Huh? Reflections on the 2010 Emmy Awards

The 62 Annual Emmy Awards just wrapped up a few minutes ago, and if there’s one thing I’ll say about this telecast: It was far from boring. Well, at least the first 90 minutes weren’t boring. I did a live blog for the folks over at TV Overmind (you can check out that out here if you’d like) and throughout the night, I was actually fairly surprised with what happened. Some of the surprises were welcome, others just made no sense. At one point, I actually thought True Blood might win Outstanding Drama Series because things were getting so crazy.

Anyway, here some ramblings on the festivities.

  • In general, Jimmy Fallon did a great job as the host. He and his late night show have been quietly improving, so I wasn’t totally surprised that Fallon was nervously funny and charming throughout the night. The opening segment was fantastic and will surely be all over the interwebs for the next few days, but Fallon also sold the other musical numbers (the tribute to the leaving series, the transitions to different genres) very well. The only part he really dropped the ball on was the Tweet-reading, if only because he verbalized the “@” part of the user name. C’mon, Jimmy.
  • As I said up front, there were a number of big surprises, almost all on the drama side of things. On the great news side of things, Aaron Paul walked away with his deserved Supporting Actor hardware (besting the Lost duo). But Archie Panjabi’s win over the Mad Men ladies was totally out of nowhere and not really worthy, as even a lot of The Good Wife fans noted her episode submission was off. After Panjabi won, I was totally confident in Julianna Margulies’ chances to win in the Lead Actress race and then it went to…Kyra Sedgwick? What? Worst of all for me is Steve Shill’s (Dexter) victory over Lost‘s Jack Bender in the Drama Directing category. Bender has been awesome for years and totally dominated with his work on “The End.” Sad.
  • Because of Bender’s loss, Lost saw its only real chance of winning a major award in its final season slip away, which is surely unfortunate. The ABC series hasn’t been an Emmy magnet since the first season, but a lot of people (including me) hoped that the finale would be enough to lure in some people. We were wrong, and Lost rumbles into the sunset with bumpkis.
  • Good night for Breaking Bad, which saw its two leading men walk away with the Supporting and Lead Actor trophies. However, it’s a crying shame that the series didn’t also take Outstanding Drama Series to complete the sweep of sorts, because as I said, S3 is all-time worthy. I guess it’s then fitting that it didn’t win. Mad Men of course won instead, and that’s fine I guess.
  • On the comedy side, things were fairly predictable. Eric Stonestreet, Jane Lynch, Edie Falco and Jim Parsons were all fairly safe bets to win and I can’t really complain with any of them. At least Shaloub didn’t win.
  • The much-talked about Glee-Modern Family showdown was won by the ABC comedy, which walked away with three major awards (Supporting Actor, Writing, Series) compared to Glee‘s two (Supporting Actress, Director). So as suspected, no?
  • 30 Rock was totally shut out. Is the NBC comedy’s reign over?
  • What’s most disappointing about the comedy awards is how many more deserving series and performers were left on the outside. I don’t hate Modern Family, but Parks and Recreation, Community and Party Down would have all been given my vote before the family comedy. I know, it’s the Emmys and I shouldn’t take them seriously, but I can’t help it! The Community spots, as cool as they were, just reminded me how much better of a series it is. Hell, even Chuck deserves some love!
  • In terms of the show itself, there were a lot of awkward moments that I would rather cleanse from my mind: Conan looking bitter all night, Al Pacino’s dreadful speech and the catering people’s horrible decision to offer alcoholic Matthew Perry a beer.

Other random thoughts:

  • I know that we’re in this period of the industry where showrunners are more famous and given more power, but I think someone needs to tell Matthew Weiner and Steve Levitan that doesn’t mean they get to be insufferable jerks when they accept awards. Weiner is always knocking his co-writers, but at least he let them talk; unlike Levitan who took the mic both times and kept Christopher Lloyd away. Ryan Murphy is/was also annoyingly stuffy, but compared to these two, he’s a gem.
  • Note to Emmy production team: Front-loading your telecast with the comedy and drama categories and leaving 50 of the last 60 minutes to the HBO, I mean miniseries/TV movie portion of the awards is totally lame. Maybe start with comedy, pad the middle with reality and miniseries, but save something interesting for the final hour and not just the final few minutes.
  • Also: Don’t let Al Pacino speak for 49 minutes. It felt that long to everyone else, right?
  • On the other hand, Temple Grandin is awesome. So glad she was able to get on stage when the movie won its 642 award in a row.

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