Emmys Day-After Recap
I’ve got my Emmy food (pizza and mint creme Oreos) and I’m ready to go!
Neil Patrick Harris is totally cool. He’s singing and dancing, he’s wearing a white dinner jacket, and I think he just insulted Two and a Half Men. (Theme songs are getting so short, next year’s theme to the show will just be "meh." HA!) Later: I love the way he keeps introducing people from their obscure early credits (“from the 1987 Afterschool Special…”).
Click ahead for much much more!
Supporting Actress in a Comedy: Kristin Chenoweth, Pushing Daisies
That was kind of crackpot, the way all the nominees wore crazy glasses (except for Vanessa Williams, all, “I don’t think so”). Chenoweth looked adorable and seems really sad that her show is dead. I would have liked to have seen it go to Amy Poehler, though, entirely on the basis of the Sarah Palin rap.
Supporting Actor in a Comedy: Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Boo! That show’s dumb. He really did seem surprised, so I think he knows his show is dumb. I hoped that NPH would rag on him all night, and he pretty much did.
Best Writing in a Comedy: Matt Hubbard, 30 Rock, “Reunion”
30 Rock is a brilliantly-written show, as indicated by this category, which featured three separate nominations for the show. This was the best episode of those three, featuring Jack Donaghy telling Liz “rich 50 [years old] is poor 38,” and a running joke about how Liz’s hometown has been slowly overtaken by Filipinos. It also introduced the classic line “I want to go to there,” but I believe Tina herself actually stole that line from her toddler daughter.
Actress in a Comedy: Toni Colette, United States of Tara
I like Toni Colette a lot in movies, but this seemed like kind of a waste. Not that Tina needed to take the category again or anything, but you know. Actually, I would’ve liked to have seen it go to Christina Applegate, who’s had a tough go of it, and to continue the streak of rewarding actresses from dead shows. Sarah Silverman didn’t have a chance (her show is too controversial) and so she decided to screw around with that mustache, which I found hilarious.
Guest Actress in a Comedy: Tina Fey, SNL
See, Tina still got her Emmy anyway, and it was for her fabulous Sarah Palin impression. I’ve heard her give most of the credit to the SNL writers for creating wonderfully baffling things for Palin to say, and I’ve heard the SNL writers credit Palin herself for actually saying wonderfully baffling things. That impression was a cultural touchstone. Done the right way, at the right time. “I can see Russia from my house!”
Guest Actor in a Comedy: Justin Timberlake, SNL
He really is a great host, energetic and willing to do anything for a laugh. He’s also one of the few SNL hosts to create his own characters, instead of just being inserted into pre-existing sketches.
Best Director in a Comedy: Jeff Blitz, The Office, “Stress Relief”
I don’t have any problem with The Office swiping awards from 30 Rock every now and then, and “Stress Relief” was a great episode. The first couple minutes, a demonstration by Dwight about the office’s lack of emergency preparedness, was particularly amazing. Still, 30 Rock’s “Generalissimo” was my favorite episode of the season. (Just as a note, how cool is it that two of the nominated directors from 30 Rock were women?)
“Stress Relief,” opening scene
Actor in a Comedy: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Alec Baldwin rocks in this show, but actually, a blogger pointed out this week that Steve Carell has never won this, and I feel bad about that, because his creation of that character deserves recognition, and the more years that show is on the less likely it’s gonna happen. Still, whoever takes it away from Charlie Sheen and his chicken legs is fine by me.
Montage: the year in reality TV
I’m conflicted, because a portion of the clips make me scream ‘YEAH!’ (people running on The Amazing Race, Fabio describing how he will continue to compete around his broken finger in the penultimate episode of Top Chef last season) and the other 75-80% make me cringe (those trashy housewives shows on Bravo, Dancing With the Stars, those aggressively-awful bachelor shows).
Host in a Reality Show: Jeff Probst, Survivor
I would have been happy with with Heidi (Project Runway) or Phil (The Amazing Race), but I was rooting for Padma & my hero Tom Colicchio. I just could not love him more. I don’t care about Survivor guy, and I bet I’m the only person who remembers that he also hosted Rock ‘N Roll Jeopardy on VH1 back in the day.
Best Competitive Reality Show: The Amazing Race
The streak continues. I would have been totally cool with Project Runway or Top Chef also, and really they should both get a crack at the award eventually. (Literally no other show has ever won this category, which is only a few years old.) Still, I really can’t imagine that there is another show on television as complex as this one, just in terms of production. The setting up of the clues and challenges and the flights and the visas and everything; it’s mind-boggling. It’s a shame the clip they showed was some staged sobfest from “sinister deaf kid” Luke. I think that kind of “inspirational” posturing is what keeps people from watching the show, and that’s just not what the show is about at all.
Montage: the year in TV movies and miniseries
Wow…I haven’t seen any of these. I should watch more miniseries. I blame not having HBO.
Supporting Actress in a Miniseries: Shohreh Aghdashloo, House of Saddam
I remember her from a far-distant season of 24, and House of Sand and Fog, and this lady is gorge-ous. But why was she wheezing into the microphone during her speech? Is she in the end stages of emphysema, or was her seat just really far away?
Supporting Actor in a Miniseries: Ken Howard, Grey Gardens
Uh…good for him. He’s a “Hey, it’s that guy!” IMDb tells me I also know him as Ed Truck on The Office, Jordan’s dad on Crossing Jordan (don’t judge me) and somebody or other from that classic piece of early 90s alarmist cinema, The Net.
Actor in a Miniseries: Brendan Gleeson, Into the Storm
These looked like interesting nominees—I would have liked to have seen Ian McKellan in King Lear and Kevin Kline in Cyrano. I bet Brendan Gleeson as Winston Churchill was great, though. He made very memorable appearances in The Departed and (especially) In Bruges.
Actress in a Miniseries: Jessica Lange, Grey Gardens
I really don’t care about seeing this (and if I did, I’d probably see the documentary with the real ladies).
Best Made-for-TV movie: Grey Gardens
Best Miniseries: Little Dorrit
I’d like to see this, though I should probably read the book first. Little Dorrit has one of Dickens’s few female heroines. Practically the entire production team from the BBC is made up of ladies as well, which is cool.
Best Writing (Variety): Various writers, The Daily Show
YES! THIS IS ALWAYS THE BEST CATEGORY! They always put together some ridiculous clip introducing the writers. I don’t know who was first to do this, but it’s fantastic. My favorite of tonight was SNL’s clip with Brian Williams (“known collectively as nerds”). The Daily Show has been winning this category since the Jurassic Age.
Original Music and Lyrics: Hugh Jackman opening number, the Oscars
There were a lot of funny and popular songs on TV this year, which rescued this category from the Schmemmys. I think SNL’s “Motherlover” was too crude to win (though it was hilarious). I don’t remember much about this song, but my Oscar entry tells me I liked it at the time.
Best Variety Show: The Daily Show
Jon Hodgman as announcer: “This is their nine hundredth Emmy!”
Update: It’s ten after ten now, and I’m getting bored with these mid-show awards; a new episode of Mad Men is playing on AMC as I write (I can tell by the little red recording light on my DVR) and I briefly wish I was in bed, watching it, per my usual Sunday night routine.
Supporting Actor in a Drama: Michael Emerson, Lost
I only watch two of these shows, Breaking Bad and Mad Men; a lot of people really slobber over John Slattery from Mad Men, but I’ve never really understood his appeal (he played this heartbreaker on Will and Grace a zillion years ago, and I didn’t get it then, either). I like about eight characters on Mad Men better than his. Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad is incredible as a meth-head, but I think the role’s too out of the mainstream, plus all the other actors have like twenty years on him. I haven’t watched Lost since its first season, but I know people on the Internet think Emerson’s pretty rocking as a creepy villain, so that’s fine.
Supporting Actress in a Drama: Cherry Jones, 24
She apparently plays the president, which is cool; I haven’t watched that show in about 5 years. Kief is in the audience wearing the most Milhousian glasses ever.
Jeremy and I discuss who will get the coveted final slot, Patrick Swayze or Michael Jackson; the show wisely goes with elder statesman Walter Cronkite.
Directing in a Drama: Rod Holcomb, ER
Directorial advice from a guy who directs Damages: “Cast Glenn Close.” HA! A guy who directs ER: “If you’re having trouble with an actor on your set, tell them to go to hell in a way that makes them want to go.” And quippy ER guy takes it over quippy Damages guy.
Writing in a Drama: Matthew Weiner, Mad Men, “Meditations in an Emergency”
My favorite episode of Mad Men’s last season, “Maidenform,” was not nominated, so I guess this episode, the finale, is fine to win. I’m not sorry for the other shows that feel overshadowed by Mad Men, because the writing is that good. And the same goes for 30 Rock in the comedy category.
Actress in a Drama: Glenn Close, Damages
I wish January Jones and Elisabeth Moss were competing against each other for Mad Men, but Jones was snubbed. Over at Sling Blog, they suggested that Elisabeth Moss was not totally deserving of the nomination, either, but I disagree. The character is super repressed and the actress is really controlled. There’s this thing she does sometimes, when Peggy is blindsided by sexism, or something inappropriate, where she sort of visibly steels herself before forging ahead. I’m just so dazzled by the whole idea, a woman who has no model for how to comport herself in business and has to make up all the rules as she goes along. Anyway, none of that debate becomes relevant because Glenn Close is a grand dame of the small screen. I really need to start watching Damages, because lately I’m really into lawyerly intrigue.
Actor in a Drama: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Who picked Dana Delaney for this assignment? Is she a big enough star to introduce a major category? Awesome purple dress, though. I would be happy here with Dexter Morgan or Don Draper, but Walt White is freakin’ excellent – and he wins for the second time, which is great. Dexter and Draper are showier characters, but Walt seems more vulnerable because he’s bald and weak and because Cranston has sort of a floppy awkwardness that he also displayed as the dad on Malcolm in the Middle. Dexter’s a sociopath, so he sort of defies analysis, and Jon Hamm’s square-jawed hunkiness probably plays against him in the character, making Draper seem more impervious than he is. (That’s actually the irony of Don, but I digress.) I don’t care about the other nominees.
Best Comedy: 30 Rock
I’m in the next room totally ignoring Bob Newhart’s introduction because I’m telling Jeremy about Bryan Cranston’s win. We adore Breaking Bad! In terms of comedies, I watch How I Met Your Mother and I often love it, but it’s really inconsistent (there can be really weak episodes to compare to the really great ones). The Office is great, and it had a good fifth season thanks mostly to the splintering off of the Michael Scott Paper Company. 30 Rock, I would argue, also had a pretty inconsistent season, but a mediocre episode of 30 Rock is still better than almost anything. Again, I don’t care about the other nominees.
Best Drama: Mad Men
Quelle surprise! Jeremy asked me if Breaking Bad or Dexter had a chance against Mad Men. I told him that the first season of Dexter would have, and the first season of Breaking Bad would have, but the third and second seasons (respectively) didn’t. I’ve already described how I think Mad Men improved narratively in its second season, and the only thing the show has to fear right now is backlash.