Now that we all know who won what and who wore what, the real fun begins as we sit back and look at what worked… and, perhaps more importantly, what didn’t… at last night’s Emmy ceremony. The good news: Ryan Seacrest didn’t exactly ruin the show… thanks to the fact that he was barely on screen. The bad? The show was one of the most schitzophrenic, poorly-directed fiasco’s in recent memory. And yet, somehow, it wasn’t the worst thing we’ve ever seen. If hindsight really is the most accurate of sciences, then everything I’m about to say is dead-on. But let’s see if y’all actually agree!
Whoever thought the whole “in-the-round” staging was a good idea should be taken out behind the woodshed for a thorough thrashing. This whole trend of seating people behind the performers — which has become very popular among Broadway shows such as Xanadu and Spring Awakening — is getting annoying. Is it so that we can look to them for cues on how to react?
Another person deserving of the woodshed treatment is the person who decided to run the clips in those oddly shaped little boxes and allow the sounds of the audience cheering to drown out the dialogue, making the clips completely pointless. Oh, and the person who made the decision that as each clip came up, the corresponding theme music for the show would play, resulting in a mish-mash of sounds and visuals which weren’t pleasing to the eye or ear.
The idea of have the cast of Jersey Boys salute THE SOPRANOS was brilliant… except, of course, for the fact that we at home couldn’t actually see the clips being shown. So instead of a tribute to the television show, we got what amounted to an extended ad for the Broadway play. I don’t know about anyone else, but I spent the whole time thinking, “Hey, I might have to go see that puppy.”
The censors were kept working overtime, what with preventing Sally Field from expressing her opinions about the “God-damned war” or allowing Ray Ramono to say that Frasier was screwing his wife. Funny, cause I’m pretty sure that the kids of SOUTH PARK would be allowed to utter both. Heck, even MTV’s idiots say worse. Over there, only talk of suicide is a censorable offense. But why, instead of simply bleeping out the words that might offend, were we subjected to extended shots of that odd black ball?
Am I alone in thinking that one of the highlights of the evening — and this doesn’t say much for the show as a whole — was that long Macy’s commercial during the first commercial break? Brilliant, getting so many familiar faces to not only appear, but basically make fun of themselves. Favorite moment: Jessica Simpson having to call for help in opening the door. Funnier than anything we’re likely to see on CAVEMEN.
Speaking of “what the hell” moments, who wrote the banter which had Neil Patrick Harris — you know, the openly gay actor? — leering over co-presenter Hayden Panettiere? Had they brought him out as his misogynistic alter-ego, Barney, it might have made sense. Why the actor allowed himself to be portrayed that way is a real head-scratcher.
The director will also be going behind the woodshed, but no spanking for him. Let’s just shoot the sucker. Come on… staging a musical number during the Tony Bennett/Christina number and then not letting us see 90 percent of it? (You know Britney was sitting at home waiting for her rival to screw up… which she didn’t. Who would have imagined that the chick formerly known as XXXtina would turn into such a class act?) Doing a weird split screen thing whenever someone was making their way to stage that made it impossible to see either their reaction OR the God-awful clips being used as a time-filler?
Stand-up-and-cheer moment of the night? Lewis Black’s rant against those annoying banner ads that take us right out of the drama. I was furious to see that some of the pay channels such as Showtime are now doing those as well. Sure, I’d have liked it better if Black didn’t feel the need to yell at us, but hey, if he got the attention of even one TV executive, it was worth it… right?