Monday, September 24, 2012

'HOMELAND' DETHRONES ‘MAD MEN’; ‘MODERN FAMILY’ RULES ON


The new competition at the 64th annual Primetime Emmy Awards proved to be the winners of the night after all, while the Emmys lacked a ‘wow’ factor when it came to the entertainment of the show...

The cast of MODERN FAMILY
Jimmy Kimmel was not bad at all as host of the Primetime Emmys this year. In fact, he brought the stand-up comedy from his late night show to the stage at the Nokia Theater. However, even while the jokes with which he opened were pretty funny, I think I’ve kind of been spoilt by grand musical openings, montages and audio-visual sequences that announce that the annual show has arrived. I especially called it ‘the biggest night for television’ because that’s what it is. It’s supposed to award the best in television. Hell, it even has categories in which it can give or refuse awards to the grand Academy Awards! But with an opening like the one we saw last night, I was disappointed. It was light, fun and entertaining, but I expect better from an event that takes place once in the year, to award shows that I’ve literally been watching all year round, especially when the last two hosts, Jane Lynch and Neil Patrick Harris had raised the bar to considerable heights.

The cast of HOMELAND
There’s one more observation I’ve made, not just from the Emmys, but award shows in general. I feel like they rush into some important categories, and while they have nothing as exciting, except for the biggest (Outstanding Series, in this case) awards, left after just an hour into the show, they drag out the rest, till the last five minutes. The Emmys made a mistake of clubbing all the comedy and drama acting, directing and writing awards together in the beginning. Instead, they should have interspersed it better with variety and mini-series/movie.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Moving on to the awards… I was happy to see that MODERN FAMILY stayed on as the big winner in comedy. It wasn’t surprising at all to see the supporting acting awards going to Julie Bowen and Eric Stonestreet, both for a second time. I was thrilled that Julia Louis-Dreyfus got her due for her outstanding portrayal of ‘Madam Vice President’ in VEEP, but I was disappointed to see Jon Cryer win for TWO AND A HALF MEN, given his competition. I didn’t expect the Academy to overlook the others in this category, after having ignored the others in the supporting category the year that Cryer won there. THE BIG BANG THEORY could have won Outstanding Comedy Series, but it’s perfectly fine that MODERN FAMILY did it again.

Damian Lewis
Drama did present a few surprises. It’s good that MAD MEN didn’t win again, because there were better shows nominated, and the Academy impressed me by giving Outstanding Drama Series to HOMELAND, which truly deserved it. DOWNTON ABBEY’s inclusion in the main categories did, in fact, turn out to be the Academy’s only recognition of its brilliance. However, DOWNTON did score a very well deserved win for Maggie Smith, who was unfortunately not there. Aaron Paul’s speech while accepting his Emmy for BREAKING BAD was honest and emotional. Another good speech was Damian Lewis’. His win came as a very pleasant surprise, especially in the year that everyone thought it would be Bryan Cranston or finally Jon Hamm. It’s sad, yes, that Cranston lost out, but he’s won before and Lewis has been exceptionally outstanding in HOMELAND. Claire Danes was a predictable winner, but everyone knows she deserved to be up there. GAME OF THRONES, as expected, didn’t make the cut.

Aaron Paul
It was good to see GAME OF CHANGE sweeping the mini-series/movie categories, and when I saw Tom Hanks there, it was almost a given that he would have his moment on the stage during the evening. The best acceptance speeches were probably those by Damian Lewis, Aaron Paul, Julianne Moore and Steve Levitan, who had the privilege to make one really funny speech, while winning his directing Emmy, as well as a more serious one while accepting Outstanding Comedy Series. The funniest moments of the show for me were the video featuring the cast of MODERN FAMILY and how they were 'tormented' by baby Lily, and the Louis-Dreyfus-Amy Poehler speech mix-up, even if it was staged. With the results so satisfactory (almost all), one could ignore the fact that the show itself was otherwise not all that great.


I got 7 predictions out of 11 major categories correct. How many did you get? Share your views on the Emmys and the results, as we get set to enjoy the new TV season 2012-13!

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