Monday, September 17, 2007

Emmy Notes

I can't think of a year when there were so many categories crowded with worthy nominees. It was hard to pick. I'm glad Emmy mixed it up for a change (no offense, Tony Shalhoub).

Some of the wins made me very happy. Terry O'Quinn is extraordinary on Lost, particularly this past season. His work is so delicate and precise, his gifts should be the envy of every actor. I wish Michael Emerson could have won, too... but he already has an Emmy for his astonishing work on The Practice, so I don't feel too bad. Still, Ben is an incredible, complex character, and Emerson fleshes him out in a million unexpected ways. (The same could be said of the unjustly ignored Matthew Fox and Evangeline Lilly)

As a longtime Emmy judge, I always feel it's important to separate the actual work from the show. (Actually, I think it's vital.) People in the media don't understand that you can honor great work even if it's on a mediocre show.

For instance, I thought Grey's Anatomy had a dreadful season, but I thought Katherine Heigl was great, her best work ever. The show could have used a lot more Izzie. (And by the way, it was inexcusable that the Emmy announcer mispronounced her name.)

And while I love James Spader, I was hoping for Hugh Laurie or Keifer Sutherland to win. For Laurie I make no apology; he was incredible this season. Whatever you thought of 24 this season (and come on, relax, it wasn't that bad) Sutherland's work was as good as ever. And not since David Duchovny and X-Files has one actor been called upon to appear in so many scenes every week. (Compare Keifer's shooting week to, say, Marcia Cross's. When she's there.)

Moving on... I honestly don't get the not-shaving thing. I can see if you're sporting a rugged layer of stubble. Or if your image demands some scruff. Then it's cool. But Jeremy Piven showed up with the full Fred Flintstone. And by the way, I honestly don't understand how it's possible for Jeremy Piven to not have time to comb his hair. Especially since he doesn't have to be in the room when it's combed.

Those censorship cutaways were disgraceful. Haven't we all learned to live with the silent bleep by now? Do we have to flee to the roof every time someone says something iffy? If Ray Romano's bleeped word was, in fact, "screwing" then that's just ridiculous. The 'Til Death promo was racier than that.

And I certainly hope that Sally Field was censored for the "goddamn" and not for the sentiment. I don't think being anti-war is so controversial, do you? Not in any time, and certainly not in this time. But I will say, her speech would have been a thousand times more effective had she not accidentally revealed it was memorized word-for-word. Takes the fun out of it.

The Office and 30 Rock are the best comedies on TV. And Tina Fey is, perhaps, the sexiest woman on TV. With Jenna Fischer close behind. Speaking of Jenna, it's impossible for me to believe that there exists a human who thinks America Ferrera is better than Jenna Fischer or Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

If Alec Baldwin and Steve Carell had to lose, at least it was to Ricky Gervais. His work on Extras was jaw-droppingly good. But if ever there was an argument for a three-way tie, this category was it.

Lewis Black is the king. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert and Conan O'Brien just make me smile by existing. I may be the only one, but I became weary of Elaine Stritch's schtick about ten years ago.

Whether you love or hate Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives, they are not now, nor will they ever be, comedies.

I did not think it was possible, but the Jersey Boys medley was both incredibly boring and incredibly gay. All I could think of while watching those guys was, "Is the opposite of an 'electric performer' an 'acoustic performer'?"

And if you only favor one-quarter of the audience, that is not called "theater-in-the-round." That's called "using humans as scenery."

And, finally, I won't name names, but three of the winners last night have been personally rude and/or assholic in encounters with me. I'm just saying.


gina said...

And by the way, I honestly don't understand how it's possible for Jeremy Piven to not have time to comb his hair. Especially since he doesn't have to be in the room when it's combed.

OK, that was the best laugh I've had all day.

I didn't watch the show so I can't comment on the rest. Except to say that your last paragraph has me intrigued...

Actually, I am happy about Terry O'Quinn. He's a phenomenal actor and this has been a long time coming.

Michael Markowitz said...

Thanks, g. I mean, no question Piven is a very talented guy and deserved his Emmy. But, y'know, come on...

And yes, totally agree about Terry O'Quinn.

Hard to believe such a long post could be lacking anything, but I just realized I left out something crucial: As good as Katherine Heigl was this season, Elizabeth Mitchell wuz robbed.

Todd Carruth said...

three of the winners? Well I am going to guess that 2 of the three are Piven and probably Thomas Haden Church, both of whom I can imagine being a little caught up in their own recent success.

Michael Markowitz said...

I'm not going to confirm or deny any guesses, because I love being mysterious and coquettish. But I will break that rule to say I have nothing against Jeremy Piven, and have never met him. I love his work on Entourage. I didn't want my (good-natured) jab at him in the post to lead anyone to think he was one of the three.

Sydelle Pearl said...

For the record, the boring Jersey Boys medley perfectly illustrates the huge difference between the brilliant original cast performing numbers staged for an audience on only one side and a third-rate imitation touring company cast hastily adapting to a theater-in-the-round format, complete with cheesy June Taylor Dancers overhead shots. Oddly, this was the one sequence of the telecast which should have been performed to one quarter of the audience only. I agree that it was lame.

The Crutnacker said...

I'm intrigued too. Who were they? Name names!

I have to say that while saying Heigl wrong shouldn't have happened, she looked like the world's biggest bitch for correcting it not once, but twice. And I thought her speech was a bit arrogant.

Hugh Laurie should have won, but Keifer was on autopilot this season. Whisper, yell gruffly, open your eyes wide and move around a bit. There, you've done the Keifer. And really, this season he wasn't in half of what he was in in previous seasons.

What's up with Jeremy Piven. He looks coked out.

How is it that the network that brought you Family Guy has trouble with the word "screwed"?

I love Lewis Black, but his rant was more accurate than it was funny, and the punchline was telegraphed.