E: Ah, Emmy. What a fascinating mixture of same old and shockingly, awesomely new you are. There are jokes (lame and also funny). Everyone is shocked and fluttery. There’s the expected excruciatingly lame banter between presenters. We’re privy to crushed dreams and career boosts. And I’d never have guessed it, but Jimmy Fallon rocks the house.
In which E waxes poetic (or something) about the nominees. Who will win? Who should win? Who got snubbed? Who cares? Well, you know me. I love award shows. And I just like to talk about TV.
E: Much has been written lately about the “Will They Or Won’t They” premise, and how difficult it is to have that dilemma define a long running show. Leave the romance dangling too long, with the writers forced to throw annoyingly improbable barriers between the two leads, and the whole thing collapses under the weight of its absurdity; get them together too soon, and risk becoming the next Moonlighting, the show that so many believe was ruined by bringing its leads together. How long can you sustain romantic tension? Can you really only do it by keeping the couple apart? Will they bore the audience once the sexual tension resolves? How many organic ways can you find to stop a pair that’s truly meant to be from getting together?
The Good Wife, the brilliant legal drama from the 2009/2010 TV season, faces a similar dilemma in a different form. The show has many elements – cases of the week, office intrigue, a political dimension, not to mention a host of amazing supporting characters with their own intrigues and issues – but perhaps the most resonant parallels the “will they or won’t they” model. We can call it “Torn Between Two Lovers.” Should the good wife, Alicia Florrick, stay with penitent philandering husband Peter, or should she flee to understanding old flame (and current boss) Will Gardner? Viewers tune in each week to see the masterfully calibrated three-party dance. But can the brilliance continue? Or have the constraints of the narrative structure already begun to strain our credulity?
E: That was a really nice show, and I don’t know about you, but I’m really sad this is over. Can it really be that I won’t hear Cat Deeley again until next May? I’ll always remember your pleated gauze dress in shades of peach and cream, Cat, with the flowers and the swag and the asymmetry. You’re a vision.
Now, sure, they didn’t show some of this season’s iconic routines. No “Collide”/Prom theme? No “Boogie Shoes”? No “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic?” And somewhat to my surprise, nothing from the finale, either. On the other hand, I am pretty much over the moon about the results. And guess what else we got? A ride on the hot tamale train! Woohoo!
E: It’s here, you guys! We’ve made it! While the Season Seven contestants don’t get the Kodak Theater like the Season Five kids did, at least they’ve got a proper finale show, one far better than last season’s frantic rush.
On the other hand, they’ve got to perform 4 pair dances each, and a solo! Crazy. Cat’s in a sparkly black dress with lace and sequins and a sweatheart neckline under a lace top and elbow length sleeves. It’s a little crazy, but not to the level of the rainbow sequin vintage number of a few weeks ago. Oh, Cat. The winter will be so cold and lonely without you. Before we get the performances, we get a little recap of the season – we see great auditions (chiefly from contestants who didn’t make the show, like Adrian Lee, Ida Saki and Nicole Knudson) and other luminaries like Anthony Burrell and Ryan Ramirez, getting rejected. We get brilliant routines like “Outta Your Mind”, “Halleliuah,” “Boogie Shoes” (yay! do it in the finale!), “Fix You,” The Prom, the Chair/Girlfriend routine, and “Mad World”/Homelessness Dance. Ashley confesses she’s in love, Adechike cries, Nigel ranks on Jose, and Alex only hurts in his heart. That just kills me. And we get it all to my favorite song of the summer, Florence and The Machine’s “The Dog Days Are Over.” Doesn’t get any better than that, folks.
Oh, wait, there’s live dancing to be had? Sweet! Lauren’s got her hair up in a sleek updo – must be ballroom! Yay, she’s so good at it.
E: Anyone who has seen previous seasons of So You Think You Can Dance knows that an extra treat is waiting for us this week. Reality competition finales are bittersweet: on the one hand, we’ve arrived at the height of tension, and presumably are seeing the best work of the season, but on the other, we’re actually at the end of the season. In other words, it’s extra good, and totally over. So You Think You Can Dance sweetens the pot a little, though. Along with the pleasure of crowning a winner, we also get the delight of seeing a season’s worth of great performances repeated.
I bet you have strong opinions on your favorite routines of Season Seven. I do too. I’m excited and hoping to see if magic can strike a second time. And here’s what I’d like to see.
E: In which the three finalists are revealed, gracious speeches are given, and E learns to respect the power of the judges.