September 23, 2012

My Two-Cents on the 2012 Emmys

At this point, I think ABC's going to get a reputation for putting on lackluster awards shows because the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards could not compete with what CBS, NBC and even FOX put together over the last couple of years.

The Host
I wasn't too psyched when it was announced that Jimmy Kimmel was tapped to host the night because I'm not super familiar with his late night talk show, but he's been making a name for himself at ABC's upfront presentations, so I was by no means surprised. I just thought ABC could've gone the CBS route and tapped Nathan Fillion to host, but I digress.

Maybe it was my indifference with the host choice, but I didn't feel Kimmel did anything to justify him being there and most of his bits fell woefully flat. That cold open with the actresses was painfully unfunny (even a naked Lena Dunham eating cake couldn't save it), and when you pit it against the musical numbers that kicked off the show the past three years, it was a slow start to a long night. That said, some of his jokes did make me laugh (although I cannot remember them at this moment), but any good will was taken away when he mocked the "In Memoriam" with an ode to himself.

Kimmel wasn't the only dud though as some of the people who are paid to deliver lines couldn't get through their drab attempts at humor, but there were a few minor standouts like Damon Wayans, Jr. and James Van Der Beek pimping an NBC event and Aziz Ansari and Jane Levy's bad English accents.

At the end of the day though, it wasn't about the presenters but Kimmel and while he did his job at directing traffic, he didn't wow me in anyway what-so-ever. ABC's really going to have to go back to the drawing board after two mis-steps in a row.

The Winners and Losers
Some of the winners were the epitome of irony as the Comedy side was so predictable that it wasn't funny, and most of the Drama categories were not very dramatic. Modern Family once again dominated to the point of redundancy, but what else did we expect? I suppose Julia Louis-Dreyfus winning Outstanding Lead Actress - Comedy was a bit of surprise, but did we really think the Academy was going to honor Amy Poehler this time around when it's refused to do so in the past?

What will go down as a major upset (to TV snobs like myself but not to the average television watcher) was Jon Cryer winning Outstanding Lead Actor - Comedy for his role on Two and a Half-Men. Think about that for a second. Cryer's beaten the likes of Neil Patrick Harris, Rainn Wilson, Alec Baldwin, Jim Parsons and Louis C.K. He truly is a giant killer... on a horrible show that millions upon millions of people watch. Come to think of it, the only reason he's only a two-time Emmy Award Winner and not four-time winner is because of Modern Family.

As for Drama, much like Amy Poehler's shut out, did we really think that Mad Men would break its acting drought? While I was rooting for Jared Harris and Christina Hendricks to finally put some notches in the win column, it was not to be as Breaking Bad and Downton Abbey kept them from the stage. And should we just give up on the idea of Jon Hamm ever winning for the role of Don Draper?

In what was probably one of the biggest shockers of the night, Homeland's Damian Lewis broke Bryan Cranston's deathgrip on the Outstanding Lead Actor - Drama Emmy while also stiff-arming Hamm on his way to collect his prize. To be honest, I was really excited for Lewis' win because it was the first sign of Homeland's coming out party which also included Outstanding Lead Actress, Outstanding Writing and Outstanding Drama Series.

So, not only was Cranston's streak broken, but so was Mad Men's and I'm not too broken up about it. Sure, it was still one of television's best drama, but most feel that Season 5 wasn't its best, and Homeland's freshman season was pretty great.

Other Odds and Ends
  • Ellen DeGeneres really needs to host again. Maybe when it's NBC's turn... or when it comes back around to ABC.
  • Annoying Twitter Trend of the Night: People saying that Homeland swept when it lost Outstanding Directing - Drama. You can't sweep when you lose one.
  • Another Reason Why I'm Probably Going to Skip Modern Family: They went out of their way to make Talking Lily even more insufferable.
  • Melissa McCarthy, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey should be nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress - Comedy for their bits during this otherwise dull telecast. And Tracy Morgan should get zero recognition for participating in that stupid Twitter gag.
  • I still like how they break the night into genre chunks, but they once again spent way too much time kissing up to movie stars (and American Horror Story) during the Miniseries/Movie segment.
  • Even after FX rigged it so Connie Britton could get a nomination, she still lost to Julianne Moore (Game Change). Mrs. Coach had better hope that Nashville is the hit everyone says it is if she ever wants an Emmy.
  • Major Bummer of the Night: Sherlock being shut out. I'm OK with Mad Men going home empty handed but not with Sherlock getting zero love. It's going to suck even more when Elementary cleans up next year.
  • CBS should be up next year, and are we all assuming that NPH will host again? I hope so, although I wouldn't mind seeing Craig Ferguson get a crack at it.
So, the 64th Primetime Emmys are in the book and a mediocre host, too many people being played off, ABC turning out the lights on its own show and the lack of any real surprises outside of Homeland's dominance made for uneventul night. Let's hope whichever network gets the gig next year kicks things up a notch.


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