A Night to Forget

I look forward to exactly two awards shows each year: The Oscars and the Emmys. Typically, these are polished and classy productions that focus on actual artistic achievment, rather than display how much Hollywood is in love with itself (I'm looking at you, Golden Globes). They're a nice way to justify my viewing of certain films/shows and usually act as a mini trip down memory lane for each medium.

That being said, Sunday's Emmy telecast was a complete letdown. I won't give a complete recap or awards commentary like I did last year, but I will give some highlights and lowlights:

  • Warm tributes -- one for Johnny Carson introduced by David Letterman, one a semi-memorial for Peter Jennings introduced by Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather. They also focused on "the news" in general. I think it's scary/sad that video journalistm now falls under the entertainment spotlight.
  • Lost wins Best Drama -- I'm a firm believer in HBO/FX programming being superior to regular network programming, but in an off year for HBO, I'm pretty happy that Lost won. It's a very captivating program (though not perfect) with extremely interesting characters and a plot that keeps me watching every week.
  • The Deadwood clip that literally had 30 seconds of straight expletive-deleted bleeping.
  • Better nominations -- Deadwood, Arrested Development, Entourage, Lost, Scrubs, The Shield, House, 24 all getting more nominations than they get last year on the whole. Now that Ray has left the building and West Wing is on its deathbed, the next few years should be rosey.
  • That's about it.

You want this dude to introduce the show?


  • Pretty much everything else -- Ellen Degeneres, who is usually a solid comedienne, was a terrible host, with terrible jokes and terrible running gags. I guess if the purpose of the host is to announce presenters and keep the show moving along, she did her job, since the whole thing was so damn boring and couldn't be helped from moving along.
  • Low-DTV. How can a show that celebrates television not be broadcast in HDTV? I nearly threw up in my mouth when I saw two gray, vertical bars and fuzzy, washed out colors on my screen
  • Emmy Idol -- one of the stupidest running gags ever taking place on an awards show -- "Normal" TV stars performing some of our "favorite" TV themes. Yes, the theme to Fame (as sung by an out of breath Kristen Bell) is one of my favorites. I hum it on the T every morning. Give me a break. William Shatner performing the speaking part to the theme to Star Trek and then staring at the Soprano next to him while she sang was extremely creepy. Donald Trump and Megan Mullally speaking and singing, respectively, the theme to Green Acres would have been much better if the show's producers had them switch parts (with the Donald ad libing Ava Gabor's lines... "darling I love ya but give me Trump Tower's View"). This schtick might have worked two years ago with the whole explosion of American Idol, but in 2005 it seems bored with itself, unoriginal and uninspired. Why not have a mini-soap-opera/surreal life takeoff involving the stage hands or production crew? When will Dick Clark Productions call me for bright ideas?
  • Earth Wind & Fire and the Black Eyed Peas -- when did mainstream television become so funky? EW&F bastardizing its own lyrics to cover events that happened over the year -- mostly limited to Martha Stewart and Tom Cruise.... who cares?!?! 95% of the awards are for scripted television series and documentaries!!! It's ok to talk/sing about television shows without alienating people who don't follow them. Why is it assumed that everyone watching the Emmys cares deeply about reality programming? If you're going to go the Billy Crystal route, go the whole way. Ugh.
  • Best Actor/Best Actress nominee introductions -- nearly every other category provided those 10 second clips of video for each of its nominees. Why did were best actor/actrees nominees passed over? I want to see Jack Bauer kicking Marwan's ass! I want to see Dr. House chew out everyone! I even want to see Teri Hatcher streaking and riding a mechanical bull. Just plain disrespectful.
  • Family Guy comments -- every 20 minutes another quick view of the Griffin Family watching the Emmys and making comments. Unfunny banter from an unfunny animated show about an unentertaining awards show.

Fixes for next year:

HDTV, Conan O'Brien and his writers. It's that simple.


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