Actually, for a boring show it was still better than any Academy Awards show in recent memory. There were some high points, including a brilliant opening sketch that had Jimmy Kimmel getting the Botox punched out of him by most of the female nominees. It made me laugh, anyway. I also liked the “In Memoriam” send-up that mourned his own passing. All award shows could use this kind of self-deprecating satire, without waiting for Ricky Gervais to do it for them.
Only a few people stretched out their meaningless litany of thank-yous long enough to be played off the stage. Tom Berenger and Julianne Moore come to mind, and some other gasbag in a tux. By and large, people kept it brief and kept the show moving along. The two lowest points in the show were the flat Tracy Morgan thing that was supposed to trick the Tweeters, and a supremely unfunny bit where Jimmy Kimmel had his parents ousted from the auditorium. Ha, ha.
People talk about surprises at award shows, but the only surprise for me was how few of the nominated shows and actors I even knew. Apart from Breaking Bad, Mad Men and Downton Abbey, I just haven’t seen that many of these supposedly wonderful shows. Complete strangers were up there grabbing awards. That’s what life without cable will do to you.
If people find the Emmy Awards increasingly irrelevant, maybe that’s one reason why: Back in the days of three or four networks, there was a good chance everyone had seen every nominated show and actor. Look at 1969, for example: the big winners were shows like Marcus Welby, M.D., Mannix, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Room 222. Pretty much every American with a TV had seen all of these shows, and presumably found it more interesting that the endless thank-yous were at least being delivered by people they recognized.
Last night, when Homeland‘s Damian Lewis won for best lead actor in a drama, it was literally the first time I’d ever seen the guy. Clearly, I have a choice here: Either spring for a premium cable package, or just wait until all of today’s big hits finally trickle down to Netflix or Amazon. No hurry, I guess. It’s not like I’ll be missing out on any good TV conversations among friends. There hasn’t been a universally watched show since Seinfeld. And probably never will be again.