Sunday, August 27, 2006

First Annual Emmy Post-Game Analysis & Report

Maybe you're wondering, what in the hell is a post about the Emmy awards doing on this commie pinko liberal blog? Well, actually, this is the kind of stuff I've wanted to do more of, but we've gotten so bogged down in politics, video clips, and dead animal stories that I've kind of lost my ability to comment on anything else. I think I'll change that right about now. (Lots of links in this post -- feel free to click around.)

First off, I have to say that this is the first Emmy telecast that I have watched from start to finish in about ten years. It was comforting, I guess, to know that nothing really changed. Still lots of awards for miniseries that no one watched (Bleak House?!? Jesus...) and other stuff, although most of the 'technical' awards are relegated to the 'other' Emmy show (no, not the Daytime Emmys, the other one), so all of that stuff is missing.

I guess at this point I should say that I really like Conan O'Brien, and if he hadn't been hosting this year, I can't guarantee that I would have watched. I had to miss the Oscars since I was not really, ummmm...., available that night, but I wish I had seen Jon Stewart. I even thought that the opening production number (the song and dance) was good, basically talking about how much NBC sucks these days. The reference to Howie Mandel was cute -- especially in light of the DVD I saw a few weeks ago (from my daughters Fairie Tale Theatre collection), in which I was reminded of how incredibly gratingly annoying Howie Mandel was back in the 1980s (I had forgotten)! Realistically, Deal or No Deal is not a very original, or well crafted, game show -- it is basically Treasure Hunt with opportunities to bail out. The thing that makes it work is the contestant selection process (go to NBC's rules page and check that out!), and the fact that Howie Mandel has been able to pull himself together, get past some of the OCD that dragged him down for a while, and actually become an engaging personality, who doesn't have to hog the whole show.

Anyway, some of the awards were great (The Office for Best Comedy, multiple wins for The Daily Show, although I would have preferred The Colbert Report to take at least one), and stuff like that. I was also nice to see Cloris Leachman and Henry Gibson out there presenting. Good for some of us. I can't comment on 24 or Grey's Anatomy; I haven't seen them, so... what can I say? The award for the Directory of the telecast getting an Emmy for directing the Oscar telecast was rather idiotic. One of those awards for an awards show, which get a little cumbersome (2007: Best Performance in a Variety Show: the director of the 2006 Emmys giving his acceptance speech for the 2006 Oscars!)

Some of the awards were weird: Julia-Louis Dreyfus getting Best Actress in a Comedy for...what? The New Adventures of Old Christine?? Ok, granted, I am not totally on the ball with pop culture, and I'm not pretending to be, but, what??? Still, good for her. I've liked her ever since her SNL days, and it's nice to see someone shove something back in that Jerry-bastard's face!

Also great was the clip of Conan going into South Park and getting in the closet with Tom Cruise. He (Tom) can't be happy about that one.

Now, for the downers. The roll-of-the-dead is always kind of a bummer, but the worst came before that. I am a huge fan of Dick Clark. I was really upset when he had his stroke last year, and I knew from the news that was coming out that it wasn't very positive. I know what strokes do. I was raised by my grandparents and watched them deteriorate right before my eyes. No fun. We spent last New Year's visiting family in San Jose, and after we got back to our Motel 6, I caught the last few minutes of Ryan Seacrest's (gag) New Year's Rockin' Eve, when they had Dick Clark on to say goodnight. That pretty much trashed the New Year's celebrating for me, since he was in pretty bad shape. I'd seen the pictures of him, heard the non-sugar-coated reports, etc., but I was hoping for more positive things. Same thing this year: I knew they were going to have a tribute to Dick Clark (which is a bad sign at the Emmy's -- the other tribute went to the newly-dead Aaron Spelling -- so they were trying to get this one in before the inevitiable). So, they did the retrospective, and they introduced him, sitting down, and let him speak to the best of his ability. And, really, his speech wasn't bad -- even he was being self-depricating, but the reaction was muted, at best, and I really don't think many people could understand him. Then Barry Manilow sang and danced, and come over to Dick, but in the end, for me anyway, it was sad. It's been over a year of intense therapy, plus rehearsals, etc., etc., and that was the best they could get from him. I'm not blaming him -- quite the contrary -- I think he had enormous guts to even get out there (he's not deluded -- he knows what kind of shape he's in; the mind is still there, but the body has gone to hell). But... he's not coming back. Ever. Dick Clark, as a performer, is gone, forever. Damn it. That pretty much ended any good feelings I had tonight.

The Bob Newhart thing was cute and silly, but at least they didn't make it as stupid as they could have (smashing him out at 3:00:01, or something).

So, that's it -- if I think of more to rant about, I'll post it. I'm sure more important things happened, but I'm trying to take a break from important things right now. Sometimes, that's just how it works.


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