August 27, 2006

TiVo-blogging the Emmys.

The Emmy show gets off to a spectacularly bad beginning with a prerecorded comedy sketch. We see Conan O'Brien on a plane, asked by a flight attendant if he's nervous, and he says, "What could possibly go wrong?" There's an explosion that rocks the plane, and then there's a cut to a beach, with Conan crawling out of the surf and the plane, in the background, sinking into the ocean. The folks on the laugh track are yukking it up. That would have been pushing it, considering the recent foiled terrorist plot, but with a plane crash in the news today -- 49 people were killed -- it's just atrocious. Don't they have the sense to pull it? The message is, we've got this preprogrammed, and there's nobody here with a brain.

Well, they worked so hard on it. It's a play on "Lost," and Conan finds a hatch. Descending, he's in the set of "The Office." This leads into a "24" sequence. Am I forgiving them? No! He encounters "House," then he enters the "South Park" trapped-in-a-closet closet. And then on to a "Dateline" exposé about child predators.

Man, they put a lot of effort into this. They should have thought of the air crash problem when they planned it.

Okay, Althouse. Settle down. Your censoriousness will only drive readers away.

Conan paces back and forth on the stage, spitting out his monologue jokes, interspersed with shots of the audience, seemingly enjoying it. There's lots of actress flesh on view, and it jiggles as they applaud the jokes. Whatever happened to anorexia? Everyone looks plump tonight. Are the jokes any good? He hands out rules for acceptance speeches. Sample: "Anyone who makes a heavy-handed political comment tonight will be forced to make out with Al Gore in a Prius."

He does a parody of "Trouble" (from "The Music Man"). It's about how bad NBC ratings are. Why should we care? Get to the awards! It's like they're desperate to prove to us that they're putting on a show. And it's a show on NBC. And if this is your idea of a show, well, maybe you deserve your bad ratings. Go cry about it in private somewhere.

One of the first presenters is Ellen Pompeo, wearing a long dark blue dress that she's clutching together with her hand at the right buttock. Is she just holding it up so she won't trip? No, she's at the mike, and she's still keeping her grip! Must be a wardrobe malfunction. The award is Best Supporting Actress. Megan Mullally wins. Doesn't she always win? She's in dark blue too. Sort of a bathrobe-like thing. She incites us to be all emotional about the end of "Will and Grace." Sorry. I don't care.

In the next presenter set, we've got Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and she's wearing a white dress that has a sparkly black "H" superimposed around the breasts. The award is Best Supporting Actor. The clip of William Shatner makes me laugh out loud so I switch my loyalty t0 him from Michael Imperioli. Alan Alda wins, and he's the only one not there. That's so wrong.

Dragging things out, Conan has a comedy bit about how the show won't go over three hours. They've got Bob Newhart sealed in a tube with only three hours of air. He's about 80 years old, so threatening to kill him is a little disturbing. But it's nice to see Bob again, albeit entubed.

Martin and Charlie Sheen. They awkwardly read the cue cards. Best Supporting Actress again? Oh, now it's in a drama. Sorry, those previous awards were limited to comedies. Emmys, I see, follow the Golden Globe, not the Oscars, approach. Blythe Danner wins. She's all actressily effusive, like it's not memorized. And her dress is yards of teal-colored fabric that looks like it was draped together in a 1-day challenge by the losing contestant on "Project Runway."

Supporting Actor in a Comedy. Oh, I see the previous supporting actor award was for the drama actor. They are not doing this in an orderly way. I will catch on. As you can see, I'm not a regular Emmy viewer. The winner is Jeremy Piven.

Oh, Heidi Klum is giving an award. Variety, Music or Comedy Series. "The Daily Show" beats "The Colbert Report" (and Conan O'Brien).

Ooh, Simon Cowell, with the neck of his shirt all open revealing his furry chest. It's a tribute to Dick Clark and "Bandstand." You know, I watched that show, even as far back as the 1950s. I remember seeing "Little" Stevie Wonder on the show doing "Fingertips" on his 13th birthday. I remember when the kids who danced on the show were celebrities, written about in the teen magazines. It was once necessary when talking about Dick Clark to make a joke about how he looked forever young. But that's not the way it is anymore. He looks very old. He can't walk out, and, recovering from a stroke, he can't speak clearly, and his voice is very deep. He introduces Barry Manilow who comes out dancing -- and he has hip problems -- and demonstrates that the "Bandstand" theme song has lyrics.

Variety or Musical Performance is the next award. Manilow is one of the nominees. And he wins! Beating Stephen Colbert and David Letterman.

Guest Actor? Oh, come on. Too many categories. But they speed through this, and I'm glad to see Patricia Clarkson won for "Six Feet Under." I'm skipping some of these awards. I'd be crazy not to.

Conan does a routine on TiVo fastforwarding using TiVo fastforwarding, which I discover while fastforwarding on TiVo. So it's double fastforwarded. That was freaky.

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. Tony Shaloub. Doesn't he always win? I don't watch his show, so I was rooting for Steve Carell or Larry David, whose shows I do watch.

Candice Bergen is stuffed into a white shirt and teal-colored skirt and held together with a big bulky leather and metal belt. She says something about TV not being a vast wasteland, and it just draws more attention to her vast waist land. She's introducing a tribute to Aaron Spelling. He was, apparently, a veritable god.

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert present the Reality show award, and Colbert throws a tantrum about losing to Barry Manilow. "Singing and dancing is not performing!" "The Amazing Race" wins. I've watched that a couple times. Don't enjoy it. Travel travails. Ugh! I wanted "Project Runway" to win. Did you notice they spotlighted Andrae in the little clip. What happened to Andrae?

In Memoriam: Shelley Winters. Don Knotts. Richard Pryor.

I love the look on Annette Bening's face when Helen Mirren beats her for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Movie. [ADDED: It's the look of no reaction at all, except that in that frozen expanse, there is an expression.] And I love the way Mirren says, "My great triumph is not falling ass over tit as I came up those stairs." It's all British, so it's not rude, right? Ahhss.

Lead Actress in a Drama. Ah, here's a big category. Mariska Hargitay wins. Another show I don't watch.... so I have no opinion.

Actress in a Comedy. Okay. This is actually the only thing I care about. I want Lisa Kudrow to win for "The Comeback." Not that I think she will. Julia Louis-Dreyfus wins. She's all weepy, like she can barely get through it.

Actor in a Drama. Kiefer Sutherland. He's the opposite of Julia. He's all calm and mature. Dignified.

Bob Newhart is released from his tube to do the award for Best Comedy Series. He's bizarrely short standing next to Conan O'Brien. "The Office" wins. That makes sense.

Annette Bening does the Drama Series award. I only watch "The Sopranos," but I don't think it should win. It wasn't that good this year. "24" wins.

And that's it for a night at the Emmys!


Ruth Anne Adams said...
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Beth said...

I'm sorry to miss Helen Mirren, but thanks for watching so I don't have to.

Yay for homegirl Patricia Clarkson. I'm still not ever voting for her mama, but Jacquelyn raised herself a special daughter.

Ruth Anne Adams said...
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Adam said...

We got up to 160 comments or so at the ALOTT5MA liveblog, including our awards perennial -- the Necrology Applause-O-Meter.

Davos said...

Thanks. You saved me from having to watch it. At least I can still nod knowingly when someone talks about it.

Maxine Weiss said...

You misspelled "Blithe" Danner (in the 10th paragraph).

It's "Blythe" not "Blithe"

Or, was that a Freudian slip?

And, yes, I'm counting paragraphs and counting words too.

There are worse ways of passing the time.

Peace, Maxine

Christy said...

I'm sitting here truly debating whether I would sell my soul to look like Katherine Heigl did tonight.

ginabina said...

Okay...I actually enjoyed the Emmys. Watched it with my teenaged daughter.

Jaclyn Smith, who always was the prettiest "Angel," is still awfully beautiful. I know, I know...Hollywood, plastic surgeons, blah, blah. But she at least has had GOOD plastic surgery. She's SIXTY-ONE.

Our other favorite moment was one of the categories for "mini-series or musical." (Affect a snotty accent here): Bleak House, Elizabeth I, Girl in the Cafe, and...OMYGAWD, it's like High School Musical!

Anyway...nothing else to watch tonight, so we made the best of it.

(oh, and Mariska Hartigay, best actress from SVU, is really good on that show--although with her maternity leave she was barely on the show this year. She's Jayne Mansfield's daughter and was in the car when her mother died. useless trivia.)

Matt Drachenberg said...

Hugh Laurie got robbed. There is no more brilliant performer on American TV at this point, and he wasn't even nominated.

Anonymous said...

I second Elizabeth's thanks for watching the whole thing. It's very hard.

I really like Blythe Danner. "Actressily effusive, like it's not memorized," is exactly it. That's how actresses - really good ones - are.

I love Jeremy Piven. (Ann, you should reconsider "Entourage." ) I thought his speech was moving. And it was very short, which was great. It was humble.

I think what I liked about Danner's and Piven's acceptance speeches was that they both seemed like two talented hardworking actors who really love the craft.

The Drill SGT said...
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The Drill SGT said...


I agree. I've always liked Patricia Clarkson, but haven't seen enough of her stuff. I remember two great little lines.

As Sam Walker, in The Dead Pool with Clint Eastwood. After thugs try to kill Harry when they are on a date: "Harry, whatever they are paying you... it isn't enough"

as a Madam in, a Law and Order episode, "By Hooker, by Crook". After accepting a plea deal for 6-12 years, the DA says, you can be out in 6 with Good behavior. she replies, "Mr Stone, I'm always on my best behavior".

Clarkson does a great classy and sexy intelligent woman. I didn't know she was from NOLA, but I could tell it was the south. And yes, I could see her as a madam the House of the Rising Sun, or maybe a politician like her mother.

Ron said...

She's introducing a tribute to Aaron Spelling. He was, apparently, a veritable god.

Aaron Spelling was the John Jay of jiggle action dramaedies! Give the dead some props, or they'll make another Charlie's Angels movie in memoriam!

Ann Althouse said...

Did I watch the whole thing? A lot of TiVo-ing was involved. I started the post nearly an hour into it and finished when it did. And that was with plenty of pausing to write. I probably only watched an hour of it. I skipped all the commercials and many of the awards and speeches. I skipped the musical numbers and the tribute to Spelling. What I did watch wasn't even enjoyable. I can't remember anything really good except some of the opening sketch that I bitched about, the look on Annette Bening's face, and Helen Mirren saying "tit." And Stephen Colbert complaining about Barry Manilow. And the Dick Clark clips were good. And Bob Newhart is decent. In Memoriam is always mildly compelling. That's what? 25 minutes at most. It's crazy to watch the awards show. You could read the list of awards in less that 1 minute.

Anonymous said...

Watching an entire awards show is an an incredibly difficult undertaking. There was, however, a time when I was able to do it. It was a long time ago. The 80s. But I am no longer in that kind of shape.

There was a time when all Americans were in that kind of shape. There was a time when there were three networks and PBS, and remote controls were exotic devices that rich (but gauche) people had. Cable was a dream of mad scientists.

Does anyone remember those "Night of 100 Stars," shows? Good God! What the hell were those things?

Beth said...

Drill Sgt., I'd forgotten her in Dead Pool, so thanks for that reminder. I can hear that wonderful voice as I read the line. I IMDB'd her and see that that's her first movie, and yes, it was shot here in New Orleans. It's one of a select few I actually like and consider as having used the city well as a setting. We're very proud of Patricia down here.

Brent said...

Johnny Nucleo,

Does anyone remember those "Night of 100 Stars," shows?

Yes. How about "Battle of the Network Stars"? Robert Conrad, Farrah Fawcett . . .

Brendan said...

Jeremy Piven showed up with his mom, and Sean Hayes showed up with his niece. They should have dropped the beards and shown up with each other.

Wickedpinto said...

Jeremy piven is, I THINK, John Cusaks best friend.

Also Jeremy ariving with his mother, is significant, it isn't selfish, it's acknowledgement. I'm not an actor so I could never take my mother to the emmy's or oscars, but I was a Marine, and I took my mother to my first Marine Corps Ball. She's the only woman in my life who will always be a part of my life, and if any woman can stay with me long enough for me to finish my life, my mother has been there longer. Mothers deserve that.

Also, What about Mariska? She shunned the hyper athletic denial of motherhood that is so common in hollywood, and she said that she is a mother, and she will look like a mother, and she did, and she is still Jane Mansfields daughter, and she is still outright flogging gorgeous.

Wickedpinto said...

Also helen miren said "titties" not tit.

ally mcbeal messed up the phrase, and ferguson kinda called her on it in a mild way.

Jim Treacher said...

According to my Tivo, she said "ass over tit."

Jim Treacher said...

"My great triumph was not falling ass over tit as I came up those stairs." You must have heard "tit as" as "titties."

Wickedpinto said...

I don't have tivo, and I didn't record it, but I assure you I know when I hear titties.

Ask someone who watches with a fresh and uninfluenced mind.

It was "ass over titties."

I guarantee.

Jim Treacher said...

You're right, my mind is influenced by being able to hear.

Dave said...

"The Emmy show gets off to a spectacularly bad beginning with a prerecorded comedy sketch."

Would love to understand why anyone watches this trite shit.

MadisonMan said...

dave: for the same reason people read about watching it.

Christy said...

I watch to check out the dresses. Besides, whenever else does one manage to fit in one's embroidery into the day's schedule?

Tibore said...

Poor Bob Newhart. Think anyone's let him out yet?

Sloanasaurus said...

24 deserved to win. There just isn't anything else on TV right now taht comes close.

Anonymous said...

Given 12+ hours to react, you'd think they could have worked a "Project Wrong Runway" parody into the intro.

VW: purfbity. A teeny, tiny little betrayal.

The Drill SGT said...

Elizabeth said...
Drill Sgt., I'd forgotten her in Dead Pool,... and yes, it was shot here in New Orleans. It's one of a select few I actually like and consider as having used the city well as a setting.

Sorry Liz, The Dead Pool like all of Eastwood's "Dirty Harry" stuff was shot in the "City". As in San Francisco. Trust me. Bridges, China town, Pyramid, cable cars, pier area. Hills! Not many 2 hundred foot hills with cable car tracks in NOLA are there?

Susan said...

Elizabeth and Drill SGT,

Since you like Patricia Clarkson, if you haven't seen The Station Agent or Pieces of April, I highly recommend them. Pieces of April is especially good for renting around Thanksgiving.

Ann Althouse said...

Paul: I bet they thought the hatch to ceiling vent transition was just too wonderful to lose.

Beth said...

Sgt., you're right. I was thinking of Tightrope, not nearly so good a Clint movie, but it did some good things with New Orleans locale (it was shot here; check IMDB). There's the usual cheesy Mardi Gras scenes, but there's also excellent neighborhood settings, and a scary chase in a Mardi Gras warehouse. Dead Pool is a better movie.

Susan, I haven't seen Pieces of April yet. I'll put it on my Netflix list, thanks.