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The Biggest Winner at the Emmys? HBO's "Temple Grandin" -- And Deservedly So
August 29, 2010  | By David Bianculli  | 1 comment

The wealth was spread among many deserving Emmy winners in Monday's prime-time NBC telecast. Modern Family, Glee, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Dexter got more than one award. But by far the biggest winner, with five awards in all, was HBO's Temple Grandin. And deservedly so: When it premiered, I praised it as the best telemovie in years...


Supporting players Julia Ormond and David Strathairn and star Claire Danes all won for Grandin, as did director Mick Jackson and the telemovie itself, as best movie. Other noteworthy triumphs last night included ABC's Modern Family, winning for script, supporting actor Eric Stonestreet, and outstanding comedy; Glee, winning for supporting actress Jane Lynch, guest actor Neil Patrick Harris and director (series creator Ryan Murphy); Mad Men, which won for writing and, for the third year in a row, for outstanding drama; and Breaking Bad, where Aaron Paul won for supporting actor and Bryan Cranston, for the third year in a row, won as outstanding actor.

Surprises included Kyra Sedgwick winning for The Closer as outstanding dramatic actress, Edie Falco winning for outstanding comedic actress for Nurse Jackie (Even she was susprised: "I'm not funny"), and, again deservedly, Jim Parsons as outstanding comic actor for The Big Bang Theory.

The Emmys themselves ended on time, were fast-moving and rather entertaining, and even the clips were selected and presented intelligently. The only misstep were the jokes recited as winners came up to the stage -- too hard to hear, and seldom worth the effort. But for a three-hour show that handed out 28 prime-time awards and acknowledged a few more, it's ridiculous to complain. This year's Emmy telecast was a solid success, as was host Jimmy Fallon, who had energy to spare from the film-to-live opening segment on.

In what I'm fairly certain is unprecedented in the annals of TV criticism, I'm proud to steer you towards a father-son tag-team review -- specifically, to my son Mark, whose own review of the Emmys focuses specifically on host Jimmy Fallon. You can read it (once he files it; he's not as fast as his dad, yet) by clicking HERE.

And as an added bonus, another writer on this site, Eric Gould, chimed in with a surprise delivery this morning -- his own take on the Emmys, for which I thank him. And in which he thanks me, and almost everybody else. You can read that one HERE.

Also, Ed Bark, on his own Uncle Barky website, was ambitious enough to watch both the NBC telecast AND the network's official, different webcast -- so we share that insightful column (as usual) with our readers HERE, as well as on the Contributors blog and on Ed's own blog page here at TVWW. Then finally, there's our other Ed, Ed Martin, who decided to weigh in, too. His contribution can be found HERE.

And on Tuesday, I'll tally up the winners among both the critics and readers, to figure out who gets to boast, who gets a prize -- and who, around here in our ranks, has some 'splainin' to do...




Nathan said:

What, I have to wait until Tuesday to start boasting?

I don't understand how the Jim Parsons win is a surprise. I know most people weren't predicting him, what I don't know is why.

Here are the two most under-reported inside-baseball stories about television from the 2009-2010 season: ABC is secretly headed toward the same programming collapse NBC is currently in; CBS, so famous for shows with large audiences that skew old (faint memory of a "30 Rock" joke along the lines of "He's so old, he watches NCIS") has the number-one show in the advertiser friendly young person demographic.

And Parsons deserved to win the Emmy for the same reason the show he's on didn't deserve to be nominated. Every episode of "The Big Bang Theory" succeeds or fails on his performance. Besides, "30 Rock" had a weak year.

Now Kyra Sedgwick, THAT was a surprise.

Comment posted on August 29, 2010 11:58 PM

Tausif Khan said:

In the Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series category four out of the six nominees were either gay in real life or play a gay character. Moreover, Eric Stonestreet, Jane Lynch and Ryan Murphy were the first winners of the night continuing the trend of respect for Lesbian and Gay characters, actors and writer/directors. Archie Panjabi was also honored for her work on the Good Wife. Even though I was unhappy that more of my favorite shows were not awarded, I was happy for this support of diversity.

Comment posted on August 30, 2010 2:51 AM

jan said:

I was delighted that Aaron Paul won. He really deserved it. And I was okay with pretty much everyone else. Nice to see David Strathairn's work recognized -- he's one of my favorite actors from all the John Sayles movies he's done, and I, too, was glad that Temple Grandin was so rewarded. That was an amazing film, and Claire Danes was terrific in it.

Comment posted on August 30, 2010 9:30 AM

Eileen said:

I couldn't be happier for Kyra Sedgwick. She is a delight, and so deserving of the recognition. It reminds me of John Milton: They also serve who only stand and wait. Sometime actresses like Kyra, who've labored year in/year out are pushed aside every year for a newbie. Really surprised and thrilled she finally got her due.

Aaron Paul was a total shock, but, again, very deserving for the fine work he's brought to the show. And Bryan Cranston, what can I say? I hope this makes up for all the years the Emmy eluded him while he gave a hilarious performance as Malcolm's misguided but loving dad.

I'm shocked -- really shocked -- that one of the Mad Men ladies didn't win for Supporting Actress. Elizabeth Moss, in particular, gives a stunning, nuanced performance week-in and week-out. She really is, as I've noted before, a lead and not a supporting actress.

All in all, the show was entertaining and moved along quite well. The opening number was great, and really shows that Jon Hamm is no one note wonder, as he's proved on 30 Rock & SNL.

Comment posted on August 30, 2010 10:10 AM

Mark N said:

In my best Marv Albert voice...YESSSSS! Although I am great pleased by the recognition of Modern Family, which we(my beautiful wife and I) love, I am most pleased at the multiple Temple Grandin wins. It deserved that level of recognition and the fact that it won the way it did just warms the cockles of my heart...And thanks, David, for your recommendation. You, my long-time trusty reviewer, led me to that oasis to drink...I wrote you after I saw it and now get to say...Thanks again

[You couldn't be more welcome. TV that good really is the reason ALL of us are here -- writers and readers alike. -- David B.]

Comment posted on August 30, 2010 10:33 AM

ScottM said:

I'm a big fan of "Nurse Jackie"--but I don't really understand why it was in the "comedy" category. I think it's as serious (in its own way) as Breaking Bad is. They both certainly have comedic moments (sometimes very dark ones!)--but neither should be seen as a "comedy", in my view.

Comment posted on August 31, 2010 2:15 PM
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