Ah yes, time for my semi-annual revisiting of this blog. I blame facebook and twitter. Not for any specific reason, but it seems like the thing to do. Oh, and that darn MTV.
So, why the urge today? The Emmys. I have some things to say about them that don’t fit into 140 characters or a facebook status that won’t aggravate my friends, many of whom I’ve actually met.
I should start by saying that I do generally enjoy awards shows. I like seeing people all dressed up, because I am a lady. But more than that, there’s a part of me that gets genuinely excited for people when they’re nominated and when they win. I assume it’s the actor part of me, possibly hoping that one day that could be me waking up at 4am to watch the guy from that one workplace sitcom and the woman from that legal drama read my name among the list of nominees, followed immediately by hundreds of phone calls that I will assign my staff members to answer, at least the ones who aren’t busy coddling my eggs.
But here’s the phenomenon that’s been happening since…well, I don’t really know, but I’ve been noticing it the past couple of years. It’s become a given that a comedian will host pretty much any awards show that has a host. This makes sense, since they are entertaining and have the added benefit of knowing how to handle any surprises or glitches that may arise along the way. And of course, any awards show will open with a montage devoted to the medium and that year’s nominees, and this montage will also be humorous (at least in intention).
But these days (classic old person intro), we’ve got announcers making up “hilarious” facts about the winners as they approach the podium, bits where the host calls out people in the audience in classic stand-up style, and red carpet coverage on E! starting around lunchtime so that we get to hear how many layers of Spanx someone is wearing and how many millions of dollars of borrowed jewels are gracing the necks of the guest star of episode 6 of How I Met Two And a Half Mad Men. There are constant shots of stars backstage pretending to dead-lift Emmy statues. Most presentations include at least one exchange of “I thought I was reading this part” or some other off-script addition that makes you realize these actors aren’t BS’ing when they say that they’d be nowhere without writers.
And you know what? All this is fine and dandy, if this is the direction they want to go. If you want to “humanize” these untouchable stars, and if these stars want to seem down-to-earth and accessible, so be it. But, if you want to take this route, then I’m just not gonna buy it when the winner of Best Actress in a Miniseries, Non-British, steps up the mic and blubbers about what an honor it is.
I love it when the entertainment industry is self-aware. Several times during the Emmy broadcast last night there were jokes about how mediocre television can be. They called out how ridiculous it is that they take themselves so seriously, but then…they take themselves so seriously. Making a joke about it doesn’t excuse it, but then again, does it really need to be excused?
I guess my point is, go big or go home. Either have the big awards show extravaganza with fancy clothes and tearful acceptance speeches, or poke fun of yourselves like an introspective Friars Club roast and show up in your jeggings and Uggs.
Side note (sort of): I did enjoy the comedy women going up on stage, pageant style. Until it got a standing ovation. Again, we had a moment of (planned) spontaneity, something that made the evening less staged and stuffy, but then everyone was on their feet, applauding this as if they were winning a Nobel Prize (never having attended a Nobel Prize ceremony, I can only assume there are a lot of standing ovations).
Second side note: Spanx lines. Are we supposed to think that the horizontal ridge across most actress’ tummies are sculpted abs?
Third side note: Girl from Modern Family, if you are of the age to wear braces, I’d rather not see your cleavage.
Fourth and final side note: Guys singing during In Memoriam: great left-hand gesture work, and impressive “fooled ya/hallelujah” rhyme.