As Nokia Theater in downtown Los Angeles last night witnessed the most important awards night for the television community, roughly about the same amount of viewers sat down with some popcorn to watch the event through their own TV. And much like last year’s Emmys very little was actually memorable and everyone behaved themselves.
Host Jimmy Fallon, now of late night fame, brought in members of the Glee cast to round up other TV actors to sing through an opening number. This singing humor, much like hosts before him, seem to keep Fallon calm and the rambling jokes to a minimum. Strumming a guitar through the audience before each category (Comedy, Reality, Drama, Variety & Mini-series/Movie), Fallon brought a casual element to the Emmys. An element that thankfully was well contained despite needless category video introductions.
The first category of the night was comedy. With Eric Stonestreet winning outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series for Modern Family while his writers Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd were honored for their work on the same show. Glee’s Jane Lynch took home the next award for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy role. The show’s creator and showrunner Ryan Murphy won next for outstanding direction of a comedy series for his pilot of Glee. Reinforcing his show’s message about the importance of arts education and dedicating his award to all his teachers who taught him to sing and finger paint, Murphy was the last of the gleekers to get any recognition. The remaining comedy awards went to Jim Parsons for Big Bang Theory for lead actor in a comedy series and Edie Falco for Nurse Jackie for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series.
Next up was the only reality award of the night that got air time. Best reality competition programming went to Top Chef and the night continued right onto drama. At a quick, even pace Fallon’s Emmys awarded outstanding writing for a drama series to Mad Men‘s Matthew Weiner and Erin Levy. The outstanding supporting actor in a drama series went to Aaron Paul for Breaking Bad while outstanding supporting actress in a drama series went to Archie Panjabi for The Good Wife. Next outstanding lead actor in a drama series went to Bryan Cranston for Breaking Bad, proving that Sunday night surely AMC was pleased. Outstanding director for a drama series went to Steve Shill for Dexter and the night took a quick break to celebrate shoes that ended this year.
In a musical tribute to three shows we lost this year, Fallon (most definitely channeling early Hugh Laurie talent) jammed on pink piano dressed as Elton John for 24. Then a Boyz II Men song for Law & Order in an on over sized sweater and drinking forty then for LOST he sang a Green Day song. Funny and reminding audiences of his SNL fame, Fallon was able to remind people than despite the smoothness the show was still his. A nice anecdote before outstanding lead actress in a drama series went to Kyra Sedgwick for The Closer because no one can hate on Kevin Bacon’s wife!
Outstanding writing for a variety, music or comedy special went to Dave Boon for the Tony Awards, which incidentally I missed this year. But at least I saw most of the Olympics whose director, Bucky Gunts won for outstanding directing for a variety, music or comedy special. Ricky Gervais, as usual, gets the best presenter award for his deadpan humor and ability to always add spice to a humdrum Hollywood experience. This was especially great as John Stewart’s team won for the seventh time for their work on The Daily Show in the outstanding variety, music or comedy special category.
Next up George Clooney was honored with as the fourth recipient of the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award. His usual charming self, Clooney kept it brief, but thankfully reiterated the importance of the media to do more than what others set out. He reminded us all that we fail at following up with an old cause and we must keep the spotlight burning on these sad situations even after when the camera goes away. A message all to poignant as the Emmy broadcast aired on the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina hitting the gulf coast. An event and anniversary that was, besides Clooney mentioning the gulf, completely ignored.
But onto the next category right? In the miniseries or movie category HBO’s Temple Grandin took home the majority of the awards. With Julia Ormand winning for outstanding supporting actress in a miniseries or movie and David Strathairn winning outstanding supporting actor in a miniseries or movie. Breaking up this category was Jewel’s singing in honor of the in memoriam section of the night. Done quietly and with class, her voice certainly lent itself to
The rest of the mini series and movie category continued with outstanding writing for a mini series or movie going to Adam Mazer for You Don’t Know Jack whose lead actor, Al Pacino won as well (and the music cut him off). Both lead actress and directing in a miniseries or movie went to Claire Danes and Mick Jackson for Temple Grandin. The made for television movie was also award as the outstanding TV movie while Tom Hanks’ and Stephen Speilbergs’ The Pacific won for outstanding mini-series. At this rate Tom Hanks should be given his own award for his ability to give a well oiled acceptance speech and somehow add magnanimous validity and warmth to any subject.
The last awards of the night were given out by two television legends. Tom Selleck first gave away the outstanding drama series Emmy to Mad Men, which has racked up seventeen Emmy nominations this year. Last up was Ted Danson who gave away the outstanding comedy series award to Modern Family which had racked up fourteen Emmy nominations this year. Yet overall, there wasn’t any amazing surprises or upsets. Women, except Man Men’s January Jones, played it safe on the red carpet. Seeming to almost stay within the awful predetermined boundaries of the stigma of the TV actress. But with new shows out this fall and some good returning ones people are already on to talking about something else. And that’s the way it should be.