Thursday, August 28, 2014

4 Thoughts on the Emmy Awards

1. The host - I like Seth Meyers, but not enough to watch his late night show. I like his sarcasm, and I enjoyed his "Weekend Update" segments on SNL, I just have no interest in watching him for long periods of time. I didn't really think he would be a good Emmy host, and I was right. He had some funny lines, sure, but overall he lacks the charisma that is needed for hosting gigs like this. It felt like he was doing a "Weekend Update: Emmy edition" and that's not going to translate well on a big stage like that. Most of his jokes were very "inside" television, which is problematic for the audience that watches - I mean, I understood them, but I know most of my friends would have no idea what the hell he was talking about for most of the show. This is one of the few times in which I prefer broad comedy, mixed with a few inside jokes, here and there. I vote to have Tina Fey and Amy Poehler host every awards show for the rest of eternity.

2. The winners and losers - I realize that Breaking Bad is considered a "safe" choice, however it's one of the best shows ever, and the final season is a masterpiece. It deserved every award it got and more. There are so many incredible dramas on television right now, but Breaking Bad was still better. For me, the nominations for Best Drama were clearly missing the best that TV has to offer right now (Hannibal, Bates Motel, The Americans, Parenthood, and I'm only on season 3 of The Good Wife, but if it stays at this quality then yes, it deserves Emmy recognition). Side note: now that Breaking Bad is over, it's finally Jon Hamm's turn (nominated 7 times, with no win - that's a little ridiculous). I realize that people are upset that True Detective was screwed (I think it only won 1 award), especially for Matthew McConaughey's performance, but the Producers really are the ones that screwed the show. They should have put it under the Miniseries category. It would have swept in that category. Personally, I think Fargo is a better show, but I don't think anyone agrees with me. True Detective had 3 incredible episodes (out of 8), while Fargo had 10 incredible episode (out of 10). The only category that I thought was a lock was the Best Actor in a Miniseries category - Billy Bob Thornton surely had that one, but no, it went to Benedict Cumberbatch!?! What? I watch Sherlock, and it's a good show, but he is not better than Billy Bob, or Idris Elba....or Martin Freeman. I really wanted Allison Tolman to win, but her category was probably the toughest - some of the strongest actresses in the industry right there. I haven't seen The Normal Heart yet, I definitely will catch it at some point, but I actually read several bad reviews about it. I'm surprised that it was favored to win in any category, even more surprised that it won for Television Movie. I will always love Ryan Murphy, though. While I may not like (actually really, really hate) the direction that Glee went, AHS and Nip/Tuck are enough for me me to support him for forever. On the comedy side, I am one of the few who will not complain about Modern Family winning. I agree that there are "fresher" comedies on the air right now like Veep and Louie, but being a broad comedy, Modern Family is still consistently funny. That's a tough accomplishment. I would love to see Parks and Recreation, or even something more controversial like It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia or Archer nominated for an Emmy. Also, as many have pointed out the Emmys would benefit from a "Dramedy" category for shows like Orange is the New Black, which is clearly Emmy worthy but should not be put in the Comedy category (just like Kohan's previous show Weeds). I don't hate Jim Parsons, but I've watched a few episodes of The Big Bang Theory and it is an awful, awful, awful television show. I can't imagine his performance is better than the other nominees.

3. The show - Definitely one of the worst Emmys that I can remember - last year was pretty bad as well. I laughed very few times. One was the Billy Eichner sketch. I usually find him annoying, but this was pretty good. Another was with Jimmy Kimmel roasting Matt McConaughey. They were both much funnier than the host, and that's sad. I am not a fan of Weird Al. I never understood the appeal and his performance was one of the worst things I've ever seen on the Emmy stage. Julia Louis-Dreyfus clearly stole the show with her "Hang on, Clark Gable" jab to Bryan Cranston, and of course their kiss before her acceptance speech was perfect. She's always one to entertain. The audience Q & A thing would have been funnier, if the questions were actually funnier - and if there were more comedians involved - like Amy Poehler. That's my advice for any awards show: always more Poehler. Some of the presenters were very wooden - like Adam Levine and Gwen Stefani. They had zero chemistry and looked so uncomfortable. It certainly does not make me want to watch whatever crap reality show they are on. Halle Berry doesn't fuck around - she just walked to the microphone and read the nominees. Done and done. Speaking of Halle, the show seemed to focus waaaay too much on the fact that there were "movie stars" at the show. We get stars are better than television stars. Now shut the fuck up. Both Julia Roberts and Matt McConaughey looked uncomfortable with the amount of attention they were receiving (and they didn't even win....hahahahaha!). The best speech of the night belongs to Ryan Murphy - "find a cause that you believe, that you will fight for, that you will die for". The memorial for Robin Williams was perfection - Billy Crystal knows how to give a speech; touching and respectful. The end "what a concept" almost broke me (but I was able to stay strong). I do think it's weird that they didn't highlight his performance in Mork & Mindy. The big "controversy" about the show was Sophia Vergara's stunt as an objectified female literally standing on a rotating floor, giving the audience something to look at, while the head of The Television Arts & Sciences gave a speech about diverse storytelling in television. It instantly screamed "sexism", however, I do see both sides of the argument. Vergara saw the intent of the bit to highlight the fact that she can be both "hot and funny", which is something misogynist assholes think is impossible. I don't think it's a surprise that men enjoy looking at her (and they should - she is stunning), and I don't think it's a big deal to make a joke about that. This is what bothers me about some feminist activists - they focus on garbage like this; instead of the real inequalities women suffer. First, this show is actually a great step towards female equality in the world of television. Did anyone notice how many women were on that stage winning awards??? Writers (Sarah Silverman, Moira Walley-Beckett) and directors (Gail Mancuso)!! And almost all of the nominated actresses were women OVER the age of 40. My biggest question: Do these Emmy award winners earn the same pay as their male counterparts? It's highly doubtful. So....if you want to fight the feminist cause, please fight the bigger fight. The only way to make the Emmy awards (and ALL awards shows) truly equate the sexes is to not separate male and female acting categories. It's almost barbaric. Women can clearly compete with their male counterparts in the same category. I think the excuse that is used now, is that separating allows for more nominees - but instead I offer the alternative: separate genres, by adding "Dramedy" "Science Fiction" and even a "New Series" category (with acting nominees in each category).

4. The fashion - Something else that's sexist? The way the red carpet pre-show focuses on the "what are you wearing" question, instead of the work of the nominated actress (I do notice the interviewers asking more men about their fashion in an attempt to lessen the rampant sexism, however, does anyone care what men are wearing? Suits are so fucking boring.). I do love fashion, though. So I play the game. Who had the best dress? Leslie Mann has worn my favorite dress for the past two years, but she wasn't at the show this year, which left me extremely disappointed. I think my favorite dress was worn by Taylor Schilling. It's the same style she always wears, which is a little annoying, but still...she looked insanely gorgeous. I also loved Julia Roberts dress. It's hard to wear a short dress to a red carpet event, but this dress is really cool. I love a short dress/long sleeve combo. There were so many red dresses this year, which I am not a big fan of - but Julia Louis-Dryfuss looked amazing. A lot of people gushed over Lizzy Caplan's dress, but I didn't see the big fuss (although, I hope all of this attention she is getting for Masters of Sex, will translate to a Party Down revival. I miss that show so much). Zooey Deschanel's dress looked like a prom dress from the 90's (or a really ugly Bridesmaid dress) - certainly, not fashion forward. Actually, that is what most of the dresses looked like, which is why I didn't really love the fashion this year. Oh and Lena Dunham....I don't even know what to say about that one.

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