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The 61st Primetime Emmy Awards

Posted by Mr. Feeny on September 20, 2009

I was genuinely worried that after spending all this time anticipating the Emmys, it’d be a huge letdown. Thankfully, that was not the case. This was one of the best award shows I’ve seen in a long time.

But first, let me just thank those who stopped by our live blog and joined in the conversation. We had a great time talking and interacting with you and hope it added to your “Emmy Experience” too.

You can choose to rate an award show in two different ways. Either the show itself or the awards given out. The latter gets all the talk the next day…but the former is what makes people actually remember the show. And this was definitely memorable.

I’d love to go into great detail, but after 3 hours of blogging on this topic…and episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Mad Men to watch…I just don’t have the time. So here are some snippets! As best I can remember from the live blog…

  • Neil Patrick Harris was phenomenal as the host. His opening number was just what the Dr. Howser order. His jokes were subtle but clever. His gags were always entertaining. And he looked very snappy in a white tux. He’s just a perfect M.C. A great command of the show. It only went three minutes over time! He’d better be back next year. Several performers said the same thing in their speeches.
  • None of the speeches were that spectacular. I do remember Kristin Chenoweth begging for jobs now that Pushing Daisies has been canceled. That was good. And Neil Patrick Harris ribbing Jon Cryer for winning over him (why is Cryer a supporting nominee? He’s ONE of the TWO and a Half Men. That should equal lead…and loss).
  • The set was very impressive. Stylish with lots of TVs, but they used it well. Never got distracting or in the way.
  • Most of the presenters did a fantastic job, but my favorite was easily Bob Newhart. He’s still got it after all these years. Those long pauses aren’t age…it’s how he’s always been!
  • The biggest thing I’m taking away from this is just the constant humor in between awards. Things like Dr. Horrible interrupting the broadcast when the lawyers are giving their explanation of ballot counting. Or NPH using IMDB to find the most obscure credits to introduce famous presenters. Or the completely fake voiceovers while winners are walking up to the stage. Written and voiced by the PC guy from those commercials. Even the way they avoided some of the duller category announcements by having directors and writers give pithy advice…or a gag for the “Variety Writing” nominees.
  • And as for the winners…It’s disappointing several won again from last year (Alec Baldwin, Glenn Close, Bryan Cranston, 30 Rock, Mad Men), but they’re only 2 time winners. It’s not like The Amazing Race, which won for a 7th straight time. But the best winners were the supporting drama ones. Michael Emerson from LOST and Cherry Jones from 24. Jones revitalized the show with an incredibly strong president and was a highlight all season. While Emerson has continually added nothing but greatness in terms of delivery and emotion to LOST.

There are still some problems with the Emmy format that could use fixing. But that’s overdone in the blogosphere.

What were your thoughts? Who was robbed? Should Neil Patrick Harris do it again? Comment away!

(oh, and…um…I was 8 for 20 in predictions…so I understand if this is the last time you read something written by me)


4 Responses to “The 61st Primetime Emmy Awards”

  1. Christopher Moltisanti said

    Michael Emerson irritates me on Lost (not totally his fault, the writers have dropped the ball the past few seasons), and despite my love of season 7 of 24, I think Cherry Jones was a little overwrought from time to time. Glad to see the Emmy voters noticed this season of 24, though.

    And there’s nothing disappointing or wrong about Mad Men winning again. As long as it’s on, it should win Best Drama, just like The Sopranos should have. Even at its worst, it was better than anything on network TV. Yes, there was a not-so-shrouded shot at “The West Wing” in there. Bring it on.

    • Mr. Feeny said

      Whoa. Tell me you didn’t just say that.

      I haven’t put together my list of Top 10 shows ever, yet. But I gurantee West Wing will be near the top…as will 24 and LOST. I’d take any of them over Mad Men any day of the week. Except for their weaker seasons, like 24’s sixth. Ugh.

      Those are based on my personal preferences, obviously. 24 and LOST probably wouldn’t be on the definitive list. But West Wing should universally be considered one of the best dramas of all-time. You want intelligence? Overflowing. Wit? Endless. Humor? Just enough. Solid acting from a cast of characters? Tremendous. It’s a little more light-hearted as a whole than Sopranos and less reflective than Mad Men. But Aaron Sorkin was able to incorporate those elements when appropriate, making for sensational episodes.

      • Christopher Moltisanti said

        Didn’t say it wasn’t good. In fact, I think it’s very good (though I do have some issues with the fact that everyone talks exactly the same way in Sorkin shows). It just had no business ever beating The Sopranos for Best Drama.

        Also, just remembered that John Slattery was nominated for supporting actor. Who votes for these awards? Ben over Roger Sterling? Seriously??

  2. Malcolm said

    I would vote Ben over Roger Sterling. Slattery turns in a great performance consistently but his performance is a bit one note as of late (he was stronger during the heart attack episodes in season 1).

    Do I think that John(s) Hamm and Slattery deserve Emmys? Yes.

    Do I think that Bryan Cranston and Michael Emerson deserve them more? You’re damn right I do.

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