Heather Watches The 2017 Oscars

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It’s finally Oscar time – the Super Bowl for movie lovers. I ended my Oscar Death Race strong, binging 10 movies between Friday night and the Oscar kickoff show. This was a diverse year for movies, not only in the greatly improved ethnic diversity in the acting categories (#Oscarslesswhite) but also in the types of movies that were nominated. The Best Picture nominees cross many genres, more that they have done in recent years. There was also diversity in the acting categories in that many of the performances recognized in these categories were from movies that were not nominated for many other categories; this is especially true in the Best Actress category. This also made the Oscar Death Race a little harder this year, because it increased the number of movies that I needed to watch. I made it through a whopping 32 movies, which ain’t too shabby. If I had another week or so, I might have been able to finish. The quest continues.

As usual, I kept a running diary of my thoughts while watching the Oscar ceremony. And, as usual, I skipped the red carpet coverage because that’s not my jam; I don’t care much what people are wearing and my tolerance for pointless small talk is pretty low. I’m here to see who takes home the hardware. Let’s do this!

8:29 pm – Why does this nonsense start so late? This is one of the few times that I wish that I lived on the West Coast. It’s going to be a long night.

8:30 – Justin Timberlake kicks things off with a performance of “Can’t Stop This Feeling,” his nominated song from Trolls.

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8:32 – Man, people in Hollywood really love grooving to JT.

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8:33 – He couldn’t have thrown the rest of *NSYNC a bone and have him back him up?

8:34 – JT touched Ryan Gosling as he danced through the audience, so that was a mini-Mickey Mouse Club reunion for some of y’all.

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8:35 – Not sure what was up with JT throwing that microphone across the stage. That was weird.

8:36 – LOL – shots fired at Mel Gibson.

8:37 – I’m guessing that this is leading up to a Matt Damon joke.

8:37 – Yup.

8:38 – “He went on to make a Chinese ponytail movie instead.”

8:38 – Kimmel’s not wrong – Trump makes the Oscars look less racist.

8:39 – “Black people saved NASA and white people saved jazz. That’s what I call progress.”

8:40 – That “happy ending” joke about Moonlight didn’t land.

8:41 – “We don’t discriminate in Hollywood over where you come from. We discriminate based on age and weight.”

8:43 – “Meryl Streep has phoned it in for more than 50 films over the course of her lackluster career.”

8:44 – She gets an “undeserved” standing ovation.

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8:45 – “Nice dress. Is that an Ivanka?”

8:46: “It’s what most parents are still doing….supporting actors”

8:47 – Alicia Vikander here to present Best Supporting Actor. I have this going to Mahershala Ali, but this is a strong category overall.

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8:48 – I would have also liked to see little Sunny Pawar get recognized for Lion. That kid is incredible in that movie.

8:50 – 1/1 – Congrats to Mahershala Ali for a stunning performance in Moonlight. I am tremendously happy for him. And he’s the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar.

Mahershala Ali accepts the award for best actor in a supporting role for "Moonlight" at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

8:51 – Thanking teachers is always a good move

8:52 – What a week for him– an Oscar and a new daughter in four days.

8:55 – Kimmel throws out any reporters. “We don’t like fake news. We like fake tans”

8:56 – Kate McKinnon and Jason Bateman here to present Best Makeup and Hairstyling.

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8:56 – Sweet baby Jesus – Suicide Squad is now an Oscar winner. That just doesn’t seem right. I’m down to 1 out of 2.

8:59 – They at least dedicate the award to all the immigrants.

9:00 – McKinnon and Bateman back to present Best Costume Design. I went La La Land on this.

9:01 – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them wins instead. Oh well 1/3. Let’s hope this isn’t the beginning of a La La Land backlash or my predictions are for crap.

9:07 – “Doctor Strange was named Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.”

9:07 – The ladies of Hidden Figures (Janelle Monae, Taraji P. Henson, and Octavia Spencer) are here to present Best Documentary Feature.

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9:09 – They bring out the real Katherine Johnson (portrayed by Henson in the film). She gets a standing ovation.

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9:10 – Fun fact – the Documentary category has the greatest diversity behind the camera. 4/5 directors in this category are people of color.

9:11 – A win for OJ: Made in America. I’m back on track. 2/4 This is an incredible documentary; well worth the time investment.

9:12 – He dedicates the award to Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman, as well as victims of police brutality.

9:13 – Kimmel: “OJ, you get an extra slice of bologna on your sandwich tonight.” The crowd doesn’t know how to react.

9:14 – Dwayne Johnson is here. And he’s singing! Well, briefly.

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9:15 – He’s here to introduce “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana. Prologue by Lin-Manuel Miranda, performance by Auli’I Cravalho.

9:17 – I’m pretty sure one of the performers just knocked her in the head with the fabric. Get it together backup performers. She handled it like a pro though.

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9:18 – She did a very nice job.

9:19 – Did I just hear that right? These commercials feature short films based on a Walmart receipt? Glad it isn’t my receipt – that short film would be “This girl buys too much ice cream and beer.”

9:22 – The people handing out awards are actually student Oscar winners.

9:23 – “A rare thing these days – a president that believes in arts and sciences.” Here’s Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs. This is her #Oscarslesswhite speech.

9:25 – Red Vines and Junior Mints are raining down from the sky. Those aren’t even good candies!

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9:26 – Chris Evans and Sophia Boutella here to present Best Sound Editing. I picked Hacksaw Ridge since War movies tend to win these awards.

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9:27 – A win for Arrival. Good for them, bad for me. 2/5

9:29 – Evans and Boutella return to present Best Sound Mixing. I boycotted this category because I didn’t want to have to watch Rouge One. That’s how strongly I feel about anything Star Wars related.

9:30 – Damn. Hacksaw Ridge won this one instead. I was right in theory, just picked the wrong category.

9:31 – Kevin O’Connell, one of the winners, just ended the longest Oscar-losing streak. This is his first win after being nominated 20 times. Good for him. That’s a nice story.

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9:36 – “The story of a conscientious objector who still worked with Mel Gibson.”

9:36 – Vince Vaughn here to talk about the lifetime achievement awards.

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9:36 – Jackie Chan was a winner – and has a stuffed panda sitting next to him in the box for some reason. (More on the panda)

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9:38 – Other lifetime award winners were Anne Coates, Lynn Stalmaster, and Frederick Wiseman

9:40 – Mark Rylance is here to present Best Actress in a Supporting Role. He’s wearing a sweet hat.

Mark Rylance, right, presents Viola Davis with the award for best actress in a supporting role for "Fences" at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

9:42 – Obviously Viola Davis is going to win but I really wish Michelle Williams could also get an award. That scene they showed still wrecks me.

9:44 – That would have been anarchy if she didn’t win. Congrats to Viola Davis! She’s about to give a great speech. I can feel it. 3/6

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9:46 – As usual, she’s flawless. And she just became the first black actor to win and Oscar, Emmy and Tony for acting. How do we get this woman a Grammy?

9:46 – Denzel gets an “O Captain, my captain.”

9:47 – True story – if I ever win an award, I’m going to see if I can get Viola Davis to give the speech for me.

9:47 – Did they just play “The Heat is On” as she walked off the stage? That was a peculiar choice.

9:54 – Whoa – they are surprising a tour bus group by bringing them into the Oscars. This could go either way.

9:55 – The Oscars apparently have a theme (like the prom?) so Charlize Theron talks about her inspiration Shirley MacLaine.

9:55 – Now the two of them are here to present Best Foreign Film. I had to punt this category since too many of them weren’t easily available for me to see.

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9:56 – Ha! Shirley MacLaine makes a joke about her belief in reincarnation. That’s an oldie but a goodie.

9:58 – The Salesman win, which I really wanted to see. I enjoyed his film A Separation a lot.

9:58 – The director, Asghar Farhadi,  did not attend, a protest of Trump’s Muslim Ban. He sent a statement instead, which was important and also gracious. It was read by Anousheh Ansari, the first Iranian to go in to space.

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10:00 – Dev Patel presents “The Empty Chair” from Jim: The James Foley Story, performed by Sting.

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10:01 – I’m relatively meh on Sting overall but this is a beautiful song. Still have to watch the documentary that it’s from.

10:07 – Hailee Steinfeld and Gael García Bernal are here to present Best Animated Short. I didn’t see these either. Sacrifices had to be made, but I’m guessing Piper wins since that had some buzz.

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10:09 – I’m a good guesser.

10:10 – Steinfeld and Bernal are back to present Best Animated Film. I didn’t see all of these either, but I really have to recommend Kudo and the Two Strings. That was really great. Moana was good too, but doesn’t need the bump.

10:11 – Zootopia takes home the gold. I’ll have to watch it now. I’ve heard good things.

10:13 – Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson present Best Production Design. I went La La Land on this one too; that was my general fallback position on the technical awards.

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10:14 – Thank goodness! I was getting worried that Suicide Squad had more Oscars than La La Land. 4/7

10:16 – Here comes the tourists!

10:17 – The audience yelled Merhershala on the count of three.

10:17 – These tourists seem pretty nonplussed about all this.

10:18 – I love that Ryan Gosling is shaking everyone’s hand.

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10:19 – This tourist Gary is stealing the show. He’s kissing everyone’s hand.

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10:20 – I would believe that Denzel has the power to marry people.

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10:20 – Jennifer Aniston gives her sunglasses as a wedding present.

10:20 “This is not a vagrant, this is Academy Award nominated actor Casey Affleck.”

10:20 – “Ignore the jerk behind him”

10:22 – That segment was fine, but it went on too long. Should have just been Gary and his fiancée (maybe now wife?) Vicki.

10:28 – A return from commercial break with…a tribute to the movies. Now with more subtitles, which Middle America just loves.

10:29 – Felicity Jones and Riz Ahmed are here to present Best Visual Effects. I picked The Jungle Book. But this is a good time to put in another plug for Kubo and the Two Strings.

10:31 – Whoo-who! Jungle Book wins! 5/8

10:33 – Seth Rogen was inspired by Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future. I bet I can predict what’s about to happen next.

10:33 – Yup – here’s Rogen and Fox, who arrive in a DeLorean (that last part is a surprise).

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10:35 – Rogen even has future shoes.

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10:35 – “All I have to do is sing the Schuyler Sister and I’ll have completed my bucket list.”

10:35 – Lin-Manuel Miranda is freaking delighted by this bit, but in fairness he’s delighted by everything.

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10:35 – Fox and Rogen are here to present Best Film Editing. Assume I went La La Land.

10:37 – Nope – Hacksaw Ridge wins. That was my least favorite of all the Best Picture nominees. I’m not a war movie girl. I didn’t like Saving Private Ryan, which is blasphemy to a lot of people. 5/9

10:38 – Yay! It’s my pal Sunny Pawar.

10:39 – They are Lion King-ing this kid and more candy falls from the sky.

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10:39 – Sunny requested Lemonheads and Mike & Ikes which is even more of a reason to like this kid. #teammikeandike

10:43 – Salma Heyek and David Oyelowo here to present Best Documentary Short. I have never seen these. They are tough to find. I’ve heard of White Helmets so that would be my guess.

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10:44 – I should stop wasting time actually watching these movies and just guess. White Helmets for the win.

10:45 – This is a big night for people reading statements from others.

10:46 – That was a nice statement, but that guy also just tricked everyone into giving him a standing ovation.

10:47 – Hayek and Oyelowo are back to present Best Live Action Short. I had to skip these too this year, which is too bad as I really enjoy them. Just ran out of time.

10:47 – Sing wins. I hadn’t heard much about these nominees, but will have to check it out. And no, it’s not the animated film.

10:49 – Kimmel is worried that Trump hasn’t tweeted about the Oscars, so he sends Donald tweets.

10:50 – John Cho and Leslie Mann are here to talk about the sci-tech awards, which already happened (and which they hosted).

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10:56 – Ummm….do I want to know why Jack the Ripper is trending on Twitter?

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10:56 – Here’s Javier Bardem talking about his inspiration Meryl Streep.

10:57 – And what do you know – here are Bardem and Streep to present Best Cinematography. Y’all know what I picked. And this category is the damn reason I had to watch Silence, which was fine but I would rather watched at home.

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10:59 – Whew – La La Land. We’re back in business. 6/10

11:01 – Kimmel sends his sympathies for what happened in Sweden (nothing happened in Sweden).

11:01 – Oscar Mean Tweets. Not my favorite bit. Though that dog did look like Tilda Swinton.

11:02 – And I’m totally willing to believe that Miles Teller requests “Gangnam Style” at weddings.

11:03 – Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone here to, I don’t know, look gorgeous?

Ryan Gosling, left, and Emma Stone introduce a performance at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

11:03 – Nah – they are introducing songs from La La Land, which john Legend is performing.

11:05 – The set design is great.

11:12 – Jimmy Kimmel chats with Lin-Manuel Miranda in the audience.

11:12 – Matt Damon trips Kimmel as he walks down the aisle.

11:13 – Samuel L. Jackson here to present Best Original Score.

11:13 – Why is the camera shot so far away? A close-up would make more sense here, not a wide shot. Though Jackson’s jacket is pretty cool.

11:15 – The Oscar goes to La La Land. Because if your movie is a musical and you can’t win this, maybe rethink your career choices.7/11

11:16 – Scarlett Johansson is here to present the award for Best Original Song.

Scarlett Johansson arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

(Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

11:17 – And the winner is “City of Stars” from La La Land. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s EGOT will have to wait. 7/12

11:18 – “This is dedicated to all the kids who sing in the rain and all the moms who let them.”

11:19 – Jennifer Aniston pulls the downer slot and introduces the “In Memoriam” segment.

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11:20 – Sara Bareilles performs “Both Sides Now” by Joni Mitchell.

11:21 – So many people died in 2016 that this may take forever. *Update – they messed this up too, using the photo of a woman who is still alive in the montage. These Oscars are a hot mess.*

11:24 – Carrie Fisher pulls the power position of being the final person, upstaging her mom. Something kind of poetic about that, given their relationship.

11:27 – Kimmel pokes fun of the inspiration theme by talking about Matt Damon in We Bought a Zoo.

11:29 – “Two-time Academy Award winner Ben Affleck and guest” are here to present Best Original Screenplay.

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11:29 – Matt Damon is being played off as he is presenting.

11:30 – I picked The Lobster since this award tends to recognize the stuff that is too weird to win in other categories. I don’t think it will win, but I like the idea of that.

11:31 – Nope. Manchester By the Sea wins. I’m not counting this against me though since I was making picks based on my preferences. Plus no one cares how many I got right other than me.

11:33 – Amy Adams is here to present Best Adapted Screenplay. She should have been nominated for Arrival.

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11:33 – Not for nothing, this ceremony was supposed to end three minutes ago.

11:34 – Hooray! A win for Moonlight!!!!! GO SEE THIS MOVIE! It was so good I couldn’t find the words to review it.

11:36 – Now cookies and doughnuts have rained down on the crowd. “It’s like a horror movie – gluten is literally falling from the sky.”

11:37 – No one gets more excited for food at these ceremonies than Taraji P. Henson. She has the best reactions.

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11:38 – If I ever host the Oscars, everyone is getting In-N-Out burgers (animal style) and Roscoe’s chicken and waffles.

11:41 – Halle Berry is here to present Best Director. This will be telling. If Damien Chazelle doesn’t win, that could be trouble for La La Land.

Halle Berry presents the award for best director at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

11:43 – And Chazelle comes up with the win. This dude is 32 freaking years old. I’ve done nothing with my life.

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11:47 – Brie Larson will present the award for Best Actor. I’m still not sure how this one is going to shake out. I think it’s between Casey Affleck and Denzel Washington.

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11:49 – They chose Ryan Gosling “mansplaining” jazz to Emma Stone as his clip? That’s like the worst scene in the film.

11:51 – Casey Affleck pulls it off. His performance is tremendous – he does so much in that film, so quietly. But the allegations made against him shouldn’t fade away because of this.

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11:54 – Leonardo DiCaprio presents the award for Best Actress.

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11:54 – I’m almost rooting for Natalie Portman to win just because she isn’t there and that would speed this whole thing up.

11:55 – Elle is a film that I still don’t know what I think about it. Isabelle Huppert was compelling to watch, but I think the fact that entire film is in French hurts her chances.

11:57 – Emma Stone wins for La La Land. She made that movie and gave the performance of her career, so this is worthy.

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12:02 – Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway are here to present the award for Best Picture. This is a reminder that I still haven’t seen Bonnie and Clyde.

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12:08 – La La Land finishes strong and takes home Best Picture. But you should still see Moonlight.

12:11 – Hold up. What is happening? Did Moonlight really win? Did Warren Beatty f*ck this up? Are they calling an audible? Did someone hear about my fantasy ballot?

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12:11 – OMG – they gave them the wrong envelope with the Best Actress winner instead. La La Land didn’t win.

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12:12 – OMG – Moonlight did actually win?

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12:13 – This is real life. Moonlight won! Hooray!

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12:13 – This is what happens when they don’t do the bit where they thank the accountants.

12:13 – But how completely heartbreaking for the La La Land folks. They were gracious but that is just devastating. And how terrible for Moonlight that their big moment is marred by this awkwardness. And Warren Beatty was set up to fail. Just a disaster for everyone involved.

12:13 – Did Gary have something to do with all this?

12:14 – Well, I guess that’s why you watch until the end. People who turned off the TV after the announcement are going to be so confused tomorrow morning.

This puts things in terms that I am familiar with:

What a wild finish! People say that the Oscars are boring, but that was a straight up bananas ending. At least Steve Harvey is off the hook.

Best Talk Show Guests

If you are a regular reader of the blog, and a big thank you if you are, you know that I am a sucker for late night talk shows. Though I only watch Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and The Daily Show regularly, I certainly dabble in the comedy stylings of Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert, with the occasional Craig Ferguson thrown in when he does something particularly interesting. You couldn’t pay me to watch Jay Leno.

While the hosts really make or break a talk show in the long run, the guests can also make a huge difference in how entertaining an individual episode is. As I noted in an earlier post, one of the mistakes that I think Jimmy Fallon made in the beginning of his run was having Robert DeNiro be his first guest. Amazing actor, but he isn’t a talker and poor Fallon had to work much harder to get DeNiro to give more than short answers to questions. He’d be a challenging guest for a seasoned host, but it was painful to watch Fallon struggle so much on his first night out.

Now, I don’t think DeNiro was being difficult on purpose; his personality is just not a great fit for the format. One thing you learn from talk shows is that some actors are so good at what they do because they personally are kind of a blank canvas. They can easily become someone else when handed a script, but aren’t all that interesting when they have to be themselves. Other guests seem disinterested in being there and it is clear that their sole purpose is to promote whatever it is that they are currently working on or a movie that is about to be released. These guests aren’t a lot of fun either. Their lack of enthusiasm is palpable and doesn’t make for very fun television.

Unfortunately, some guests have too much personality or are just a little weird, which becomes all too apparent when they have a seat on the couch. The idea that you have of them is altered, as the curtain is pulled back a little to reveal that under the image that has been carefully cultivated by a publicist, there is a real odd ball. That’s always a disappointment for me; I know that actors are real people and that they have a whole range of personalities, but when you are used to thinking of them one way it can be jarring to see them behave in a way that is so counter to your conception of them. This happened to me recently with Madeline Stowe’s appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. She plays such an evil ice queen on Revenge that I was a little surprised by how different she seemed when chatting with Jimmy. I guarantee that Victoria Grayson never worries about flashing people (and please note that she repeated it to make sure Jimmy heard her).

 

I’ve had similar reactions when I see Julie Bowen being interviewed:

 

To quote the great philosopher Kanye, “that sh*t cray.”

I’m also less impressed with guests when I see them on multiple shows and they basically tell the exact same anecdote every time. That screams over-coaching to me; though I suppose that it is a reasonable expectation that not a lot of people watch multiple talk shows, so the number of people who will notice the repetition is minimal. But I do notice.

A good guest is relaxed and funny and doesn’t try to take over the show. They may have a prepared anecdote or two, but they are able to deliver them in such a way that they don’t sound prepared. They are able to promote their current project without giving hitting you over the head; their appearance shouldn’t feel like an infomercial. A great guest is game for anything and is willing to participate in comedy bits or games with the host. It always disappoints me when the “A” guests go on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and don’t play a game or otherwise participate. That takes then down a notch in my estimation. The more ridiculous that they are willing to be the better; the all-time great late night guests are game for just about anything.

I was reminded this week what a difference a great guest can make on a late night talk show when Jimmy Fallon had on Tom Hanks, who is pretty much the perfect guest. He’s likable, a great story teller, gives you the soft sell on his projects (though I’ve also seen him appear on shows when he has absolutely nothing to promote), and is willing to be goofy and go with the flow.

Need proof? Here is Hanks participating in a hilariously weird comedy bit – a slam poem about the 90s television show Full House:

 

He then sat down with Jimmy and told a very funny and solid story about Bruce Springsteen:

 

He and Jimmy have great chemistry and both of his segments are fun and entertaining. I was initially on the fence about seeing Cloud Atlas – I worry that it is this year’s The Tree of Life – but I’m now more open to giving the movie a chance. That’s what a good segment is capable of.

It isn’t just Fallon where Tom Hanks shines. He has always been fantastic every time that he has shown up on Conan O’Brien’s various shows. In fact, it was Hanks that helped coin the nickname “Coco” for Conan during Hanks’ first appearance on the short lived The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.  Doesn’t matter if that was a prepared bit or not – Hanks sold the heck out of it and the nickname totally stuck. The website for Conan’s new show on TBS is even www.teamcoco.com. That is the power of Hanks. He’s a good sport, all around nice guy (or an even better actor than we thought) and pretty much the perfect talk show guest. And I say all of this while not being the hugest Hanks fan; I think he’s a great actor, but he’s not someone that I follow closely or whose presence in a movie would be enough to make me go to the theater.

Of course, Tom Hanks isn’t the only person who makes a great guest – Alec Baldwin also comes to mind – but if the powers that be ever gave me a talk show (and I assume this is in the works somewhere), the first person that I’d try to book is Hanks.  He helps make a good host look great and would definitely make my job a lot easier. He would almost make me consider tuning in to Jay Leno. Almost.

2012 Primetime Emmys

I watched the Emmys so you didn’t have to.

Now normally I wouldn’t be watching the Emmys at all because I generally think they are pretty boring. I find most award shows boring, except for the Academy Awards. And I actually am not particularly bowled over by the Oscars either, but I’m far more invested in the outcome than any other ceremony.

Emmy voters tend to be fairly conservative in their votes; you see a lot of repeat winners a lot of years and I really don’t think that they get it right a lot of the time. The fact that The Wire (sing it with me – THE GREATEST SHOW ON TELEVISION) never received an Emmy in recognition of the outstanding acting is an embarrassment. So I take the results with a grain of salt.

But for you, dear readers, I was willing to give up my Sunday evening and sit through this foolishness. Because what kind of pop culture blogger would I be if I didn’t write something about the Emmys? Probably a more well-rested one, that’s for sure. But I’m willing to take one for the team and while I wasn’t at all impressed with the Emmys, there were a few moments that I was glad I did get to see live.

I kept a running diary of my thoughts as I was watching the show; now that I’m another year older my memory just isn’t what it used to be and I didn’t want to deprive you of my witty observations and insights. That just wouldn’t be fair to you. So without further ado, Heather’s thoughts on the 2012 Primetime Emmy Awards.

Red Carpet – didn’t watch it. I got home too late from football to catch it and it’s really just not up my alley.

Jimmy Kimmel’s Cold Open – I like Jimmy Kimmel a lot and I generally think he was a good choice to host, but this cold open didn’t do anything for me. The entire premise was just too silly, plus it forced me to put up with Zooey Deschanel, who is like nails on a chalkboard to me. Props to Lena Dunham for continuing to be awesome and get naked for the bit – something that those of us who watch Girls know she is willing to do – but I thought everyone involved deserved better.

I much preferred this opening from when Jimmy Fallon hosted a few years ago. This also cemented my total infatuation with Jon Hamm – he can sing on top of everything else? Swoon.

Opening monologue – generally pretty tepid. Not looking for Ricky Gervais’ scorched Earth technique that he employs at the Golden Globes, but this is doing Kimmel a disservice. He’s a funny guy. And it took approximately one minute for the obligatory Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo reference.

Supporting Actor in a Comedy

Nominees: Ed O’Neill (Modern Family), Jeese Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family), Ty Burrell (Modern Family), Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family), Bill Hader (Saturday Night Live) and Max Greenfield (New Girl)

Winner: Eric Stonestreet

I love seeing Amy Poehler and Louis CK together, so I am glad that they paired them for presenting. They were so cute on Parks and Recreation and both are awesome. Poehler looks fantastic.

This seems like a good time to say that I am kind of over Modern Family. It’s still a reasonably funny show, but it has not been nearly as good as everyone thinks since the first season. They have made Cam into a cartoon character and the story telling has, in my opinion, gotten very lazy. I’m not saying that it is bad, but it doesn’t deserve all the Emmy nominations. 4 actors from the same show in the same category is kind of ridiculous. I don’t really love any of these nominations.

Best Writing in a Comedy Series

Nominees: Louie, Girls, Parks and Recreation (2 episodes) and Community

Winner: Louis C.K, Louie

This is a very tough category, but I agree with Louis CK for the win. He’s a one man show; he does everything and deserves the recognition. But I would have been happy with any of these shows to win. The episode of Community that was nominated was brilliant. They really are all great. Lena Dunham received a lot of nominations, but I don’t think she’s actually going to win anything. I’m not a fan of these video vignettes of the nominees; I hope they aren’t going to use them all night. And I hope this is the end of all the Zooey I’ll have to endure for the evening. “Siri, what’s an Emmy?” Blech.

Supporting Actress in a Comedy

Nominees: Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory), Merritt Wever (Nurse Jackie), Julie Bowen (Modern Family), Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live), Sofia Vergara (Modern Family), Kathryn Joosten (Desperate Housewives)

Winner – Julie Bowen

I wasn’t particularly in love with these nominations either. I think they overlooked a number of performances that were much better than some of these. Merritt Wever looks terrible; her hair is an absolute mess. She should have paid someone to do it for her and if she did pay someone she should get her money back. I thought Kristen Wiig might have a shot here, but I should have known that no one stops the Modern Family steamroller. I am convinced that Julie Bowen is nuts; I have never seen an interview with her where I didn’t think that and this acceptance speech is doing nothing to disprove that. Though it is making me more impressed with the writers on Modern Family.

Guest Actor and Actress awards in Comedy

I’m with Matthew Perry – it’s kind of silly to go over the nominees for awards that were already given. And while no one can doubt my love as Jimmy Fallon, Jon Hamm was robbed in the guest Emmy category. He seriously killed in that live episode of 30 Rock. KILLED IT.

OK. I have to give it to them – that Modern Family vignette about the actress playing Lily being a monster was pretty darn funny. I’ll give credit where credit is due.

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Nominees: Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm), Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men), Louis C.K. (Louie), Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory), Don Cheadle (House of Lies), Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)

Winner: Jon Cryer

It’s nice to see Mindy Kaling and Melissa McCarthy. Both are very funny ladies. But ugh – there is more to Melissa McCarthy than just rehashing her character from Bridesmaids. It’s getting old.

WHAT IS HAPPENING?!?!? Jon Cryer wins for Two and a Half Men? This is when the Emmys lost all credibility. That show is a steaming pile of poo. I’ve got no beef with Cryer, but he has business winning. I would have loved to see Louis C.K., but I would have been OK with Baldwin, who is always solid, or Larry David, who does what he does so well. Parsons is very good on BBT, but Sheldon is getting a little old. But Jon Cryer? Seriously? This will only encourage Chuck Lorre and no one wants that.

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Nominees: Zooey Deschanel (New Girl), Lena Dunham (Girls), Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie), Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation), Tina Fey (30 Rock), Julia Louis-Drefus (Veep), Melissa McCarthy (Mike and Molly)

I did enjoy Kimmel referring to presenters as “award giver outers.” That just sounded funny

Colbert! If I wasn’t already excited about these nominees, having Stephen Colbert present would have done the trick. He’s fantastic. I’m glad Julia Louis-Dreyfus won. Veep is great and I just love her from her Seinfeld days. A really funny lady. And that bit with Amy Poehler was really good.

Reality TV…..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Winner – Outstanding Reality Competition Program: Amazing Race

Winner – Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program: Tom Bergeron

Random thoughts: The Beek at the Emmys? I never thought I would see the day that James Van der Beek was a presenter! And I appreciated them announcing the football score instead of stupid award show patter.

The Amazing Race almost always wins this. I have no idea why. It’s OK, but I wouldn’t consider it the juggernaut that it has become.

This The Big Bang Theory skit is funny. Sheldon watching the Emmys just for the accountants is pretty accurate. CPA! CPA!

 

I didn’t think Betty White was allowed to lose anything. Guess I was wrong. As long as Seacrest didn’t win I was happy. I dislike him intensely for no legitimate reason. Though he did help unleash the Kardashians on America, so I guess that is a reason.

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Nominees: Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad), Giancarlo Espositio (Breaking Bad), Brendan Coyle (Downton Abbey), Jim Carter (Downton Abbey), Jared Harris (Mad Men), Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)

Winner: Aaron Paul

Holy Crap! Aaron Paul, bitches! I am so happy for him. He’s freaking amazing. Magnets! This was a tough category. I wouldn’t have been at all surprised if Giancarlo Espositio or Peter Dinklage won. In fact, this category has an embarrassment of riches. There were some fantastic performances last year.

This prank with Tracy Morgan doesn’t exactly work, but is moderately amusing. When channeled correctly, Morgan is pretty funny; when left to his own devices, he tends to get in trouble.

Presenters Martha Plimpton and Jeremy Davies may have the craziest hair combo of the night.

I generally hate the In Memorium segment, so Jimmy Kimmel paying tribute to himself, with Josh Groban singing “Beautiful” by One Direction was a nice change of pace.

Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Nominees: Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire), Michael C. Hall (Dexter), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey), Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Damian Lewis (Homeland)

Winner: Damian Lewis

How the f&$k does Jon Hamm not have an Emmy? This is crap! I’m outraged.

Lead Actress in a Drama

Nominees: Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife), Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey). Elizabeth Moss (Mad Men), Kathy Bates (Harry’s Law), Claire Danes (Homeland)

Winner: Claire Danes

OK. I get it. I need to watch Homeland. I’m kind on the fence with Claire Danes – something about her rubs me the wrong way – but clearly this is a good show. Would have liked to see Elizabeth Moss recognized, but I’m OK with it. Plus Danes worked “baby daddy” into her speech, so that was fun.

Outstanding Variety Series

Nominees: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, Real Time with Bill Maher, Saturday Night Live, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

Winner: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

10 years in a row for Jon Stweart and the team at The Daily Show. Well deserved – and glad to see the blood feud with Colbert and Fallon lives on.

Supporting Actress in a Mini-series or Movie

Nominees: Sarah Paulson (Game Change), Frances Conroy (American Horror Story), Jessica Lange (American Horror Story), Judy Davis (Page Eight), Mare Winningham (Hatfields and McCoys)

Winner: Jessica Lange

I still don’t understand how American Horror Story is a miniseries. But whatever. That ship has sailed. Jessica Lange was pretty fantastic so I’m OK with her win. She made Constance one of the most interesting characters on that show, which is impressive when one of your costars is a guy in a gimp costume.

Supporting Actor in a Mini-series or Movie

Nominees: Ed Harris (Game Change), Denis OHare (American Horror Story), David Stathairn (Hemingway and Gellhorn), Martin Freeman (Sherlock), Tom Berenger (Hatfields and McCoys)

Winner: Tom Berenger

I would have given this to Martin Freeman for Sherlock; I liked Hatfields and McCoys just fine, but Sherlock was far better and smarter. I didn’t even realize that Tom Berenger was in Hatfields and McCoys, however, so I guess he really disappeared into that role. Or I just wasn’t paying attention.

Lead Actress in a Mini-series or movie

Nominees: Julianne Moore (Game Change), Connie Britton (American Horror Story), Nicole Kidman (Hemingway and Gellhorn), Emma Thompson (The Song of Lunch), Ashley Judd (Missing)

If your show is cancelled because it is terrible, you should not get to be considered a mini-series/movie. Ashley Judd, I’m looking at you. TV loves to reward film actors who “slum it” by appearing on the small screen, so I’m not at all surprised that Julianne Moore won. I didn’t love Game Change, but thought Moore did a good job overall. Palin has been very good for actors, as Tina Fey won an Emmy for playing her on SNL.

Lead Actor in a Mini-series or movie

Nominees: Woody Harrelson (Game Change), Clive Owen (Hemingway and Gellhorn), Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock), Idris Elba (Luther), Kevin Costner (Hatfields and McCoys), Bill Paxton (Hatfields and McCoys)

Winner: Kevin Costner

Presenter Gennifer Goodwin = adorbs. Man ABC is really pimping out their entire stable of stars tonight. Has anyone not presented?

I was pulling for Benedict Cumberbatch (who actually deserved it) or Idris Elba (who I just love) for this one, but I figured that Kevin Costner would win as the biggest name nominated. Emmy voters are fairly predictable. But man, Costner did not look at all happy to be there. And what the hell was he talking about?

Outstanding Drama Series

Nominees: Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Mad Men, Homeland, Game of Thrones

Winner: Homeland

This best drama category is like picking my favorite child – I love them all so much. So of course the only one I don’t watch wins. This Homeland is quite a show; I have 7 days to watch the first season.

Outstanding Comedy Series

Nominees: Curb Your Enthusiasm, Girls, 30 Rock, Veep, Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory

Winner: Modern Family

Yay! Michael J. Fox is a presenter. I’d like to see him and Tom Hanks in a “nicest man in Hollywood”-off.

Blurg. Another bs win for Modern Family. It ain’t the shit, y’all. The best comedies weren’t even nominated, so I don’t even count this award.

LOL – not only did the cast of Modern Family get played off, they actually TURNED THE LIGHTS OFF on them. Brilliant. This year’s Emmy director just screwed himself out of an Emmy next year. Peeps don’t like that. A very weird ending.

The 2012 Emmys were kind of a mixed bag this year; Kimmel was fine, but is capable of much more. Modern Family won too many awards. I’m now stressed out about catching up on Homeland. Some of the best shows weren’t nominated for the right awards (I still love you Community!). I think I would have been better off going to bed early and just reading the results the next morning.

Did you watch the Emmys? What did you think?