Monday, September 19, 2011

Red Carpet Manners at the 2011 Emmys – “Sue Sylvester Delivers a Solid”

Emmy winning actress, Jane Lynch, may not want to quit her day job as the sarcastic and sardonic, Sue Sylvester, but she certainly ruled the stage as this year’s mistress of ceremonies at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards. Dressed elegantly in flowing gowns designed by David Meister to fit her towering six foot frame (after triple Spanx!), she seamlessly scurried from pre-taped skits to live stage performances to lightning speed dress changes and managed to throw in some very funny jokes, a Jersey Shore parody and a gentle poke at the gay community to boot!  There were no major flubs, no trips or falls (although I was a little nervous when the two gentlemen lifted her in the air for her big stage number) and no blatantly offensive moments a la Ricky Gervais.  All in all, she delivered a solid performance worthy of an invitation back just as long as she remembers to write a thank you note to Mark Burnett and Fox for the extraordinary opportunity.

This year’s show, presented on the Fox Network, promised viewers a hipper and edgier version of the normal Emmy fare. After all, Fox’s demographic skews younger than the other networks. However,  nothing particularly stood out for us as edgy (and believe me we were looking!) other than the musical medley performed by “The Lonely Island Boys” that had them gyrating in the audience while singing about sex and perhaps the slightly edgy Ricky Gervais cameo describing his exile from American soil for his inappropriate and offensive behavior as host of the Golden Globes and let’s not forget Charlie Sheen.

Before we launch into our red carpet manners capturing the various highlights and low points of the show, we must give a nod to the night’s biggest winners. It’s no surprise that “Modern Family” swept the comedy category providing it’s cast and crew with a total of five wins.  The British period piece, “Downton Abbey,” took home six awards and AMC’s critically acclaimed “Mad Men” won for the fourth consecutive year in the dramatic category. For a more comprehensive list of winners, click here.

Red Dresses Ruled the Red Carpet. The major trend at this year’s Emmy’s was bright red to match the red carpet.  Celebs from Kate Winslet to Kerry Washington, Sofia Vergara to Kathy Griffin and a whole host of television personalities from Nancy O’Dell to Guiliana Rancic, donned beautiful red gowns that hugged their sillouettes.  Yardage, as in how long is your train, played a very big role on the red carpet along with comfort. Countless actresses were commenting on the comfort factor and how important that was in making the final decision on their dress.

Here Come the Boobs.  I was seriously concerned for Julie Bowen, who appeared so thin that I thought her dress was going to malfunction and accidentally reveal a breast.  As well, Kate Winslet got us nervous as she ran up the stage to accept her award.  She was running so fast, I was sure that one or both of her breasts weren’t going to make it.  As always, Christina Hendricks put them out there for all the world to see (and apparently enjoy), in contrast to Sofia Vergara, who actually had them tucked nicely into her stunning Vera Wang gown. 

Skinny Minis.  My apologies for ripping on the talented actresses' figures, but these stunning ladies are starting to look emaciated and haggard. Believe me, I understand, I love it when someone tells me I look skinny, but Hollywood is taking it too far.  For some, the red carpet arrivals are beginning to look like the arrivals of the walking dead. Julie Bowen, Paula Abdul, Guliana Rancic, Annie Ilonzeh, Kathy Griffin (yes, I said it), Christine Baranski and Jennifer Westfeldt, eat a donut for goodness sakes!! I have to admit, I much preferred the healthier looking body types of Sofia Vergara and Kate Winslet. These ladies have gorgeous figures, they exude style and confidence and it shows!

The Emmytones.  In theory, the throwback to the 40’s live stage shows with the acapella group standing by singing lovely tunes may have sounded like a good idea, but I do not think it worked tonight. I also did not understand the selection of actors and actresses that were chosen. Were they closet singers on the side?  Do they have outstanding voices? The whole thing made no sense to me and seemed to be a waste of precious air time.

Can You Say Winning? Jane Lynch’s introduction in which she declared, “I was this next presenter’s therapist and I apparently suck!” was one for the record books! Television is apparently very forgiving and when Sheen took the stage to present the award for his old category Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series, the audience applauded. Before he announced the nominees however, he politely paused to say a few words to his former cast mates, “From the bottom of my heart, I wish you nothing but the best this upcoming season. We spent eight wonderful years together and I know you’ll continue to make great television.” The big question of the evening though was whether this was a sincere, heartfelt apology or a forced, rehearsed expression of regret.  I suppose we’ll learn more after tomorrow night’s premiere with Kutcher fulfilling his new role in Sheen’s old shoes.

Beauty Pageant Moment.  One of the highlight’s of the evening was when some of television's best and brightest comediennes spontaneously gathered (well not really, it was rehearsed) on stage to support one another in the category for Best Actress in a Comedy Series. Watching Amy Poehler alongside Melissa McCarthy, Martha Plimpton, Edie Falco, Tina Fey and Laura Linney join hands in solidarity as each of their names was called in classic beauty pageant style was priceless. When Melissa McCarthy won the category, the ladies adorned her with the ceremonious flowers and a crown.  Later on in the evening, Poehler and McCarthy went on to poke fun at men in television and gave them advice on how to break the glass ceiling, reveal a little skin and sleep their way to the top!

Classic One-Liners.  There were actually quite a few memorable one-liners from the night that are worth repeating and remembering. Julie Bowen after winning Best Actress in a Comedy exclaimed, “I don’t know what I’m going to talk about in therapy next week!”  Jeremy Piven making fun of Mark Wahlberg’s successful producing career snapped, “HBO, also known as the Mark Wahlberg channel.” Steve Levitan receiving kudos from a gay couple who told him, “You’re not just making people laugh, you’re making them more tolerant.”  To which his response was, “They’re right, we are showing the world that there is nothing wrong between an old man and a hot young women and looking around this room tonight I see many of you agree! Jane Lynch quote during Mad Men skit, “This haircut costs more than your house.”  Betty White describing her dress to Ryan Seacrest, “I’m wearing a put together from the back of my closet.”  Julianna Margulies in her acceptance speech to her husband exclaimed, “I love being your good wife and I am so grateful you have no political aspirations.”

Two Men & Their Sexy Acceptance Speeches.  Steve Levitan and Guy Pearce both intentionally and quite hysterically got into some pretty hot water with their wives while referencing their day jobs and explaining the hard work (wink, wink?) that goes into creating television.  First, Steve Levitan, opened up to the audience about the real life inspiration for the “Modern Family” episode in which the parents are caught in the act. When the camera panned on his embarassed wife, her expression was priceless. He then later thanked his “somewhat satisfied wife” which prompted a second deadpan look to the camera. Then later in the evening, Guy Pearce who took home the award for “Mildred Pierce” had these sentiments to share, “I got to have sex with Kate Winslet many, many times.  I didn’t realize it would result in this.  So Kate, I share this with you for allowing me to insert myself into your world of Mildred and to my wife, Kate, who had to listen to me talk about that every day when I came home from work.  Thank you, my darling and I’m sorry."  Looks like both men may need to take a trip to the jewelry store and soon!

And there you have it.  That’s all folks!  Any comments you would like to share from last night’s show?  Let us know.  We’d love to hear from you.   

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