Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Lackluster Show Delivered More Fizzle than Punch – Red Carpet Manners at the 65th Emmy Awards

“Television is the new movies,” expressed KTLA host, Sam Rubin, during his pre-show interviews on the red carpet at this year’s 65th Emmy Awards.  With more and more A-list talent fleeing the big screen and flocking to groundbreaking storytelling on a smaller one, it is perfectly understandable that expectations would be especially high for tonight’s show.  Enlisting the wildly talented, Neil Patrick Harris, fresh off his stellar hosting gig at the Tony’s only cemented our anticipation. So when we were treated to a opener that felt as flat as a pilot that barely debuts before the network executives decide to pull the plug, we were gravely disappointed.  Initially, it had promise.  The reference to binge-watching the entire season of television was spot on, as that is how it feels to most of us in this day and age of never enough time and too many good shows, but the bit was too long and the selected clips not compelling enough to hold our attention.  As NPH stepped out of the booth and on to the stage, we nodded along with the jokes, but were secretly awaiting a show-stopping number. When it didn’t arrive, we were left still feeling empty. Not until Kevin Spacey appeared on camera owning the show in complete “House of Cards” character, did we crack a much-needed smile. For some reason, even the Amy Poehler/Tina Fey (whom we typically love) popcorn-induced, team heckling from the front row felt canned.  Finally, halfway through the show, our song and dance man, gave us what we have been waiting for, but possibly too little, too late. Even cameo appearances by Nathan Fillion and Sarah Silverman were hard-pressed to resuscitate the lack of energy in the audience.  And, how many times do we have to endure A-list celebrities dressed down in their shorts and tees as if that is naturally funny?  Who decided it was hilarious to see Will Ferrell in this ridiculously casual outfit.  He’s presenting the final two awards of the night – dress up for goodness’ sake - and while you’re at it, put your offspring in their own mini tuxes too! There weren’t any serious crimes that breached good red carpet manners, only a few misdemeanors.  Here is our complete list of winners and losers in the etiquette department, as well as a sprinkling of other thoughts we felt were worth mentioning. 

Patriotic Colors Ruled the Red Carpet. Wearing brilliant shades of blue, actresses Tina Fey, Allison Williams and Edie Falco rocked the red carpet in dresses constructed perfectly for their figures. A clean and crisp white (even after Labor Day) was the chosen color by Taylor Shilling, Padma Lakshmi, Emilia Clarke, and the stunning Kerry Washington who went with a more embellished version. And not red, but a richer Pomegranate, was adorned by such knockouts as Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara.

Hair, Wardrobe & Style Malfunctions. What big event would be complete without a mention of malfunctions in the appearance category?  Apologies in advance to all the uber-talented ladies, but we could see a noticeable hair extension that went astray in Amy Poehler’s pony tail, Tina Fey’s Spanx line was visible around the waistband area of her dress, we were in constant fear that Juliana Margulies’ gown would fall to the ground and reveal her breasts, and Anna Faris’ bright red lips did nothing but compete for attention with her canary yellow dress. Don’t even get me started on Lena Dunham.  The tattoo/heavy eye makeup combo with the print dress doesn't do her any justice.  She can be edgy and still look presentable by wearing a solid color in a classic cut and taking the less is more route on the makeup. The idea is to enhance the look, not fight with it.

Surprisingly Short Speech. Accepting an award, let alone the first winner of the night, is enough to give even the most seasoned vets the jitters.  So when two time nominee, Merritt Wever, actually won the award for Supporting Actress in a Comedy for Nurse Jackie, it was clear she was overwhelmed with emotion and perhaps a little anxiety-ridden.  Her only words short and to the point, “Thank you so much. I gotta go. Bye.”  Was that a joke, we wondered?  Was it funny or awkward?  We couldn’t decide. Perhaps, both.

Famous No Shows.  No matter how nice they may be in person, it always leaves the audience feeling a bit jilted when thespians do not show up to collect their awards.  Both David Fincher, who won the award for Best Director of “House of Cards,” and Laura Linney who won the category for Outstanding Leading Actress in a Miniseries or Movie, couldn’t be bothered apparently.  Where were they?  Together watching the last episode of “Breaking Bad” perhaps?

Overuse of the Word Crap.  This throwback word has endless meanings and is the closest thing to a swear word without getting into trouble with the FCC.  Chanteuse Kerry Underwood let out an, “Oh crap!” on the red carpet when she temporarily could not recall the name of her famous dress designer.  And you couldn’t miss, “Breaking Bad” show creator, Vince Gilligan, let out an exuberant “Holy crap!” when he accepted the award for Best Drama. Both instances were innocently used, nothing intentionally uttered that would make us feel uncomfortable like an actor saying, “Cut the crap” or ” I don’t need this crap," or this awards show is a bunch of crap.

Citations for Visible Gum Chewing.  We happened to catch Vera Farmiga chomping away during an unsuspected pan to the audience.  She is such a beauty and to be caught in the act truly detracts from that.  And, poor Jeff Daniels, who was already the upset win in his category for Best Lead Actor in a Drama for "Newsroom," but adding insult to injury, no one was listening to his acceptance speech because we were all too busy focusing on his incessant gum chewing!  Yes, it’s of the utmost importance to maintain fresh breath, but please remember to dispose of your gum in a tissue before your category is called.

Memorial that Caused Turmoil.  The In Memoriam tribute is a staple in all awards shows, however tonight’s decision to memorialize in depth only a chosen few, and then lump the vast majority together in a video montage, was to the detriment of many. I suppose it makes sense that respected actor, James Gandolfini who unexpectedly succumbed to a heart attack and young actor, Cory Monteith, who died of a tragic overdose were mentioned, but why single out Gary David Goldberg, Jean Stapleton and Jonathan Winters?  There were at least a handful of others who were veteran television icons that were somehow overlooked. One such icon was Jack Klugman - famous for countless award-winning television shows - whose son took to Twitter to express his unhappiness.  Unfortunately, the whole approach put a morose tone on the entire show and left everyone with a bad taste in their mouths. Lessons hopefully learned…

So there you have it, but just so we don’t leave you with a depressed feeling, here is a final bit of levity and camaraderie.  Michael Douglas was a shoe-in to win Best Actor in a Miniseries for his portrayal of Liberace in “Behind the Candelabra," but what was so sweet and genuine was that he sincerely shared the award with his co-star and friend, Matt Damon, and managed to garner some pretty hearty laughs with his unintentional  - and then intentional - references to a certain male body part and the golden statue.  We certainly chuckled. 

In the event you missed it, here is a complete list of all the winners.

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