Tuesday, July 29, 2014
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Morning-after thoughts on the Emmys

The TV industry strains a quad clapping itself on the back. But was it fun for the viewer?

Morning-after thoughts on the Emmys

The night had its moments but Lynch´s bloated opening number wasn´t one of them
The night had its moments but Lynch's bloated opening number wasn't one of them

 The chances of anyone in Philadelphia watching the Emmy Awards on a night when it’s on against a prime time Eagles game? About the same as any reality show has of beating The Amazing Race.

Here’s what you missed: Host Jane Lynch opened the show with a big song and dance number that began with a brief skit featuring Leonard Nimoy as Mr. President of Television. He was a last minute fill-in for Alec Baldwin who had already taped the bit but asked to have it pulled after Fox edited out a Rupert Murdoch joke.

Anyway, Lynch’s number (which included cameos from a surprising ratio of cable actors), felt canned and clichéd. It fell far short of Jimmy Fallon’s brilliant Springsteen opening last year.

Lynch is getting major props for her MC duties today. However feisty, I thought she was merely adequate.

The show started off fun and brisk with Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell, who play married couple Claire and Phil Dunphy on Modern Family, winning in their respective supporting comedy actor categories. Big night overall for the sitcom. Creator Steve Levitan had more time in the spotlight than Lynch.

But the awards show bogged down terribly in its gut section. Did they always give out so many writing awards? It seemed like they outnumbered the acting awards. Which is odd in this, the era of reality TV (or as it calls itself, “Unscripted drama”.)

But there were some great moments last night – most having to do with unexpected but richly deserved wins:

Margo Martindale for supporting actress in a drama on Justified.

Peter Dinklage for supporting actor on a drama for Game of Thrones

Melissa McCarthy for lead actress on a comedy for Mike & Molly

Kyle Chandler for lead actor on a drama for Friday Night Lights

That last one was so overdue. Chandler’s performance was the hub of the best (and sadly, most overlooked) series of the past decade.

I loved when Minka Kelly got down on one knee to present the Emmy to him. She was there as a presenter in the guise of one of the celestial beings in the remake of Charlie’s Angels. But to me she will always be cheerleader Lyla Garrity in FNL’s Dillon, Texas.

For my money, Amy Poehler stole the show in her very limited exposure. (See her antics during the best comedy actress nominee announcements in video below).

But my favorite moment of the night came when Michael Bolton appeared on stage singing while decked-out in a full pirate’s outfit. I’m not sure what it had to do with television, but there must be a series in there somewhere, matey.

What did you think of the Emmys?

Read more Dave on Demand or follow him on Twitter @DaveOnDemand_TV

David Hiltbrand Inquirer TV Critic
About this blog

A true child of TV, David Hiltbrand has worked as a critic at People and as a columnist and editor at TV Guide.

David Hiltbrand Inquirer TV Critic
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