Awards shows, it has been said, are like bad traffic accidents — you know they’re going to be ugly, but you can’t help but look at them. Last night’s Emmy awards was a head-on collision between big rig-sized egos and compact political windbags.
The program had its fair share of repeat winners — seriously, how much depth can an actor bring to the same role every year? There’s no depth to TV acting, there’s just more insults. Anyway, here are some highlights and lowlights:
1. The Emmys love Tina Fey. Ok, who doesn’t? Sarah Palin’s twisted sister (or is it the other way around?) won for writing and acting for the series “30 Rock.” She had some funny moments, but fell flat when she tried jokes with the economy and tax breaks as punch lines.
2. The Emmys don’t like Hugh Laurie. The star of “House” is one of the few actors on TV who manages to bring both depth and insults to his character each season. Give this guy an Emmy, knuckleheads.
3. Glenn Close has got to stop talking about powerful women on TV who can carry a series. Curb your genderpride enthusiasm, Glenn. That’s all TV is anymore — you’re preaching to the choir (Do Hollywood hethens sing in choirs? Yes, and they chant the theme to “The Omen.”)
4. Comedy Central’s Smarmy Twins — Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert won again. Stewart and Colbert actually got through their acceptance routines without telling any “weenie” jokes — something the two can’t seem to get their fill of.
5. Tommy Smothers — whose last great gig was in the 1960s when he made controversial jokes about President Johnson (Lyndon, not Andrew) received a special award. Naturally, he got political, ranting about watching “ignorance in action.” He was referring to speaking out against the war, not the presenters and winners.
6. A little known fact: The innocuous bit at the start of the program with the reality TV hosts actually had a working title, shared, as it were, with a former HBO series: “Six Feet Under.”
7. Best moment was saved for the end when “Mad Men” won as best drama. The swanky, smart AMC series about Madison Avenue marketing guys in the early 1960s who smoke Luckys and drink too much keeps hope alive for the Alpha male while celebrating political incorrectness.
Note to winners of Emmys and other awards: When backstage hamming it up for your photo op, don’t kiss the award. You look like the kid who was double-dared to stick his tongue on a flagpole in the dead of winter — and did it. The consequences pretty much look the same.
The Emmys honor actors and actresses who want to be in the movies and those who were in the movies but have to do TV series because they have no box office appeal. In either case, they’re all auditioning for the movies. Even the Oscarcast is far superior to the Emmycast.
Anyway, it’s hard to have any respect for the Emmys. The tevelvision academy that never gave an award to “The Great One, ” Jackie Gleason, but thinks Steve Carell is a hoot.