Sunday, September 18, 2005

Emmy Live-Blogging: Final Hour

("Now I be breakin' bread, sippin' Manichewitz wine/ Pay no mind/ Party like it's 1999..." Title of the post, y'all, c'mon.)

Commercial break continues, but not quite long enough to throw together martini. Quentin Tarantino arrives onstage with Marg Helgenberger. QT instantly tiresome. Helgenberger's hair and makeup don't really complement her dress. Specifically, hair too boring for dress.

Category is Outstanding Made for Television Movie. Peter Sellers seems destined to win. Lackawanna Blues looks better; Warm Springs looks like death sentence. Crikes, though, Warm Springs wins! Branagh could not possibly look or seem less like FDR. Perhaps it's a Hopkins-in-Nixon thing, and he's good if you actually trust him and watch the movie?

Hosts of Survivor and The Amazing Race look like supreme doofuses. They give a hand to the two present-o-bots, who are apparently contestants on America's Next Top Model. They look like extras from your local brothel's production of Heidi.

Musical interludes hit new nadir (really, though) with William Shatner and Frederica von Stade (really, though) paired in a reprise of the Star Trek theme. Is single worst thing that has ever arrived into my eye.

Ellen has officially overplayed the originally funny joke with the telecast producer. Meanwhile, someone thinks we are actually going to call and vote on these performances? Why would anyone do that? Can't figure out why first and last performances were intended as punchlines, while middle two were played absolutely straight. "Fame" performance even more needless in retrospect.

Commercial break. Shakira. Martini!

Crap! Where is Grand Marnier???

Ad for Flightplan. Am inexplicably excited for probably-mediocre thriller.

Mariska Hargitay has extremely odd stage presence. When she isn't talking, it's like someone has turned her "off," like that scene in Star Wars on Tattooine where C3PO shuts down for a while.

Weird win for The Lost Prince: Masterpiece Theatre. Well, maybe not "weird." I'm such an asshole, I haven't seen any of these movies! Still, between this and Warm Springs, it sure looks like the stuffiest, most traditional programs are winning. Still, it's hard to hold anything against a woman who takes a moment to defend public television.

Alan Alda and someone who seems to be the president of the Emmys or something—you really do miss a lot doing this blogging thing—pay tribute to Brokaw, Rather, and Jennings. Alda, wearing a Red Cross pin, is an enormously credible presenter, but can I just suggest something? How about we drop Brokaw, drop Rather, and just focus on Jennings?—the one who's actually passed away, and more than that, the one who actually preserved integrity, discipline, humility, and seriousness through the full extent of his career? In fairness, I'm at least agnostic about Rather. At least there seemed like some passion and reality behind his moments of abandon and showboating. It's Brokaw who makes me want to claw myself. Jennings is the pick of this group by infinite degrees. Listen, I cried when that man died. Maybe I'll just put away the snark for a second and really take a minute to honor that guy.

Well, everything was going great until Brokaw (inevitably) broke the spirit of the thing by saluting the current, "next" generation of terrific TV news reportage. I'm sorry, do we have that?

Charlize has emerged as the go-to candidate for reaction shots at any single point in the broadcast. Meanwhile, a TV ad for her upcoming movie North Country has also got me marginally excited—is that Linda Emond? My pal and weekend guest Tim reports from the Toronto Film Festival that North Country is a deserving film, not just a cash-in Oscar stab.

Longish commercial break, punctuated by an Entertainment Tonight ad that sports a cubist, nearly avant-garde rumination on the concept of Mary Hart. Wait, that is Mary Hart. Speaking of Nip/Tuck...

Okay, that martini is made, honey. But the maraschino thing sort of eluded me, so I'm back to old favorites (read: white chocolate).

Mean-spirited Family Guy interlude that takes pot-shot at, of all people, Frankie Muniz. Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Cross, Hatcher, Heaton (yawn), Huffman, Kaczmarek. Ooh, girl, Marcia Cross is not. smiling, honey. Teri Hatcher looks gleeful, but I'm not feeling a Teri win. I'm guessing Huffman. Winner: ...

Huffman! Yay!!! I love her. (But why does the announcer go, "This is the first Emmy win for Felicity Huffman. Miss Huffman is married to Emmy winner William H. Macy." As though this is her major accomplishment.)

You go, Felicity, thanking David Mamet and even Aaron Sorkin. Memo to all Emmy watchers: when telecast ends, go read The Cryptogram. You won't be sorry.

Wait, does Felicity Huffman also think that her major accomplishment in life is being married to William H. Macy? Not a great speech, but she, like Ellen, gets a handicap.

James Spader presents Best Lead Actress in Drama. (Get ready for Glenn or Frances.) But you can just tell that Spader, as always, is thinking, "I want to strip everyone's clothes off and make love to them like those Chevys in Crash!"

Whoo, J.Gar is really working that maternity look. She really is glowing, and the hair is great. Luv.

Winner: Patricia Arquette?? She seems like an extremely nice person. And she manages to say something heartfelt to and about the soldiers in Iraq. So I'll just leave it at that.

(That sound you hear is Debra Winger peeling Rosanna Arquette up off the floor.)

In Memoriam. Anne Bancroft, god rest her amazing soul. Barbara Bel Geddes. Ossie Davis, a real, real, no-kidding hero. Howard Keel. Brock Peters. Jerry Orbach.

Kristin Davis, crushingly un-special, in a Maybelline ad. Survivor: Guatemala, which looks like the end of civilization (but not in the way they mean it on Survivor). Cybill Shepherd in another TV movie as Martha Stewart. This one's called Martha Behind Bars: It Wasn't Such a Good Thing, guaranteed to evacuate the case history of Martha Stewart from any genuine context or content. TV is like a magazine you would never read, even in a dentist's office.

That GEICO ad again!! OK, I got it wrong last time, it's a 20-yard sailboat, not a yacht. But for real. Transcription, as intoned in very grave voice-over, right over that lily-white sailing boat: "An urgent message to the people of Connecticut. As you may know, Connecticut is the wealthiest state in the nation. But we are dangerously close to losing our ranking. Thankfully, GEICO has introduced new lower rates on car insurance in Connecticut. What's more, when you get a quote at, you will receive a $25 Internet savings discount on your new policy. We strongly urge everyone to take advantage of GEICO's new lower rates. Let's keep Connecticut wealthy." This was not a joke. It's like I live in that tower in Land of the Dead, for real. Cree. Pee.

Tony Shalhoub over Jason Bateman?? Fuhgeddaboudit. I saw Monk once, and though I love Tony Shalhoub, and his speech is funny, I just can't believe that he deserves this.

Lead Actor in a Drama Series. Sounds like a shoo-in for Hugh Laurie. But it's James Spader! Yikes, I bet people who care are really pissed. Hugh Laurie is the Imelda Staunton of Emmy '05: Brit character actor whom the world suddenly realizes is terrific, who deserves a win that many people predict, but then he loses it to a repeat winner whom I like well enough but who seems like he doesn't need a second trophy.

The young star of Everybody Hates Chris walks out to pitch Habitat for Humanity (way to go, li'l man), but he brings out an even smaller African-American kid called Charles who lisps through his front teeth, at which the entire audience laughs. So help me know this isn't a Behind the Minstrel Mask moment?

Hugh Jackman and Whoopi Goldberg. Hugh makes a stoopid joke about the Desperate Housewives cast hating each other. Ca-lunk. Whoopi: the nominees for Best Drama Series. Deadwood, Lost, Six Feet Under (my guess), 24, and The West Wing (the Spader and Warm Springs voters will go here, though....).

It's Lost. Sounds like a popular victory. I thought shows like this only won at the Globes? By which I mean, shows that many people love, and everyone can afford to watch.

Outstanding Comedy Series, squeezed in right at the 3-hour mark. Surely it's Desperate Housewives? Winner: Everybody Loves Raymond. Rather akin to when Jethro Tull won that Heavy Metal Grammy in '89. Not a bad speech from the producer guy, but the hipsters in the audience (Piven, Oh) look way bored, and Debra Messing is patenting the Big Fake Smile™. Everybody wonders about the mental health of Emmy.

G'night everybody, whether you do or don't love Raymond, hate Chris, or wish I'd just written a movie review instead.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This blog was hilarious... made me laugh out loud. I watched the show and read your comments at the same time. Thanks for entertaining me!

10:13 PM, September 18, 2005  
Blogger NATHANIEL R said...

no. keep on keeping on --this was so fun.

10:29 PM, September 18, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

d'oh my god~~it's official! i am out of touch. how did i not know that the emmys were happening tonight?! granted, without cable, i no longer have any favorite shows, but an a major (imaginary) hollywood playa, i should know these things!

anyways, hope you're feeling better. i'm still sick too. Sir LL tried to sedate me with a hot toddy, but i told him it was wartime and i had more traveling to do with wacko marlow & kurtz. (ie i gotta make up some discussion questions for tomorrow)--can't wait to see what the students make of the harlequin. that dude was crazy!

ps: didn't mean to hurt you with that brothers grimm recommendation ;)

10:41 PM, September 18, 2005  
Blogger Nick Davis said...

@Anon: You're welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed this early foray.

@Nathaniel: If the show were longer, I'd keep a-goin', you know I would.

@Lady S.: Here is where your evening of lesson-planning and my night of Emmy-watching combined: when I looked upon that opening-number defilement of "September," or upon the Emmy wins by Brad Garrett and Doris Roberts, I thought, "The Horror! The Horror!"

11:11 PM, September 18, 2005  
Blogger Ern said...

I was very entertained by your play-by-play. Very funny! I linked to it on my blog, I hope you don't mind.

Am glad to know that I am not the only one who hates Raymond. And the whole inane show. 9 years? I am so disappointed in the taste of the American public.

2:38 AM, September 19, 2005  
Blogger Robert Licuria said...

Love it love it love it!!!!!

Great job, from a long-time reader. I've even linked you from my own tiny blog.

11:15 PM, September 19, 2005  
Blogger Nick Davis said...

@Erin and @Robert: I'm really glad you enjoyed the features, and that you posted to say so! And thanks for the links.

Plus, y'all, Robert lists The Piano as an all-time favorite movie, so we know he has good taste.

9:28 AM, September 20, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey What did Family GUy SAY About Frankie Muniz????

5:12 PM, September 20, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was a joke about how Jane should win because she has to look at Frankie and not get scared. Or something like that.

You're a snarky little buggar aren't ya Nick? (er, that wasn't meant as a jibe against you!) Everybody Loves Raymond isn't that bad and Doris Roberts is legitimately hilarious.

But if you're not a fan of the show in any respect then you obviously can't be swayed. Oh well, it's gone now.

What was wrong with Felicity Huffman saying she loves her husband though...?

3:53 AM, September 24, 2005  
Blogger Nick Davis said...

I don't mind the show that much, even though I don't actively like it, either. Brad Garrett's is the only performance that really bores me, so I wish he hadn't won. In Doris Roberts' case, I just don't understand five Emmys in a row, or whatever it is, for work that doesn't seem to change all that much, but I might be underestimating her.

As for Felicity Huffman, I think it's great that she loves her husband... I was just surprised because she's usually this very tart, self-assured presence and has been wary in the past (good for her!) of people seeing her marriage as her defining characteristic. So I was irked that the Emmy announcer characterized her that way, but then I was surprised that she got so gushy toward Macy at the stage, so maybe she wouldn't have minded after all.

As for the snark: I'm not nearly this snarky in life, but for some reason TV/Emmy culture really bring it out in me. What can I say.

11:10 AM, September 24, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with you on Brad Garrett. He's a monotone bore. But my love for Doris Roberts on that show runs deep.

Besides, it's not like any TV characters (that get nominated on a regular basis) change. Shows like Buffy, Veronica Mars, Six Feet Under, etc, they do change. But sitcoms generally don't involve wild character arcs.

3:11 AM, September 27, 2005  

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