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Emmys Showcase Broadcast TV’s Irrelevance

August 30, 2010

Last night the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences preempted NBC’s usual roster of bland Sunday night offerings in order to hand out Emmy statuettes and give it up for themselves. About ten minutes into the broadcast I found myself longing for a self-congratulatory acceptance speech by James Cameron or a thirty minute ramble/cinema history lesson from Uncle Marty!

If you’re a Gleek, this opening skit probably worked for you. However, if you’re not, well most likely you stared at the TV, jaw scraping the shag carpet wondering how they hell they secured the rights to Born to Run. Can someone check on The Boss. I suspect he’s probably tied to a chair somewhere. The only highlights of the overly long and Fallon heavy terrible assault on the senses, wer Jon Hamm backing that thang up on Betty White and Jane Lynch as Sue pelting the overpraised, smug and underwhelming Tina Fey with bright red slushie. If Glee consisted of a weekly dose of Lynch pelting unfunny, overrated comedians with red slushies I’d definitely be inclined to watch the show. Otherwise, based on the opening skit, I’d say, once again I’ve dodged a bullet, or in this case – a slushie.

The Host: Jimmy Fallon

SNL alum Fallon struck all the wrong notes with his stilted between presenter monologues, musical numbers and ill advised attempts to incorporate audience tweets into the broadcast. With all the talented singers/performers available to host – like the frequently utilized Neil Patrick Harris – why do these award shows insist on tapping the well of unfunny, grating, former SNL personalities? Newsflash: that well done run dry, assuming it ever had water in the first place.

Fallon singing a tribute to Lost, one of his few non punishing moments of the telecast:

The Winners

Edie Falco nabbed the lead actress in a comedy Emmy for her turn as titular Nurse Jackie. She also made history being the first actor to take top acting honors in both comedy and drama (she won a bunch of Emmys for her role as Carmella Soprano!)

Archie Panjabi snagged the best supporting actress Emmy for her work on The Good Wife. I loved her in Bend it like Beckam! La Mommie likes the show, so I guess I’ll probably start watching it.

We were all a lot closer to Kevin Bacon last night when Mrs. Bacon – a.k.a. Kyra Sedgwickfinally took home an Emmy for lead actress in a Drama! Meanwhile Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston took home his third Bryan Cranston award. Mad Men and Modern Family took top series honors – I’m sure you can figure out which show won for which category. Jane Lynch was recognized for her efforts on Glee, though the show itself was shut out of all but two categories; Ryan Murphy picked up an award in some awful Mad Men yourself looking jacket. I guess the academy members aren’t Gleeks!

Here are the rest of the evening’s winners!

Overall, the broadcast would have benefited from significantly more diversity in its presenters – No, Blair Underpants is not enough – less stilted banter and for corn’s sake, RAISE THE FREAKING MIC so folks don’t blow out their backs. I was wincing for Kyra Sedgewick and everyone else who had to contort themselves in order to use the mic. In addition, truly funny bits – like say someone taking that geetar from Fallon and cracking him upside the head with it – would have been much appreciated. Instead we got Fallon doing a terrible stage slap on some chick – played for laughs, because slapping chicks is way hilarious!

Thanks to my fry butt cohorts: Eieioj, Penpusher, RaymondJ and Redlami for hanging in there. A special thanks to our loyal commenter Alicia M for keeping things lively and funny. Had a great time liveblogging with y’all!

Watch This! will be back next week!

34 Comments leave one →
  1. August 30, 2010 10:05 am

    I think the “some chick” that Fallon stage-slapped was Juliana Margulies.

    ..saying “some chick” just made me think of Charlotte’s Web (the cartoon version, not the Julia Roberts/Dakota Fanning..thing..).

  2. August 30, 2010 10:31 am

    Was it Julianna? Oh no. I didn’t even recognize her. Too busy looking at Hamm, who was cruelly seated in a “You’ll win an Emmy” seat!

  3. August 30, 2010 11:02 am

    During his award category, Jon Hamm looked like he thought he had shot to win, so I feel kinda bad for him that he didn’t. Oh well–I enjoyed his goofy dancing in the intro.

    It was interesting how all the categories were grouped together, which as a TV viewers I liked, because I could just tune into the first 2 hours or so, then come back after the snoozy TV Movies/Miniseries section for the final awards.

  4. August 30, 2010 1:06 pm

    Speaking of the categories, did I miss something, or was there only 1 award given during the “Reality” portion of the Emmys?

  5. August 30, 2010 1:33 pm

    Seemed like one award too many. Will reality TV ever go away or at least go back to its pre 1995 less favored status. I hoped to go my entire life without knowing what fame hungry assclown Kate G looked like. Damn. I guess that dream is over.

  6. August 30, 2010 1:45 pm

    I used to think of the Emmys as a second-rate awards show. That went down to third-rate when the Tonys award show won in a category for which the Emmys show wasn’t even nominated.

  7. August 30, 2010 1:46 pm

    Also, I want to know who decided this was the Year of Betty White. You couldn’t go five minutes without seeing her.

  8. August 30, 2010 2:16 pm

    The Tonys are far more entertaining. The people singing and dancing are usually professional singers and dancers, therefore they aren’t awful like the TV stars who can barely act, much less sing and dance.

  9. Kia permalink
    August 30, 2010 6:24 pm

    Thank you for sitting thru this so I didn’t have to.

    I used to love awards shows, but can’t bear most of them anymore.

    I accidentally caught Billy Bush’s smug mug during the red carpet show and fled to HBO, and that’s saying something b/c Tru Blood is all kinds of ridiculous, and not in a good way…

  10. August 30, 2010 7:00 pm

    Billy Bush relishes telling folks how many times they’ve been nominated and haven’t taking home the award.

  11. August 30, 2010 7:27 pm

    Well, that pretty much summed up why I have .10% interest in Broadcast T.V.

  12. August 30, 2010 8:44 pm

    Omg, PopLife, it was awful.

  13. thepants permalink
    August 30, 2010 9:48 pm

    I kind of feel like an ass for de-lurking to point out a mistake but… Edie Falco is not the first actor to win an Emmy for comedy and drama. Carroll O’Connor won best actor in comedy for All in the Family and best actor in a drama for In the Heat of the Night.
    Sorry I’m a trivia nerd. But I love the blog and read it everyday!

  14. August 30, 2010 9:48 pm

    Just to coordinate:

    Yes, Juliana Margulies was the comedic dramatic partner for Fallon’s failed stage slap attempt.

    Keep in mind that Max Weinberg is part of the Bruce crew, and Fallon is in good with him via the Conan connection. So it’s more likely that’s how the song got in there than Mr. Springsteen ever even knowing that it was getting used.

    But of course, the reason that Fallon got the gig is because it was on NBC. Who else could they have used? Jay Leno? We just got him out of prime time! Plus apparently Lorne Michaels still has a lot of power when it comes to variety on the network, and Fallon is his guy. His unfunny, untalented, uncoordinated, unbelievable guy.

    Note: the contract the Emmy Awards has with the broadcast networks has just expired! Where will the next Emmys be seen? Well, they’ll probably renew the contract, so it’ll be one of the other broadcast networks. But it might go to some other channel… Hard to say. One thing is certain: Next Year – No Jimmy Fallon as host.

    But no mention of how Modern Family was crowned Television’s Funniest Show!!!!! Which to me, summed up the entire debacle. A Comedy-Free Comedy Show wins the night on an unentertaining entertainment awards program. But I knew it was suck before they even finished the announcement of who the host would be way back last winter. The guy has literally months to figure out what he was going to do on the show and THAT was what he came up with??? I can only imagine the ideas that didn’t make the cut.


  15. aliciamaud permalink
    August 30, 2010 10:00 pm

    This was a pretty horrendous broadcast. I started looking forward to the processed-turkey-will-help-you-get-skinny commercials to take a break from Fallon’s unfunny.

  16. August 31, 2010 8:49 am

    What NBC star *should* have hosted? Two words: Tracy Morgan.

  17. August 31, 2010 8:57 am

    Damn… if cable got it, there is no end to the list of people who could do a better job hosting it.

  18. August 31, 2010 8:58 am

    Kyra Sedgwick’s hair upsets me to no end.

    Edited to say that I like Modern Family and I can’t believe that Jimmy Fallon still has a career. I liked him for about 5 seconds when he was first on SNL and then it was like, when is this guy gonna go away?

  19. August 31, 2010 9:06 am

    Tracy Morgan would have been hilarious and entirely too black for NBC, which would actually be worth watching. “Could you get off the stage? I wanna wrap this up as quickly as possible.” Larry David would be a good host too!

    Jimmy Fallon reminds me of someone who spent his entire childhood mimicking other legitimately funny people and being told by family and friends that he himself was funny.

    Honestly, I can’t imagine a cable network wanting this glue factory bound losing bet. Most cable network with cash already have solid Sunday night entertainment (AMC, TNT and USA come to mind)

    The problem with NBC (and other broadcast networks) is they take a reasonably (but not riotously) funny bit – Betty White or Jon Hamm not being like Draper – and run it into the ground until what little humor it possessed is ground into powder.

  20. August 31, 2010 9:10 am

    @Chriso – Kyra has not seen your hair post! I gotta believe that this might be a TNT thing rather than a Kyra thing. Those networks are scared to death of some kind of Second season Felicity scandal.

    I actually LOVED when Felicity cut her hair short. It was so cute.

  21. August 31, 2010 9:28 am

    @thepants : we love it when lurkers emerge! and we like being right in the long run, so always feel free to school us along the way.

  22. August 31, 2010 10:12 am

    Jimmy Fallon reminds me of this:

    It’ll probably get deleted once NBC finds out one of their shows is on some other service than hulu. If so, the clip was Chris Farley interviewing Paul McCartney. Really, that’s what Fallon’s show is like, nightly.

    And I’m sure that as a kid, Fallon was constantly praised for his genius and comedy skills, so much that he KNEW he would be hosting the Emmy Awards someday and that he would kill it.

    Tracy Morgan would have been really fascinating on a live program for 3 hours. But NBC wouldn’t even let him present one award, so there was no hope of him hosting the whole thing! Still of everyone on the roster of NBC shows, he really was the only choice to host, and you wouldn’t have even needed writers… he could have ad libbed every intro and it would have been the funniest show on NBC since season 7 of “Seinfeld.”

    But as for where the Emmys will go next… I still say I want to revamp the entire concept of the program, and make it into an all star mashup with clips of the various characters from all these programs interacting with each other throughout the show, not just as part of some lame opening segment. This is supposed to be television’s biggest night. Why is it the worst show of the year? Make it into a story… with all of the characters from all of the shows playing a role! That would be interesting and fun! Even bring in classic TV stars to reprise their roles… Are you getting the picture, Emmy???

  23. August 31, 2010 10:21 am

    @Thepants. Edie was the first “actress”, though I don’t like the term “actress” so I say female actor or male actor. Supposed I should have clarified that. Thanks for the feedback.

  24. August 31, 2010 10:25 am

    Based on the crap on Broadcast TV, I believe celebrating the biggest night in TV by being the worst show on the air is probably more than appropriate.

  25. thepants permalink
    August 31, 2010 12:19 pm

    @Snarky’sMachine I’m an acting teacher and I use actor when taking about either gender so we’re on the same page. I had just had the Carroll O’Connor question on a trivia quiz so I guess the knowledge was haunting my head. 🙂

  26. thepants permalink
    August 31, 2010 12:21 pm

    Sorry if I did a double post. I caught a spelling error and thought I had stopped the post in time but I guess not.

  27. August 31, 2010 12:31 pm

    Carroll O’Connor was brilliant on In the Heat of the Night. I think I might even like his performance a little bit better than Steiger’s. Both are phenomenal, but O’Connor found something different and interesting to do with the role.

    And thanks for the O’Connor trivia! For some reason I had Alan Alda pegged as the first male actor, so I’m glad you sorted that out. Welcome to FRY BUTT and hope to see you around more. I don’t think we have a resident acting teacher. Awesome!

  28. evmaroon permalink
    August 31, 2010 4:15 pm

    I just can’t get excited about an awards show. Any of them. Each one is more boring than the next. And anything that makes Joan Rivers look interesting (critiquing everyone else’s plastic surgery? this is a new skill set?) has got to come from the bowels of evil. Or Dick Cheney’s colon. Same difference.

  29. September 1, 2010 8:52 am

    I like awards shows for reasons similar to how I used to like pro wrestling when I was a kid. It’s not a fair fight, it’s overdone and glitzy and sleazy, nobody really takes it seriously and yet there’s something about it that makes me want to keep watching right up until the end.

  30. September 1, 2010 2:02 pm

    I echo Redlami’s sentiments. I find the occasional award show – usually the biggies (though never the Grammys) to be the only kind of appointment TV I bother with. These shows could be very good if producers stuck to what makes them satisfying to the viewers: stars, fashion and the occasional “Oh snap!” upset victory. The 2010 Emmys offered very little of those things.

  31. hsofia permalink
    September 1, 2010 2:04 pm

    Three HOURS for the Emmy’s? Reason alone not to watch it!

  32. September 1, 2010 3:49 pm

    @Hsofia – yeah they definitely need to trim up those telecasts. 90 minutes would be perfect. Leave folks wanting more rather than less.

  33. aliciamaud permalink
    September 1, 2010 9:17 pm

    Next year’s host?

    Superfly Jimmy Snooka.

  34. September 1, 2010 10:00 pm

    @AliciaMaud – I’d totally watch if that were so!

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