Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Awards Show Rundown: 2014 Emmy's Edition!

Ah, the Emmy's. For me, tuning in every year is a no-brainer. It's an awards show? I love awards shows! And it's all about honoring the best of TV? I love honoring the best of TV! Wait, will Amy Poehler be there? Yup. I'm in for the night, no questions asked. 

Ladies and gentlemen, Beyonce!

While I really enjoyed parts of this year's ceremony, I must say I'm feeling slightly disappointed in Television's biggest night for a few reasons. For one, it was on a Monday. A Monday, people! Apparently this was the first time this had happened since 1976, and since we all know awards shows are to Sundays as Saturday Night Live is to, well, Saturdays, why would NBC choose to do this? Well, apparently it would have aired against the MTV Video Music Awards (countdown to sounding old in 3, 2, 1: Who cares?) and it conflicted with the network's commitment to airing a preseason game of Sunday Night Football. While it doesn't seem like a big deal, it definitely cut down on the pre-show pomp and circumstance (aka red carpet time) which adds to the whole viewing experience. Plus, who's having an Emmy's party on a Monday? It's just weird. 

Then we have Seth Meyers, who I absolutely adore. The only problem was, as a host, he was really struggling to connect with the crowd. Either the audience wasn't miked properly, or they just weren't laughing because the reactions to his jokes were very subdued, creating an awkward vibe in the room that did not come off well in the live broadcast. I can't completely complain since some of his monologue jokes were great, and it was a joy to see so many SNL alumni helping Seth out with some of the segments. Still, between the strained cringe-worthy banter, the startling lack of nominee performance clips, and the weird, technical issues that caused some strange transitions, it didn't feel like an altogether coherent show. 

Finally, let's get on to the winners. Spoiler alert, but people who win all the time also won last night and it was somehow surprising and not surprising at all. Julia Louis-Dreyfus for Veep? Ok, great, but instead of giving her two awards in a row, how about letting someone else win for a change like the above mentioned (and currently Emmy-free) Amy Poehler, or relative newcomer, Lena Dunham? And Jim Parsons? For the third time? Again, why? How about giving one to the very deserving Matt LeBlanc, or, the nearly perfect William H. Macy for his portrayal of Frank on Shameless? It was great that Lizzy Caplan got a well deserved surprise nomination for Masters of Sex, but what about recognizing the work of Emmy Rossum, Tatiana Maslany, or, I don't know, anyone from the cast of Parenthood? Instead, we get a re-tread of many of the same nominees, making the ceremony a bit too predictable. Although there was a well deserved final season sweep for Breaking Bad, when Modern Family won for best comedy, again, that's when I knew the voters had really gone off the rails. In my opinion, the best comedies weren't even nominated this year (hello, Broad City, Parks and Recreation, Enlisted, Bob's Burgers, Brooklyn Nine-Nine?) but even the non-comedy Orange Is The New Black should have waltzed away handily with that category. 

But! We can't end on a downer, since even the most boring of awards shows can have exciting and beautiful moments. Sara Bareilles' soulful performance of "Smile" for the In Memoriam segment and Billy Crystal's heartfelt speech about the late, great, Robin Williams had me welling up, Billy Eichner and Seth Meyers' Emmy's edition of Billy on the Street had me cracking up, and Sarah Silverman's win for her hilarious stand up special, "We Are Miracles" rivaled last year's Merritt-Wever-awesome-surprise-victory moment (although nothing will ever top Wever's perfect speech). All in all, this year's Emmy's were a bit of a let down, but even the most critical of watchers must have cracked a smile as Jimmy Fallon tried to take Stephen Colbert's award after a pronunciation gaffe by Gwen Stefani (a personal hero of mine, but come on girl, learn your category!). Let's hope those fun, fleeting moments aren't so few and far between as the 2014-2015 awards season kicks off in earnest. Because even this diehard awards-head thinks it's time to step it up, trim the fat, show some clips, and make with the laughs already. 

(Hold for applause). 

Tune in next week for an overview of the Summer TV Season and my first look at new Fall Shows!

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