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Bawdy Betty, wicked Ricky, and other random Emmy notes
August 30, 2010  | By Theresa Corigliano
 
Only in TV can bringing an award show in at three hours be considered a major accomplishment. The 62nd Annual Emmy Awards telecast last night ended on time. And Jimmy Fallon, a talented guy and a capable host, was sometimes better than his actual material. But there was plenty more left to discuss around the water cooler . . .

emmys betty white jon hamm.jpg--- When Jon Hamm and Betty White presented the Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy, the 88-year-old actress was once again given yet another lame, lascivious joke to do...as if the Born to Run bit didn't hit us in the head hard enough. Is this the only way young writers see her? It's getting old. I know Betty is salty in real life, but she's other things, too.

--- Which leads me to beg writers to grow up when they write for Modern Family's Sofia Vergara, who was saddled with "thick accent" comedy. Ugh. No other way to go here either, huh?

--- I can finally shut up about this one, because the Academy voters have rewarded the spectacular work Jim Parsons has been doing on The Big Bang Theory. Here's to the voters for breaking patterns -- including the Best Supporting Actress, Drama, recognition for Archie Panjabi of The Good Wife. Sadly, this did not extend to House's Hugh Laurie. I just don't understand how voters cannot recognize the work Laurie is doing. He's extraordinary. Do they not know that before Gregory House, he was mostly known as a British comedian? That he doesn't limp? Maybe Hugh's picking the wrong episode to be judged. Maybe it's because House is just a procedural, and on a network? What do you think?

--- While we can certainly debate whether Glee and Nurse Jackie are really comedies (didn't Northern Exposure start this whole hybrid debate?), I was pleased to see the Best Actress in a Comedy win for Edie Falco. Hers is a half hour show that I wish were an hour, that's how good Falco and the rest of the cast is. It is one of those comedies that is not just a comedy. "I'm not funny," she insisted in her acceptance speech. I rest my case (but she is).

--- Best Reality-Competition Program: Top Chef. This made me happy, because while I'm a fan of The Amazing Race, it was time to recognize the good work other programs are doing. Four nominations and finally a win. (Love Tom Colicchio, but note to Tom: Craft is too pricey for the amount of food you get. Sorry, just had to say so.)

--- Chris Meloni and Mariska Hargitay presenting last night only served to remind me that Law & Order is gone. This is just not right. I can watch reruns over and over and over again. Even reruns are comforting to me, especially when I am miserable with a cold, but it was nice to know that there were new episodes coming. L&O LA -- hmmm, jury's out on that one. You can take the show out of NY, but...

emmys 2010 aaron paul.jpg

--- Note to Aaron Paul, who won Best Supporting Actor, Drama, for Breaking Bad and Kyra Sedgwick, Best Actress, Drama, for The Closer. I cannot figure out how actors who work on stage for a living do not get that the mics can pick up their voices without them having to hunch over the stand. This drives me nuts. For all award shows, can't the stage manager remind them before the show starts to stand up straight and just talk?

--- When the 63rd Annual Tony Awards' Dave Boone and Paul Greenberg won the writing award for a Musical, Comedy or Variety Special for the Neil Patrick Harris-led edition, Boone thanked CBS President Leslie Moonves for keeping the prestigious Tonys on the air, despite year after year of abominable ratings and national disinterest for what is and always has been a NYC-centric awards show. This is no small thing to those of us who do love and patronize Broadway, and Moonves, a former actor with a love of theater, deserves the kudos, considering the pressure of his current day job to get ratings and make money. Prestigious only goes so far in this economy, but Moonves has remained steadfast.

--- I would be happy to have that wicked sprite Ricky Gervais host every single award show on television. He is so naughty -- great Mel Gibson material last night, and great timing. What is it about the Brits that they have no problem saying things we Americans are only brave enough to think?

emmy 2010 clooney.jpg

--- A chyron popped up during the show that said: "George Clooney in 17 minutes." Knowing Clooney, I know this would embarrass the hell out of him. The Academy was very smart to give him the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award three days before The American opens in theaters. How could George say no? And trust me, these things are not even remotely coincidental. The Academy wanted Clooney so they could trumpet his appearance, and Clooney's PR people wanted the Emmys as a platform for the new film. A lovely quid pro quo. I admire Clooney. He has used his power to instigate worthy TV fundraisers when disasters strike, and deserves attention for it, but last night he was clearly uneasy as he delivered his brief remarks, finding it hard to strike a balance of seriousness, which the moment demands, with humor, which is his public comfort zone. Disclaimer: I knew George before he was George. The George I knew had made a few bad shows for CBS, including a pilot or two that never made it to air. That George was kind, considerate, and forthright. You wouldn't want him mad at you, but he was fair. He was also funny and thoughtful. He is still that way, and unlike many actors I have worked with -- some for as long as 6 years -- he still knows my name. I think he is a decent human being. The one thing that I hated in my time working in TV was meeting actors whom I admired and finding out they were -- uh, less than decent. Shame on me, I never grew out of being taken aback by that.

--- When the wonderful David Strathairn won for his role as Best Supporting Actor in the television movie Temple Grandin (his first Emmy? Hard to believe), he gave a most moving acceptance speech because it was so not about him and agents and managers but about autism, the subject of the film. By the way, I applaud HBO for continuing to make superlative movies and miniseries. I miss them on the networks and wish they still existed on Sunday nights there.

--- When Jewel appeared to sing the touching song called Shape of You for the In Memoriam segment, this year it was particularly hard to watch, as so many of the people who passed touched my life in a meaningful way: Art Linkletter, Fess Parker, Jimmy Dean, Gene Barry, Soupy Sales, Jean Simmons, Peter Graves, Robert Culp, Caroline McWilliams, Pernell Roberts, Edward Woodward, John Forsythe, Dixie Carter, Lynn Redgrave and David Wolper.

--- The Pacific, with 24 nominations, won for Best Miniseries, and I think Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg should be lauded for not letting us forget the sacrifices that those who fought in that war made. There are very few of these men and women still living. My Dad was a WWII veteran who served in the Philippines. He loved Band of Brothers, and I only wish he had been here to see this miniseries. He would have been so honored to be so remembered.

 
 
 
 
 
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