I have never been all that excited about the Emmy awards. I rarely get around to watching them because I cannot help but think of all those actors and shows that were not nominated. This happens with just about every awards show that ever existed, but none more than the Emmys themselves. In the past, they have forgotten such shows as “Homicide: Life On The Street,” “Oz,” and “The Wire” among others. Forget the fact that these are all HBO shows (with the exception of “Homicide”), they are shows that really challenge the medium of television and take it to another level that all other shows need to follow. But in the end, the majority of the shows that take home the Emmys are the ones who get the best ratings. There are the ones that do not do well in the ratings that get the awards, but that is very seldom.
The Emmys themselves can feel like such an empty awards show. All these presenters get the worst jokes possible, and if they cannot make everyone at least chuckle at them, then no one can. In the end, who cares who wins or loses at the Emmys? It is usually the same people anyway, unless of course there is a new show that really creates a huge impact on audiences everywhere. This is the first time I have watched the Emmys in lord only knows how long. It took me a long time to get over Dennis Franz beating out Andre Braugher for Best Actor in a Drama Series so many years ago. Granted, Andre eventually one, but it still rankles me after all these years.
Granted, the Grammys threaten to be a bigger joke, but the Emmys come very close whether the best people win or not. The Oscars? They get it right sometimes, and there is a little more depth of feeling there than in most awards ceremonies. But after all these years, you desperately want to see them recognize the very best in television. The fact that such shows like the new “Battlestar Galactica” and “Friday Nights Lights” get the bare minimum of nominations is not lost on anyone. Next year will not have us wondering who will get nominated, but of who will not get nominated. That stays in the minds of so many people as opposed to who won.
The big winner of the evening was “The Sopranos” which picked up the Emmy for best Drama Series. This goes along with the Emmys giving out their biggest awards to shows in their very last season. The last season of this show was not the best, and it was not on a par with the first few seasons, but the show did still prove to be one of the best shows on television. What made its win somewhat surprising was the fact that the series finale was so polarizing that it divided fans almost completely. You would have figured that this would have cut into the show’s chances of getting any major awards. It was just as well that did not happen.
One big winner of the evening despite its low ratings was NBC’s “30 Rock” which garnered some of the best reviews for the past season. Hopefully, this will make its audience much bigger than it already is. Tina Fey thanked all those involved with the show, and for the “dozens and dozens” of fans who stood by the show while the audience did not. One of the funniest acceptance speeches of the ceremony.
If there was any hero to be found at the Emmys that evening, it was Lucas Black who succeeded in telling it like it is, and who managed to capture the frustration we have with modern television. He ranted about how sick he was of watching a show, and then seeing at the bottom of what’s coming up next. Lucas also stood up for those “nameless” people who are listed in the end credits of a show. For the past decade or so, their names have been relegated to the side of the screen which are fast forwarded through so quickly that we cannot make anyone’s name out (except of course for the co-stars). Lucas was dead on in saying these people deserve a lot more respect than we give them.
The acceptance speeches themselves were unspectacular and had the usual jive of thanking families, agents, managers, lawyers, etc. All award shows seem to be in a bigger hurry these days to get the winners off the stage as quickly as possible, so that the show won’t run any longer than it already has. If there was any controversy to be witnessed that evening, it was in Sally Field’s acceptance speech in which she said that if there were more mothers in the world, there were not be any “god damned” wars. That part of the speech was immediately censored by Fox, and silence pervaded the air for a couple of seconds. But when all is said and done, the Emmys still like Field, they really really like her.
Any real shocks from this evening for me came from those who did not show up. There were a couple of people who knew they were going to win, and they did not make the trip out to Los Angeles. I refuse to believe that they got caught in rush hour traffic as an excuse. Of course, it led to one of the funniest moments of the evening as Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert announced a winner that was not present. So instead, they gave the award to Steve Carrell, and he joined those two in a group hug where they were dancing all over the place.
Then there is the host of the show, Ryan Seacrest. Like Kelly Ripa, he seems to be in so many different places, and has so many different jobs that you wonder how he does it all. As a host though, he is rather bland to put it mildly. He’s not terrible, but he is no Billy Crystal or Steve Martin for that matter. Maybe it is best that he was chosen to host because they all want the show to be as inoffensive as possible. Unlike the MTV Video Music Awards, there is no pushing the envelope.
So another year of Emmys has come and gone. We wait again until next year in hopes that they will someday get it right, and reward the shows that deserve recognition. This is regardless of how big or small their audience, or if they shoot outside of Los Angeles or New York. These voters need to stop voting for all their best friends and watch more television for a change. Maybe then will shows like “Friday Night Lights” or “Battlestar Galactica” get more recognition than they ever got before.