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The Emmys Suck

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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.


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About Cerulean

  • Eh, I don’t agree, but damn if you weren’t funny in the delivery of the message.

  • Well, thanks Joanie. That’s a very civil reply for this place.

  • I love the viciousness of the piece, Cerulean, but Lost is a great show.

    And this is coming from me. I hate almost everything on TV.

    That is all.

  • Well, again, for BlogCritics, a very civil post. Thanks.

  • Jewels

    I am still trying to stop crying, I’m laushginhg, oops, typo, laughing so hard!!! C., I knew I liked you for a reason! RIGHT ON!!! RIGHT ON!!! RIGHT ON!!!

    >>> I just looked at the screen briefly and saw the puke-making sight of the entire cast and crew of Lost on stage,…< <<...>>> 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.<<< I tried to watch "Lost" as well, as so many folks I know are like, "Oh it's like the "X-Files", only way better", I don't know what the hell they're talking about...and the "E. L. Raymond" yeah, shut up already, AGGGHHHH. Go C. !!!!

  • It’s nothing like the X-Files. It’s different than any other show I can think of.

    There do seem to be a number of shows that are influenced by the X-files this season, however.

    That is all.

  • Bobba, XXXXXX’s you are talking to me, sort of again. You’re not hurling “POOP”, that’s a good sign, right? I miss you.

    X-Files was THE Best. Hey, see my “House” review? Love that show, at least for now.
    Much LoveXXXXXXXXXXX’s

  • When wasn’t I talking to you, Jewels? It’s sweet that ya missed me, baby, but I’m still right here. I never went anywhere 🙂

    That is all.

  • Thanks Jewels. Sometimes I work on my writing for hours. I love it when someone takes the time to notice it.

  • Sharon

    It’s okay to hate television and rant about it. However, you lose all credibility when you say there were several nominations for “Two and a Half Men,” which was nominated for nothing. So at least get your facts straight.

  • Sharon, check out this link Emmy Nominees and tell C. you’re sorry. Supporting actresses in a comedy…. 🙂

  • Maybe the show was more comprehensible whizzing by on fast-forward. She could have gone into an acid flashback when she saw Donald Trump dressed in overalls singing the theme song to Green Acres. I know a lot of people had to be hospitalized.

    Conchata Ferrel and Taylor Holland of Two and a Half Men were both nominated Emmys this year for Outstanding Supporting Actresses in a Comedy.

    I like Conchata Ferrel but her part is pretty small. There was an amusing interlude where Camryn Manheim played her sister (I think) and they totally hijacked the screen from poor Charlie Sheen. They almost physically crushed him too. Workers comp claim!

  • Baronius

    Cerulean – Sweet.

    About the Peter Sellers thing: I have a theory about the Miniseries/Made for TV Movie category. It should be called the “Best Movie Actor who Deigns to do TV” Emmy. It has a pathetic quality to it, like inviting the cool kid you hardly know to your birthday party.

    The Emmys are going to give a nomination to any big name, no matter the quality of their TV work. And miniseries frequently draw movie actors. (I vaguely remember Angels in America sweeping this category on the strength of some Oscar winners.) Based on number of viewers, the Best Sound Editor on a Talk Show is more important than Blythe Danner, but the Miniseries Emmy always gets a lot of attention. Why? Only one reason I can think of. It’s geared to bring big names to the red carpet, the hall, and probably the stage.

    Another example of the Big Dog Syndrome: last year, James Earl Jones was nominated for Best Guest on “Everwood”. I love Everwood, and I thought he was solid, but was he the best thing on the show? He was the only nominee from Everwood, practically the only nominee from the WB. James Earl O’Malley wouldn’t have gotten the nomination.

  • I noticed that most of the nominations were from top-rated shows, Everybody Loves Raymond, Desperate Housewives, Lost. Nine Emmys went to the Sellers thing, a heavily advertised and promoted show with an expensive oscar-winning movie actor. They actually have a category for best reality competition shows now which is really, really pandering. I don’t think Entourage won one Emmy. I have problems with the crudeness and misogyny on the show but there’s talent there, perhaps more than all the shows that won combined. I understand that it only draws half the numbers of other HBO series (probably all the women tuning out). Is there a connection between lower ratings and the lack of Emmys? Is there connection between high numbers or big expenses and Emmys? Who is profiting from this? The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences? The Networks?

    Four Emmy’s for Brad Garrett for doing Everybody Loves Raymond for nine years in a row? He won this one against Jeremy Piven. That is simply insupportable. The Emmy’s now have no legitimacy as an indication of talent. Sure, there is a dry wit and talent involved in Brad Garrett’s performance, but is sure isn’t anything that deserves four Emmy’s. Doing a safe, repetitive show like that for nine years is not something that any serious award-giving body would acknowledge.

    I read that the people who nominate the Emmys like to play it safe, although I don’t really understand what is at stake. Obviously the selection process is heavily co-opted but I don’t know why.