Emmys, Pennant Races Mark 'No Football Weekend'
September 23, 2013

I'm not sure why I watch the Emmy Awards anymore. I don't watch any of the shows. Most are on premium cable like HBO or Showtime, and others I just either don't have time, or am simply not interested. About the only shows I still watch are The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family, and I actually missed most of the latter last season. I just like awards shows I guess.

The most recent programs where celebrities get honored by other celebrities have had great hosts. If Billy Crystal isn't available to do the Oscars, then give me Neil Patrick Harris, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, or Ricky Gervais anytime. Harris hosted the Emmys and did a nice job.

Other than Jim Parsons winning for Big Bang, I really didn't care who won anything. You watch for the pageantry and presentation, right? Even though I don't watch the shows, the Emmys celebrate television, and who doesn't like television?

The best acceptance speeches were the first one, and the next-to-last one. Merritt Weaver won Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy for her role in Nurse Jackie, took to the dais, and said, “Thank you so much. Um. I gotta go. Bye.” And that was it. No orchestra needed to play her off. And when Steven Levitan accepted the award for Best Comedy Series for Modern Family, he began by saying, “this may be the saddest Emmys of all time, but we could not be happier.”

There were some nice comedic moments, but the show went a different direction this year, recognizing several different people who passed on. Right after Parsons got his award, the show segued stage left to Rob Reiner, who talked about the life and death of Jean Stapleton—his TV mother-in-law on All in the Family. There were several others—Robin Williams on Jonathan Winters, Jane Lynch on the young Glee cast member Corey Monteith, Edie Falco on her Sopranos husband James Gandolfini, and Michael J. Fox (not looking well himself from his Parkinsons) on the death of Family Ties creator Gary David Goldberg. Oh yeah, and the usual 'In Memoriam' segment that came later. Nicely done tributes, but maybe a little bit much.

Even the live performances were melancholy. Elton John wrote, and performed a song about Liberace, and even Carrie Underwood's singing of Yesterday as a tribute to the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show was preceded by the clip of Walter Cronkite announcing the death of John F. Kennedy. We know a lot of Hollywood stars drink at the after parties, but maybe this year they were drinking to drown their sorrows.

There were some funny bits. Harris did do a song and dance number, but in the middle of the show instead of the beginning. His How I Met Your Mother castmates did a bit where they staged an intervention, because Harris suffered from EHD (excessive hosting disorder), complete with cameo by Arsenio Hall. When the accountants were announced, Bob Newhart was standing in the group. Newhart also presented with Parsons. If you like Will Farrell, you would've loved the end where he presents the final awards in shorts, and with three kids with him—claiming he was called 45 minutes earlier after Helen Mirren and Maggie Smith dropped out, and couldn't get child care. Not a bad three hours of television on a Sunday night.

Baseball bits: Like the Emmys themselves, my column is running long, but the one time I actually wanted to see the Yankees on TBS (it seems like they are on every Sunday), I couldn't. The Yankees were hosting the Giants, so the TBS broadcast was blacked out in northern California. The Giants did not show all of the Mariano Rivera Day festivities live, like I'm sure TBS did. Too bad the talking heads at Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area were too busy blabbing about Brandon Belt and Buster Posey. I ended up watching the first quarter of the Charger game.

Football Free: That was the only football I watched this weekend, except for the high school game I broadcast Saturday night. Had to watch the Giants-Yankees Saturday and Sunday morning, and the A's clinch the AL West Sunday afternoon...Wednesday's Dodgers-Diamondbacks game was on ESPN, but LA didn't clinch the division that night. I listened to Thursday's day game on my computer when I got home that night, It would have been much better to see the celebration than have to listen on my little tablet, but at least they did it.

View All Commentaries