51st Emmy Awards Show
by Ginger Marin
I'm going to depart from my preferred format for critiquing an awards show because the Emmys, in my estimation, no longer has the clout or interest it had pre-cable TV and certainly not since the golden age of television turned to sour offerings. That would be about the time the "ratings frenzy" began.
It used to be that television networks stood by television shows that were deemed worthy. Now they're on and off the air in a blink of an eye or shifted around on every night and time imaginable that you can hardly remember where you saw them last. There are some exceptions, of course. It's always easy to find the garbage and there are some shows that count as being excellent that remain securely anchored in their time slots.
I used to anticipate the new Fall schedule by making notes of all the shows I wanted to watch. I don't do that any more. I just don't need to take notes on the one or two shows that look halfway interesting. After all how many stupid sitcoms can you watch in your life without losing your mind. Give me a good original drama anytime.
In any case, let's talk about the Emmys.
Jenna Elfman, who co-hosted the affair with David Hyde Pierce, was okay at times, but I really got the feeling she was trying to audition for her next show while she was up there. Her hosting duties were filled with overacting. The lame jokes and the even lamer behavior really were annoying.
And those constant remarks and jokes about Producer David E. Kelley's writing prowess, his wife Michelle Pfeiffer or his hair - by just about everybody - get off it already.
John Leguizamo and Chris Rock making remarks about lack of minority representation or acknowledgment on TV even as they clutched their undeserved Emmys! Leguizamo's one-man show was terrible. The only reason he got the Emmy for best performance in a variety or music program in one word Latino! The award should have gone to Tracey Ullman who is totally unmatched in talent in this category. And when Chris Rock was asked after the show about minorities on TV, he didn't have a cogent response. I guess if someone isn't putting words in his mouth, he doesn't know what to say. Chris Rock picked up the award on behalf of his 12 other writers who make the "Chris Rock Show" on HBO what it is. He finally came out with this: "White people own it, they don't want us on it; it's a simple as that." Maybe he feels that way because he's not Bill Cosby or Red Foxx. Besides, he's wrong; it isn't just white people who own it; it's white oversexed yuppie males who are hung up about age.
People like Gary Shandling and others who make stupid remarks about not being nominated themselves. It has not been done better since Jim Carrey used this ploy at the Academy Awards. It's old hat now and bad form.
A takeoff on the Felicity actress envisioning a hot career after "Felicity". Oh, gee I was rolling in the aisles!
Jay Kogen, doing his Roberto Benigni imitation as he made his way to the stage to accept as best writer for his episode of "Frazier", then giving out the phone number for his mother's real estate office before they axed his audio. Was he insane? It's people like him who embarrass the whole community. And that's precisely why they give everybody just 30 seconds of speech time, so we don't have to listen to such rot.
David Spade - his overly droll, completely unfunny remarks about Producer David E. Kelley was a complete embarrassment to himself and the writers of the Emmy show in general.
Amazing Facts Learned:
It takes the following numbers of people to write silly, mundane, crude and/or lewd humor for the following shows:
17 for "Late Show With David Letterman"
13 for the "Chris Rock Show"
13 for "Late Night with Conan O'Brien"
9 for "Mr. Show With Bob and David"
but only 7 to write highbrow and/or sometimes incomprehensible humor for "Dennis Miller Live"
1. Opening the show by trying to spoof the numerous and supremely lousy "Interpretive Dance" numbers often seen on awards shows. The numbers certainly aren't interesting or well done on other shows and they certainly weren't well done or funny on this one. Waste of time. A better choice might have been just showing an original cartoon.
2. Edie Falco adjusting the ill-fitted bodice of her gown on her way to the stage and while on it as she accepted for best Actress in a drama for "The Sopranos"
As previously mentioned, John Leguizamo for "John Leguizamo's Freak" - his lousy one-man show.
Chris Rock for writing the "Chris Rock Show" along with his 12 cronies.
Helen Hunt for "Mad About You" - she's just not that interesting or good and the show de-volved over the years into stupidity more than something humorous. Sarah Jessica Parker should have gotten it for "Sex and the City".
A wrap up of highlights from the best moments in TV from the past year.
Overall, though, the show moved fairly well and was not painstaking to watch except for the bad moments noted above.