Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"This never happened. It will shock you how much it never happened..."

Team Up #4: Kyle and Shuk Discuss the Emmys

Mark: So yeah, Emmy madness! What was the ratio of Emmy-watching to football-watching on Sunday night?

Kyle: Hmmm...probably about 3 to 1. We had it on ABC when the Emmys were running and then I flipped it to NBC during the breaks...but I was following the game play-for-play online like a psycho (fantasy implications and all). You?

Mark: Surprisingly close to half-and-half. The Packers kept on disgusting me with their play-calling, so I flipped over to discover Howie Mandel disgusting me with his inane patter. Then I flipped back to more bad football. It was a yo-yo of discontentment on Sunday night.

Kyle: Yeah...that was an odd game. They seemed very tight (and not in the cool way when kids say it). It was Carrie, Ryan, and I here and, throughout both events, I kept muttering, "oh...Shuk isn't going to be happy." Then Lost lost and I think I just blurted out "poor Shuk!"

Kyle: ...so they both may or may not think I'm obsessed with you...


Mark: Wait, you're NOT obsessed with me?

Kyle: (Officially: it's a healthy fixation. Unofficially: well, you know...)

Mark: You know what, though? As much as I was pulling for Lost to win, at least I was consoled by the fact that a) it has a Best Drama trophy already (hmm, almost wrote 'Best Dharma' there) and b) at least Lost lost to a good show.

Kyle: Good points. Would've been nice but, ultimately, I was pulling for Mad Men (and anti-pulling for Damages).

Mark: Yeah, if it lost to Mad Men or Dexter, no big problem. If it lost to Boston Legal or House, well, that would've been galling, but at least my parents would've been happy. But if Damages had won....to quote my friend Matt, there would've been shit on the Academy's floors. Is Damages really that bad? I've never actually seen it.

Kyle: I mean, it's ok (barely). But, really, it's like a decent legal thriller that lasts for 11 hours. Would you watch a director's cut of Fracture that was that long? It's incredibly shallow, and, even if I weren't going to law school I think I could figure out that their tactics are blatantly ridiculous.

Mark: So really, we should be celebrating its defeat. Huzzah! *clinks glass* I guess this leads us into the first talking point, 'biggest disappointment.' As I said, I had made my peace with a potential Lost loss, but Michael Emerson losing just really pissed me off.

Kyle: Actually, this is the one place where Damages is pretty strong, with two worthy candidates. Ivanek was deserving -- note: not MOST deserving...that was clearly Emerson -- and, how shall I put this: he probably won't be eligible next year.

Mark: I was shocked both since Emerson lost but also by the fact that Ivanek won....he wasn't on the radar at all. But I guess in hindsight it wasn't surprising given that he's been on pretty much every show on TV at some point, so he's built up a lot of goodwill.

Kyle: If I'd been in any Emmy pool, I would've allotted no more than 5 points out of 100 to Emerson. I just thought he had no chance (if not Ivanek, then Danson). Remember, these are the same people that didn't think Henry Ian Cusick made the top five. For "the Constant." The best Lost episode ever. Which featured only him and one other character.

Mark: A fair point. Though Terry O'Quinn won in a semi-upset last year, so I figured they'd want to give at least some token nod to Lost given how it got screwed in every other category.

Kyle: Hmmm...true.

Kyle: I have three big disappointments: 1. Jeremy Piven winning Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy again. As Sepinwall noted: he was given NOTHING to do last season (which was completely terrible). NPH or Rainn Wilson (who, if I'm not mistaken, has never won) were both far more deserving.

Mark: Agreed (more on this later in the 'most deserved/undeserved' topic).

Kyle: 2. (this one you'll dispute) The Amazing Race winning Best Competitive Reality Show AGAIN. Did you know that they've given this award out SIX times and it's gone to TAR every year? Top Chef--perennially underrated--was a better choice.

Mark: It is somewhat absurd that TAR has won every single time, but given that it was the only one I watched of the nominees, I can only applaud the Academy's wise choice in this case.

Kyle: Grrrr.

Kyle: And 3. the hosting. My God, the hosting! Those first five minutes (post-Oprah...hell: including Oprah) were among the most painful minutes I've ever spent watching television. I cannot for the life of me fathom how no one (Kimmel, evidently, aside) figured out that doing an opening monologue about nothing was a disastrous idea. It almost ruined the whole night. The crowd was stunned into silence for about half an hour. It'd be like Conan's warm-up guy coming out at 12:20, taking a dump on the stage, giving the crowd the finger, and walking off.

Mark: A commenter on TWOP put it best....'they could've gotten the five nominees from any other category and they would've done a better job than these five. Including the tech categories.'

Kyle: lol...initially, I actually thought it was a send-up of bad hosting, but, no, they were actually trying.

Mark: I actually think Tom Bergeron would've done a solid job if it was just him as a solo act. Maybe Probst too. But the other three....ye gods. Though then we wouldn't have gotten to hear Heidi Klum introduce Boreanaz as star of 'The Bones.' Between that and being stuck with Lauren Conrad as a presenter, it was Angel's worse night since Buffy sent him to hell.

Kyle: I was out paying the pizza guy, so I missed it, but I was following the EW liveblog and couldn't stop laughing. The Bones! They should actually change the title to that.

Mark: That's actually the working title of my pilot script about a skeleton who solves crimes. I'm hoping to get Calista Flockhart. (rimshot)

Kyle: Nicely done. btw, how big of a fuck you to viewers (or possibly to Hills fans) was it to have LC give out the two writing awards of the night?

Mark: It would be sort of awesome if the MTV cameras followed her there, so we can get a Hills episode about 'LC's Emmy experience.' If a scene shows up of, say, Paul Giamatti shaking her hand that ends up on the Hills, I think the universe would explode.

Kyle: Confused Hills viewer: "Is that her grandfather?"

Kyle: At least Probst acknowledged that it was their fault the show was running long.


Mark: It was great how it took about five minutes for the hosts' performance to become a running joke. I think it was Piven who got things rolling in his speech.

Kyle: I'm just stunned that they got through rehearsal. Had to have been a case where they didn't even practice it and just said "ah...we're quick on our feet. We'll be fine." But no, they weren't. And they broke the only rule I remember from being a radio co-host: "don't talk when someone else is talking. It sounds awful." Howie, Howie, Howie...

Mark: That was a career-ending performance from Mandel. If that group of hosts was Voltron, he was the head.

Kyle: [frantically wikipediaing "Voltron"]

Mark: Best/worst presenter?

Kyle: Best: Gervais. He may have saved the show with the Carell bit. His Golden Globe speech when he was the unexpected winner for the original Office remains my all-time favorite. ("I'm from Britain. You may remember us. We used to rule the world before you did.")

Mark: No arguments here...Gervais should host the show next year, no question about it. How awesome would Gervais be at a roast? My god, he would be legendary.

Kyle: Stewart and Colbert were solid, but I wasn't blown away by the prune bit.

Mark: Honorable mention to Sally Field, as she and Tom Hanks temporarily reliving Forrest Gump was pretty cute.

Kyle: That was adorable.

Mark: Oh! And NPH and Kristen Chenoweth. Maybe they could host the show next year. If NPH and Chenoweth were to host, it would raise their profiles and give them a better shot at winning, too. I wonder what their bit was that got cut?

Kyle: I'm almost certain they were going to sing something. Ever seen NPH belt out "Confrontation" with Jason Segel on some random talk show? Awesome.

Mark: Here's the clip!

Mark: Have faith! I choose to blame any problems from last season on the strike.

Kyle: Let's hope. But I hate the whole Barney/Robyn thing, which is apparently unavoidable.

Kyle: Lots of bit-cutting sniping last night, eh? Someone else mentioned it. Maybe they should have steered clear of those (Conan's aside) painful "hey, we're on the set of [insert famous show here]. How cool is this?" segments.


Mark: Yeah, it seemed like they had the idea to do a big blowout for the 60th anniversary, but then were told at the last minute to get it to three hours or else. Those tributes to, like, seven randomly selected great shows were pretty pointless. [Note: all but one coming from shows from the 90s or the 00s--way to give the shaft to every other program than The Mary Tyler Moore Show released prior to 1985, Emmy Producers!]

Kyle: And who the hell picked those scenes? The Desperate Housewives one, in particular, went nowhere and was painfully dull...they even bricked the West Wing one, which seems almost impossible. "Here's a scene were President Bartlett pontificates about assassinating some random terrorist"--the hell?

Mark: As the last DH fan on the planet, that was horrifying. To quote the Itchy & Scratchy boss when meeting Abe Simpson.....God, you're so old!

Kyle: As for "worst presenter," I dunno...I hate (coughEmmywinnercough) Kathy Griffin...and much of the Rickles stuff was intensely uncomfortable (especially when he later won and came back all "aww shucks. I'm so damn lucky!"). That might be my pick...but mostly everyone else was forgettable.

Mark: I actually enjoyed that bit. Griffin wisely just kept out of it and let Rickles do his thing. So we've agreed, next year's five hosts should be NPH, Chenoweth, Gervais, Rickles and Carell.

Kyle: Again, not the biggest Rickles fan. Could he come as Mr. Potato Head? Anyone (professional hosts aside) that really got on your nerves?

Mark: The Laugh-In thing was technically a presenter, right? That was painful. Laugh-In is quite probably the most dated show of all time.

Kyle: As it was happening: I actually called home to ask my mom "is that what Laugh-In was really like?" My God! Horrifying!!

Mark: Okay, best speech. I'd have to go with Cranston. He seemed genuinely touched to have won.

Kyle: That was very heartfelt. As was, surprisingly, Colbert's speech. I dug Tom Hanks (esp. the stuff about the election of 1800), but was totally distracted by his (the consensus at our place was ladies') glasses.

Mark:

Hanks: Oh shit, I forgot my glasses!
Rita: I don't have mine either. Just ask the guy next to you if you can borrow his.
Hanks: Good idea. Excuse me, sir....
Ron Jaworski [Note: The Polish Rifle!]: Overheard you Tom, here you go!


Kyle: hehe...I liked Smothers too...though he seemed a bit rusty.

Mark: Smothers was good. Now THEIR show isn't dated at all. I remember watching it as a kid and howling at them and this one great deadpan stand-up comic they had. Man, I should look that up on YouTube....

Mark: It was odd, Dick Smothers was there, but....didn't get an Emmy? Did he not write? He already had one? He wanted to give his brother a moment in the sun for all those years of Mom liking Dick best?


Kyle: Yeah, I wondered about that too. I think (though I haven't bothered to verify any of this) that Tommy was the one that was considered radioactive at the time, but Dick was safe, so he probably got his at the time.

Mark: Makes sense. Seems odd that a guy named 'Dick Smothers' could be considered the normal one, but there you go.

Kyle: But my favorite was (again) Tina Fey...the one where she thanked her parents.

Mark: Yeah, Fey was 3-for-3 on good speeches. She is truly awesome. Was there really a 'worst' speech?

Kyle: Probably not. Piven came across as a smug fuck, most likely because...he's a smug fuck, but his dig towards the hosts was deserved.

Mark: Worst part of the speeches was that literally everyone got played off by the orchestra after about 10 seconds.

Kyle: Agreed. The pacing was horrible. Totally hypocritical of the Emmys to let big wheels like Hanks and Close talk about politics, but if some no name director wins, they just cut him off altogether.

Mark: Perhaps they're fans of irony. "It's important that we live in a country where freedom of express.." CLICK.

Kyle: lol. How annoyed would you be if you were an award winner, got played off, and then came back to your seat to watch them throw it to a gratuitous commercial during that interminable "best reality host" segment? I would've been like that guy that went after Noel Gallagher...

Mark: Heh. You would know his moves, too.

Mark: Biggest shock?


Kyle: Cranston, definitely. Loaded category and he manages to come away with it? That was stunning. You should watch Breaking Bad, by the way. The first season is only six eps.

Mark: That was the biggest surprise award-wise, for sure. And yes, it's on my list of shows to get to. I just finished S2 of Dexter, so I'm getting there. The biggest shock for me was "Huh, how about that, the guy who wrote Recount is named Danny Strong. Odd that there's two guys with that name in Holl....OH MAN, THAT'S JONATHAN FROM BUFFY!!"

Kyle: Oh, right...I meant to tell you about that. I remember reading about it in Time and thinking I was in the episode where he's the biggest star in the world.

Kyle: Minor shocks: Matthew Weiner winning Best Writing For A Drama Series, not for "The Wheel" (the brilliant season finale), but for "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" (the great, but not nearly as memorable series premiere). Also: Damages got Best Ensemble over Mad Men during the Creative Emmys--how is that even possible??

Mark: I'd have to check this, but I would wager that pilots more often than not win the writing awards. It's easier for new viewers to judge the pilot since the whole point of a first episode is to introduce the conflict and characters. They might not have appreciated the nuances and payoffs of The Wheel.

Kyle: Hmmm...that actually kind of makes sense. Though, as a rule, applying logic to award shows is a bad idea.

Mark: True. Most deserved/undeserved win? (We've sort of covered this already, I guess).

Kyle: The big ones were good for the most part: MM, 30 Rock, Fey, Baldwin.

Mark: I'd throw in Colbert Report winning the writing award as well. Long overdue....though this might ruin Colbert's running joke about being screwed at the Emmys.

Kyle: Nice one! He can still fall back on losing to Rickles for Best Variety Host. He's now lost to Manilow, Tony Bennett, and Don Rickles. Seems unfair to put a season's worth of work from Colbert or Stewart up against a one-off performance. Can't they just get rid of the token golden oldie in that category, since they invariably win? I mean give them a new category, not, like, kill them or anything...

Mark: Whatever, Kyle. You've wanted Tony Bennett dead for years.

Kyle: [darts eyes around furtively] I don't have the foggiest idea what you're talking about...

Mark: It's the dog with the shifty eyes!

Mark: Most disappointing win was Piven, agreed. That's his third Emmy. That puts him in the ballpark of David Hyde Pierce, John Larroquette, etc. and that's just not right.

Kyle: Speaking of Laroquette, did you know that OMNI is now showing Night Court re-runs? I can't decide if it's aged poorly or not. Larroquette blatantly ogling prostitutes he's ostensibly supposed to be prosecuting is still pretty hilarious.

Mark: Ooh, I'll have to check those out. I loved Night Court. If I could somehow borrow your height (editor's note: Kyle is 6'6"), I'd go as Bull for Halloween.

Kyle: That's a good idea!

You: "hey, everyone, I'm TV's Richard Moll!"
Everyone: "huh?"

Mark: Hmm, you're right. I'd better go with my backup idea....Evan Handler.

Kyle: "Hey, everyone, I say less than 100 words in the SATC movie and spend a disturbingly high proportion of my on-screen time shirtless and on top of Charlotte!"

Mark: So to complete the costume, I need to get in bed with Kristen Davis? Well, if you insist....

Kyle: Careful, she might try to drink you.

Mark: ***Mark's response here was removed in the spirit of keeping this chat from getting an NC-17 rating***

Kyle: Yeah, I really teed that one up for you, didn't I?

Mark: I would've drilled it, then ran off the tee box riding my club like Boo Weekley.

Kyle: Gah...I'm too bitter to even discuss the Ryder Cup.

Mark: Never underestimate the power of Sergio to find new ways to gag. Prediction: Monty is the captain in 2010 and Europe has it clinched by Saturday evening

Kyle: 1. Did you think Europe had a chance at any point on Sunday? (I just wasn't feeling it for the Euros this time. They looked flat on Sunday.) 2. Faldo's getting killed by the British press, but I'm not sure what else he could've done.

Mark: 1. Yeah, absolutely. Wasn't it 10-9 at one point? It was just then that the three close matches in progress all went America's way. 2. It's ironic that the slam-dunk captain's pick (Casey) played poorly, while the question mark (Poulter) was probably the best player of the weekend. But still, not picking Clarke was a critical mistake.

Kyle: Picking Clarke was probably a no-brainer, but I like Poulter over Monty. Eventually, you need to start looking to the future, otherwise, when Monty breaks a hip in 2012, all the youngsters would be totally untested. (Also: Poulter went 4-1).

Kyle: Still want to know how poorly Clarke played aside from those two tournament wins NOT to qualify for the team. Also: the course was way too easy. Wasn't it slightly suspicious that Holmes (who, if I'm not mistaken, ordinarily puts like Happy Gilmore) was routinely dropping 30-footers?

Mark: Still say it was an ego thing. Faldo wanted to be the sole veteran leader of the team, hence no Clarke. Valhalla has never been known for its difficulty. Though, really, they generally stay away from the real monster courses for the Ryder. I guess they figure the pressure is tough enough on the players.

Kyle: Both good points. Wait, what were we talking about again?

Mark: Pretty sure this was a Ryder Cup chat, but.....oh wait, the Emmys. We've got to pull this together, lest we end up as badly off-track as last night's broadcast.

Kyle: Zing! Do we have anything left? Lightning round?

Mark: Best/worst overall category and any other WTF moments, but we could just wrap those into a lightning round.

Kyle: I think we both agree that Best Actor in a Drama Series was the powerhouse of the night. Worst?

Mark: Dramatic actress seemed weak, though that's just because I don't watch any of those shows. Supporting actress in a comedy was pretty ridiculous.

Kyle: TOTALLY. Jean Smart? Really??

Mark: The only acceptable winner there was Chenoweth. No doubt.

Kyle: The whole category was screwed up, though: Poehler over Wiig from SNL, Holland Taylor, Vanessa Williams, etc.

Kyle: Best Miniseries should've been done by acclimation, instead of: John Adams and three piles of garbage (2.75, actually, as the first hour of Andromeda Strain was kinda cool).


Mark: Battlestar and the Wire both finally get token writing nods, and of course neither win.

Kyle: For a split second, I thought the Wire might come through. Oddly, I was rooting against it, both because the nominated episode (the series finale) wasn't especially mind-blowing and because, since it didn't win, I can still trot out the fact that According to Jim has won more Emmys (one) than the Wire, one of five greatest shows in TV history. Yay, bitterness!

Mark: It's weird, the Oscars usually uses the writing awards to recognize the "you're probably the best, but you're too quirky to officially award" nominee. But the Emmys never do.

Kyle: Hence Flight of the Conchords getting snubbed...although it's hard to argue with Fey's win...or even the other 30 Rock script ("Rosemary's Baby"--"I'm assuming that a Halderman reference.")

Mark: If only MILF Island had been nominated.

Kyle: Have you heard the rumor that they were supposed to give Best Song out last night, but buried it during the Creative Broadcast because there were rumblings that "I'm Fucking Matt Damon" would win?

Mark: Wow, I didn't even know they had a 'best song' category.

Kyle: Yup. It was Damon, FoTC twice (Most Beautiful Girl and Inner City Pressure), something from MADtv (still on the air, evidently!), and something I'd never heard of.

Mark: To the interweb! I have to find this just so I can make sure that Dick In A Box got its just reward two years ago. What won?

Kyle says: (It did.) And Damon won. Apparently Silverman gave a somewhat heartbreaking speech...

Mark: Well good.

*dusts off hands triumphantly*

Hopefully Marshall's song about slapping Barney was also considered.


Kyle: There's a site called "The Envelope" which lists what people submitted and what was shortlisted. Not sure about Slapsgiving.

Kyle: What about Groban's medley? Thumbs up or down? And, either way, what do you wish had been included that wasn't?


Mark: I only caught bits and pieces of it, so I don't know what did or didn't get it. Pretty sure the Emmys did this exact same thing 10 years ago, but with Jason Alexander and a barbershop quartet doing the songs. But I've got to say, Groban busting out the Cartman voice for the South Park song was pretty gold.

Kyle: Three omissions: Charles in Charge, Doogie Howser M.D., Office (UK). I'd totally forgotten about the Alexander thing. I actually found it quite winning. I think they should do it every year.

Mark: It's one of those bits that would totally sink or swim depending on the performer. Good thing Groban has a sense of humour.

Mark: Checking that Envelope list now....Lost won the Emmy for sound-mixing. Slow clap.


Kyle: Phew. That ties them with Entourage and Masterpiece Theatre for '08. (sad face emoticon)

Mark: Well, I think we've run through everything we wanted to say. Kyle, as always, a pleasure.

Kyle: Stealing my line! Likewise...

3 comments:

Jesse said...

I think Damages was better than you guys thought it was. Of course, I don't watch Lost, so I'm not a huge homer for anything to do with Lost like everyone else. "Oh, look, it's still going on... they're on the island..."

I'm a little surprised neither of you complained about "Inner City Pressure" getting nominated over... mostly all of the other songs they did. And Most Beautiful Girl was sort of an obvious choice.

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