I needed a day to really process this year's Emmys, because there was just something about them that seemed off. I have finally figured out the problem. With the exception of The Blacklist, and renewing Parenthood and Parks & Recreation for another season, NBC really can't do anything right. By moving up the Emmys entire month, in ensured that there were few surprises in major categories, probably because by the time that voters had the episodes to watch, there was little time to actually absorb the episodes and the performances within them. That extra month that is usually given is where voters have time to really watch and see, and it is also where we get our surprises, which make for an exciting evening. What I saw Monday night was an incredibly dull show, and also incredibly too predictable because voters simply fell back on their old favorites. Now let me stop here and put out an important disclaimer. There was not one bad or undeserving winner in the Comedy and Drama Categories. Breaking Bad ended in superb style, so the wins for the series, Gunn, Cranston, and Paul were certainly worthy. The Good Wife's resurgent season ended with its star Julianna Margulies earning another Emmy representative of the season as a whole, and her stunning performance week after week. Even True Detective earned a directing win for its great season. I know that we are all sick of Modern Family winning, but this past season was one of its best, and Burrell and Mancuso are always good for laughs and quality directing. Jim Parsons gets a lot of hate around the blogosphere, but he has created one of the most iconic and endearing television characters of the last decade, so it is not hard to see what voters keep going back to him, especially since his category has been relatively weak for years now. And Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Allison Janney are two of the best actress working in television today, so even though their continued honors may seem excessive, they are not undeserved. All of this being said, I think it would have been nice to see at least a few newcomers, a few surprises, if for anything, for the fact that we as viewers watch the ceremony to not only view the honors, but also to be entertained. I think NBC is doing it again next year, which is a real shame for us Emmy fanatics. I hope that they sense that that an extra month would do all the voters a bit of good, and change their policy. If not, we will probably continue to see old favorites.
There were a few surprises, but almost all of them occurred in the Television Movie/Miniseries categories. Fargo and The Normal Heart took the program categories as expected, and while most people were predicting someone else, it was not a shock that Kathy Bates and Jessica Lange took home honors, their veteran statuses probably helping in this shortened period. But there must have been some Sherlock fans in those panels, because after not winning any Emmys for its first two seasons, it won a total of seven (including Creative Arts), becoming the most honored program this year. Martin Freeman's win was probably a combination of Fargo and Sherlock fans, so it wasn't that surprising. But when Steven Moffatt beat out Larry Kramer, and Benedict Cumberbatch beat the Fargo guys and Mark Ruffalo, I was shocked. The Normal Heart clearly had enough broad support in the larger program panels, but in the smaller ones, its support was simply not very deep, and that is probably the biggest surprise. We expected it to explode that the Emmys, and it ended up winning a total of two out of twelve nominations. The folks over at HBO are probably still scratching their heads, while the PBS folks are probably still celebrating.
But other than those couple of surprises, the evening overall was dull, and uneventful, and poor Seth Meyers just paled in comparison to last year's host Neil Patrick Harris. And because of their shortened scedule, the whole season seemed like a gigantic blur, there was not enough time to absorb them or really enjoy them. So here's to hoping next year will be a bit more exciting, and until then, the Oscar race is officially on, as the Venice Film Festival has officially begun, and the Oscar buzz is already building. Stay tuned!!!