Some weeks these columns are easier to write than others. This week’s column practically writes itself, because the Emmy Awards were handed out Sunday night, so really all I have to do is give you my opinions on the winners and who I think was robbed.
But I don’t want to take the lazy way out, so I will start off with a look back on “The Road to the Emmys”.
Basically, I was tired of the Emmys before their airing even approached imminence on the programming schedule. As a result, for the first time in years, I didn’t even watch the actual Emmys telecast. *gasp* I know, how can I rightfully call myself a TV columnist and then not watch “television’s biggest night of the year”? Especially now that I live in the US and wouldn’t even have to stay up all night in order to catch it?
The reasons are manifold, one of which being that I don’t yet own a functioning TV here. I own a TV set, but it is not hooked up to the Dish Network in the building yet. And since there was no live stream offered on the internet, I resolved myself to tuning into my Twitter feed about an hour into the Emmys telecast. Since I follow a lot of TV critics and TV lovers, I got the play by play there, complete with commentary, which ranged from “love this” to “hate this” on any given topic of the night.
Incidentally though the very same people I follow on Twitter who gave me the meta-insight into the Emmys were also the people responsible for my Emmy fatigue, precisely because many of them are professional TV critics. In effect this meant that all the way back in, I wanna say, April I got extensive Emmy coverage from them and tons of links to “this is who I predict will get nominated, but this is who SHOULD get nominated – What do you think?” articles. Opinions varied heavily in almost every single category and the fan comments didn’t make matters any better.
Then the actual Emmy nominations came out in May and immediately I was flooded by 1) links back to the original prediction pieces of each TV critic, either with a message of “See, exactly like I predicted” or “They got it wrong, let me tell you who should have been nominated” or 2) by links to “reaction pieces”, in which the respective TV critic explained which of these nominations the Academy got right or wrong.
Yeah, I already didn’t care anymore.
It was beside the point that I was ecstatic some of my favorite TV shows and actors (Friday Night Lights, Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Timothy Olyphant and Game of Thrones) were nominated or that I was a little begrudged that Sean Bean didn’t receive a nomination, seeing as how Peter Dinklage will have more chances to win an Emmy in later seasons, whereas Sean… well, you know.
Everybody was chiming in on the Emmy debate and it made me ever more reluctant to try and yell louder than the crowd, especially since my yelling wouldn’t yield any results anyway.
And as if all of this wasn’t enough to induce serious Emmy fatigue, then the hype picking up again to a racket the closer the telecast drew was. I couldn’t count the “en route to the Emmys” tweets in my feed if I tried.
It’s curious how these “new media” can be a blessing and a curse. Most of the time I quite enjoy the diverse chatter my Twitter feed offers about all matters of TV. It’s only when my entire feed unifies into one screech about a single topic that I wish I could drown out the sound completely.
But, since I am your resident TV columnist, I will give you a short run-down of what I managed to grasp and what my reactions were to this year’s Emmys.
Apparently red was THE color to wear on the red carpet – someone must have sent out a memo – and Julianna Marguiles dress reminded some people of a robot from a sci-fi movie I haven’t seen and Katie Holmes is still a robot herself.
Moving on to the actual awards, here’s a list of all the winners (and I have noted who pulled an upset win against whom):
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Julie Bowen as Claire Dunphy in “Modern Family,” ABC
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy in “Modern Family,” ABC
OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
Michael Alan Spiller, Halloween, “Modern Family,” ABC
OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
Steven Levitan and Jeffrey Richman, Caught in the Act, “Modern Family,” ABC
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper, “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Melissa McCarthy as Molly Flynn, “Mike & Molly,” CBS
OUTSTANDING REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM
“The Amazing Race,” CBS
OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A VARIETY, MUSIC OR COMEDY SERIES
“The Daily Show with John Stewart,” Comedy Central
OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A VARIETY, MUSIC OR COMEDY SERIES
Don Roy King, “Saturday Night Live” hosted by Justin Timberlake, NBC
OUTSTANDING VARIETY, MUSIC OR COMEDY SERIES
“The Daily Show with John Stewart,” Comedy Central
OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
Jason Katims, Always, “Friday Night Lights,” DIRECTV (upset win over Matthew Weiner, The Suitcase, “Mad Men”, AMC)
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Margo Martindale as Mags Bennett, “Justified,” FX Networks
OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
Martin Scorsese, “Boardwalk Empire” pilot, HBO
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, “Game of Thrones,” HBO (upset win over everyone, because he’s in a genre show)
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick, “The Good Wife,” CBS (almost an upset win over Elizabeth Moss as Penny Olson, “Mad Men”, AMC)
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Kyle Chandler as Coach Eric Taylor, “Friday Night Lights,” DIRECTV (upset win over Jon Hamm as Don Draper, “Mad Men”, AMC)
OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A MINISERIES, MOVIE OR A DRAMATIC SPECIAL
Julian Fellowes, “Downtown Abbey (Masterpiece),” PBS
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR A MOVIE
Maggie Smith as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham, “Downtown Abbey (Masterpiece),” PBS
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR A MOVIE
Barry Pepper as Bobby Kennedy, “The Kennedys,” REELZCHANNEL (throw-away win of the night, upset win over Idris Elba as DCI Luther, “Luther”, BBC)
OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A MINISERIES, MOVIE OR A DRAMATIC SPECIAL
Brian Percival, “Downtown Abbey (Masterpiece)” Part I, PBS
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR A MOVIE
Guy Pearce as Monty Beragon, “Mildred Pierce,” HBO
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR A MOVIE
Kate Winslet as Mildred Pierce, “Mildred Pierce,” HBO
OUTSTANDING MINISERIES OR MOVIE
“Downtown Abbey (Masterpiece),” PBS
OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
“Mad Men,” AMC
OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
“Modern Family,” ABC
I was more than a little delighted that Friday Night Lights proved to be once again “the little show that could” and snatched two awards, even though I was devastated that Connie Britton didn’t win as well, making Mr. and Mrs. Coach the ultimate TV couple of all time. There was some outrage on my Twitter feed about Kyle Chandler not thanking Connie in his acceptance speech, since she was the other half of the couple, but it turns out he did thank her, only his audio was already cut off. (His real-life wife and kids were also cut out of his speech, btw.)
FNL pulled an upset win in both the Writing and the Lead Actor category against Mad Men and this had a lot of people up in arms, because Mad Men’s “The Suitcase” was arguably the finest hour of television not only last year, but in many years. I don’t necessarily disagree, but I loved seeing FNL win much more than I would have enjoyed Mad Men raking in more awards, because it already is such a hyped show. This is deserved in part and I am not one of those suffering from excessive backlash against the entire show because its creator Matthew Weiner is milking every dollar out of it that he can.
The Emmys are supposed to honor specific hours of television that were submitted for consideration in a particular year, but the reality is that the members of the Academy most likely have seen more of the shows than just the nominated episodes and vote on their general impressions more than the ones drawn from specific episodes. Hence, Friday Night Lights was given two awards in retrospect as a small token of compensation for four years it went completely overlooked.
Should the Emmys work that way? In an ideal world, no. But the Oscars work the exact same way and as long as we have actual humans doing the voting, this is how award shows will always work.
Here’s the thing though: as a character, I have always loved Coach Taylor more than Don Draper (he is actually my favorite TV character of all time) and I do believe this is in large parts because of Kyle Chandler’s portrayal of him. So I am more than 100% on board with Chandler taking home the Emmy, especially since Jon Hamm will have more chances to snag himself one.
And hey, Mad Men still won the Drama category, so there is that.
One of the more upsetting categories was the one for Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie, where for some baffling reason Idris Elba didn’t win for his riveting, bone-chilling, absolutely undeniable performance in the BBC/BBCAmerica series Luther and instead Reelzchannel’s (seriously, this must be the most ridiculous channel name ever) The Kennedys was honored in the form of Barry Pepper. Not that I have anything against Barry Pepper personally, but just ponder this thought: The Kennedys now has more Emmys than The Wire.
How can you not be upset about this?
Some other general observations gathered from my Twitter feed about the Emmys as follows:
The telecast aired on Fox, yet not a single Fox show was honored.
ABC brought in the most awards (five), but they were all for a single show, Modern Family.
Breaking Bad would have swept a lot of categories, had it been eligible for nomination.
“Hallelujah” should never be played on television ever again, especially not during “In Memoriam” segments.
Matthew Weiner is Kurt Sutter’s hero.
Clear Eyes, Full Hearts – Can’t Lose!
Need more TV coverage? Listen to a new “Television Collision: Podcast Extra”, Episode 16 below.
Topics include Sons of Anarchy, Necessary Roughness and America’s Next Top Model.
Author: Phoebe Raven, CC2K Staff Writer
Born in Germany, lived in the US, now in the UK. Always taking my love for TV and writing with me. Life participator. Blogger. Gaming enthusiast.