Monday, September 17, 2007

There's no "I" in Emmys

The Emmy Awards are, generally speaking, the least interesting — and least entertaining — of the major awards shows. I never expect much from the Emmy telecast, and it rarely disappoints.

But, hokey smoke, Bullwinkle — last night's Emmys were a snoozefest and a half. That may well have been the most interminably boring awards show I have witnessed in my four decades of TV viewing. By the third hour, I had inserted broken toothpicks under my eyelids to prop them open.

Everything about the show reeked to high heaven. As host, Ryan Seacrest couldn't have been more insipid. My opinion of Ellen Degeneres's comedic talent is well known — she's the least funny big-name comic alive, next to Jerry Seinfeld — but I'd have gladly swapped Ellen for Ry-Guy in a New York minute. Heck, I'd have sooner seen Paula Abdul babble drunkenly between awards than Seacruise attempting to be glib, and failing.

Whose ridiculous idea was the theater-in-the-round presentation setup? Every time the presenters or awardees stepped to the microphone, they had their backs to most of the audience. Not only did this look awkward for those seated in the venue, but it also completely flummoxed the people on stage, who had no idea where to focus. For his part, Seacrest wandered about like little boy lost, flop sweat beading on his brow every time the camera zoomed in on him.

Even the fashions suffered a nosedive this year. In three-plus hours, I took notice of what exactly one of the attending celebs was wearing — Ali Larter of Heroes, who could appear presentable in a burlap sack and wooden clogs, but was stylishly turned out in a sleek, strapless red gown. That's all I got. Oh, and Terry O'Quinn's wife looked nice, too. You know it's bad when you're paying more attention to family members in the crowd than to the honorees.

Of course, I couldn't have cared less about any of the shows or actors that won. The Sopranos? Watched it once, years ago, wasn't impressed. 30 Rock? I'm not a sitcom guy. James Spader does an excellent job on Boston Legal, but is he really a better actor week in, week out, than, say, Kiefer Sutherland? I dunno. And Sally Field — let's call a moratorium on awards for the Flying Nun until she figures out how not to botch the acceptance speech.

The best thing about the Emmys this year that the Television Academy won't inflict this travesty on us again for another twelve months. I'll raise a cream soda to that.

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