The 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards
It was trumpeted as “television’s brightest and most exciting night,” and though it was hardly that, let’s give the 63rd Emmys this: It had the right high-energy, big-time-talent host in Jane Lynch (Glee), enough comedy packages (including a delicious bit from Ricky Gervais on why, in the interest of good taste, he wasn’t invited) and musical numbers to give the evening some pace and, best of all, a spate of wins in major categories (including Outstanding writer, director, actress Maggie Smith and Movie or Miniseries) for “Downtown Abbey” that almost seemed to make PBS relevant again for a broad audience.
If you liked the predictable, there was The Daily Show with Jon Stewart winning the Outstanding Music, Variety or Comedy series for the ninth year in a row, though we could surely have done without the announcer bringing Stewart (and other winners) to the stage with some spectacularly lame material (“Jon would like to thank the economy for tanking during sweeps”). If you liked mawkish, there was Charlie Sheen, with the blank look of a man who appeared to be not quite sure why he invited to the party, serving a kind of Hollywood penance by wishing the cast of 2 and a Half Men well for the coming season. If you liked genuine, but altogether happy, surprises, there was finally Lead Actor recognition for Kyle Chandler for Friday Night Nights and Supporting Actor recognition for Peter Dinklage for Game of Thrones.
Julianne Margulies finally got her due for The Good Wife, but alas, Hugh Laurie was again, for the seventh time, overlooked for House, and Steve Carell, leaving The Office, was again snubbed and got no farewell gift from the Academy. Mad Men won the Outstanding Drama prize for the fourth consecutive year, but Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss, both pre-show favorites, were losers again. In the reality arena, American Idol, only the most successful program, of that genre in the medium’s history, was again shafted and Amazing Race won again. Martin Scorsese got the director’s prize for the pilot episode of Boardwalk Empire (expected—he is Martin Scorsese, after all--but not especially deserved), and Kate Winslet and Guy Pearce won Lead and Supporting Emmys for Mildred Pierce, with the announcer quipping that Guy Pearce “was no relation to Mildred Pierce.” Hilarious, no?Continued on the next page