Look, I’m not going to pretend that I’m the biggest Claire Danes fan because, in fact, I am not really a Claire Danes fan. I don’t know what it is, exactly; perhaps I’m still bitter over the whole Mary Louise Parker / Billy Crudup mess from a few years ago (and I’m definitely not a Billy Crudup fan). Maybe it’s her attitude that gets me. Last night, when I saw her win her second Emmy—this time for Homeland—I had this general sense that she thinks she is deserving of accolades. She marched right up to that stage and was all, "Whew, I thought I’d be waiting around all night for THIS, my AWARD for BEING SO GREAT." But none of that is important because wtf was she wearing last night???
I know she’s knocked up and all, but why in the world would someone want to wear that giant dress to an awards show? Was she trying to hide her baby bump? Because guess what? Nothing brings more attention to your body that an ill-fitting fluorescent bag. It was so distracting that during the Emmy fawning over Homeland I completely missed Mandy Patinkin. Where the hell was Mandy Patinkin? Did Claire Danes hit him over the head sometime between the red carpet and that unfortunately unfunny opening sketch featuring a bunch of women punching Jimmy Kimmel in the face (FOR NO REASON?) and then stuff him into that yellow-green Glad bag she had draped over herself?
So, the 2012 Primetime Emmy Awards were last night, and considering we still have a bad taste in our mouths from our inappropriate drunk uncle Billy Crystal hosting the Oscars, for the most part, they were actually pretty fun to watch. Jimmy Kimmel had some funny bits, Giancarlo Esposito and Aaron Paul hugged it out and made us all verklempt, Lena Dunham ate cake naked and Julia-Louis Dreyfuss and Amy Poehler stole the show with their acceptance speech switcheroo.
In terms of the awards themselves, the recipients were almost painfully predictable, especially in the comedy category. The drama awards were mostly bang-on, as the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the most part avoided the soapy pleasure of Downton Abbey and Don Draper’s steely gaze to actually reward what probably are the two best dramas on TV right now, Homeland and Breaking Bad (Aaron Paul’s Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series award made our hearts happy). And Louis C.K. took home two awards — one the writing on Louie and one for his standup special at the Beacon Theatre.
But in terms of comedy, once again, the Academy chose to throw Louie its one bone—the equivalent of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences giving the most envelope-pushing film of the year Best Original Screenplay and then kind of ignoring it the rest of the night—and then choosing to celebrate thoroughly mediocre stuff. In a run similar to the one Frasier made in the mid-‘90s, for the past three Emmy cycles now, Modern Family has dominated the comedy categories to the point where even better stuff from the banal, laugh track-y, Chuck Lorre school of TV comedy was ignored (come on, as eye-roll-worthy as The Big Bang Theory can be sometimes, seeing Mayim Bialik win an Emmy, especially as the show’s saving grace that is Amy Farrah Fowler, åwould have been golden). All four of Modern Family’s big winners—Outstanding Supporting Actress Julie Bowen, Outstanding Supporting Actor Eric Stonestreet (convinced that there is one dude voting in the Academy who is just still totally super shocked that a straight dude can play a preening gay man even though this is 2012, y’all), Director Steven Levitan and the show for Outstanding Comedy Series — are repeat wins, with the show itself and Levitan earning them back-to-back-to-back. This year, the rest of the show’s adult cast members were nominated for acting awards.
I like Modern Family. It’s cute. Ty Burrell and Sofia Vergara are eternally fun to watch. I usually walk away from it not hating myself. My whole family watches it (cross-demographic appeal!). And granted, the Outstanding Comedy Series pool was a little thin this year—the token Lorre (The Big Bang Theory), two former comedy powerhouses that are still very funny but mostly over-the-hill (30 Rock, Curb Your Enthusiasm), and the two other HBO shows, Girls and Veep, which were long shots anyway. But at a time and place where so many awesome things are happening with television comedy, at a time when a fart and smunny show like Parks & Recreation or something that, love it or hate it, can spark an international conversation like Girls or a show that is so funny and so human like Louie or a show that celebrates its dweebiness so joyfully like Community or a great traditional thirtysomethings-in-the-city sitcom like Happy Endings can all exist, it seems a disservice to let more of the same rack up statue after statue. It seems kind of silly to rant—the Emmys will probably never change and TV comedy is full of niches and Modern Family certainly isn’t the worst thing to happen to television ever. But when the whole run of programming is so totally awesome, it would just kind of be nice seeing the celebration of the awesomeness spread around a bit. At least Leslie Knope won her city council election. Better luck next time, Team Dunphy.
So, to make ourselves feel better about everything, here’s Aaron Paul’s acceptance speech again.
● Modern Family, which won the Emmy for outstanding comedy series, promised that if they did win, Sofia Vergara would run naked down Sunset Blvd. Don’t hold your breath, but do hope and pray. [TDW] ● Mad Men also won big at the Emmys, with Breaking Bad taking home two awards for acting. Two-word shows are so hot right now! [HuffPo] ● Mary-Louise Parker claims she has never smoked weed, has licked a pot lollipop, but prefers sex. Naturally. [Vanity Fair]
● A co-headlining world tour featuring Madonna and Lady Gaga may be on the way, at which point Britney Spears will cry and spiral downward into a black hole of Kevin Federline-affiliated depression. [Vulture] ● Paris Hilton spent the weekend getting arrested for cocaine possession while hotboxing an Escalade in Las Vegas. Just another day in the life of a gangster. [Daily Intel] ● George Clooney’s The American co-star said the actor doesn’t do a lot of sex scenes, and that “he’s not that experienced.” Her naivety is cute, though. [People]
As shocking news reverberates throughout the media world, we take a deep breath and attempt to figure out where things went so terribly wrong. First, Katherine Heigl bitch-slaps her “Grey’s Anatomy” scribes by withdrawing from this year’s Emmy Awards race, citing shitty material or something like that. And now, as if things couldn’t get any more apocalyptically dismal, Lindsay Lohan is stepping down, refusing statuette consideration for her breakout role as Betty Suarez’s bully on the recent season finale of “Ugly Betty.” Thank Dina, then, that Britney Spears (star of “How I Met Your Mother”) and Mary-Kate Olsen (pot-smoking virginal tramp on “Weeds”) are still in the running. It’s like these thespians don’t even want the recognition their hard work warrants. Next thing, you’ll be telling us Victoria Beckham and Christian Siriano won’t be accepting acting nods. Not ferosh, or tranny super mess, or whatever.
Just kidding. But she has declined to participate in the “For Your Consideration” mayhem that ensues durings awards season. Said Heigl in a press release, er, released yesterday, “I did not feel that I was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination… I did not want to potentially take away an opportunity from an actress who was given such materials.” But Izzie, what about when you gave Karev a dose of tough love at the end of last season? You smacked down when you said that Rebecca was a lying, barren wench with a case of the insanities! Anyway, just saying… I’d rather have you holding the gold statuette than, say, Dana “not without my daughter” Delaney’s “Desperate Housewives” ice queen. Also, you guys totally hate each other over there, don’t you?