Not Very Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Random, Belated, Emmy Thoughts

The Emmy’s were handed out three nights ago, and in the internet world that’s about the equivalent of a fortnight, and everyone who can say it better than me has already said it better than me.  But, just to put it on the permanent record, and to get us ready for the impending fall TV season, we thought we’d follow-up with a few humble thoughts of our own, in concise bullet-point form:

  • Loved the opening bit, even if it was somewhat of a rehash of 6-Bee‘s glee club rendition of “We’re Not Going to Take It,” a performance that we still giddily cue up on our screen on a regular basis (as well as an audio version on our iPod).  But with Tina Fey, Jon Hamm, Joel McHale, Jorge Garcia AND Tim Gunn it was like the Ocean’s 11 all-star version of the original Late Night piece, and it truly demanded some freak out control.  Our worlds colliding, but in an amazing way.
  • Speaking of Jon Hamm, now that his comedic genius has finally been exposed to a wide audience (30 Rock is still critically adored but commercially ignored, his appearances in viral videos only legitimately reach a small segment of the online viewing public, and even two turns hosting SNL don’t necessarily make you a household name these days), can we start having him be funny full-time?  He’s so gifted, and so natural, it honestly feels like a waste forcing him to be so stoic and dour and cold on Mad Men (and we know we sound like a broken record on this, but we’re going to keep bring it up until it happens.  Or until Mad Men becomes a farcical satire.  Maybe in season 5).  Sure, he’s magnetic, sexy and mysterious on the AMC drama, but it’s when he’s allowed to do comedy that he truly lights up.  But after being seen dancing like an idiot on HDTVs all across the country maybe someone will give him a chance to headline a comedy.  Perhaps something in the Apatowian genre.  I think that’s a hit.
  • And if and when Hamm gets that nod can they please place Joel McHale alongside him?  Please?
  • We’ve been singing the praises of Jimmy Fallon for almost a year now, and this hosting gig feels like a vindication of all the hard work he’s put in and all the good material he’s produced (it also proves us right for singing said praises).  Not all of his jokes hit (the Twitter-supplied introductions, singing the transitions to the different genres), but what he lacked in humor he made up for in grace, affability and respect for the medium.  As we said before, we still think Jimmy is growing into the role, and needs to develop the sharp teeth that Letterman has brandished for years, and that Conan has recently discovered, but he’s carving out that path now.  Heck, it took Conan 13 years to get an Emmy hosting nod, and it only took Fallon a little more than a year.
  • Jason Sudeikis, I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt on this January Jones thing.  I guess  she fell in love with you when you saved her on SNL.  Maybe she thought it was a real picnic.
  • As for the awards themselves, I felt them a) less surprising and b) less refreshing than many of the esteemed critics who are way more qualified than me.  But I really didn’t expect Alec Baldwin to repeat, and while I’ve only seen one and a half episodes of the Big Bang Theory (and appeared in 10 seconds of another one), I felt like Jim Parsons was the favorite, despite many critics belief that he turned in a stronger performance the previous season.  Edie Falco winning for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy?  Surprising?  Yes.  But correct?  Probably not.  Even she herself said she’s not funny.  As a three-time winner for The Sopranos, isn’t her victory just evidence of the Academy’s preponderance for rewarding the same people repeatedly (see: Grammer, Kelsey; Shaloub, Tony; Falco, Edie).  Moving on,  Kyra Sedgewick winning for The Closer:  overdue?  Perhaps.  But everyone assumed Juliana Marguiles to be a lock, and yet the award went, yet again, to a cable show.  In fact, the only major acting award for drama series that didn’t swing towards the cable nets was Archie Panjabi of The Good Wife for Supporting Actress, which itself was a head scratcher.  On the made side: Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul?  From what I hear, having not seen Breaking Bad since the first season, they completely earned their Emmy’s.  But I also felt like there was a network, and specifically a Lost, bias, as Matthew Fox and especially Terry O’Quinn and Michael Emerson deserved to be recognized for their work in the show’s final season.  My sense, and it’s been that way for a few Emmy’s now, is that voters have become too enamored with cable shows.  At first they were risky, edgy and, usually, more deserving choices.  But now they’ve become a shortcut, a safe, even lazy choice, and cable actors and shows have developed a rather unfair advantage (how else to explain Jeremy Piven’s three wins).  In his blog today James Poniewozik argues, appropriately so, that network shows shouldn’t be given a handicap, shouldn’t be graded on a curve, because of the pressures and restrictions of network television (and the greater need to create a mass-market, financially successful product), but I would argue that the same needs to be true for cable, it should not be graded on a curve either, and I fear that’s happened.  Yes, the freedom of cable grants programs to ability do things and go places that network shows can’t.  But to so consistently award the majority of awards to the minority of networks causes a bit of concern, and I do hope that the voters are really taking their vote seriously and carefully considering their ballot.  Because if they genuinely wanted to do something surprising, truly refreshing, then the Emmy’s would have gone to Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton.  That, friends, would be cause for celebration.
  • Also, the victory for Top Chef was also a welcome break from the norm, severing The Amazing Race‘s grip on the Outstanding Reality Series award.  But while Top Chef is one our favorites, reality or scripted, and we quite enjoyed its winning season, Survivor, unbelievably not even nominated, turned in its best season in maybe a decade.  All-Stars, often discussed here, was about as good as TV gets.
  • With apologies to Temple Grandin, TV Movies and Miniseries have to get the boot from the telecast.  Not to discount their merit, or the great performances to be found in these projects (we loved The Pacific), but when Jimmy Fallon segued into their portion of the ceremony the show screeched to a halt.  (and perhaps our opinion would be different if the phenomenal Torchwood: Children of Earth was in the running).  And if not eliminating them entirely, than cut them down to only two or three awards (so we can at least get some good Hanx time).
  • And, finally, it’s far too late to bemoan this now, but it’s stupid that there was only one nomination for Parks and Recreation (Amy Poehler) and zero for Community or Party Down (the single funniest episode of the season among every series and the most criminally under-appreciated comedy on television, respectively).  That’s a combined one nomination for arguably the three best comedies of the season.  So, you did okay Emmy’s, but you should have done better.  But at least Glee didn’t win.
  • Prediction for next year: Boardwalk Empire sweeps the awards and we’re still complaining about Party Down.  And The Wire.


Filed under Analysis, Century 21 Reality, Dillon Panthers, Freak Out Control, Intersection of the venn diagram of things that I love, LOST, Must See TV, Participation Award, Saturday Night Live, Top Scallop

3 responses to “Not Very Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Random, Belated, Emmy Thoughts

  1. Gabi

    Great review! I agree with the Community/Parks & Rec, Party Down (still need to see it know I will love it) snub… it sucks that their “comedy” category seems to neglect what is really comedy.. all those Glee noms were really a waste of space where Community or parks and rec actors should’ve been. With the exception of Jane Lynch.. she’s really the only true comedian on that show..

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