Emmy 2012: a few reactions

E: It must seem odd that we write so much about TV here, and that I, at least, love award shows, yet totally ignore the Emmys.  I’m sure the reason for that is somewhat obvious – Emmy just doesn’t love the shows we love.  Oh, The Good Wife gets some attention, PBS and BBCAmerica had a good year for nominations, I watch three of the (losing) Reality Competition shows, and there’s Game of Thrones.  But I tend to like my TV a little sunnier and a little less violent than Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad and Mad Men.  I know they’re good shows.  You don’t have to tell me.  It’s just… enough with the bottom of the human barrel, okay?  After they inexplicably snubbed John Noble again, I just can’t bring myself to care as much as I used to.

The other thing I don’t love about the Emmys is how they stay the same, year after year.  Sure, I can predict the Oscars – but at least there’s a new crop of candidates every year.  The Emmys are one long snooze fest, and this year was one of the worst.  There were few surprising wins, and Jimmy Kimmel (sometimes clever, especially when memorializing himself) just didn’t provide enough spark to off-set the soporific effect.

But that doesn’t mean I didn’t watch.  And of course, there were a few bright spots I stayed awake for.  So let me stop being a grump and share with you what I liked.

1.  Would-be villainous Trio member Danny Strong is now an Emmy winning writer for Game Change!  Wow.  I had one of those weird moments as he walked toward the stage. “Hey, that guy looks like Jonathan from Buffy … oh cow, it IS Jonathan from Buffy!”  My favorite moment of the night.

2. Homeland, the show that makes me wish I had Showtime, wins best dramatic series.  Unlike most of the other shows, this is one I actually want to watch.  And I adore the cast; you may have noticed that I’m rather loyal to actors I like, and I’ve followed Claire Danes since the brilliant My So Called Life, and Damien Lewis since he played Major Richard Winters (basically the best man ever) in Band of Brothers. For that matter, I’ve loved Mandy Patinkin since he swore to kill the six fingered man, and Morena Baccarin’s inspired loyalty from her time on Firefly.  To sum up?  This cast is good people.  So I’m thrilled to see them win, and thrilled particularly to see Lewis get so awards attention after laboring so long in relative obscurity.

3. Maggie Smith!  Emmy loves a big name (see Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and Maggie felled the brilliant competition in her category (best supporting actress in a drama).  I yearned to see others from the PBS gang ascend the podium (Benedict Cumberbatch! Brendan Coyle! Stephen Moffat!) but was thrilled that they took home at least one.

4. Tom Bergeron.  If it couldn’t be Cat Deeley (do not mock my girl, Jimmy Kimmel), then I’m okay with it being Tom.  He’s pretty impressive at thinking on his feet, and I respect that in a host, much more than the (nameless) fellows who mostly read script for voice overs and look impassive.

5. Julianne Moore rocks, and it’s about time someone gave her an award for it rather than simply nominating her.  Someday, hopefully, you’ll get your Oscar, but meanwhile you were pretty damn impressive as Sarah Palin, and you deserved this win.  Also?  Her giddy joy charmed me.  It’s nice when the winners can show you just how much the recognition means to them.

6. Even if Julia Louis-Dreyfus was an expected win, and even though it wasn’t as funny as the whole “beauty pageant contestant” bit that the lead actress in a comedy nominees pulled last year, she was a hoot reading out Amy Poehler’s speech.  I like it when someone bothers to come up with something either funny or meaningful for the home audience.  Good for you, ladies.

7. Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert tackling Jon Stewart as he attempted to crawl his way up the aisle to accept yet another trophy.  I love a man who can admit that someone else really ought to get a chance at the prize.

8. Sofia Vergara’s dress.  The woman is beyond.  How does she command attention so utterly?  Heidi Klum looked fresh and springy in seafoam (despite not having enough fabric to cover one entire leg), and Ginnifer Goodwin was striking in red squiggles.  Also, I was a big fan of the trend of trains/bustles (Julianna Margulies, Martha Plimpton); they made my Anglophile heart sing.  I’m bemused by the preponderance of acid greens and yellows (on winners Clare Danes, Julie Bowen and Julianne Moore); it’s sleek and modern for sure.

And that’s it for me.  What about you guys?  Anything you liked particularly?  Are you wishing that Kathy Bates punched Jimmy a little bit harder, are you lauding or hating on Lena Dunham for baring it all, or are you (like me) puzzling over why Damian Lewis named his son Gulliver?  Or are you just ready for the new season to begin?  Check out our TV previews all this week for a sense of what’s coming up to watch, and enjoy!

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3 comments on “Emmy 2012: a few reactions

  1. MMGF says:

    I’m with you on the stagnancy of the Emmy’s. Even when I love the winners who are en vogue, I hate that they keep winning.

    Homeland is obviously the newly-christened golden child, breaking up Bryan Cranston’s and Mad Men’s undefeated streaks in the process. And, while I watched season 1 and loved it, there are issues, and it’s NOT the best show on TV. (And, frankly, not even the best acting.) It feels like voters looked at the pedigree and chose it.

    You couldn’t get me to watch Dancing With The Stars if you gave me an actual star. And, from the little I’ve seen, I have no love for Boston guy Tom Bergeron (other than his rising-through-the-ranks-ness) – I just find him so incredibly… I don’t know. Not dull. And not G-rated, because that, to me, isn’t a negative. There’s just something so… Muzak about him. Why Cat Deeley doesn’t have a shelf of Emmy’s is beyond me – no one is close to her performance. I guess not enough voters watch the show? On the flip side, at least the insufferable Ryan Seacrest didn’t win. And thank God they didn’t toss another one to Betty White (no offense, I love her, but it becomes silly at some point.) And isn’t it odd that The Amazing Race is the easiest Emmy shoo-in for Best Reality Series every year (I swear Top Chef was a miscount or something that one year) yet Phil Keoghan is never in the host running? Not that he does much (the non-live thing,) but still. Also? I know none of the QS’s are interested in The Voice, but watching it tonight, I was reminded by how surprisingly genuine Carson Daly is. I never liked him, but on The Voice he’s so invested in the contestants’ success. It’s lovely.

    Julianne Moore is delightful. And what respect. So many of the “movie star” nominees can’t even be bothered to show up to the Emmy’s. (Sorry, Maggie Smith, just sayin’….) Julianne Moore not only shows up, but gets all giddy at her win and gives a cute (if political, slightly) speech and seems thrilled to be there, even presenting. It’s about damn time she wins things. (Does a soap opera Daytime Emmy in 1988 count enough?) She should have an Oscar on her proverbial shelf for Far From Heaven. For shame, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

    I was surprised by Julia Louis-Dreyfuss’s win for Veep. I know they love her. (See: Her New Adventures of Old Christine win.) And I do think she’s fantastic, if not always giving a similar performance. But I didn’t expect it. I was thinking maybe Lena Dunham, who, if I’m not mistaken, was nominated 2 or 3 times with no win, or Melissa McCarthy again (who would never ever be noticed for Mike & Molly if not for Bridesmaids – sorry, but true, right?) I actually expected it to go to the buzzy-but-insufferable Zooey Deschanel (apologies to C.) So, yay, because I love Veep, even though it’s a tough sell and very… difficult comedy.

    What’s with Sofia Vergara? Why is she everywhere all the time now? I don’t get her. We couldn’t just call Charo back? And who on the Modern Family production team has naked pictures of the entire Television Academy? Not a show I get – every time I’ve tried it, it seems cliched and forced to me. (Better alternate? Try The Middle.) Yet they own those supporting acting categories and Best Comedy. (Sigh… and Merritt Wever is SOOOOO good on Nurse Jackie. I don’t even know how you create a character with the personality she has. Unparalleled, honestly.)

    Um, biggest upset? If Homeland hadn’t won everything in sight, I’d have said Damien Lewis. But. How the HELL did Jon Cryer win Best Lead Comedy Actor??!? He was as shocked as the rest of us. But, really? Louis C.K. wins almost everything else in sight, but loses Best Actor to JON CRYER? In TWO AND A HALF MEN?!? I guess I should just be happy, at least, that it wasn’t Ashton Kutcher….

    Mad Men, loses its first Best Drama nomination. Feels like the bloom is off the rose. Which, OK, except? They’ve never had an acting win ever. Hard to believe. And a win seems more and more unlikely now. Sigh. Which is a shame, since Elisabeth Moss is **RAHH-DIIIIIC-YOUUUU-LUHHHHS**, And Jared Harris was awesome, and Christina Hendricks is fantastic, and Jon Hamm is excellent, and I could go on and on, even the minor cast on the show is superb (as noted by the guest acting nominations of Julia Ormond and even Ben Feldman.) As a Mad Man fan (more or less,) this makes me sad. I really want acting wins, particularly among the women. (I love Claire Danes, but, honestly, she’s not a deity.)

    What a long post, considering I think the Emmy’s are a little bit silly…. 🙂

    • E says:

      Heh – I will respond to this entire thing but I have to add first, when you read tomorrow’s post about the Wednesday line up just know that it was written before you posted this. You’ll know what I mean.

  2. Pam says:

    You forgot Jon Stewart mocking the Emmys with the F bomb and calling out its predictability. I missed Aaron Paul’s acceptance but heard it was enthusiastic… MMGF… I would love to see Mad Men’s women get some love. Christine Hendricks, in particular, is phenomenal. Moss has her moments, but a lot of them consisted of wearing bad working women outfits this season. Season 1 and this next season, she will be a contender. Tom Berenger was the rambling uncle at this party (and I always think of him whenever I hear Tom Bergeron.) Hatfield & McCoys are where 80s stars go to gently work, apparently.

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