“Television’s Biggest Day!” is this weekend when NBC airs the 62nd Annual Prime time Emmy Awards at 5 PM pacific time Sunday. Hosted by the energetic and mostly inoffensive Jimmy Fallon, this show, with far too many categories and awards, is a great one to speed through after recording on your DVR.
Despite the best efforts to “reinvent” these award shows every year, they more or less stay the same – void of any real surprise or magic. Plus, most winners simply don’t know how to deliver a proper acceptance speech. Winners proceed to act shocked while rattling off a list of names that would be better served with a phone call or letter – completely ignoring the millions in the audience to whom they are addressing.
Fallon does offer the promise of some real fun, but with so many awards to slog through, his opportunity for serving up his particularly appealing brand of zaniness will be limited.
The buzz this year is all around Glee. This Fox summer-replacement-for-American Idol turned-prime-time series of highschoolers who “mash up” various popular songs is nothing short of a phenomenon. Downloads for cast renditions of Madonna, Queen, Journey, and Lady Gaga hits now outsell everything from American Idol on iTunes.
Glee represents a real shot in the arm for the music business and music as entertainment as audiences rediscover the wholesome joys of well executed song and dance number. For the music business Glee is the most important TV going hands down. Plus, star Leah Michele can actually sing as well as anyone working in music.
Glee is more than just a show of musical numbers however, it is a comedy, and a fairly weak one at that. Outside of Jane Lynch’s turn as snarky sweatsuit-wearing-cheer-coach Sue Sylvester – the rest of the show is a little too smug and not at all as funny or clever as Modern Family or last year’s Seinfeld-reunion-arc Curb Your Enthusiasm – both far better comedies.
Despite these weaknesses, this is Glee’s moment and I suspect will be the big winner of the night (if the Golden Globes and People’s Choice Awards wins are any indication). This will be a good thing for Glee as the grind of staging new numbers each week that outperforms the weeks previous might be too much for Glee to sustain. The novelty might wear off. This year is the shows moment and I suspect will win wherever it is nominated.
On the drama front things are not as clear. Certainly The Pacific will win for best mini-series but other than that the competition is too close to call in the drama category. Mad Men and Breaking Bad had tremendously high quality seasons with award worthy performances for all those nominated. Lost’s satisfying farewell was a ratings and critical hit. Dexter and True Blood might be edgier contenders than the more traditional network based Good Wife.
I am holding out hope for what was easily the best drama series of the year, yet not nominated. In a spectacular fourth season Friday Night Lights once again brought the drama with bushels of heart while walking the tightrope of transitioning key characters and introducing new ones. All done brilliantly.
What would be a moment of justice would be awarding both Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton Emmy’s for their brilliant portrayals of Coach Taylor and his wife Tami. This show, which for me ranks among the very best ever, rides squarely the reactions and expressions of these two under-appreciated thespians who work to create one of the most realistic relationships between husband and wife on TV.
Other actors get how incredible what these two do, each week, and each season. They do it so well you don’t even notice all they do to suck us in to this west Texas emotionally raw world that has a little bit of all of us who ever went to high school. It would be poetic justice for them to take home the awards.
Then again, maybe the award will go home with Tony Shaloub who will thank a bunch of people we have never heard of…