically disabled, joking with his most fervent supporters about assassinating his opponent, and playing the press like a fiddle the whole time. Fallon let Trump use his The Tonight Show to appear innocuous and lovable, in the face of ALL of that and much more. That is spineless, hiding behind a fiction that anybody who leads a major party ticket couldn't be so bad. It's fine if Fallon wants to endorse that, for money, but that's what he did.

forg/jecoup said...

Ratings hit a new low. Not surprising since broadcast shows are barely nominated as the nominaees were dominated by low rated niche cable shows (except GOT) and streaming shows with viewers that are not inclined to watch live TV. Of course the emmys should not nominate based on what their ratings would get but when the time comes for the renewal of rights to air the awards night, they should not ask for high fees because they don't have the ratings to warrant it. Maybe they should go to netflix or HBO soon

Anonymous said...

Alan Rickman won an Emmy for Rasputin. Don't know the year. Janice B.

Anonymous said...

I'm sick of the criticism of Jimmy Fallon. Personally, I never watch him because EVERY one of his interviews are insipid and downright insulting to anyone's intelligence. But since every one of his interviews is that way, why go after him for the Trump interview? That's what he does? That's what the mindless millenials like! I bet he did the same schtickt with Hillary last night. Only liberal Hollywood won't say a word because they like all her lies and all the BS she's been spewing for the last 24 years.

Doug said...

I first saw The Tonight Show with Jack Paar as the host.Fallon and the rest of the 2016 late shows are unwatchable.

Jahn Ghalt said...

Talk shows are for entertainment. They are not "news" shows where "tough questions" for political hopefuls are fair game.

An aside: A few months ago I saw Colbert interview Elon Musk - an industrial heavy-hitter if there ever was one. I was eager to see what Musk had to say about private rocketry, electric cars, and their massive brand-new battery manufacturing plant. Colbert wasted my time and Musk's by being utterly un-serious for a (mercifully) short time. I’d hoped Colbert, himself a smart guy, would respect the audience by conducting a serious interview (alas).
By many accounts, Trump is a charming fellow one-on-one – especially when he is “selling”. This would be his role on a talk and was his role when Feherty interviewed him on the Golf Channel earlier this summer. Leave the combat for the debates – maybe another actual journalist will be “mean” to him.

(and don’t forget, even Ms. Kelley later “kissed the ring” – sort of)

Janh Ghalt said...

Since I actually hired attorneys I stopped telling attorney jokes.

Still, that mild quip (about Cochran "looking up" to us) was aimed at a hired-gun who helped a double-murderer beat the rap by invoking the race card and making the trial a referendum on the LAPD.

Unlike the jurors (who were essentially abused for nine months) Cochran was a grownup who can still take it.

Greg Ehrbar said...

It's an honor just to be shoved through the exit door for nominees.

Stephen Robinson said...

FRIDAY QUESTION for Ken (and any thoughts from the rest of you):

How important do you think a series title is? Are "cutesy" or "too clever" titles a major detriment to a show? Most of the more successful series, it seems, have straightforward titles: FRASIER, SEINFELD, FRIENDS, CHEERS. The latter was especially good because it wasn't just the name of the setting but a name that immediately made clear that the setting was a bar -- and a "friendly neighborhood bar," as well.

Some shows I think that weren't well served by their titles include JUST SHOOT ME or BETTER OFF TED -- both play off negative "puns" that don't truly reflect what the show is like. Then there are the ones like DON'T TRUST THE B IN APT #23, which is too long and unwieldy and the series started shifting away from the concept fairly quickly (so the titular "B" is more the wacky roommate -- a hybrid of Karen Walker and Cosmo Kramer).

I also still think HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, while an apt title, was the type that was too confining. For instance, with CHEERS, you had some room for the show to "find itself": It could be a show about the wacky patrons or it could be a romantic screwball comedy (which is what the first few seasons were). HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER was saddled with a specific concept and when there was instant chemistry between the lead and someone who was declared to *not* be the mother, the series couldn't really chase "the money."

Sorry to ramble but this is something that has fascinated me. Your thoughts?


Diane D. said...

Stephen Robinson:
I see no one answered you, and Ken probably won't because he wrote a very popular post on that very subject on March 23, 2015, entitled "How Important are TV Titles." Several people, including me, had asked about it. The short answer is: they are very important. With your interest in the subject, you will probably really enjoy Ken's post and the many comments it generated. If I knew how, I would give you a link to it, but you can look it up in the archives or just google Ken's blog and the title.
Cheers! (One of the best, as you mentioned)

MikeN said...

These attacks on Jimmy Fallon are has contributed to the decline of late-night.
Why the pressure that they should act as partisans? Putting Stephen Colbert in, and Seth Meyers has made things worse.

Probably started when Jon Stewart went on Crossfire and said they were bad for the country. CNN's chief wouldn't even stand up for his own show.

Anytime Stewart got called out for his antics, he said "I'm just a comedian."

Johnny Walker said...

Fallon shook the Devil's hand and smiled. It was a strange thing to do to his career, as much as I like him. I wonder who advised him that it would be OK? Seinfeld said he'd have him on his show before Fallon did. I'd like to believe that he'd have a bit of intelligence in his interview, and not let him get away with everything as if he was just another candidate.

CL said...

Prince guested in "New Girl" as himself a couple of seasons back.