1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Jackal113 from Los Angeles, California
11 July 2010
Let's face it: most awards shows are terrible--especially the Emmys.
Year after year, viewers tune in to see if their favorite performer or
show will win, but have to sit through tedious montages, silly musical
numbers, and unnecessarily lengthy speeches from the Academy's board of
governors before the top prizes are announced. Despite containing the
aforementioned faults, the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards was actually not
that bad. Some of it was even--dare I say it?--enjoyable. Much of this
can be attributed to host and TV star Neil Patrick Harris, whose
musical numbers and humor helped us through the otherwise dull filler
between the awards announcements, and John Hodgman's (a correspondent
for "The Daily Show" who is perhaps best known for playing "PC"
alongside Justin Long in the Apple commercials) absurdly funny
voiceovers as winners made their way to the stage.
The Emmys experimented with the awards presentations this year,
announcing most of the accolades from one genre before moving on to
another. For example, the major comedy awards (Lead Actor, Lead
Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Directing, and Writing)
were handed out before proceeding to other genres such as
miniseries/movies, reality, variety, and drama. I have divided my
Comedy: Although the top awards were expanded to six categories, the
Outstanding Comedy Series category (and its drama counterpart)
contained seven nominations. The big news was that the Fox network's
"Family Guy" became only the second animated series to garner a
nomination for the top prize ("The Flintstones" was the first). There
was a justifiable backlash--this was a series that even at its peak (if
it had one) was not half as funny as "The Simpsons," which had
submitted in the top category during its fourth and fifth seasons and
snubbed in favor of inventive trailblazers such as "Home Improvement"
and "Mad About You." The expansion of slots allowed previously
neglected series such as "How I Met Your Mother" and "The Flight of the
Conchords," as well as premium cable series well past their prime, like
"Entourage" and "Weeds," to sneak in. The popular but utterly
conventional "Two and a Half Men" was finally dropped. The frontrunners
for the top award were both NBC shows: "30 Rock," which had a mildly
funny third season, and "The Office," which had a terrific and far more
consistent fifth season. Ultimately, "30 Rock" prevailed, winning
Outstanding Comedy Series, Lead Actor (Alec Baldwin) and Writing (for
the excellent episode "Reunion"), though "The Office" took the award
for Directing (for the superb post-Super Bowl episode "Stress Relief").
Lead Actress went to Toni Collette for her brilliant performance as a
woman with multiple personalities in the Showtime series "United States
of Tara." The Academy slapped Neil Patrick Harris in the face and gave
Supporting Actor to Jon Cryer for "Two and a Half Men" (a series in
which he is undoubtedly the co-lead). Supporting Actress went to
Kristin Chenoweth for her performance in the enjoyable, whimsical (and
canceled) broadcast series "Pushing Daisies."
Drama: Unlike with comedy, most of the Outstanding Drama Series
nominees were deserving, with the two slight exceptions being
"Damages," which had an unexceptional second season that wasted two
Oscar-winning actors (William Hurt and Marcia Gay Harden) and the third
season of "Dexter," which lacked the suspense and excitement of its
previous two seasons and had a weak overarching villain. Both shows
would return-to-form for their third and fourth seasons, respectively.
Category expansion allowed little-seen premium cable dramas like "Big
Love" and "Breaking Bad" to trickle in, with the only broadcast shows
being ABC's "Lost" and Fox's "House M.D." The expected and deserving
winner was AMC's "Mad Men," which also won for Writing (for the season
finale "Meditations in an Emergency"). Lead Actor was again awarded to
Bryan Cranston for "Breaking Bad." I complain a lot about the Emmys
repeating in many categories, but it's difficult to make a case here.
Glenn Close unsurprisingly took Lead Actress again, certainly the most
boring acting category of the ceremony. The Emmys made up for last year
and awarded Supporting Actor to Michael Emerson for playing Dr. Linus
on "Lost," a role (and series) that has become iconic. Stage actress
Cherry Jones won in Supporting Actress for playing female president
Allison Taylor on "24."
Miniseries/Movies: I don't like that they have these categories at the
main Primetime ceremony. They're used to bring in a couple of (in many
cases, former) movie stars and just feel like an ersatz Oscar ceremony
in the middle of a night that I'd like to think is celebrating
narrative television. Miniseries have always been part of TV, but when
there's only two nominees in the top category (broadcast networks
having given up trying to outdo HBO), and you pick the umpteenth BBC
Dickens adaptation over the complex and engaging Iraq War drama
"Generation Kill," then you're done. The Made for Television Movie
winner was "Grey Gardens," which also won Lead Actress for Jessica
Lange and Supporting Actor for Ken Howard (which was the Academy making
up for snubbing him for his role as the head coach in "The White
Shadow"). Lead Actor was given to Brendan Gleeson for his portrayal of
Winston Churchill in HBO's "Into the Storm," a sequel of sorts to "The
Gathering Storm" starring Albert Finney. Supporting Actress went to
Shohreh Aghdashloo for "House of Saddam"--the talented Iranian actress
sounded rather wheezy while giving her breathless speech.
Reality: "The Amazing Race" for Outstanding Reality-Competition Series,
again? Jeff Probst for Outstanding Host, again? Yawn. Those pundits who
were not predicting "TAR" for the top prize thought "American Idol"
might take it for what was considered a golden season, but repetition
prevailed. And the thought of Ryan Seacrest winning in a category for
hosting after his atrocious job at the Emmys makes me happy that the
Academy stuck with Probst after all.
Variety: "The Daily Show." Again. Not that that's a bad thing.
Add another review