Monday, September 21, 2009

2009 Emmy Awards Post-Mortem

Well, as predicted, I didn’t do very well on my Emmy winner picks. But that’s OK, because for the first time in a LONG time, the Emmys didn’t suck! After successfully hosting the Tony Awards and now killing at the Emmys, everyone is talking about how Neil Patrick Harris should host every entertainment awards show. And they’re right. He’s funny, energetic, smart, cute as a button, and a true rarity in Hollywood, genuinely talented. And after losing the Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy award to Jon Cryer (SERIOUSLY??!!) he proved that he can roll with the punches and make fun of himself. An actor who can host the bejesus out of a show AND not pout like a little bitch when he loses an award (I’m looking at you Kevin Dillon)? Hell, let the guy host anything he’s willing to take on; Oscars, Grammys, Independent Spirit Awards, Kennedy Center Honors, Nobel Peace Prize, etc.

Here are some of the highlights (and lowlights) that struck me:

* The Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy nominees all wearing goofy glasses. I guess it was supposed to be cute, but it just came off as stupid and cheesy. And apparently it was all Amy Poehler’s idea. Um, Amy? I think most people who watch the Emmys are over the age of six, so you may want to dial the maturity level of your comedy up a bit.

* Random trivia. Throughout the night, announcer John Hodgman would offer interesting/quirky trivia bits about each of the winners as they walked to the stage. And when NPH would announce the next award presenter, he’d highlight the most obscure acting cred on their resume (often citing roles as crowd extras or appearances in after-school specials). I’m pretty sure he just went on their IMDB pages and picked the first listed role, and it was a hilarious way of reminding everyone (both us and them) that even if you find yourself presenting at the Emmys, there’s no forgetting that you got your start as “Angry Patron #2.”

* Jon Cryer wins Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy. Yes, I mentioned it before, but it’s so appalling, I’m mentioning it again. Jon Cryer seems like a cool guy, and his acceptance speech was nice, and yes, I was rooting for NPH, but COME ON! Two and Half Men is…well…not good is the diplomatic way of saying it. Even if Harris wasn’t going to win, any of the other nominees would have been more deserving. You had two guys from 30 Rock, a guy from The Office, and…OK, Cryer, you’re probably more deserving than Kevin Dillon. But that still leaves four other guys! Ah well, I can’t stay upset with Duckie for too long. And Harris’s theatrical bitterness over losing did lead to some of the night’s funniest moments. Moving on…

* Jeff Probst admitting in his acceptance speech that he sucked as part of last year’s “let’s have reality show hosts do the Emmys” debacle. Because it did suck. Hard.

* Shohreh Aghdashloo’s Darth Vader impression. I don’t even remember what award she won since I was so distracted by her wheezing. I hope someone backstage had a tank of oxygen waiting for her.

* The introduction of the Writing for a Variety, Music, or Comedy Series nominees. Every year it’s the same late-night shows that get nominated, and every year each show comes up with a clever and hilarious way of introducing their list of writers (each show has around a dozen). My favorite this year—no surprise—was Conan O’Brien individually ignoring Facebook friend requests from his team of writers. What made it even funnier is if you watch him on The Tonight Show, you know he really has no idea what Facebook is all about or how it works.

* Dr. Horrible! I was late to the Dr. Horrible Sing-Along Blog party, and didn’t actually see it until it was out on DVD and I rented it from Netflix. (Yes, I watched the blog on TV—who says the Internet is killing the industry?) I was thrilled to see NPH and Nathan Fillion reprise their roles and it was far more entertaining than actually hearing about how the Emmy ballot process works (buffering…buffering…).

* Sarah McLachlan sings for the death montage. Now, I’m actually a fan of the death montage, and like to remember some of the talented people who are no longer around (and there’s always at least one instance of “I didn’t know so-and-so died!”). But having Sarah McLachlan singing “I Will Remember You” while it played was beyond cliché. Dear Sarah: I enjoyed your song. Back in 1999. When it was relevant and I was a whiny college student. But it is now played at every graduation, reunion, and memorial service, and I’m sick of it. Please retire this tune. Sincerely, Rachel. P.S. It also makes me think of all those battered puppies and kitties that I don’t have the time, space, or money to care for. So thanks for making me feel shitty. Asshole.

* In defense of Mad Men. Mad Men’s head writer/creator Matthew Weiner has been criticized as being a bit pompous during his acceptance speeches when the show won for best writing and best drama. Well, if I ever create anything that is even half as consistently awesome as Mad Men, I fully intend to become a total dick. So Matthew Weiner can be as arrogant as he wants as far as I’m concerned; he’s sure as hell earned it.

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