Sunday, September 18, 2011

Modern Family Dominates the Emmy Broadcast

Modern Family cleaned up at the Emmys, as it should have.  It won for best comedy series for the second year.  Modern Family is an amazingly well acted and well written show that captures family life in an outrageously comedic way.  Good for them and for the performers, including Julie Bowen (Claire) and Ty Burrell (Phil) who took home acting awards in the supporting category.  (All of the show’s actors were nominated in supporting roles, a generous move by all.)  The show also won for directing and writing.  Producer Steve Levitan, in fact, was one of the funniest award recipients.

It’s too bad the producers of the Emmy broadcast and Fox couldn’t learn a thing or two from the Modern Family team because the broadcast itself was just so-so.

Jane Lynch’s opening number was creative, but only mildly funny and borrowed too much from Billy Crystal’s stellar Oscar openings.  Lynch walked through the sets of a number of shows and interacted with the characters, which had a couple of entertaining moments, but her monologue and the rest of her shtick were unmemorable. 

Lynch was also a loser in the “What were they wearing?” category with her ill-fitting spacesuit-silver lamÄ— gown, which didn’t fit her personality.  She was joined by Julianna Margulies, who’s usually stunning, but had a weird, futuristic-looking dress that looked like white, molded plastic with huge fake jewels attached.  I guess it’s okay since Margulies won as best lead actress in a drama (The Good Wife) and gave a nice thank you to her castmates, writers and producers.  The series was robbed, however, when Mad Men won for best drama - again.

In the “What were they thinking?” category, Michael Bolton’s (in a Pirate costume) musical number was as cheesy as Rob Lowe’s Snow White musical number on the Oscars back in 1989.  A later number from LL Cool J was only slightly better.

And, I don’t know why the presenters were denied the opportunity to read the lists of nominees; instead there was a narrator who performed those honors.  Where is the fun when you can’t watch the presenters flub someone’s name?

Highlights of the show were a few of the produced film numbers, including a remote appearance by Ricky Gervais, who said he was not permitted to be in the studio after his maligned turn as Golden Globe host last year.  In fact, he said he’s no longer allowed on American soil during an awards show.  Even funnier was the way the piece was edited to make it seem like he was swearing and making obscene gestures throughout the whole thing.

Another good clip had actors from other shows being interviewed on the set of The Office, as in the device used on that show.  There was good comedy in the notion of having Ashton Kutcher show up on that set thinking he’s taking over for The Office’s Steve Carell; he is then told he belongs on the Warner Set for Two and a Half Men.

It was cute that all the nominees in the best lead actress in a comedy category bolted onto the stage and that the awards presentation was turned into a beauty contest with winner Melissa McCarthy receiving a tiara and roses along with her Emmy.  Afterwards, McCarthy, of Mike and Molly, gave Amy Poehler credit for the routine.

Jim Parsons received his second Emmy in a row for outstanding lead actor in a comedy series, besting Steve Carell who was a favorite for his final year as Michael Scott.  Parsons gave a gracious nod to his co-star, Johnny Galecki, also nominated, but didn’t mention Carell.

For his last season, Kyle Chandler won as best actor in a drama series for Friday Night Lights.

Kudos to Charlie Sheen who wished the best to his former colleagues at Two and a Half Men.  He was lucky to be there since many had called for him to be banned from the Emmy show.

All in all not a bad year for the Emmys, but not a great one either.

Here is a complete list of 2011 Emmy winners:

Comedy Series: Modern Family (ABC)
Drama Series: Mad Men (AMC)
Mini-Series or Movie: Downton Abbey (PBS)
Reality-Competition Program: The Amazing Race (CBS)
Variety, Music or Comedy Series: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Comedy Central)
Actress in a Comedy Series: Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly (CBS)
Actress in a Drama Series: Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife (CBS)
Actress in a Mini-Series or Movie: Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce (HBO)
Actor in a Comedy Series: Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Actor in a Drama Series: Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights (DirecTV)
Actor in a Mini-Series or Movie: Barry Pepper, The Kennedys (ReelzChannel)
Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Julie Bowen, Modern Family (ABC)
Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Margo Martindale, Justified (FX)
Supporting Actress in a Mini-Series or Movie: Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey (PBS)
Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Ty Burrell, Modern Family (ABC)
Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones(HBO)
Supporting Actor in a Mini-Series or Movie: Guy Pearce, Mildred Pierce (HBO)
Writing for a Comedy Series: Steven Levitan and Jeffrey Richman, Modern Family (ABC)
Writing for a Drama Series: Jason Katims, Friday Night Lights (DirecTV)
Writing for a Mini-Series, Movie or Dramatic Special: Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey, (PBS)
Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Series: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Comedy Central)
Directing for a Comedy Series: Michael Alan Spiller, Modern Family (ABC)
Directing for a Drama Series: Martin Scorsese, Boardwalk Empire (HBO)

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