Tuesday, September 13, 2022



Okay I'm gonna get this out the way, eh, no, "Living Single" was not "Friends" before "Friends". Sorry, it wasn't. For one, Queen Latifah was the star of that show, there was no star of "Friends", it was all equal supporting actors. (And for the record, that is the distinguishing factor with "Friends" before anything else. Every other show had a main star or two, and everyone else was Supporting, "Friends" had every performer having equal standing with each other.)  Also, when I remember "Living Single", I remember the show being as much about the hip hop magazine world that Khadijah worked at, as much as the foils of her friends who's lives all revolved around her. So, I think there's much stronger arguments that "Living Single" was the original "Just Shoot Me", or really, more like the original, "Ellen", which people who are my age remember was originally called "These Friends of Mine" in the show's first season. I'll give that argument more credence, but the original "Friends"? It's a funny joke, and I kinda get it, but I really think that's a stretch. 

Anyway, I wasn't able to watch the Emmys live like I normally would, but I had work at my-eh, well, not my real job, but it's the one that gives me money, so I'm watching the replay on Peacock as I write this, and this show definitely feels very much like the Oscars this year in that, it's pretty clear that most of the people behind the show didn't really care that much about it and were putting things together on the fly. That said, they're doing a decent and more coherent job overall. Kenan Thompson was funny, when he finally got to his monologue. In terms of the dance numbers at the beginning, ehh,-... I mean, every few years, the Emmys will do something that revolves around television theme songs, and this was very bleh.... I think part of it is that theme songs aren't as memorable or interesting anymore, and aren't as synonymous with television as they used to be, but also, I've been around to remember better ways of celebrating them at these shows.

As to the show, I like the set and the setting, and how they used it. This is the way you do a televised version of a theater in the round; very much like the Tonys would do, and very unlike how the Emmys used to try to do it. (Especially that one horrible Fox year with Ryan Seacrest hosting.) That said, I don't love all the decisions. I'm not crazy about the DJ and party atmosphere and some of the strange song selections for the winners. I noticed they occasionally stopped that when "SNL" won Variety Sketch Series, which even they seemed depressed at winning, but eh, it seemed like desperation to stay upbeat. (Also, Lorne Michaels looks, rough. Like, really rough.) 

I liked that Kia commercial where they showed you how you can show completely different scenes with the same lines of dialogue, that was cool in theory. In execution it was okay.

Did anybody know Sofia Vergara was on "America's Got Talent" now? Why do they always have foreign judges on that show, what the hell? It's kinda insulting when you think about it, like- well, I guess America judges a lot of other countries enough, but still...., like I know Britain's Got Talent has British judges, so it's really kinda fucked up if you think about. (Man, Britain television, especially reality television has a lot of bad undercurrents around it, doesn't it.) Also, did anybody know "The Good Doctor" was still on the air? Why is it still on the air? 

Also, Jerrod Carmichael what the hell man, wear a shirt! Like, I'm pretty lenient on award fashion in general, like, what the hell was Sarah Paulson wearing and who told her to do her hair and makeup like that; I love her but she looked a display piece, at a museum showing an avant-garde chess board, but good lord, that was still better than you accepting an Emmy without a shirt on! Maybe a musician at the Grammys can get away with that, you're a comedian at the Emmys! You don't have to wear a suit or a dress, but c'mon man!!!!

Also, I'm sorry, I don't know why the In Memoriam keeps fucking doing this, guest musical performer thing, but it sucks! It has always sucked, just stop it. Have the orchestra playing something sad and somber, and stop moving the camera around blocking our view of the video package of those who've passed. I don't know why this is so hard, but goddammit, it needs to stop! The music should be the background for the Memoriam not a feature! Literally, this is like the only part of television that should always be heard but never seen, and every goddamn award show fucks this up now! STOP IT! I don't need John Legend to be here singing, I just need to be able to see Louie Anderson's name and picture on the screen for a few seconds while I cry!!!! And this is not out of nowhere btw, the first time I remember an award show doing this, people bitched about it so much they made them load the montage on the internet so everyone can see it, and yet, we keep doing it, and that was back when it was not easy to do that! 

I was happy though that that was followed by Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni actually getting a chance to be funny for once. It was goofy, but I like that. They've been in those roles for so long, and especially Mariska Hargitay, like, low-key, everybody in the industry knows how great an actress she is and she should really find some time to do some more fun stuff to show off all her acting skills. 

I do love that Jennifer Coolidge decided to just hijack the stage because she couldn't move when she won Supporting Actress for "The White Lotus". Oh, she's one of my favorite winners tonight; I was always annoyed and sad at how "2 Broke Girl$" turned her into a caricature, so I'm glad she's finally getting recognized. I would've loved it if she and Jane Lynch had both won, we could've had a brief "Best in Show" reunion. 

Sheryl Lee Ralph's great speech was special too. She's only the second African-American to win Supporting Actress for a Comedy Series after Jackee Harry's win for "227" way back in the '80s. People forget she was one of the original "Dreamgirls" on Broadway, nice to see her sing, and I'm so pissed I didn't switch to her in predictions, dammit. 

Oh, yeah, I didn't post a blog on it, but I did post my Gold Derby ballot FB, you can find the link here, and that one of the biggest ones I wish I switched on. That and I was really pissed I missed "Lizzo's Watch Out for the Big Grrrls" being the upset winner in Competition Program. Like, literally, the only reason I didn't switch was because no first year reality-competition program had ever won in the category. Anyway, you can look at those predictions and thoughts, and see how I did, mostly I'm happy at how many predictions I missed on, I had in second or third. I could've and should've done better, especially since I apparently forgot to switch Limited Series Directing back to "The White Lotus". (I swore I changed that earlier, dammit!) 

The Limited Series category was owned by "The White Lotus" taking all five Emmys they were up for, including Series, Writing, Directing and both Supporting Performances with Coolidge and Murray Bartlett taking them. Lead Actor for a Miniseries started the show with Michael Keaton winning for Best Actor for "Dopesick" and he kicked things off well with a lovely speech that you can tell he was a bit contempt to make, 'cause he's Michael Keaton, he's always like that in real life, and that's fine. We've come to expect it of him. Amanda Seyfried took home Supporting Actress for "The Dropout", and it's nice to see her finally win. 

One thing with television, particularly the Emmys is when you see people who've been doing television for years and years finally win. That's another reason with Coolidge or Sheryl Lee Ralph's win is so cool. "Abbott Elementary" also got Quinta Brunson a win for Writing for the Pilot episode, but the comedy category ended up with "Ted Lasso" winning for the second straight year. Jason Sudeikis and Brett Goldstein also won for the show for Lead and Supporting Actor respectably, and the show won Directing as well. Jean Smart also went two-for-two for Lead Actress for "Hacks", rounding out the Comedy categories. 

Drama Series was also more retreads, with "Succession" winning Series, and Matthew McFadden again winning Supporting Actor, as well as winning for Writing. Julia Garner won Supporting Actress again for the final season of "Ozark", Directing however went to "Squid Game"" as well as Best Actor as Lee Jung-jae became the first Asian actor to ever win Leading Actor in a Series, and "Squid Game" has become the first foreign language series to win major awards for the Emmys. It also took Directing for it's Pilot episode. So, for a show that tried to be much more exciting than it was, the awards themselves were much more by the book in their recent trends of just sticking to the one or two shows they incessantly like even though they tend to mostly seem more good than great. 

I've said my piece earlier on how much I don't like the current voting system, and while I don't think any of the winners this year were bad and the show overall was okay, not spectacular, it was nice to see Kel Mitchell in a cameo there, for instance, the show was mostly, eh, slightly better than average, I guess a B- overall. It was a smoother show than the Oscars were, at least, but honestly, as I'm thinking this through, one of the problems with the Emmys in terms of a Production standard might just be, well, the networks. 

I never really thought the network television wheel rotation that the Emmys have used for a while has been a problem until now; I like that the Emmys are still true to their network roots, I like that they're available for everyone to see on television, and I like that despite the more availability and arguably higher quality of streaming options that the four main networks still broadcast the Emmys every year, but the thing is, I don't think they care anymore them. Let's face it, only ABC's "Abbott Elementary" did fairly well among any network series this year, and network shows barely win anything at all anymore, and usually aren't trying to push Emmy-quality programs anymore. They're not putting in the great effort for the show anymore, and maybe when their contract runs out in 2026, maybe we let HBO or say, even a streamer like Hulu, or even a basic cable with quality like AMC or TNT or even BET handle the Emmys in the future. Not every year, but once in a while, through them into the rotation.

I'm worried for next year, which will be the 75th Emmys, their diamond anniversary, and while it'd be nice if one of the three original stalwarts hosted, it's actually Fox's turn in the rotation next year, and I just hope they find a way to spotlight the evolving history of television in a profound and important way that also shows how televisions present also fits into that story of television, without seeming like we're talking about two completely different eras of the entertainment world. One thing the Emmys have lacked is that feeling of reverence, no matter the outcomes of the awards. Ironically, this years group of winners, when they weren't just picking the same-ole same-ole, actually did showcase just how much television has evolved and expanded. 

That's another issue, the Emmys have always been the celebration of the small screen, and yet, the thing is, the screen isn't small anymore. Some Emmy categories are so huge these days that arguably they're harder to win than Oscars now. And while I think it would greatly benefit the Emmys to strive to express themselves in that more grandiose feeling of the big screen, the Emmys themselves as a broadcast still feels devoted to portraying themselves as the big show honoring the small screen. This is why I think maybe it is time, when the latest contract with the networks are up in four years, that maybe switching the Emmys to a cable or streaming service might do some good. Maybe let somebody at HBO give it a shot, especially since HBO Max hasn't cancelled all of their classic tv lineup yet and maybe let them have a go and telling the story of television through the modern eyes.  

Also, it'd be able to have more of the categories on the main show that we don't usually see award. I mean, wouldn't you have liked to see "Chip & Dale: Rescue Rangers" win best TV Movie, or "Arcane" with best Animated Series or Chadwick Boseman posthumously win for his Voice-Over work on "What If", or Barack Obama winning for Narrating a documentary on National Parks (Seriously Barack's got two Grammys and now an Emmy, if you count his production company's documentary "American Factory" winning an Oscar, he's getting close to an EGOT) Okay, maybe some of those are still too obscure for the main show, but hey, at least half the speeches wouldn't have to be muted on seven-second delays anymore?