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Critics give mixed reviews to the Emmy telecast

By Daniel Montgomery
By Daniel Montgomery
Sep 19 2011 09:32 am
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The awards have all been handed out -- to a lot of unexpected people -- but was the Emmy telecast itself a success? The Jane Lynch-hosted event divided the critics:

KEN TUCKER, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: "Lynch was excellent, and even better in her quick, throwaway moments than in the funny taped pieces. The way she came out of the montage for reality shows by saying, 'I had the smallest aneurism during that clip,' or the way she shimmied her chest at the camera before a commercial break did as much to add amusement to the proceedings as anything else."

MELANIE MCFARLAND, IMDB: "To be clear,  the show’s shortcomings were not Lynch’s fault.  The actress did the absolute best with the pedestrian jokes and the workmanlike scripted segments. She didn’t stumble over the inadequate material and, in fact, got in a few gentle zingers of her own. Lynch did what a good host is supposed to do, which is keep the ball rolling and get out of the way of the presenters and the nominees."

MATT ROUSH, TV GUIDE: "If only we didn't have to sit through an Emmy show to appreciate the Emmy winners. This year's labor of laboriousness, hosted by a game but ultimately defeated Jane Lynch (revealing that even this versatile talent couldn't rise above such mediocre material), was thankfully enlivened by a number of surprise and/or very deserving wins, especially when the drama categories kicked in."

FRAZIER MOORE, ASSOCIATED PRESS: "It was funny, bright and skillfully hosted by 'Glee' star Jane Lynch. It moved at a brisk clip, free of the usual stumbles and lulls, and, even better, it flowed almost seamlessly, a next-to-impossible feat for any awards show. Production values at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles were eye-popping, from the setting - an omega-shaped arch through which presenters made their entrance - to a tour-de-force comic musical number spearheaded by Andy Samberg and fellow 'Saturday Night Live' performers that might have had some viewers scratching their heads in bewilderment, but had to leave them dazzled nonetheless."

JAMES PONIEWOZIK, TIME: "Much of the talk this year was about how the show would be produced for the first time by reality TV's Mark Burnett. (Would the nominees carry torches? Would Donald Trump show up?) But while it was a mediocre production — the best thing about it was that it was well paced and came in on time — it wasn't disappointing in any especially novel way. As host, Jane Lynch was game and showed multiple talents — she joked, she sang, she did Sue Sylvester (thankfully only briefly, playing opposite herself in a skit). But she had only occasionally good material to work with."

ROBERT BIANCO, USA TODAY: "Granted, despite the efforts of 'Glee's' Jane Lynch and 'Survivor' producer Mark Burnett, Fox's Emmy broadcast Sunday was not what anyone would call exciting. Without the glamour of the Oscars or the performance power of the Tonys or Grammys, excitement seems to be permanently outside of Emmy's reach — especially now that it's saddled with all those awards for movies and miniseries most people haven't seen. But while those awards may have caused some lag times, this year's show did avoid the longer dead spots that sometimes plague the broadcast."

MAUREEN RYAN, AOL: "Lynch seemed at ease as host, and that's half the battle. Her 'Jersey Shore' skit was amusing and she handled both the pre-taped segments and the live broadcast with aplomb. She's basically the female Neil Patrick Harris: Put her in an awards-show situation, and she'll be charming, funny and put everyone at their ease. Next year's Emmy wish list: Harris and Lynch host together."

ALESSANDRA STANLEY, NEW YORK TIMES: "This was a night that was streamlined to avoid controversy or criticism. Acceptances were brisk, and not all that embarrassing. The show even finished on time. And that made the few seemingly spontaneous moments all the more appealing."

HANK STUEVER, WASHINGTON POST: "Apparently constructed from loose scraps of somebody else’s Emmy shows, the year’s “biggest night in television” fell flat in writing, performance and imagination, except in the most fleeting moments. It’s bizarre how much effort goes into something that can seem so phoned-in: predictable awards, tongue-tied acceptance speeches, wan comedy bits. Is everybody jazzed about the new fall season yet?"

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Who submitted well? Click links below to read our in-depth analysis of each actor's episode entry. 

DRAMA GUEST ACTOR
Dylan Baker ("The Good Wife")
Beau Bridges ("Masters of Sex")
Reg E. Cathey ("House of Cards")
Paul Giamatti ("Downton Abbey") 
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obert Morse ("Mad Men")
Joe Morton ("Scandal")


DRAMA GUEST ACTRESS
Kate Burton ("Scandal")
Jane Fonda ("The Newsroom")
Allison Janney ("Masters of Sex")
Kate Mara ("House of Cards")
Margo Martindale ("The Americans")
Diana Rigg ("Game of Thrones")
 

COMEDY GUEST ACTOR
Steve Buscemi ("Portlandia")
Louis C.K. ("SNL")
Gary Cole ("Veep")
Jimmy Fallon ("SNL")
Nathan Lane ("Modern Family")
Bob Newhart ("The Big Bang Theory")
 

COMEDY GUEST ACTRESS
Uzo Aduba ("OITNB")
Laverne Cox ("OITNB")
Joan Cusack ("Shameless")
Tina Fey ("SNL")
Melissa McCarthy ("SNL")
Natasha Lyonne ("OITNB")

 

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