Monday, September 19, 2011

The Highs and Lows of The 2011 Emmys

Another Emmys telecast has come and gone, once again filled with awkward presenters, repeat awards, an okay opening musical number, some emotional acceptance speeches and an inexplicable amount of promotion for Two and a Half Men.

Wait. One of those things is not like other.


Here are the highs and lows.

Jane Lynch
Aside from one bit that went completely over my head (see below. way below.), host Jane Lynch nailed every single joke during the Emmys telecast. Favorites in particular included her "gay agenda," exchange with the Mad Men group during the opening, and intro to the men of Entourage. Her musical number wasn't aces, but that wasn't her fault. Never offensive (which I don't actually mind, but still it was nice to not have that Awards-show-cringey-feeling for once) always hilarious, she was a fantastic pick.

Lea Michele
Meanwhile, a very different Glee actress didn't nail any joke, not the ones written for her, not her improvised one, nothing. To make things even more awkward, co-presenter Ian Somerhalder seemed pissed to be paired with her and when the teleprompted joke about actresses being divas came up, I know I was not the only one half expecting the camera to zoom in on Lea Michele herself. It certainly would have the saved the bit to have a moment of self effacing truth. What, being honest about yourself is good enough for Paula Abdul and Charlie Sheen, but not Lea Michele?

Lonely Island
It was utterly absurd and nothing about it was not fun. Plus, they freaked Bill Macy. Bill Macy! Love it.

The Emmytones
I feel AWFUL saying this because individually, all six of these actors (Zachary Levi, Cobie Smulders, Taraji P Hensen, Kate Flanney, Wilder Valmerema nd Joel McHale) are wonderful (Okay not Wilder Valderama so much), but together, they created a bit of a train wreck. Not because anyone did a bad job per se, but rather because the bit was completely unnecessary. It added nothing except for a few chuckles thanks to Cobie Smulder's facial expressions after LL Cool J popped in to rap. Jeff Winger would so not approve.

Comedians Presenting
The Jimmys wrastling, Sofia Vergara having fun with her accent, Melissa McCarthy & Amy Poehler bringing it as usual, and Hugh Laurie making dry material work prove that when you want people to bring the funny, you should ask the funny people. (Yes, Hugh Laurie is on House now, but you guys, Blackadder.)

Anyone Else Presenting
Or at least you know, if they don't know how to be funny, don't force them to try, okay? There is nothing worse than seeing someone crashing and burning on live television. Okay, there are lots of things worse than that, but still. There was way too much awkwardness on stage tonight. Poor Anna Torv not knowing how to react to David Boreanez going off script, Kerry Washington looking like she was about to die if someone didn't give her a sandwich....I know you'll get this presenter thing right one day, Emmys. One day.

More after the jump!

Actress in a Comedy
Perfection. Great idea, impeccable execution, and to top it off, a genuinely surprising and meaningful ending with Melissa McCarthy pulling an upset over favorite to win, Laura Linney. I vaguely recall there being a bit in this category last year and can only hope these ladies keep up the trend.

Emmy Winner Fun Facts
I enjoyed these last year and tonight was no exception. No matter how true or false the commentary might be, it's always entertaining and provides a nice filler as the winners make their way to the stage. Granted, this guy was nowhere near as good as the Hogdman, but enjoyable nonetheless. Or maybe I just liked it compared to -

Network Announcer Lady
Okay seriously, who wrote this shit? "Will Friday Night Lights stop Dexter on its way to Emmy stardom?" Huh? What does that even mean? Or how about when she proposed that the Best Actor in a Comedy race was only between Jim Parsons and Steve Carrell? That one might even be worse because it was kind of true. Can she just say what is coming next without getting into the ridiculous and kind of offensive area of "this race is between only two entities"? I get bothered by weird things.

"The Office" Spoof
I always enjoy bits that feature people in character and this was one that did it in style. Featuring various characters from all over the TV-verse talking about their jobs, the highlight involved Aaron Paul making a visit to Dunder-Mifflin to drop off some meth to resident weirdo, Creed. How is he so brilliant even in a 45 second comedy bit?!

Jersey Bit
Forgive me, actually don't, cause it''s not a crime, but I've never seen an episode of anything referenced in this episode, except for like, Boardwalk Empire. But Jersey Shore? Jersey Wives? Jerseylicious? Jersey Jersey Jersey what what? No. I don't have time for that shit. I mean, yes, the point of this bit was to make fun of the abundance of Jersey-centric shows, but still, I'd rather we just pretended they didn't exist.

Friday Night Lights Love
I've somehow still never watched this show, but I have enough friends whose opinions I trust that LOVE this show and were THRILLED with the awards it won, to appreciate the long awaited acknowledgment of this beloved drama. I was definitely upset that Jon Hamm didn't get his much deserved Emmy (The Suitcase! Come on, people!), but apparently Kyle Chandler is long overdue as well and this really was his last chance, so it's all good with me.

Mad Men's Fourth Win
Yes. I'm serious. Mad Men's fourth season was its best so far, and since it won Best Drama seasons 1-3, how would it not winning for its best season yet make any sense at all? I know people were upset that Friday Night Lights didn't pull it out for its last season, but honestly, when a show as universally ignored as Friday Night Lights even gets *nominated*, and not only that, but wins Best Actor and Writing? That's enough to be happy about. I sat through zip zero nothing for Buffy, Gilmore Girls and Battlestar Galactica and I'm still waiting on one effing nomination for Fringe, guys, so I can only be SO sympathetic. As for Game of Thrones, while it reached unmatched levels of amazingness at the end of its first season, the first half was all exposition. Now is not the time for Game of Thrones to win best show, but that time will come at some point, no doubt. Mad Men season four was bridging on perfection and NOBODY should be begruging it the win.

Jim Parsons' Second Win
Not that he isn't fantastic. He is. Really. You guys shouldn't hate on this show as much as you do. But this was Steve Carrell's last chance for years of top notch work that reached its peak in his last season on The Office. The disappointment filled the whole room and was felt even by Parsons himself, which just made the whole award a bit of a downer.

Sofia Vergara
There's like, not much more to say on the matter. She just manifests a "high" in every way possible.

Katie Holmes
The opposite of Sofia Vergara

Ed O'Neill To The Rescue!
Margo Martindale almost took a spill before delivering one of the most heartfelt, wonderful speeches of the night, but luckily, superhero Ed O'Neill was sitting nearby and lept to her rescue.

Mixing Variety and Reality
I don't want to see The Daily Show mixed it with The Real Housewives of wherever the fuck. I really don't.

Peter Dinklage
DDIINNKKLLAAAGGEEE!! LANNISSSTTEEERRR!!!! You know what I'm saying? Plus, his speech was humble and sweet. Has anyone ever rattled off the names of his fellow nominees with that much confidence, that much ease? He's a fuckin pro. And he thanked his dog sister. His DOG SITTER. Only cool people do that. As a frequent sitter of other people's animals, I was a big fan of this choice.


Montage Omissions
No Fringe. Seriously? Like, are you serious, The Emmys? This isn't a joke? Fringe is the best Science Fiction show on television. And it's on FOX. The network AIRING THE EMMYS. I was gonna let It's Always Sunny not being included in the Comedy montage pass, sure, even though it's weird, (FX OWNED BY FOX PS,) but bypassing Fringe is nothing but unacceptable. If you are gonna go out of your way to make montages based on genre, but not specific to what's nominated, you should really try to include some of the shows that have been majorly overlooked, you stupids.

The Path To EGOT
Tonight, we were reminded that with her second Emmy, Maggie Smith just needs a Grammy (anyone know a book she should record herself reading?) and with her first Emmy, Kate Winslet just needs a Tony (this shouldn't be that difficult to pull off, can it?). Justin Timberlake and Gwenyth Paltrow also got closer with their guest star wins, but if Justin Timberlake ever becomes an EGOT, I'll ram my head into my wall. But overall, a good Emmys for potential EGOTs.

All Two And A Half Men All The Time!
Why was this damn show being promoted so damn much during the Emmys?! Barely a mention of Fringe but Two and Half Men gets like four dedicated bits?! Really?!

That about does it for me. A perfectly fine show with a few great moments that has successfully gotten me jazzed for this season of television to begin. Especially Fringe. Yeah, that's right, by ignoring Fringe, you just made me think of Fringe all night. So if that was the plan, Fox, then good work, but I don't think you're that smart. Anyway. Moral of the story: Watch Fringe. Not Two and a Half Men.