Emmys 2012: Rob Licuria’s good, bad & ugly

THE GOOD
And the Emmy goes to… “Homeland“! The best show on TV wins! And Howard Gordon says he’ll keep talking even if he is cut off! Showtime is rightfully honored at the podium. 

Too bad for “Mad Men” not claiming that record fifth Emmy, but I have not been this happy with a win for a long, long time.

Damian Lewis. Vindication never felt so good, and I will be shouting from the mountaintops for years to come that I called it (hey, you’ve got to take these small victories when you finally get them!) In one of the most competitive categories every year, it is heartening to know that the wonderful Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad“) is not invincible. Ditto for Claire Danes, the best actress on TV right now.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep“) is the Queen of Comedy. In years to come, we will look back at her career like we do for comedy legends like Carol Burnett and Mary Tyler-Moore. I love to see her at the top of her game winning Emmys. And the bit with Amy Poehler, another absolute comedy legend (and yet to win an Emmy herself) made this part of the show one of the highlights.

Louis C.K. wins the writing double (for the “Louie” episode “Pregnant”) and for his special “Live at the Beacon Theatre”). Well deserved.

Jon Cryer (“Two and a Half Men“) is a great example of episode submissions meaning something. You don’t have to be cool and hip to win an Emmy. Just the funniest or with the best submission. Ditto Eric Stonestreet (“Modern Family“) Emmy voters don’t care about appeasing TV critics. They just watch the episode submissions and vote.

It’s about time Julianne Moore (“Game Change“) won a major televised award. One of the greatest American actresses of our time. Congrats to her, and her indelible portrayal of Sarah Palin.

Tim Van Patten had seven directing nominations to his credit without a win. One of the greatest TV directors ever. It was great to see him win in a HUGE upset for “Boardwalk Empire” – something very few (if anybody) saw coming. A shame he wasn’t there in person to collect though.

Jimmy Kimmel’s opening was genuinely funny. Not the best ever, but I laughed all the way through. And that’s all I ask for. As for the show itself, it was well paced, with no major hiccups, and was overall a pleasant experience. One little touch I really loved was the overflowing brigade of paparazzi next to the stage snapping away at each of the winners, adding a bit of the Hollywood glam to the standard walk off the stage.

Homeland” wins writing! Didn’t I tell ya?!? Great example of an almost perfect pilot episode. I should have trusted my instinct. Well done Academy.

Jonathan from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” wins an Emmy! Apologies to Danny Strong, a great writer, and a deserved winner for writing “Game Change.” I just couldn’t help myself, as a long-time “Buffy” fan.

THE BAD
Even though the show itself was overall a pleasant experience, it didn’t blow my mind, and I always hope for something a bit less routine, even though that is a difficult ask for an awards show that has to hand out over two dozen statuettes.

Some of the presenters were disappointing. Zooey Deschanel and Jim Parsons fell flat. Louis C.K didn’t translate to actual comedy when presenting one of the early awards. Most of the others were forgettable. At least Melissa McCarthy didn’t disappoint.

The Jimmy Kimmel “great prank” fell flat. Pardon the pun. Same goes for the Josh Groban bit. A waste of a minute that could have been given to Louis-Dreyfus instead of trying to play her off.

Modern Family” won Best Comedy Directing for Steve Levitan? Spread the wealth Emmy voters!

I love Maggie Smith on “Downton Abbey” but  can’t help but think giving Smith the award for Best Drama Supporting Actress is a bit of a waste. She isn’t going to attend. She won in the equivalent movie/miniseries category last year. There were more impressive episode submissions.

Producers of future Emmy telecasts need to rethink crunching through the Comedy and Drama categories and leaving the Movie/Miniseries categories to the end.

THE UGLY
Giancarlo Esposito (“Breaking Bad“) was my personal favorite to win tonight, and in my (and many others’) opinion, he gave THE performance of the year. It was some consolation that at least he lost to co-star Aaron Paul. But I was sorely disappointed to see Esposito lose for his only shot at this prize for his phenomenal portrayal of Gus Fring.

The Amazing Race.” I am sick of it winning, period. “Top Chef” had the best submission, and should have won again. Actually, I would be happier with anything else winning, just to spread the wealth a bit more.

Maybe the same thing can be said for “Daily Show with Jon Stewart” winning the Best Variety Series category every single year too. But I personally think that “The Daily Show” is undoubtedly the best variety program on TV, especially in an election year, where nothing is more relevant. Congrats to that trailblazing show for winning yet again, and everybody stop dumping on it for winning so many times!

Tom Bergeron. Nothing personal, but finally we were going to see something exciting in this category (with dominant Jeff Probst out of the running), and the Emmy went to Bergeron for “Dancing With the Stars.” Zzzzzzzzzzz.

OTHER EMMY NEWS:

‘Homeland,’ ‘Modern Family,’ ‘Game Change’ big winners at Emmys

Emmys 2012: Complete List of Winners

The Good, Bad & Ugly: Chris Beachum and Daniel Montgomery on the Emmy Awards

Mad Men’ sets record for most Emmy losses in one season

Jimmy Kimmel presides over a solid but unspectacular 2012 Emmy telecast

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