Monday, September 21, 2009

MTVP 2009 Emmys Coverage Part 3: The Aftermath

The Opening

I think this video pretty much speaks for itself.

I’m hoping the apartments in this building are as soundproofed as the leasing manager says they are, because I wouldn’t want the little kids who live on my floor to hear the string of amazed expletives I uttered during this performance. By the time host Neil Patrick Harris got to the point where he was listing all the channel names, my jaw had hit the floor.

The Winners

The winners were a mixed bag for me this year. Some wins were just sublime, while others…weren’t.

The best award win for me by far last night was Kristin Chenoweth winning for Oustanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. As I mentioned in Saturday’s Emmy preview, I was hoping for Chenoweth to win this award, but I didn’t really think it would happen. It was quite bittersweet, since Daisies was unceremoniously cancelled by ABC this past winter. Besides the recognition for one of my favorite actresses on my very favorite television show, what made this win so exceptional was the way in which Chenoweth accepted. She openly sobbed throughout her acceptance speech. She seemed genuinely shocked and thrilled to win, and that was touching to see.

The best award was quickly followed by the worst. When John Cryer was announced as the winner of Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, I got a little sick to my stomach. It wasn’t just the fact that Neil Patrick Harris lost the award. I would have been totally okay with Rainn Wilson winning, since the buzz around his episode submission was extremely, overwhelmingly positive. I would have even been okay with one of the 30 Rock guys winning, because it’s the “in” show right now, and HIMYM has never really been an “in” show. I do not, however, at all enjoy Two and a Half Men (even if I have been known to watch the syndicated reruns on occasion when I’m visiting my parents’ house) or John Cryer’s performance in that show. On the plus side, though, Harris, as expected, handled the loss with great class, assuring the audience “I won’t let it get awkward!” The loss provided some great comedic moments, such as when Harris asked Cryer to hold the envelope up to the camera to confirm that he did indeed win.

I was also disappointed that Jim Parsons did not win Outstanding Leading Actor in a Comedy Series. Sheldon is an iconic character, and Parsons' acceptance speech would probably have been adorable. I was okay with Alec Baldwin winning, however, for pretty much the same reasons I would have been okay with one of the 30 Rock guys winning in the Supporting category.

Another great win in my book was Michael Emerson winning Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama. This was mildly unexpected, since it was a tight race and Emerson didn’t have as strong a submission this year as he did last year. It is about time Emerson was recognized for creating one of the best, creepiest villains ever to grace our TV screens. Emerson also gave a very classy acceptance speech, talking about how the award was “a character actor’s dream.”

We Interrupt This Program

The middle of the show, where awards were given out for reality, made for TV movie/mini-series, and variety, dragged a bit, but I was jolted back to my TV when the screen went fuzzy, and who else but Dr. Horrible appeared!

This two and a half minute video was a valiant effort by the Whedon clan to inject a little of their classic humor and a dig at the television industry into the awards show. I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed it. It actually lived up to the hype I had built up in my mind. There are so many layers of jokes in this short piece that I had to rewatch it multiple times to catch some of them, such as when Captain Hammer doesn’t look directly at the camera right away and Dr. Horrible has to point him in the right direction, or when Captain Hammer waives at the Low Battery warning on Dr. Horrible’s computer. I also got a little teary when the rest of the cast poked their heads on screen (much like the Bad Horse Chorus) to sing “it’s an honor to be nominated.” I’m still amazed that a little indie web show could get such recognition as an Emmy. It’s truly a remarkable thing.

The Show Itself

This was by far the best Emmys telecast since Conan O’Brien’s 2006 effort. Neil Patrick Harris was a perfect choice for host. He kept things classy, and he kept things moving. The show finished only 3 minutes over time. I also, as I already mentioned, appreciated the massive amounts of self deprecation he engaged in after he lost his award.

I also liked that the awards were organized by genre. I knew that I could tune out in the middle of the show (except for being on the alert for a Dr. Horrible hijacking) because I didn’t care about reality shows, made for TV movies and miniseries, or variety shows. Organizing by genre also was a good way to make the show as a whole more cohesive. It had a more understandable flow. Comedy, musical, and dance bits, like the dance by Karina and Macks from Dancing With the Stars, generally were placed within the genre segment where they made the most sense.

One of the best things about the show were two running gags that were actually genuinely funny. The first was Harris introducing almost every presenter by their most obscure IMDB credit. It was fun to find out the after school specials and video games where these famous actors and actresses got their start. The other great running gag was the use of The Daily Show’s John Hodgman (aka the PC Guy from those Mac commercials). Hodgman was the guy who announced (not entirely true) random facts about each award winner as he or she approached the stage. Some of his quips were especially witty, including when he remarked that the opening number for the Oscars, which won the award for Outstanding Music and Lyrics, was the first time a musical number had been written for a Wolverine.

I was worried yesterday that the Emmys telecast wouldn’t live up to the very, very high expectations I had built for it in my head. With Neil Patrick Harris, one of my very favorite entertainers, being the host and a break-in by some of my favorite fictional characters, the Dr. Horrible crew, I expected to be wowed. I was extremely pleased to not go to sleep last night after the show disappointed (except for that mildly lingering bitter taste in my mouth over the Cryer win, but I can live with that). Kudos to all involved!

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