I am not a fan of award shows. In what other profession do the workers make the kind of money stars make and then on top of that, get awards they give themselves?!? My one exception is the Tony awards. I like seeing the production numbers from the best musical nominees. Anyway, I watched the Emmy's last night and was reminded why I really don't like award shows.
This year, instead of a stage, the Shrine Auditorium was set up like a theater in the round. This means that at any give time, half the audience was only seeing the backs of the presenters and winners. Moreover, this set detracted from the event. With a stage, there is more formality and glamor. With the set there was no moment of the winner ascending the stage, the entire thing was more casual.
This year's host was Ryan Seacrest. In a word, he sucked. I don't like him on American Idol. As host of the Emmys he was awful. The man is not funny and he makes anything he says seem sleazy. At one point he came out wearing a Henry VIII costume and remaked, "this didn't look as gay on the hanger." For anyone to make a comment like that is bad enough, but coming from a screaming closet case is worse. I hope this is his last hosting gig.
One of the worst moments of the night was the duet between Tony Bennett and Christina Aguilera. They attempted to sing, "Steppin' Out." Tony is ancient at this point and can barely move. I'm already not a fan of his, so having to listen to him was hard to begin with. Then there is Christina. I will give her props for looking good and not like an STD waiting to be caught. However, she tried to give this old standard a poppy feel. Bad idea. Very bad. She and Tony were singing at two completely different tempos. When Tony sang, the verses were the standard tempo, when Christina sang, she made up her own tempo. This was a train wreck of a performance. Whoever thought this would be a good idea should be fired.
Another train wreck during the show occurred twice. Robert Duvall should not be allowed to speak in public unscripted ever again. He was rambling like a senile old man each time he received an award. One would think that after his first acceptance speech he wouldn't have much to say for his second one. WRONG! He managed to fill up the entire time alloted without saying a complete sentence. It was both painful and embarrassing to watch him.
I would be remiss not to mention Elaine Stritch's performance last night. She won the award for best guest actress on a comedy series. This award was presented the night before the Primetime Emmys. At the Primetime Emmys she was a presenter. When she took the floor, she had no idea what she was supposed to do. She could barely read the teleprompter. For any other performer, I might feel sorry for them, but with Stritch, it just seemed right.
Despite the bad moments of the night, there were two shining stars. First, Helen Mirren's acceptance speech. She immediately began with, "I am going to keep talking until they play that dreadful music." She gave her speech and then kept going and finally said, "Where is that music? I'm stalling here." It was a moment of brilliance and style as only Helen Mirren could deliver. The other moment was Sally Fields' acceptance speech. During her speech she began normally and the started to go a little Sybil. She went off saying how awful the war is and just as she is getting rolling with, "this god_ _ _ _ war..." the sound was cut for a few seconds. They bleeped Sally Fields. How dare they! While I don't advocate actors using their acceptance speeches to make political statements, this was s good one. That the network would censor it is awful. What happened to free speech? Oh wait, this was on Fox. Admittedly she did get a little Sybil on stage.
On Saturday, the Emmys they don't have time to give out at the big show are awarded. I just want to take this time to give a shout out to Kathy Girffin who took home the Creative Arts Emmy for Best Non-Competitive Reality Show!!! Snaps to you Kathy. Of course part of her acceptance speech was edited when the show aired Saturday night. She said, "A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this, but he had nothing to do with this. Suck it, Jesus, this award is my God now!" A little off color, but not unexpected of Ms. G.
Sadly, Giada did not win an Emmy. It does not matter that she wasn't nominated. She still should get one.