2011 Emmy Award Postmortem

They’re Back!

I haven’t had that much fun watching an award show in years.  Honestly, I thought they were making themselves more and more irrelevant with each long, boring, staid broadcast with predictable winners and the same speech over and over.  Spending 4 hours for the 2 accidentally funny bits we usually get was getting exhausting.

But not this time!    Maybe we can thank Ricky Gervais, who shook things up at last years Golden Globes.  His edgy digs at the pampered stars played well with audiences – not so much with the stars.  So what would the Emmys bring?  Back to star coddling or on to something with a little more audience appeal?  Lucky for us it was the latter!

Jane Lynch was a genius choice for host – her Glee TV persona is rude and crazy so we’ve come to expect snark to fly out of her mouth at random.  She definitely used the Sue Sylvester style last night and it was consistently funny.   My personal favorite was her quip about being a loser and wishing she was home eating a tub of turkey meatballs after Julie Bowen scooped up the Emmy for Best Supporting Actress – Comedy.  I also loved her Gay Agenda.

I wasn’t expecting that Julie Bowen win.  I don’t do a lot of Emmy predicting because I watch so few of the shows – but I watch more of the comedies than dramas and I definitely watch Modern Family.  They really have no lead actors so the entire adult cast was nominated in the Supporting categories.  I fully expected either Lynch to take it for Glee (or Betty White – almost 90 years old! – for Hot in Cleveland) and if I had to predict which Modern Family actress had the best chance I would have said Sophia Vergara.  Her character is so much more flamboyant – the kind of character that wins awards.  But Bowen has, I think, the harder role.  She’s more “normal”, but she really isn’t.  She doesn’t have the over-the-top character traits that help sell her role, she has to be lovable and crazy but still sort of regular.  And she is – congrats on a win well earned, Julie!

Also among my faves of the night was the acceptance speech of Ty Burrell for Supporting Actor – Comedy.  He’s Bowen’s counterpart, Phil Dunphy, on Modern Family and he gave one of the funniest and most perfectly delivered acceptance speeches I’ve ever heard at an awards show.  If you can find it online somewhere, do it – it’s completely worth your time.

Other Emmy highlights (well, at least at my house):

  • –My husband saying, as Julie Bowen got up to accept her Emmy, “She forgot to put on a shirt!  But that’s okay.”
  • –Ricky Gervais and his “edited speech” – I definitely laughed.  There have been rumors that he might live blog the Golden Globes – I would tune in to that in a heartbeat.
  • –Modern Family director Stu Levitan’s wife deadpanning a look at the camera as he disclosed that the “caught in the act” scene he won for happened to them.  Perfect timing!
  • –The Best Actress in a Comedy nominees all jumping on stage as their names were announced, forming a pageant line.  Because it started with Amy Poehler, we didn’t know if it was completely planned or not.  You never know with Amy.  And it turned out really cute as Melissa McCarthy donned the tiara and roses.
  • –The acceptance speech on behalf of the writers of The Daily Show – hilarious!  So badly written.  So earnestly delivered, so much wrestling of Jon Stewart in the background.
  • –The Epic Musical Number.  Oh, these usually suck so intensely bad.  So bad that they had mostly been canned.  But not this year, this year it was resurrected with The Lonely Island doing a medley.  I had never heard of The Lonely Island because apparently I am Old and Out Of Touch.  But my teenagers filled me in (as we paused the show – I heart my DVR), I have seen their videos and so hopefully can appreciate the full epic-ness.  It does my heart good to know that Michael Bolton doesn’t take himself seriously (since neither does anyone else) and inappropriate lyrics make me happy.
  • –I got several new shows to get from Netflix and/or start DVRing.  This is a consistent benefit of the Emmys for me, even if the broadcast sucks.  This year I’ll be adding The Killing, Justified and the upcoming Terranova (we caught a commercial) to my already loaded Netflix and DVR schedule.  We’ve already seen season 1 of The Walking Dead, we just didn’t realize it was on a channel we actually get.  Season 2?  DVR!
  • –We got some surprise winners!  Well, at least in the first half.  I haven’t seen most of those dramas, mini-series or reality shows (no Hoarders win.  Peh) so I have no idea if they were a surprise, but comedy served up a few.  Bowen and Burrell, McCarthy – love it.  Even though I fully expected Jim Parsons to win Best Actor – Comedy it was still great fun to see the Big Bang Theory actor accept his award.

Okay, now for the things I didn’t like so much:

  • –Charlie Sheen.  I’m sick of his face.  He was a non-event and I wish he had stayed home.
  • –The opening number went on too long.  But that’s okay, because Lynch acknowledged it which made it funny.
  • –I do not watch Mad Men. This of course is my own failing, but the second half of the show started to wear me out as show after show I had never seen paraded across the stage.  Apparently the Academy doesn’t like The Mentalist.

And that’s it.  Sure, there were slow spots and fashion fails (oh, Laura Linney, you’re so beautiful but who the hell dressed you?) but overall it was a fun-filled night that brought some sparkle into a genre that hasn’t had any in a long, long time.  Nicely played, Emmy.  Nicely played.

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