I only Tivo’d the Emmys to see Adrian Grenier. Boy was I right. The Emmys suck. The cheesy production numbers have to go. They got Earth Wind and Fire to perform one of their songs with tacky new lyrics about TV shows. It was not pleasant to see the famous audience members trying to look polite while they watched this. Nearly every pre-scripted joke sunk like a stone. Every production number was gratuitous. Why were they performing the theme song to Fame? Way too many Emmys went to Everybody Loves Raymond. That show closed up shop a while ago, but I keep seeing stuff about it every time I turn on the TV. It wasn’t all that. [Everybody Loves Raymond won three Emmys, some of which are repeats of awards they’ve won several times before.]
Speaking of things that are over, David Letterman came on and I saw a picture of Johnny Carson and I said, “No No!” It took months, possibly years, for the Johnny Carson hype to clear after he retired. Fatherless males everywhere waxed hysterical about the man and his mythic qualities until you wished they’d just form a twelve-step group and join in one wrenching scream, ‘JOHNNY! JOHNNY! JOHNNY!,’ until their guts were like rung out dishcloths. The passing of time heals all things, I thought. Sooner or later they will move on after appropriating all media for way longer than necessary. Eventually newspapers, magazines and TV screens made room for other content than the retirement of Johnny Carson. This was a person who was properly lionized and then some. A few years later, he passed away, again, duly remembered. I never dreamed that anyone would feel the need to further remember the most well-remembered man in America, but there he was behind David Letterman. As I fast-forwarded through it I saw more, more pictures of Johnny and it could only mean one thing, some kind of tribute to the most feted person on TV. The people behind the Emmys must be the lamest, most retarded people in show business.
Blythe Danner was nominated for three Emmys. Is Blythe Danner three times more talented than other actresses of her stature? The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, what a piece of shit. I don’t mean necessarily the quality of the show; I mean the tendency of making movies out of absolutely every bit of the past, no matter now pedestrian. First of all, Peter Sellers was the guy in the Pink Panther movies. That’s how we thought of him. He was a funny enough actor with a shtick. It‘s not the most brilliant minds of their generation that have shticks. After he died, the “Peter Sellers was a tortured genius” stuff began to emerge like a bad joke. Then, while it was being made, we kept hearing about the Peter Sellers biopic like it was something more than the dredging up of another dead body to supply material to our intellectually bankrupt age. It wasn’t. This movie got ten times more publicity and advertising than it warranted. Then, just when I forgot it, there’s Geoffrey Rush winning an Emmy for his performance in it. Then someone else was nominated for something to do with it. Just because someone is troubled doesn’t make him a “genius.” Just because you play that person doesn’t make you worthy of an award, especially if it‘s your second bite of the Tortured Genius Apple. [The Life and Death of Peter Freaking Sellers won nine Emmys including Outstanding Acting, Writing and Directing in a TV Movie or Miniseries.]
Then I saw Lost being nominated for and winning several Emmys. Lost is a piece of crap. I’ve never been able to watch it for more than a few seconds. Lost is what happens when stupid people try to be mystical. There it was scooping up Emmys. O.K. if Lost won an Emmy, then officially winning an Emmy means that you are a piece of shit.
There were several nominations for Two and a Half Men. It is based on the trite concept of sons with a waspy tiger lady mom. The mother character hits every cliché; she is a realtor, she dresses in designer suits. Apart from occasional moments, and possibly Conchata Ferrell, there is nothing special about the interplay between the characters. I find the show insulting to women. Holland Taylor has played that character for thirty years. Now, she’s nominated for an Emmy? For that? She could play that character in her sleep.
About the time I stopped looking, Ellen DeGeneres was literally headed into the toilet (To interview women standing in line there.) This kind of thing leaves the Emmys at a bloated three hours. First of all, fire the producer, director and writers for the Emmys and never, ever hire them anywhere again. Second of all, award Emmys to people with overwhelming talent. Never mind if a show just went off the air. Resist the dull-normal trying to be mystical. Unless coupled with real deservingness, don’t give an Emmy to someone because of personal losses, advancing age, or simple persistence.
Third of all, icksnay on all production numbers and bits of business. You should be able to get it down to one hour and forty-five minutes. Hire talented people to write the banter. Write it in tandem with the presenters. If they said something real, that would not be so bad.
I just looked at the screen briefly and saw the puke-making sight of the entire cast and crew of Lost on stage, presumably for winning The Big Award. I have to give them this, images from their pilot were eerily predictive of what happened in New Orleans. That is just one more reason that their winning The Big Award could mean we are near the end of the world. [Lost won six Emmy’s, including Outstanding Drama Series.] Discernment no longer exists. Edgar G. Robinson is the last person in the world who can read. They are handing out Emmys to random targets. Talent no longer matters.
The Emmys are now officially a joke.
Emmy counts come from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ website and include winners in lesser-known categories.