Monday, September 23, 2013

2013 Emmys: A Crazy Night

I had the morning off, and I set down to write this post recapping my thoughts on the Emmy Awards, and I simply couldn't. I needed the day to think about last night, the winners, the ceremony, the excitements, and the disappointment. When they started off with Merritt Wever upsetting, the whole dynamic of the night changed. Sure old favorites like Claire Danes, Jim Parsons, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, all three of whom were the frontrunners in their respective categories, crossed the finished line first. But much of the night was spent trying to wrap my mind around some of these huge upset winners. Jeff Daniels was not as much of an upset as people would like to think, if you watched the episodes, you knew he could do it. I just wasn't sure he could out-last the power of Bryan Cranston or Kevin Spacey, or the episode of Damian Lewis. I was thrilled when Anna Gunn won, because it meant that they actually sat down and watched the episodes instead of just checking off Maggie Smith's name for a third year in a row. But there were some real head-scratchers in this race. I love Tony Hale on Veep and Merritt Wever on Nurse Jackie, but those are two characters that are best served over the course of a season, not in an individual episode. I was just surprised that they were able to overcome some of the better submitted episodes of the likes of Jane Krakowski, Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen, or Ed O'Neill. That being said, it was nice to see some of the panels thinking outside of the box. They really stretched when they went for Bobby Cannavale. Once again, if you watched this whole season of Boardwalk Empire, he certaintly was a much needed spark, and his previous wins and nominations show that he is a favorite among the Academy. But once again, I find it hard to believe that panel members thought his episode was better than Dinklage's, Paul's, or Banks, and more importantly Patinkin's. On the TV Movie/Miniseries side, some were surprised by Ellen Burstyn and Laura Linney. Once again, if you had sat down and seen what they submitted, it should not surprise, especially considering how much of Emmy darlings they really are. That being said, when Sarah Paulson lost, I was devastated. It was the one big upset that really upset me, as she was simply astounding on this season of American Horror Story.

The series awards this year went 4 for 5 for me. I was so thrilled to see two new winners in the Variety and Reality categories, especially The Colbert Report. It has been such an amazing show, and it has always been outshined by its predecessor The Daily Show. Last night it won two major awards, while The Daily Show (which I love by the way), went home empty, and all felt right with the world. Behind the Candelabra was a great production, and I'm absolutely sure that no other program was even close to beating it, and the win was deserved. Then came the Comedy and Drama Series. For Drama Series, there are only one thing that pops into my mind: Hell Yes! Breaking Bad is simply brilliant and if finally got the reward it deserved. In terms of Modern Family, let me say this. I like Modern Family, and it is still one of the best comedies on television. But the win felt like a lazy afterthought on the part of the Academy (Kind of like when Mad Men won its fourth). They weren't willing to reward 30 Rock one last time, or daring enough to pick one of the other big nominees like Veep, Big Bang, or Louie. I guess they felt like there was not a clear second choice. I do hope that next year, especially after MF only won two awards this year, that they look in a different direction. Louie and Big Bang are great choices, but I think it may be Veep that could be their next big comedy series. In those we really will have to wait and see.

After all of these upsets, one thing comes to mind. We, as pundits, have no idea what the hell we are doing when it comes to the Emmys. We can get 20 out of 24 at the Oscars, even getting some of the shorts, but when it comes to the Emmys, they are so unpredictable, and for every case where episodes matter, there is a case where they don't. This is because we have no idea who makes up these panels, or what they are thinking. The two panels for the Supporting Comedy categories could have had a lot of Nurse Jackie and Veep fans (and maybe some Arrested Development and New Girl fans as well), tipping the balance to Wever and Hale. Either way, the Emmys have once again sent us into a tailspin, and continue to be unpredictable. And that is why we love them. I do apologize for making such bad predictions (some of them like Fincher or Danes, I should have stuck with), but then again, we all should apologize to each other, because everyone got everything wrong as well.

The ceremony was a mixed bag for me. The bit about hosts in the beginning had its moments, especially Kevin Spacey and Tina/Amy. But overall, by the time they got to the song and dance number in the middle of the show, it fell flat. Neil Patrick Harris is great, and he was flawless at this year's Tonys. But, despite doing a decent job of moving the show along, there seemed to be a lack of spark and enthusiasm that we are used to. Most of the time, it seemed like he really didn't want to be there. Maybe that was just me, but so far this is probably his worst gig at any award's show, despite being better than most. Some of the diversions from the awards, namely the two musical performances and the choreography stuff was just a waste, despite the obvious talent involved. And while it was declared the "saddest Emmys ever", I thought that the tributes (which should have also been extended to Jack Klugman and Larry Hagman, maybe cutting out one of the music numbers to make room), were nice honoring legends (like Jean Stapleton), and those gone to soon (Gandolfini and Monteith). However, the acutal In Memoriam segment was wierd, and they still have yet to find a way to stop or cut out the clapping which is tackless. That being said, the show moved along at such a nice pace, that even the small diversions were not enough to upset the balance. And at least the multitude of awards prevented even more useless filler like we see at the Oscars and the Grammys.

Thank you to all who followed along this summer as The Awards Psychic covered the Emmy awards. I truly appreciate your support and comments, and next year will be another exciting Emmy season. For now we turn our sights to the Big Kahuna, the Oscar race. I will start doing post-Toronto/Venice/Telluride predictions, and this thing will soon kick into high gear. I will also finish out the Top 100 Television Shows Since 2000, and start looking at this year's Grammys. For now though, I think I may go back and rewatch the Emmys one more time, just to take it all in before the afterglow wears off.

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