Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Emmy Rundown (or Maybe Running Over Them with a Mack Truck)

I was going to do a rundown of the Emmy ceremonies that took place last Sunday night on CBS. But here's the deal. Some of the winners were surprising, but not necessarily in a good way (Jeff Daniels, you're a good actor and I like you, but The Newsroom is a dog. I know you're doing the best you can to elevate Aaron Sorkin's mess, but... It's still a mess.) and some of the winners weren't surprising at all, also not in a good way (Love you, Modern Family, but you really don't need to keep taking all the awards, ok? Leave some for some other comedies.)

Fine by me for Behind the Candelabra to clean up. Fine by me for Tony Hale to win for Veep. He's so good, as evidenced by the little act he did as his Veep character when Julia Louis-Dreyfus won her award, carrying her purse and whispering suggestions. He's the kind of actor who often doesn't get picked up on Emmy's radar, so good for him.

What else? I find Derek Hough smug and annoying and I wish anybody else had won that category. Why give it to someone whose choreography is too often about simulated blowjobs instead of, you know, dancing? The Voice? Really? Why did Neil Patrick Harris have so little to do? Why does anyone think boob jokes are still funny, even if it's NPH delivering them? Why am I still watching the Emmys?

While I was, I did a kind of stream-of-consciousness record of what was happening, but I didn't start till the first award. Whatever came before that is lost in the sands of time. Yep. That's how forgettable it was. But here are my thoughts on the 2013 Emmy Awards as they unfolded. Not a lot of detail, I admit. And again... Why am I still watching the Emmys?

Merritt Wever
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie. Who is Merritt Wever?

Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series
Tina Fey and Tracey Wigfield, 30 Rock, "Last Lunch" episode

Tony Hale
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Tony Hale, Veep. Aw, nice. One of our nieces was really into Arrested Development when she was little, and she told my husband he was just like Buster. (My Arrested Development twin was Maggie Lizer, by the way.) So when Tony Hale's name was announced, my husband said, "I won an award!" And that was nice, too.

Robin Williams' tribute to Jonathan Winters. Nicely done, but nothing so significant that it couldn't have been part of the standard In Memoriam reel.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep. Loved the bit. Funniest thing so far.

Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series
Gail Mancuso, Modern Family. I don't really have an opinion on who's who here, so it's good to see a female director win.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory. Whatever. He seems nice. He got Bob Newhart on his show, so bonus points for that.

Jean Stapleton
Rob Reiner's tribute to Jean Stapleton. It seemed heartfelt and sweet, and I do think Jean Stapleton and All in the Family were huge in the history of television. But I would've preferred at least a few clips. I wanted to hear Edith Bunker sing "Those Were the Days."

Elton John plays a new song in honor of Liberace and HBO's Behind the Candelabra. Total waste of time as far as I'm concerned.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Laura Linney, The Big C: Hereafter.

A bit about NPH and Excessive Hosting Disorder from his HIMYM pals. Mildly amusing.

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series
Henry Bromell, Homeland. Very sweet to see this posthumous tribute.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad. She and I have the same birthday (along with Viola Davis) and she does a dandy job on Breaking Bad in what seems like more of a leading role than a supporting one. But this way she gets an award because she doesn't have to compete with Claire Danes, so good for her.

Jane Lynch's tribute to Cory Monteith. Which of these things is not like the other? Yeah, I thought so.

Outstanding Reality Competition Program
The Voice. Poor Amazing Race doesn't know what to do with itself without a win in this category.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire. Outstanding Supporting Actor with the Most Violence in a Drama Series... Your girl is lovely, Bobby. And I like you. I really do. But I think Aaron Paul deserves this more than you do. And Mandy Patinkin deserves this more than you do.

Jeff Daniels in The Newsroom
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom. Yeah, whatever. Daniels is fine, he really is, but the way Aaron Sorkin builds his characters, especially the female ones, makes this show unwatchable for me.

Don Cheadle and Carrie Underwood salute 1963 on television, as the year the Beatles hit The Ed Sullivan Show and TV anchors like Walter Cronkite covered the JFK assassination. Underwood sings "Yesterday." Very, very badly. I love "Yesterday," but it was a hit in 1965, not 1963. If I have to have a tribute to 1963, could I have a different one, please? One without Carrie Underwood anywhere near it? Talk about pitchy, dawg. It was also at this point (with Carrie Underwood and her milkmaid/Heidi/40-Year-Old Virgin Sound of Music poster showing up all over the place) that I realized that pretty much everyone with a special segment -- with the exception of Rob Reiner, I guess, and maybe Elton John -- also had a season premiere or new show or special project of some sort coming up very soon. So they were chosen so they could promote their stuff, then, and not because the people or events they were supposedly celebrating were worth celebration in any meaningful way. Got it.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Claire Danes, Homeland. Of course. Hated her dress, by the way. The internet was divided. Thumbs down from here.

Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series
David Fincher, House of Cards. Nice to see the show get something.

Outstanding Writing in a Variety Series
The Colbert Report. Very much deserved.

Outstanding Directing in a Variety Series
Don Roy King, Saturday Night Live. Yeah, no.

Michael J. Fox tribute to Gary David Goldberg. I love Michael J. Fox and he certainly did have a strong connection to Gary David Goldberg, someone whose contributions to television were significant and important and over too soon. But these memorial segments are so not working. They just make me mad at the people who've passed away or at the people honoring them, and that is so wrong.

Outstanding Choreography
Derek Hough, Dancing with the Stars. Ugh.

The Colbert Report
Outstanding Variety Series
The Colbert Report. Sure.

Edie Falco tribute to James Gandolfini. She seemed very emotional and very committed to sharing what she loved about James Gandolfini. I found this the most moving of the tributes because of that.

Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special
Abi Morgan, The Hour. Did you see the other nominees? Tom Stoppard, Jane Campion, David Mamet, Richard LaGravenese... Good for you, Abi Morgan, for coming out with the trophy against that kind of competition.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
James Cromwell, American Horror Story: Asylum. He's fabulous.

And then the more complete In Memoriam reel, which was, of course, hugely overshadowed by the special people with special tributes. Such a bad idea to single out the few and insult the many.

Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special
Steven Soderbergh, Behind the Candelabra.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Ellen Burstyn, Political Animals.

Michael Douglas as Liberace in Behind the Candelabra
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Michael Douglas, Behind the Candelabra. Deserved and also very, very expected.

Outstanding Miniseries or Movie
Behind the Candelabra. Expected.

Outstanding Comedy Series
Modern Family. Of course.

Outstanding Drama Series
Breaking Bad. It deserves it. Mad Men, Downton Abbey and House of Cards (even Game of Thrones) are more my style, but I can't deny that Breaking Bad is a fabulous hour of TV. Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul are what makes it sing, though, and I'm sorry that the Academy didn't see that. They should've been throwing awards at those two whenever they could.

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