Sun, September 21, 2008
What I Learned from This Year's Emmys
Never follow Oprah.
Hosting a reality show is not the same skill as hosting a show in which people expect to be entertained. I quickly got over the Phil Keoghan snub when I realized what a bullet he'd dodged, not having to take part in the miserable display put on by the evening's "hosts" – the five nominees for the first-ever Best Reality/Reality Competition Host Emmy.
Awards show producers have their heads permanently planted up their asses. Each year, everyone makes the same jokes about how the show runs long, and each year fantastic and talented people have their acceptance speeches cut off in mid-sentence. Maybe remove the half-hearted tribute to the Seinfeld set? The Josh Groban TV theme song medley-slash-cochlear assault? They've got a giant screen flashing "WRAP IT UP" to squelch Glenn Close, Tommy Smothers, or Laura Linney – so the show can devote that time to bland patter between Lauren Conrad and David Boreanaz.
In cases where winners were absent, it really sped things up. I think the Emmys are onto this – their abysmal, joyless show virtually guarantees that everyone will be absent next year.
Madeline Colbert is ridiculously cute... and you know she has one of those Catholic school uniforms.
Ricky Gervais and Steve Carell are as unfunny together as they are hilarious separately.
The right moment to reunite the cast of Laugh-In probably falls at some point earlier than its 40th anniversary. (If only we could figure out some cuts to bring the show in on time!)
Comedy is categorically and unapologetically relegated to second-class status. Recount was a fine film, and John Adams was compelling even though I never managed to watch the final six-sevenths of it. But neither achieved anything near the success of the Extras finale, which was quite possibly the funniest, smartest, and all-around best thing ever televised.
Further, while last year's transgression was rectified and fully two-thirds of the night's nominations for TV guest appearances were awarded to 30 Rock, the two winners were somehow selected from the only four nominees who hadn't appeared on the show.
My God, was that a terrible Emmy broadcast. I'll admit, Heidi Klum delivered a quality pratfall, and watching Probst channel Jack Webb was almost worth it, but it's hard to understand why they don't permanently turn the show over to Stewart and Colbert, whose moments at the microphone always deliver the goods. For that matter, why don't those two just stage a coup, and seize control of the show?
Things are looking up for 30 Rock season four. Arrested Development proved that an outstanding show can win the Emmy for Best Comedy Series and still be canceled, but two in a row? Plus the writing award and both lead acting ones? Surely these mean something. (Even Alec Baldwin seems to have come around, calling 30 Rock "the best job I've ever had," which is a far cry from "I don't want to do this," or "Go fuck yourself.")
My long-standing offer to the television academy remains in full force: release a DVD compilation of all the submitted clips from the nominees in the comedy/variety writing category throughout the years, and I will buy it.