Eclaire Fare

Enjoying Pop Culture, One Bite at a Time

My Favorite TV Personalities January 18, 2010

When it comes to tv viewing, I usually stick to the fiction end of the spectrum. I have often expressed my distaste for the reality genre. That being said, there are times when I enjoy a non-scripted show, and a likable host is a big part of that. My husband is a big fan of Discovery Channel’s hit show Dirty Jobs, and while I can’t always stomach the show’s revelations about the nasty work that some people do for a living, I still find myself drawn to it. Why is this the case? Well, because my favorite tv personality happens to be the host! I define a tv personality as any one who plays a version of themselves on tv. They could be a talk show host, a variety show judge, an emcee, or even a reality show star. I have compiled a list of my favorites below:

  • Mike Rowe – Most recently, you might recognize Mike as the spokesman for Ford, in their “Why Ford. Why Now” commercials. But for years he has been lending his voice as narrator to many Discovery Channel shows, and his real claim to fame is as host of Dirty Jobs. The show, which started in 2005 and is now in its sixth season, was based on a concept that he developed while working on a San Francisco program called “Somebody’s Gotta Do It.” He has a great voice, which is why he’s done so much work as a narrator, and he’s also charming, down to earth, and attractive. I mean, anyone who can still be called attractive while standing in the middle of the sewers or while cleaning out a garbage truck, has a special charisma. And that he does. It is also interesting to know that he used to be an opera singer! Check out this video, which gives a taste of his hosting duties on Dirty Jobs, and gives a sample of his singing:

  • Neil Patrick Harris – Next on my list is little Doogie Howser, who years later regained fame by suiting up as Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother. He also impressed and entertained with his role as Dr. Horrible in Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog. It seems that Neil Patrick Harris can do it all: child genius, manipulative bachelor, diabolical mastermind, Emmy host… It’s that last bit that qualifies him for this list. His suitability to hosting gigs became apparent when he subbed for Regis several times on Regis and Kelly. He is one of those people who looks so at ease in front of the camera, seems to be having fun, and seems like he’d be fun to hang out with. A host who is that personable makes me want to watch a show, which is why I tuned in to every minute of last year’s Emmy Awards. He was a natural, and, in my opinion, was one of the best hosts an awards show has seen since the days when Billy Crystal hosted the Oscars. Check out his opening musical number from the Emmy Awards:

  • Cat Deeley – The one reality show that I watch is So You Think You Can Dance, and really it is more of a variety show than reality. I have been a huge fan of the show for several seasons now. I love that it showcases such amazing talent and features a variety of dance styles. One of the things that holds each episode together is Cat Deeley’s presence. With her distinctive clothing (the hair, makeup, and costume departments go crazy with her!), her pleasant British accent, and her cheerful demeanor, she is like a mother hen to the contestants. When they are excited, she is thrilled along with them; when they are devastated, she cries alongside them. She’s always there to give an encouraging word or hug, and every bit of it seems genuine. I much prefer her hosting style over Ryan Seacrest’s cheesy, artificial one on American Idol. So kudos to Cat, for a great job hosting her show. Many of the judges have put on their dancing shoes and performed on the show – I’d like to see Cat join in one day!

  • Conan O’Brien – Of all the late night talk show hosts out there, Conan is my favorite. I can’t say that I stay up every night to watch The Tonight Show, but whenever I do I am never disappointed. I love his self-deprecating, sarcastic sense of humor, and his willingness to do all sorts of zany things to entertain us. I hope that when the dust settles from this Jay Leno fiasco, Conan is able to walk away with the better end of the deal, whether that means staying on The Tonight Show, or moving to another network that will treat him with more respect.

  • Adam Shankman – And so another member of the So You Think You Can Dance team makes an appearance on my list. There have been many judges and guest judges on the show, but my favorite is Adam, director/producer/choreographer extraordinaire. He is so passionate about dance, and gets so excited when the contestants give a knockout performance. And his critiques are actually useful, unlike some other reality show judges I can think of. He gives both gushing praise and constructive criticism. His enthusiasm for dance is contagious, and so his presence on the show makes it more exciting to watch. I look forward to seeing what he does as a producer on this year’s Oscars telecast.

  • Ellen DeGeneres – Representing the world of daytime talk on my list is dancing, tennis shoe-wearing Ellen. Like Conan O’Brien, she has an understated, sarcastic brand of humor, but she is also very personable like Neil Patrick Harris. Sometimes her rambling comedic style comes across as awkward, which is why she works better in the comfort of her own afternoon show than as host of an awards show. I haven’t been as impressed with her stint as a judge on American Idol, since she basically brings no expertise to the table, and gives about as much feedback as any of the couch potatoes watching could. Maybe that’s the idea, but I’d rather see someone else in the music business sitting on that panel. But then, I don’t even really watch that show, so I’ll just continue to appreciate her presence on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Who are your favorite tv personalities, and why? Did I forget about someone who is really incredible?

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2009 Emmy Awards: Predictions, Results, and Reactions September 20, 2009

The 2009 Emmy Awards have come and gone. How did Neil Patrick Harris fare as host? Which stars were best dressed, and which ones were worst? And most importantly, who took home awards? This year’s Emmy Awards ceremony was Mad Men themed, from the opening images of the stars’ arrivals with voiceover narration, to Neil Patrick Harris’s old school opening number, to the comic book page set up of the various camera views before commercial breaks. They also had Jon Hamm be one of the first presenters, along with Tina Fey. This show isn’t shy about playing favorites!

Speaking of 30 Rock, it won for Best Writing in a Comedy Series, with Matt Hubbard accepting the award for the episode “Reunion.” The Office, not to be outdone, won in the Best Directing for a Comedy Series category (Jeffrey Blitz for “Stress Relief”). When the show shifted gears to Reality Programming, I was initially irritated to see two dancers from Dancing with the Stars, but then some of my favorite SYTYCD performers appeared on stage, including season four winner Joshua, in a routine choregraphed by Tabitha and Napoleon. It was also nice to see Hugh Jackman’s excellent opening number from the Oscars win for “Best Original Music and Lyrics.” After that, the show settled into a dreary sea of cliched banter between presenters, and boring acceptance speeches. The awards that pleased me most were all of 30 Rock’s wins and Michael Emerson’s win for Best Actor in a Drama. The most disappointing category was Jon Cryer beating out everyone else for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy.

As for the fashion, or lack thereof, my pick for Worst Dressed goes to Patricia Arquette, who appeared to be wearing a black “Hefty trash bag” as a dress. Vanessa Williams’ aqua blue dress was pretty unflattering as well. Gabriel Byrne was looking rather unkempt with his loosened tie and wrinkled shirt (at least by the time they showed him in the crowd late in the show). On the other hand, my picks for Best Dressed go to Kyra Sedgwick, Alyson Hannigan (who looked great in a classic black straplessdress), and Justin Timberlake. I didn’t pay close attention to all the dresses and tuxes, though, so I am sure there are other good and bad choices I could have gone with.

NPH didnt win an Emmy, but he was a fun host.

NPH didn't win an Emmy, but he was a fun host.

So how did Neil Patrick Harris do as host? Sure, there were some awkward moments, but also some funny ones. I liked how every presenter was introduced by naming some obscure show or movie they appeared in. I double-checked the authenticity of some of them on IMDB because they sounded so ludicrous. Best moment of the night, though: Dr. Horrible interrupting the token Ernst and Young “Emmy vote tabulation process” explanation to proclaim that television is dead and Internet is the new king of entertainment. It was a clever and creative diversion, with bonus points for appearances by Nathan Fillion and other Dr. Horrible cast members, and a few musical moments.

Read on for a list of nominees in the major categories, as well as my predictions about and reactions to the winners.

Outstanding Supporting Actor, Comedy
Jack McBrayer, 30 Rock
Tracy Morgan, 30 Rock
Kevin Dillon, Entourage
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
Rainn Wilson, The Office
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
  • Who I wanted to win: Neil Patrick Harris – please, please, please let him win this year! He has totally deserved it for the past two seasons, so I am hoping that the third time is the charm, especially since, as host, he will already be up on stage to accept his award.
  • Who I thought would win: Since Emmy voters tend to like over the top comedy, they might award Rainn Wilson, but I really think NPH has a good shot at it.
  • Who actually won: Jon Cryer. That is just outrageous. There are no words. At least it provided ample material for a funny running bit for NPH.
Outstanding Supporting Actress, Comedy
Kristin Chenoweth, Pushing Daisies
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds
Amy Poehler, Saturday Night Live
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty
  • Who I wanted to win: Kristin Chenoweth – Wouldn’t it be nice if Pushing Daisies could have one last moment of recognition? I don’t think it will happen, though.
  • Who I thought would win: Elizabeth Perkins – I’ve never seen an episode of Weeds, so I can’t give an opinion on whether or not Perkins deserves the award, but she seems to fit the Emmy voter bill.
  • Who actually won: Kristin Chenoweth! Hooray! What an excellent start to the evening. Her acceptance speech proved that she was totally surprised by the win.
Outstanding Supporting Actor, Drama
William Shatner, Boston Legal
Christian Clemenson, Boston Legal
William Hurt, Damages
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Michael Emerson, Lost
John Slattery, Mad Men
  • Who I wanted to win: Michael Emerson – He was so perfect last season as Benjamin Linus that it almost causes me physical pain to imagine him not winning in this category. Well then, I guess I should plug in my heating pad, because my muscles and joints are bound to start aching when the actual winner is announced.
  • Who I thought would win: If Emmy stands by its old, boring, and infuriating habits, William Shatner will win. If that happens, I will be furious. If the voters decide to mix things up, they might award John Slattery instead, since Mad Men is the trendy show du jour. (I’ve never watched it, so again, my opinion doesn’t really count.)
  • Who actually won: Michael Emerson!!! I am so thrilled that he won. He earned it, and it gives Lost the respect it deserves. He gave a very sincere, if creepy, acceptance speech. (It’s that voice of his!)
Outstanding Supporting Actress, Drama
Cherry Jones, 24
Chandra Wilson, Grey’s Anatomy
Sandra Oh, Grey’s Anatomy
Dianne Wiest, In Treatment
Hope Davis, In Treatment
Rose Byrne, Damages
  • Who I wanted to win: Back when I watched Grey’s Anatomy, I always liked Chandra Wilson’s performance, so I guess I’d be happy for her to win. Even though 24 is the only show in this category that I watch, I don’t think that Cherry Jones’ performance as the President makes her deserving of the award over these other women.
  • Who I thought would win: Dianne Wiest – Just a wild guess, but she does arguably have the most impressive track record among these nominees.
  • Who actually won: Cherry Jones. Ok. Good for her.
Outstanding Actor, Comedy
Tony Shalhoub, Monk
Steve Carell, The Office
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men
Jemaine Clement, Flight of the Conchords
  • Who I wanted to win: Alec Baldwin – He is always pitch perfect as Jack Donaghy and so is completely deserving of this one. It’s also nice to see Jemaine Clement nominated for his hilarious work on Flight of the Conchords, but he’s up against some heavy hitters in this category!
  • Who I thought would win: Alec Baldwin – Amazingly, Baldwin seems to be as popular with Emmy voters as with the viewing public. As long as Charlie Sheen doesn’t win, I’ll be happy.
  • Who actually won: Alec Baldwin. I’m mainly just relieved that Rob Lowe didn’t call Charlie Sheen’s name. Alec gave a very polished and efficient acceptance speech.
Outstanding Actress, Drama
Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
Glenn Close, Damages
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Holly Hunter, Saving Grace
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
  • Who I wanted to win: I don’t feel strongly about any of these nominees.
  • Who I thought would win: Glenn Close – She plays a powerful character on a risk-taking show, and that makes her quite a one-two punch to Emmy voters.
  • Who actually won: Glenn Close. Predictable.
Outstanding Actor, Drama
Simon Baker, The Mentalist
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Hugh Laurie, House
Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
  • Who I wanted to win: Michael C. Hall! This is an extremely strong category, and it is highly doubtful that the Emmy voters will reward someone for playing a serial killer over some of the more noble characters represented. However, I think he does an amazing job as Dexter Morgan, and beyond that, that Dexter more accurately represents the human psyche than many of the other nominees.
  • Who I thought would win: Hugh Laurie. He’s always an Emmy favorite, but then there’s the trendy choice of Jon Hamm. As much as I love Simon Baker, he seems out of his league in this group. But I am setting all my hopes on Michael C. Hall winning. Fingers crossed!
  • Who actually won: Bryan Cranston. Come on, Emmys, how about letting someone else win? Then again, maybe I need to check out this show.
Outstanding Actress, Comedy
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine
Christina Applegate, Samantha Who?
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Toni Collette, United States of Tara
Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds
Sarah Silverman, The Sarah Silverman Program
  • Who I wanted to win: Tina Fey
  • Who I thought would win: Tina Fey. She and the whole cast, as well as the writing, have been so good. They deserve to sweep most of the comedy categories (except for NPH’s category, of course).
  • Who actually won: Toni Collette. I’m okay with this. Spread the love a little beyond 30 Rock. Strangely, I know absolutely nothing about the show she was nominated for, United States of Tara. Perhaps I should check it out.
Outstanding Series, Comedy
30 Rock
Family Guy
Entourage
The Office
Flight of the Conchords
Weeds
How I Met Your Mother
  • What I wanted to win: 30 Rock
  • What I thought would win: 30 Rock. Like I said above, it’s the funniest, most consistently well done comedy on tv right now.
  • What actually won: 30 Rock. Yeah, this show’s gonna be on for many seasons to come.
Outstanding Series, Drama
Breaking Bad
Damages
Dexter
House
Lost
Mad Men
Big Love
  • What I wanted to win: Lost or Dexter, but I think Lost’s ship sailed a long time ago. Even though it just had its best season ever, I think the Emmy voters have already forgotten about it. I also think that season three was Dexter’s best season yet. So fascinating and well executed (pun intended – can’t help myself).
  • What I thought would win: House? Well, I wouldn’t award this medical drama for the uneven season it had, but then the Emmy voters don’t judge a show by an entire season so much as the one episode that is submitted. I don’t know much about the other four shows that are nominated, but if I were to pick one of them as the winner I would go with Mad Men.
  • What actually won: Mad Men (Excuse me while I roll my eyes. Then again, maybe I need to see what all the fuss is about with this show.)
Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program
Ryan Seacrest, American Idol
Tom Bergeron, Dancing with the Stars
Heidi Klum, Project Runway
Jeff Probst, Survivor
Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race
Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio, Top Chef
  • Who I wanted to win: Well, I wanted Cat Deeley to win, but she wasn’t nominated. 😦
  • Who I thought would win: Jeff Probst. But do I care? Not really. I don’t watch any of these shows. As long as it’s not Tom Bergeron…
  • Who actually won: Jeff Probst
Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Late Show with David Letterman
Real Time with Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live
  • What I wanted to win: The Colbert Report
  • What I thought would win: The Colbert Report. Stephen Colbert is so great on that show.
  • What actually won: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
The Amazing Race
American Idol
Dancing with the Stars
Project Runway
Top Chef
  • What I wanted to win: Don’t really care
  • What I thought would win: The Amazing Race (doesn’t it win every year?)
  • What actually won: The Amazing Race
Outstanding Reality Program
Antiques Roadshow
Dirty Jobs
Dog Whisperer
Intervention
Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List
MythBusters
  • What I wanted to win: Dirty Jobs. I do love that Mike Rowe. He should be rewarded for what an easygoing, entertaining host he is.
  • What I thought would win: I honestly have no idea. Maybe Intervention, since it’s the most serious on the list?
  • What actually won: Intervention
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
Brenda Blethyn, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Carol Burnett, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Ellen Burstyn, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Sharon Lawrence, Grey’s Anatomy
CCH Pounder, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency
  • Who I wanted to win: N/A
  • Who I thought would win: Sharon Lawrence
  • Who actually won: Ellen Burstyn
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
Edward Asner, CSI: NY
Ernest Borgnine, ER
Ted Danson, Damages
Michael J. Fox, Rescue Me
Jimmy Smits, Dexter
  • Who I wanted to win: Jimmy Smits, please! He was simply amazing as Miguel Prado, and I have spoken at length about it in previous posts.
  • Who I thought would win: Jimmy Smits (wishful thinking, perhaps, but he really was that good!)
  • Who actually won: Michael J. Fox
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
Jennifer Aniston, 30 Rock
Christine Baranski, The Big Bang Theory
Tina Fey, Saturday Night Live
Gena Rowlands, Monk
Elaine Stritch, 30 Rock
Betty White, My Name Is Earl
  • Who I wanted to win: Tina Fey
  • Who I thought would win: Tina Fey
  • Who actually won: Tina Fey
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
Alan Alda, 30 Rock
Will Arnett, 30 Rock
Beau Bridges, Desperate Housewives
Jon Hamm, 30 Rock
Steve Martin, 30 Rock
Justin Timberlake, Saturday Night Live
  • Who I wanted to win: Jon Hamm
  • Who I thought would win: Jon Hamm. He was terrific as Liz Lemon’s perfect guy, Dr. Drew.
  • Who actually won: Justin Timberlake. How about SNL getting some recognition in the guest acting category?

So, what were you happy or disappointed about on this year’s Emmy Awards? Or, did you not even watch?

 

2008 Emmy’s: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly September 22, 2008

Recipe for Disaster:

I sat down last night and watched the Emmy Awards, mainly to cheer for 30 Rock, Dexter, Lost, and Neil Patrick Harris. I was pleasantly surprised by some of the winners, slightly annoyed by some of the others, and horrified by some of the host and presenter bits. Thankfully, I watched the show the way an awards show should be watched: in super speed mode on my DVR. Here are my reactions, starting with the positive.

The Good

  • All the love for 30 Rock – This little gem of a show deserves every award that it received. Those awards included Best Comedy, Best Actress in a Comedy (Tina Fey), Best Actor in a Comedy (Alec Baldwin), Best Writing in a Comedy, etc. It was consistently funny last year, always clever, and often outdid its more popular NBC sibling, The Office. If you aren’t watching this show, you should be!
  • Pushing Daisies’s “Pie-lette” winning for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series – This show is so unique in the television landscape, and it goes against typical Emmy trends for it to be recognized, so I was thrilled that it won something. The “Pie-lette” was pitch perfect. I look forward to catching back up with this show this season – (my Tivo ate the last few episodes of last season – before I could watch them – in an act of rebellion against the writer’s strike). Perhaps this Emmy win will bring in a few more viewers.
  • Boston Legal not winning anything – I know there are fans of this show out there, but I get so irritated when, most years, it walks away with at least a couple of dramatic Emmy’s that I believe more dramatic shows should have won. Sure, dramatic episodes are submitted to the Emmy voters, but this show is mostly a campy comedy. I dreaded hearing William Shatner’s name called when his award came up, but thankfully it did not. Instead, someone from Damages won. No doubt that is a more intense, dramatic show.
  • House winning for writing – House is a show I only watch occasionally, but I am always aware that it is a smartly written show. So I was happy to see it win here. Besides, it was sweet that the winner mentioned that his baby boy was born the day after he turned in the episode. That was a big week for him!
  • Steve Martin’s introduction to the Honorary Emmy winner Tommy Smothers – I am always a fan of Steve Martin’s deadpan comedic delivery, and he didn’t disappoint here. I can’t say the same for Mr. Smothers, whose acceptance speech went on too long and was too scattered.
  • Josh Groban’s tv theme songs medley – Oh my goodness! This may have been the single best moment of the night! I have always been a fan of theme songs. I even own two compilation albums with classic theme songs from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. So I was highly entertained by Groban’s “all in” performance. The normally all business, professionally-trained tenor really hammed it up, didn’t take himself too seriously, but always sang his heart out. Some of my favorite moments: his high-pitched and frantic “I’ll Be There for You” from Friends, his cheesy Love Boat theme, the random “Law and Order” interludes, Animal being “taken” during the X-Files theme (and Groban yelling out “No! Don’t take me!”), and The Jeffersons theme with the gospel choir (I always love choral backup) that morphed into the hilarious Baywatch theme (with Groban doing the whole “running arms” thing that was the show’s claim to fame). In case you missed it: Josh Groban’s TV Theme Song Medley at the Emmy’s

The Bad

  • Jeremy Piven winning Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy… Again – So he has won in this category three years in a row. I am sure he is funny, but I just think that Neil Patrick Harris so deserves recognition for the perfection that is his role as Barney on How I Met Your Mother. Who knew that one day we would know him as the guy who suits up and says “Awesome!” instead of as the kid wearing big sneakers with his scrubs, and a stethoscope around his neck? Honestly, this was the only award I was upset about. Based on recent Emmy history, that’s really saying something.
  • Don Rickles presenting an award with Kathy Griffin – Apparently this guy is a tv legend, but that doesn’t change the fact that it was painful to watch him hog the camera while poor Kathy Griffin kept trying to get in her lines from the teleprompter. Not to mention that I couldn’t understand half of what he was saying anyway. Despite my discomfort in watching this time wasting segment, I am glad that he won an Emmy for his variety special. It is always nice to see the older generation be recognized, and not forgotten, by the younger skewing Hollywood of today.
  • Heidi Klum’s “surprise” wardrobe changeI saw this coming from the moment the five “reality show host” hosts walked out on stage. I roll my eyes any time a beautiful woman is used as a prop in this way.
  • Heidi Klum’s earrings – I’m referring to the earrings that went down to her shoulders and looked like they weighed ten pounds each. It was painful to watch her head bobbing around with these heavy weights. I winced every time she said a line. I hope they were clip-ons!
  • Laurence Fishburne’s red jacketI’m not sure how I feel about Fishburne replacing William Petersen on CSI, but I can say with certainty that Petersen totally outdid Fishburne in the wardrobe department for the Emmys. Petersen looked very sharp, whereas Fishburne looked like he had stepped out of a mid-90s In Living Color skit.
  • The Famous Sets running bit – Sure, it was nice to see the Seinfeld set, but after that, the various sets seemed more unnecessary filler, less nostalgia for the past.
  • The lead up to Best Reality Host – This may have been funny on Saturday Night Live, but there simply wasn’t enough time to warrant it here. I don’t think anyone cared enough. Sure, it pointed out the ridiculous nature of reality show elimination results shows, but was it necessary? No. (As an aside, I suppose Jeff Probst was the best choice to win out of these nominees, but my vote would have gone to the always refreshing Cat Deeley on So You Think You Can Dance.)

The Ugly

  • The Laugh-In Tribute – Was this supposed to be funny? I didn’t laugh a single time. The comedy was awkward, and the players’ delivery of the lines made me feel uncomfortable. I couldn’t wait for it to end.
  • Cynthia Nixon’s dressThis was the only dress that I found completely atrocious. It looked like she was wearing a gray towel, like she had just stepped out of the shower. This “dress” did nothing to complement her body shape. She was all shoulders and collarbone. Yikes. Why in the world did People magazine peg her one of the best dressed? Granted, their photo of her in their gallery makes the dress look better than she did on stage, but still.
  • Jennifer Love Hewitt’s hairWhat was up with that?
  • Paul Giamatti’s acceptance speech – I only caught the end of his speech when he won for John Adams, but it sounded really awkward and bad. An Oscar-winning actor should be able to do better.
  • Most of the presenter banter – The writers really dropped the ball this year on providing decent material to the celebrity presenters. I am sure most of them felt really stupid saying their lines.
  • The Five Host Gimmick – This was such a monumentally bad idea. First of all, I don’t think any of these guys (and girl) have the charisma and comic timing that are a requirement of a good awards show host. Instead, they each represent their own special brand of cheese. Well, Heidi Klum isn’t so much cheesy as just not a commanding presence. I can’t think of any of their jokes that didn’t fall flat. The worst moment was the opening moment, when they all commented that they didn’t prepare anything, and that they were going to stick with that. Not a good way to start the show. It did nothing to instill confidence that we were in capable hands for the night.

How about letting Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart co-host next year? I always find them highly entertaining. They would definitely set us on a better path than this year’s not-so-fantastic five.

I didn’t mention some of the other major winners above. How about former Malcolm in the Middle dad Bryan Cranston winning best actor in a drama for his lead role on Breaking Bad? I am (embarrassed?) to say that I have never even heard of this show. But how nice for a guy who seemed doomed to play goofy roles to win one of the most coveted awards? And another AMC show, Mad Men, which I don’t watch (but perhaps should!) took home a few awards as well. So did Damages and Samantha Who. So congrats to all the winners. Now we can dig our heels in for the new fall season of tv. ABC is dubbing it National Stay at Home week. Well, I stay at home most of the time anyway, so it won’t be any different for me. Unfortunately for ABC, though, I won’t be watching any of their shows except for Pushing Daisies. This fall I will mostly be tuned to NBC, for Heroes, 30 Rock, and The Office.

Did I miss any good, bad, or ugly moments from the Emmy’s? Comment away.

 

2008 Emmy Nominations in Drama: My Two Cents July 19, 2008

Filed under: Emmy Awards,Lost,Television — Emily @ 12:19 pm

Overall, I must say that I am pleased with all of this year’s Emmy nominations. As always, I have a few complaints, but they recognized many of the right people and shows this year.

DRAMA SERIES
Boston Legal
Damages
Dexter
House
Lost
Mad Men

  • Lost had a great resurgence this year, so it totally deserves this nomination. House remains a consistently strong and inventive medical drama – much better than Grey’s Anatomy at this point, so I’m glad it made the cut over that show, which lost me at the beginning of this season when Izzie tried to save the deer that had been injured. I was intrigued by the darkly humorous Dexter in its first season, and can’t wait to watch the second season when it is released on DVD in a couple of months. I assume its second season is equally deserving as the first was to be nominated. And although I’ve never watched Damages or Mad Men, I’ve heard only good things about them.
  • That leaves us with Boston Legal, the old standby in this category. Same old story, and I have the same old complaints as last year. I won’t get into it again, but here’s an excerpt from my 2007 Emmy reaction post: “Boston Legal – Am I out of the loop? I just don’t get it. What is the big deal about this show? I can never stand to watch more than a few minutes of it. The characters are caricatures, the show relies too heavily on guest stars… Can someone please explain to me why the Emmy voters are so fascinated by this legal comedy?”

ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Hugh Laurie, House
James Spader, Boston Legal

  • I think Michael C. Hall is brilliant in Dexter. He plays the haunted serial killer in a way that makes us sympathize with him, and even cheer him on. Although House is a character that makes me cringe, he is so selfish and manipulative, you can only applaud Hugh Laurie for playing the role with such gusto. It’s strange to see Bryan Cranston in this category, since I only know him from Malcolm in the Middle (a show that outstayed its welcome).
  • Again, my only complaint it with Boston Legal. James Spader? Again? I’d much rather have seen someone from Friday Night Lights, Battlestar Galactica, or Lost.

ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Glenn Close, Damages
Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Holly Hunter, Saving Grace
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer

  • This category looks like more of the same as last year, aside from Holly Hunter and Glenn Close’s characters. I don’t watch any of these shows, so I will hold on to my dream world in which the amazing Mary McDonnell would win this category for her powerful portrayal of Laura Roslin on Battlestar Galactica. She’s just so good!

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Ted Danson, Damages
Michael Emerson, Lost
Zeljko Ivanek, Damages
William Shatner, Boston Legal
John Slattery, Mad Men

  • If Michael Emerson doesn’t win, it’s a tragedy. He is so good at being manipulative, slightly evil, never trustworthy, but strangely likable as Benjamin Linus on Lost. If William Shatner wins this drama category for his goofy, campy role on Boston Legal, I will be angry. As always, Battlestar Galactica’s great actors were overlooked – most notably Michael Hogan as Tigh.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Candice Bergen, Boston Legal
Rachel Griffiths, Brothers & Sisters
Sandra Oh, Grey’s Anatomy
Dianne Wiest, In Treatment
Chandra Wilson, Grey’s Anatomy

  • I’d like to see Chandra Wilson or Rachel Griffiths win this category. Other than that I have no opinion, other than that I shake my head at Boston Legal being represented in every major acting category.

I skipped talking about the guest stars on drama series, as well as the reality categories because I don’t really care about them. I may watch the Emmys to see if Lost or Dexter can pull out a win. I doubt it, so I probably shouldn’t waste my time.

Related Post:

 

2008 Emmy Nominations in Comedy: My Two Cents July 18, 2008

  • Last year I had the foresight to come up with my own Dream Emmy Ballot, but this year time got away from me. So, I’ll just hem and haw about the actual nominees.

COMEDY SERIES
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Entourage
The Office
30 Rock
Two and a Half Men

What I Like: Yay for 30 Rock and The Office. I think 30 Rock should win again. It is consistently the quirkiest, most randomly funny comedy, at least on network television. I can’t speak for Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm since I don’t subscribe to (so-called) premium channels.

What I Don’t Like: I’m tired of Two and a Half Men’s perpetual presence in this category. I’ve forced myself to sit through the show, and it’s humor is tired and predictable. It’s like Perfect Strangers for the 21st century. Just as silly, but way more sexual humor. I’d rather have seen How I Met Your Mother here, but it had a so-so season.

ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Steve Carell, The Office
Lee Pace, Pushing Daisies
Tony Shalhoub, Monk
Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men

What I Like: I loved Lee Pace on Pushing Daisies. What a refreshing show, character, and actor. The humor is much more subtle, though, than it is with the other nominees, so I doubt he will win. But it’s at least nice for this little gem of a show to get recognized. Steve Carell and Alex Baldwin are both great at what they do on their shows.

What I Don’t Like: Repeat nominations for Charlie Sheen and Tony Shalhoub (I didn’t even know Monk was still on!)

ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Christina Applegate, Samantha Who?
America Ferrera, Ugly Betty
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine
Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds

What I Like: This is a very strong category. I don’t really have any complaints. I’ll be cheering for Tina Fey. She is so hilarious as Liz Lemon.

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Kevin Dillon, Entourage
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
Jeremy Piven, Entourage
Rainn Wilson, The Office

What I Like: Neil Patrick Harris receiving another nomination. He should totally win this year! Stop giving this award to Jeremy Piven!

What I Don’t Like: Rainn Wilson’s nomination. He isn’t near to being the funniest supporting player on The Office. He’s mostly annoying.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Kristin Chenoweth, Pushing Daisies
Amy Poehler, Saturday Night Live
Jean Smart, Samantha Who?
Holland Taylor, Two and a Half Men
Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty

What I Like: Another strong category. Women must be taking over television, with all the talent on this list. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone nominated for an Emmy for their work on SNL, as Amy Poehler is here. She is very deserving, though.

GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Will Arnett, 30 Rock
Shelley Berman, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Steve Buscemi, 30 Rock
Tim Conway, 30 Rock
Rip Torn, 30 Rock

What I Like: The recognition of how brilliant the guest stars on 30 Rock are. Will Arnett should win this hands down.

GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Polly Bergen, Desperate Housewives
Edie Falco, 30 Rock
Carrie Fisher, 30 Rock
Kathryn Joosten, Desperate Housewives
Sarah Silverman, Monk
Elaine Stritch, 30 Rock

What I Like: More 30 Rock love! Edie Falco was perfect in her role, so my vote is for her.

So there was a lot to like in the Emmy Nominations in Comedy. What about in Drama? I’ll take that topic on next.

 

What’s Funny About That?: Emmy Nominations for Acting in Comedy Series July 27, 2007

Filed under: Emmy Awards,Television — Emily @ 2:47 pm

Funny ha ha, funny awkward, or funny something else? What was running through the Emmy voters’ minds when they selected the following batch of nominees for acting in comedies? Some of their choices perplex me, but at least they found a lot to love on 30 Rock and The Office, which, in my opinion, are the two funniest current comedies on television.

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Lead Actress in a Comedy Series:
America Ferrera (Ugly Betty)
Tina Fey (30 Rock)*
Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (The New Adventures of Old Christine)
Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds)

My Reaction:
I’m relatively happy with these nominees. I do wish there had been room for Lauren Graham. It’s very shameful that she never received much-deserved recognition for her spot-on portrayal of Lorelai Gilmore on Gilmore Girls. I’d like to see Tina Fey win this category, but Liz Lemon may be too understated a character to garner the same amount of attention as America Ferrera’s more flamboyant Betty or Felicity Huffman’s high strung desperate housewife.

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Lead Actor in a Comedy Series:
Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)
Steve Carell (The Office)
Ricky Gervais (Extras)
Tony Shalhoub (Monk)
Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men)

My Reaction:
Let’s face it. CBS doesn’t have any strong leading comedic men. So, if the Emmy voters felt like they must include someone from the network, I suppose Charlie Sheen was the best choice. Why not just snub that network’s lead comedy actors, and instead go with the less conventional choice of James Roday, for his hilarious role as Shawn on Psych? Well, that would be a crazy idea to Emmy voters. They’ve probably never heard of Roday, and Sheen is a member of one of Hollywood’s favorite families. I hate favoritism. Tony Shalhoub’s nominations are getting tiresome, as is Monk itself. It’s always nice to see Carrell get recognition for his pitch perfect portrayal of Michael on The Office, but I’d imagine Alec Baldwin has this one in the bag. He shares Charlie’s benefit of being one member of a well-known Hollywood family, but he also actually deserves to win this award for his hilarious role on 30 Rock.

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Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series:
Jaime Pressly (My Name Is Earl)
Jenna Fischer (The Office)
Holland Taylor (Two and a Half Men)
Conchata Ferrell (Two and a Half Men)
Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty)
Elizabeth Perkins (Weeds)

My Reaction:
This is the silliest category – and I don’t mean that in a good way. My main issue is with Two and a Half Men taking two slots, when there are enough, more deserving, funny ladies on The Office to fill up this category. I guess when it comes to women in comedy, Emmy voters have different taste than I do.

I would have chosen Angela Kinsey (uproariously uptight Angela), Phyllis Smith (surprisingly colorful Phyllis), and Melora Hardin (the sometimes calm, sometimes manic Jan) over Jenna Fischer from The Office. I love Pam, but her character doesn’t stand out as much to me, in terms of comedy, as do the three I mentioned. Oh well.

I also don’t find Jaime Pressly very amusing, but am instead somewhat offended by her caricature of a Southern woman on My Name is Earl. I’ve mentioned elsewhere that Ugly Betty is too campy for me, so of course Vanessa Williams would not be my first choice to be nominated. But at least the Emmys are showing some variety in the types of comedy they are recognizing.

Speaking of variety, they still didn’t show any love to another hour long comedy, the admittedly past-its-prime Gilmore Girls. Two of its supporting players would have been more worthy choices here than the Two and a Half Men nominees: Liza Weil as Paris, and Kelly Bishop as Emily Gilmore. I guess Gilmore Girls fans will have to settle for honoring these underrated actors on our own time.

If I have to choose a winner out of these lackluster nominees, I will go with Jenna Fischer. She deserves it more than most in this list, and maybe she can share it with her Office mates.

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Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series:
Kevin Dillon (Entourage)
Jeremy Piven (Entourage)
Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men)
Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother)
Rainn Wilson (The Office)

My Reaction:
Hooray for the Neil Patrick Harris nomination! He is by far the most deserving player on any CBS comedy, so his recognition shows that there is still some justice in the world. I also have no complaints with Piven and Dillon from Entourage. I guess Jon Cryer was a given – can’t recognize one Man without the other, at least not in Emmy-land. Again, I was surprised by who Emmy voters chose from The Office. Then again, Emmy voters seem to go for the conventional over the unconventional. (Dwight is the token comic relief on The Office). For me, though, Rainn Wilson’s exaggerated character takes away from my enjoyment of the other, equally funny actors on the show.

With that in mind, I would have nominated John Krasinski (what happened to Emmy voters recognizing two parts of a pair – where Pam is, shouldn’t Jim follow?) and Leslie David Baker (the hilariously morose Stanley) over Wilson.

I wish space could have also been made for a couple of 30 Rock’s supporting men – if not Tracy Morgan (who can be too over the top sometimes on the show), then at least Jack McBrayer, for his refreshing, seemingly effortless portrayal of Kenneth the page.

Given the actual nominees, and even if my other choices had made the cut, Neil Patrick Harris deserves this award. No question. His character is… LeGenDary.

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Guest Actress in a Comedy Series:
Dixie Carter (Desperate Housewives)
Laurie Metcalf (Desperate Housewives)
Elaine Stritch (30 Rock)
Judith Light (Ugly Betty)
Salma Hayek (Ugly Betty)

My Reaction:
I don’t have much of an opinion here, since I only saw Elaine Stritch’s appearance. She was pretty funny as Jack’s mother on 30 Rock, but I wonder if Isabella Rossellini was also considered in this category, for her role as Jack’s ex-wife, and a formidable opponent for him. I really have no preference about who should win this one.

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Guest Actor in a Comedy Series:
Martin Landau (Entourage)
Sir Ian McKellen (Extras)
Stanley Tucci (Monk)
Giovanni Ribisi (My Name Is Earl)
Beau Bridges (My Name Is Earl)

My Reaction:
I only saw Stanley Tucci’s imitation of Monk on Monk, and while it was entertaining, I don’t think it is Emmy worthy. So I have no clue who should win this one.

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I’ve now voiced my opinion about all the major Emmy categories. There are still a few odds and ends I’d like to wrap up, such as the less publicized categories in which some great shows did get recognized. Look for that some time soon. Until then, take a look at these related Emmy posts:

 

Selling the Drama: Emmy Nominations for Acting in Drama Series July 21, 2007

Filed under: Emmy Awards,Lost,Television — Emily @ 9:39 am

I had a lot of gripes about the outstanding series nominees, and while I’m not as upset about the actors nominated for their roles in drama series, I am disappointed by some of the names that aren’t on the list.

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Lead Actress in a Drama Series:
Patricia Arquette (Medium)
Minnie Driver (The Riches)
Edie Falco (The Sopranos)
Sally Field (Brothers & Sisters)
Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: SVU)
Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer)

My Reaction:
Only one of my choices made it onto this short list – Sally Field. And she’s very deserving for her portrayal of Nora the matriarch on Brothers and Sisters. Another deserving mom? Connie Britton – for playing the most realistic mother and wife on television – Tami on Friday Night Lights. She would have been my pick to win in this category! Edie Falco is there, probably because she deserves it, but also because of the Emmy rule to honor shows and actors in their final season. I was surprised to see Minnie Driver recognized for her role on The Riches. It seems a bit of an overkill to have three law enforcement characters represented (Arquette, Hargitay, Sedgwick). I guess the Emmys want to recognize female empowerment. Well, in that case, what is more empowering than a president of the entire human race? Yes, I believe Mary McDonnell as (former) President Roslin on Battlestar Galactica is equally impressive, if not more so, than all of these women’s roles. But why would the Academy recognize a quality sci-fi show when they can shower praise on the more popular Heroes? (Remember, I love Heroes, but it pales in comparison to Battlestar Galactica.)

So, to sum up my opinion, if I had my way I would have replaced Patricia Arquette and Mariska Hargitay with Connie Britton and Mary McDonnell.

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Lead Actor in a Drama Series:
James Gandolfini (The Sopranos)
Hugh Laurie (House)
Denis Leary (Rescue Me)
James Spader (Boston Legal)
Kiefer Sutherland (24)

My Reaction:
Gandolfini – a given. Laurie – quite deserving. Denis Leary – probably equally deserving. After that, things get dicey. I can’t imagine that James Spader does much dramatic acting on Boston Legal, so why is he nominated in this category ahead of some truly dynamic, intense roles, such as Edward James Olmos’ Captain Adama on Battlestar Galactica, or the utterly believable Kyle Chandler as Coach Eric Taylor on Friday Night Lights? Well, I guess I answered my own question about Captain Adama when I talked about Mary McDonnell, but I can see no excuse for leaving Chandler off of this list. Coach Taylor seems like the role he was born to play, and he deserves recognition for the fine job he has done. The final nominee, Kiefer Sutherland, is a respectable choice, and I am a huge fan of 24. However, I think another Jack was more worthy of this final space (by the way, why not add a sixth spot here like for the actresses?) – Matthew Fox’s Jack Shepherd on Lost. Sure, many fans hated him this season, but that’s because he portrayed Jack the way he was supposed to – the leader turning his back on his people, losing their trust, and ultimately feeling such desperation and guilt that he feels like he must single-handedly remedy their ominous and impending fate. Now how did Jack Bauer compete with that this season?

In summary, I am okay with everyone on this list except Spader and Sutherland, who have both had their turn in the spotlight. Maybe next year there will be a place for Matthew Fox or Kyle Chandler, but the way the Academy members’ minds seem to work, I won’t count on it.

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Supporting Actress in a Drama Series:
Rachel Griffiths (Brothers & Sisters)
Katherine Heigl (Grey’s Anatomy)
Chandra Wilson (Grey’s Anatomy)
Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy)
Aida Turturro (The Sopranos)
Lorraine Bracco (The Sopranos)

My Reaction:
The token final season nominations for two Sopranos supporting players aren’t surprising. I had Sandra Oh and Chandra Wilson on my Dream Ballot, so I was happy to see them make the actual list (and hope that Chandra Wilson wins this category for her powerful and commanding portrayal of Bailey). I’ve even enjoyed Rachel Griffith’s character on Brothers and Sisters. So overall, I am okay with these nominees. The only one that I question is Katherine Heigl. I think she’s a terrific actress, but her character wasn’t given as much to work with this season as were Sandra Oh and Chandra Wilson with their characters. Was it really necessary to give half of these slots to Grey’s Anatomy? There are plenty of other deserving actresses. My preference would have been for Elizabeth Mitchell to take Heigl’s place here. She was fantastically ambiguous as Juliet on Lost.

I really do hope that Chandra Wilson wins this award, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Academy gives it to Lorraine Bracco since it’s her last chance.

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Supporting Actor in a Drama Series:
William Shatner (Boston Legal)
Masi Oka (Heroes)
T.R. Knight (Grey’s Anatomy)
Michael Emerson (Lost)
Terry O’Quinn (Lost)
Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos)

My Reaction:
This is probably the category that the Academy got most right. How satisfying to see not one, but two nominees from Lost! Terry O’Quinn and Michael Emerson were both on my Dream Ballot, for their riveting performances this season on Lost, as we finally learned the truth about Locke’s emotionally (and physically) scarring past and the source of motivation and level of deviousness (or insanity?) of Ben Linus. I’m also happy to see Masi Oka, whose enthusiasm was a breath of fresh air on Heroes, and T.R. Knight, who always does a good job as George on Grey’s Anatomy (even though I didn’t like where the show took his character this season). Then there’s the expected Sopranos nominee – nothing to complain about there. That leaves perennial Emmy favorite William Shatner, who seems to always be nominated. I can’t fault the Academy too much, since they did manage to put a few new faces in this category, but still I would much rather have seen one more fresh face instead of Shatner’s. My choice? James Callis, for his multi-faceted portrayal of the sometimes desperate, sometimes arrogant, always slightly insane Gaius Baltar on Battlestar Galactica. But, as we’ve sadly seen, nominating a Sci-Fi Network series in the acting categories is apparently the same in the Academy’s eyes as nominating actors from The CW (although there’s nothing on The CW that even comes close to Battlestar’s quality).

So, I give props to the Emmy committee for acknowledging so many fine actors in this category. They had best not give this award to Shatner, though! I’m hoping for a Michael Emerson win, because I truly think he deserves it.

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Guest Actress in a Drama Series:
Kate Burton (Grey’s Anatomy)
Elizabeth Reaser (Grey’s Anatomy)
Marcia Gay Harden (Law & Order: SVU)
Leslie Caron (Law & Order: SVU)
Jean Smart (24)

My Reaction:
I don’t keep up with guest appearances too much, but I was surprised that Jean Smart made the list since she had such a small role on this season’s 24. I suppose it was memorable, but also a bit campy. I always thought Kate Burton did an excellent job as Meredith’s Alzheimer’s ravaged mother. I’d like to see her win, although Elizabeth Reaser is probably the more highly favored to win from Grey’s Anatomy.

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Guest Actor in a Drama Series:
Christian Clemenson (Boston Legal)
Forest Whitaker (ER)
David Morse (House)
Tim Daly (The Sopranos)
John Goodman (Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip)
Eli Wallach (Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip)

My Reaction:
The only one of these performances that I caught was David Morse on House. In my opinion, his character was rather dull, and couldn’t have been very interesting for him to play. So I doubt he will win over some of these others. I would expect Forest Whitaker to take this trophy, because even though I didn’t see the episode, I remember the buzz about his appearance on ER.

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Related Posts

Check back soon for my thoughts on the nominees for acting in comedy series.