Emmy Awards: Rob Licuria’s good, bad and ugly

Genuine Emotion

  • Seeing Jim Parsons tearfully accept his third Emmy, while his loving co-stars tear up as they watch on, is what awards shows do best. It’s a glimpse at real humility from larger than life TV stars. 
  • Edie Falco shedding a tear for her departed James Gandolfini was a great moment.
  • When Henry Brommell posthumously won for writing the “Q&A” episode of “Homeland,” it was lovely to see his widowed wife speak on his behalf.
  • Same goes for the moving standing ovation given to Bob Newhart and winner Don Roy King happily proclaiming “life is good!” after winning for directing “Saturday Night Live.”

Surprise, Surprise! 
Merritt Wever. Tony Hale. Bobby Cannavale. Jeff Daniels. “The Colbert Report.” “The Voice.” Abi Morgan (“The Hour”) for writing. Welcome to the Emmy club! I was so thrilled to see so many surprise winners.  Goes to show how unpredictable this year was that so many “locks” did not win. That “The Voice” finally broke the long-running and very boring winning streak that “The Amazing Race” has enjoyed for years and years must really sting for “Amercian Idol,” that other signing competition, that was never able to win this thing.

Best Villain
I must say, Bobby Cannavale, one of my favourite actors, played, to my mind, the most captivating and exciting character on all of TV last season as Gyp Rosetti on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire”. I am so happy to see him win this year over some very fanciful competition.

Yes, They Think They Can Dance
The choreographers dance number was a showstopper, in a good way.

Breaking Good
Anna Gunn was a very welcome early winner for the show. I think there would’ve been riots had Gunn not won for her amazing performance as Skylar White on “Breaking Bad.” The other actors missed out, but Best Drama Series was the big one at the end of the night.

Queen of TV
Julia Louis-Dreyfus wins for “Veep” again and I couldn’t be happier. Bittersweet for Amy Poehler (and I dumped Dreyfus for Poehler only two days ago in my own predictions), who can’t seem to catch a break at the Emmys. But Julia, you are a deserving winner.

Great Award Show Banter
Will Arnett and Margo Martindale, you killed it. Perfect timing and just plain funny. Same goes for the always reliable Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.

The Show Went On
The Emmy show itself, although at times a little flat and lifeless (see below), was still nicely paced (although I hate the playing off, again see below), especially after the unfortunately rocky start with the opening segment that I think didn’t work. I liked the individual In Memoriam tributes,  especially because the producers decided to tribute not only more established legends, but also Cory Monteith, someone at the beginning of his career, spotlighting a younger, more tragic death. I give the production team props for really trying their best with what they had to work with.

The Play-Offs
That being said, I can’t stand it how the producers have to play off winners. It is very disrespectful. Instead of wasting time on silly comedy segments, let those winners, that have slogged their guts out for years to finally get their moment in the spotlight up on that Emmy stage, finally have their moment without the music telling them to exit stage left.

Tapes, Schmapes
Merritt Wever. Tony Hale. Us Emmy prognosticators do our best to lay it all out for those of you entering Emmy office pools. We diligently watch the episode submissions, and make well-thought out arguments as we attempt to handicap each category. But voters like what they like. Surprises always happen, and we must try to remember that year after year.

There are No Rules
Usually, where actors are nominated alongside their co-stars, one of them wins. This year, in Comedy Supporting Actor, that didn’t happen. Each of Ty Burrell, Ed O’Neill and Jesse Tyler Ferguson had effectively three episodes at their disposal. But Tony Hale was able to claim a victory with much less screen time and only one episode. Go figure…

Cold Open
Sorry to say, but I was really expecting much more from the opening segment. It had so much more potential. Also, the bit with recent past hosts (even with Kevin Spacey doing his best onscreen mugging as his character from “House of Cards” to try to save that bit) unfortunately fell a little flat for me.

Missing in Action
In the Best Movie/Miniseries Actress category, I’m pretty sure that only the two “frontrunners” (Jessica Lange and Elisabeth Moss) showed up. Then Laura Linney wins. Not a great look.

Clapping with the Stars
The grotesque In Memoriam clap-o-meter was at it again; an annual competition as to which departed person gets the most audible audience applause. Awful and embarrassing.

Not-Great Award Show Banter
the “Dads” bit sisters Emily Deschanel and Zooey Deschanel had to endure for Best Comedy Supporting Actor. Just woeful. You could see the pain on their faces as their one-liners were met with crickets in the audience.

Mad Men and Women
How ridiculous that no actor has ever won for their work on “Mad Men.” It’s a really unfortunate and almost unbelievable statistic. Poor Elisabeth Moss couldn’t even win for her amazing performance on “Top of the Lake.”

Tired Format
Academy, I think it’s time to just stick to your guns and completely, totally revamp the Emmy show. It is a relic of a by-gone era where award shows were just a litany of categories that nobody cares about anymore. It needs to be more like the Grammys or even a good Oscar show. The guilds will complain if producers move more categories to the Creative Arts show, but something has to be done. It needs to be more entertaining!

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