thinking big: feminism, media, and pop culture

The Emmys Play It Safe

In Uncategorized on September 24, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Well friends, another Modern Family Emmys awards ceremony has come and gone. In a TV-scape saturated with quality shows, this year’s Emmys dealt with its wealth of riches by sticking to the familiar. Modern Family was awarded for its consistently adequate portraits of wealthy suburbia with a near-sweep in the comedy category (it’s good but not THAT good!). Meanwhile, Homeland broke up Mad Men‘s four-year winning streak for best drama with prizes in three major categories (for best lead actor, best lead actress, and best series). Safe to say, the show’s awards were starting to get stale before the night was even over.

While Emmy voters really weren’t in the mood to spread the love around, this year’s broadcast did feature some noteworthy moments. Lena Dunham ate cake while wearing her birthday suit in a bathroom stall; Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert tackled Jon Stewart as he headed onstage to claim his bazillionth trophy; best actress winner Claire Danes gave a shout-out to her co-star Mandy Patinkin with a heartfelt “holla.” Read on as Phoebe B. and Sarah T. recap the highs and lows of TV’s night out, and tell us your own in the comments!

Favorite acceptance speech

Sarah T: I’m going to go with Aaron Paul because of the deeply felt man-hugs between him and fellow nominee Giancarlo Esposito and co-star Bryan Cranston. The men of Breaking Bad have so much love for each other. Also because I just finished watching Season 4 on Netflix and MAN how do you even choose between Paul’s Brando-style mega-emotionality and Esposito’s ruthless, gentlemanly gangster? I guess I wish Esposito would have won, since Paul’s already got a trophy. But you won’t catch me complaining about a chance to gaze into Jesse’s blue, blue eyes…

Phoebe B.: My favorite was definitely Kevin Costner’s random and odd acceptance (and his super bad tan) for Hatfield & McCoys. He seemed, I don’t know, drunk or just really really really relaxed and perhaps a little confused.  I think my second favorite was perhaps Claire Danes’ frantic acceptance including her Mandy Patinkin “holla,” mostly because I love Mandy Pantinkin (I mean he’s the six fingered man!).

Most undeserving winner

Sarah T: Who’s got two thumbs, an aggressively un-funny sitcom, and hasn’t cried once today? Cet homme. (Jon Cryer, who was as stunned as the rest of us.)

Phoebe B.: I don’t know … I kept wanting people to win and they didn’t and therefore I was sad (although not stunned). Like why did Game Change win EVERYTHING? Don’t get me wrong, I love Juliane Moore and I’m sure Game Change is good or at least “aggressively just OK” as Mathew Zoller Seitz blogged during the Emmy’s over at Vulture. But what about Connie Britton’s amazing-ness in American Horror Story? Or Kathy Bates’ grumpy and awesome Harry on Harry’s Law? Or everyone else ever that was awesome on TV, but not in Game Change or Modern Family?

Most heartbreaking loss

Sarah T: Since I am a Poehlerite (a very friendly cult that worships hard work, positivity, waffles, and lots of silly mischief), I was pretty heartbroken when Julia Louis-Dreyfuss took the little golden dude for her performance in Veep… and then immediately delighted to see that good ol’ AP was continuing to build on last year’s awards-ceremony pranks.  I loved the fake acceptance speech mix-up, the sense of camaraderie amongst the nominees, and the fact Julia (who is funny and talented but unmistakably not Leslie Knope) said what was in all Poehlerites’ hearts: “Isn’t a shame that Amy Poehler didn’t win?”

Phoebe B.: Seconded. Wholeheartedly. Vote Knope! I was also sad that Idris Elba didn’t win for Luther (he is so good in it!) and that Sherlock won nothing (nothing!).

Best dressed

Sarah T: I really dug Ginnifer Goodwin‘s vine-y frock. I also liked Kat Denning‘s awesome, vampy red dress — she oozed old-school glamor.

Phoebe B.: Seconded again! But I also loved Claire Danes in that yellow bag-like dress that generally would not be very pretty but somehow was on her. And I thought Kerry Washington was stunning (as always) in the sparkly dress. And Ellen’s long jacket of course!

Stray observations

Phoebe B.: Not that this is shocking perhaps, but the Emmy winners appeared to be all very very white. Then again, I think that says more about the TV landscape and the ways shows get nominated and voted on than the awards show itself. Also, and unrelated, I just wish the Emmys were more like the Tony Awards: more dancing, more singing, and more fun.

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  1. Love this! Although, to Phoebe’s final comment, remember when the Oscars granted you that wish and it was. so. bad?

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