63rd Emmy Awards: Winners, Snubs, Thoughts

 

If you were Steve Levitan, Jeff Richman, Chuck Lorre, or Jon Stewart, you likely had a great time at the Emmys last night. Everyone else involved in the various Comedy and Variety races... not so much.

It was a near-clean sweep for ABC's Modern Family, as the highly-acclaimed show took home five statues, including the tandem of Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell in the Supporting categories, best directing and best writing, and of course best comedy. 

As for Lorre, his two newest shows, "The Big Bang Theory" and "Mike & Molly" dominated the lead actor/actress series with Jim Parsons and Melissa McCarthy taking home awards.

Finally, Jon Stewart sweeped both the writing and best series in the variety categories, awards than the show has won for nearly a decade now.

COMEDY / VARIETY 

I hate to say it, but the Emmys last night were ridiculously predictable. It was obvious that Modern Family was going to take home all it can, that Jim Parsons would repeat and that Stewart would take home even more awards. Melissa McCarthy was a nice surprise, but one has to wonder whether she won her award for Mike & Molly, or for Bridesmaids.

I get that the critics love Modern Family, and they're definitely entitled to that, but one has to wonder whether they're just voting for them at this point because they're used to it, or whether they even watch any of the other shows at all. I'm actually okay with Ty Burell and Julie Bowen winning because, if anyone on that show deserved those awards it's then, but I just feel as if everything was a little manufactured this year, and downright boring. That said, most of the winners ALMOST won me over with great acceptance speeches -- Ty Burell referencing what his father might think of him wearing make-up, pans to Steve Levitan's disapproving wife. Moreover, Jim Parsons winning for The Big Bang Theory was a near travesty. The show's been horrible since the year before and Sheldon as a character doesn't seem to have grown in the slightest.

There was plenty of amazing talent in all categories this year. From Steve Carell getting his last chance to take home an award for "The Office", to even the surprise nominations of Matt Le Blanc (Episodes) and Louis CK (Louie; who should have won for writing). The best supporting actress category was stacked, and any of the best comedy nominees would have been a good choice. The Academy had a chance to be a little ballsy this year for comedy, and they took the safe way out.

And the same applies for variety. We get it. Jon Stewart is amazing. I watch him four nights a week. You know who else I watch every week? Colbert. Conan. Fallon. I'm obviously a little bias here, but again, this would have been a perfect opportunity for the Academy to be a little different, especially by picking Conan. 

Don't even get me started on The Amazing Race winning again for Reality/Competition. Seriously?

 

DRAMA

Things were a little more diverse in the drama categories. Friday Night Lights got a nice sendoff with two awards for best writng and best actor (Kyle Chandler). The latter was a bit puzzling. I'm not denying Chandler has some chops, but from Timophy Olyphant to Jon Hamm to perennial loser Michael C. Hall, not to mention Steve Buscemi, the best actor category was stacked this year, so it just seemed like a bit of an odd choice. On the women's side of things, Juliana Margulies (The Good Wife) was a good choice, but again, a pretty obvious one with another stacked category that could have literally gone six ways.

Margo Martindale (Justified) took home the statue for best supporting actress, and Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) for supporting actor, both good choices. Marty Scorsese finally got his Emmy for directing Boardwalk Empire, and Mad Men taking away a victory in the best drama category, in a bit of a shocker, considering the buzz around Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones especially.

Downton Abbey and Mildred Pearce split most of the miniseries/movie awards, with Downton Abbey taking the main prize and Mildred Pearce sweeping the lead acting categories (Guy Pearce and Kate Winslet).

HOSTING / THOUGHTS

Jane Lynch continued the recent string of good hosts, but while the "Glee" star had some good lines, one has to wonder whether she fell a little short of the bar set by the last couple of hosts (Jimmy Fallon, Neil Patrick Harris), who are more capable singers than Lynch. Overall, however, the show felt sort of uneven, from the very beginning with Jane's relatively boring opening. Not to take anything away from her amazing comedic timing. Case in point: "A lot of people are curious about why I am a lesbian. Ladies and Gentlemen: The cast of Entourage."

Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel had a good bit at the beginning, The Lonely Island singing a medley of their songs (including Michael Bolton dressed as a pirate, and John Stamos and Ed Helms singing about having a 3-way) was joyously ridiculous, but a lot of the other bits either fell flat or went on too long. The best comedy actress category played out like a beauty pagent, and while I appreciated the concent, it just kind of ended up being annoying. Juliana Margulies and Gwyneth Paltrow tried to be funny -- and failed. The highlight of the night though may have been a very funny Office parody, with a bunch of TV's stars dropping in on Michael Scott's former home, or possibly a very funny pre-recorded bit with Ricky Gervais making fun of his candidness on the Golden Globes.

The highlight of the show may have been Charlie Sheen apologizing to the cast and (most of) the crew of Two and a Half Men for toying with their livelihood. It was sincere and a little heartwarming, but one has to wonder whether it even belonged on the show.

Overall, I can't help but feel a little lethargic about the Emmys this year. We get it. Modern Family, Jon Stewart, and Mad Men are awesome. But it takes all the fun out of predicting awards and even watching the show if you know exactly who's going to win every year. I can't even be bothered to copy a list of the winners. 

I'm actually trying pretty hard not to take anything away from the winners, because regardless of what I think, if they won, they likely deserved it. But the whole thing was just a bore-fest out of a few good skits and some good acceptance speeches. You could call maybe 90% of the wins before the show. One has to wonder whether it's time for the Academy to change the rules, if they can't be bothered to make some tough decisions in the first place.

Prior to the show, news broke that Alec Baldwin has dropped out of the opener for a cut joke about News Corp, and Charlie Sheen was nearly cut out of the show entirely to avoid controversy. These two stories sum up how I feel about the Academy and the Emmys pretty nicely.

 

Comments 2
Tylerr Rietze's picture

Well, you have to remember that the way it's voted on is by the studios submitting a single episode from the previous season to be judged. So while so many deserved to win, such as Steve Carrell, it may just be that the one episode submitted to highlight his acting ability wasn't strong enough, despite the fact that his overall performance has been nothing if not brilliant. Lots of other shows could have had a fighting chance if they judged an entire season, but since they don't, we'll have to put up with the funniest over-all show winning year after year lol

George Prax's picture

I'm pretty sure they would have submitted "Goodbye Michael" for Steve Carell, and it was more than good enough to get him an Emmy. Frankly it was one of the best Office episodes ever. Besides, even if only one episode is submitted it's not like they stay objective.

In any case you bring up a good point, something in the system has to change.