2011 Emmys: Best Dressed

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I think the Oscars could really take a tip from the Emmys, specifically in the don’t-take-yourself-too-seriously-department. Watching the Emmys last night made me realize that one of the problems with Oscar is the way everyone holds it in such high esteem; they imbue it with way too much gravitas. Thus, when something goes wrong that show is condemned. And you never hear the end of it. The Emmys, on the other hand  – since they’re about TV – are themselves taken far less seriously, and as a result they tend to be a whole lot more fun to watch. Plus, when you’re say, a presenter at the Emmys and you bomb with a joke, people might not laugh but they do move on to the next shiny, sparkly thing, and the whole thing is forgotten. The lighthearted approach is what makes the Emmys work. Did you watch? What did you think?

We’ve seen these musical montage openings before, but last night’s paid off because Jane Lynch manages to marry traditional theatricality with the shamelessness that comes from being once awkward. She never takes herself too seriously, hence, no gravitas. If anything, I feel like the show could have used more Jane Lynch. At the risk of sounding old-fashioned, she also enunciates something fierce which is appreciated.

Surprises? I’ll say. Now I know that Jim Parsons is muy popular but I’d thought Steve Carell would get a parting gift of sorts. Similarly, the fact that Kyle Chandler is the long-beloved but also long-overlooked workhorse in the drama category made his win doubly poignant (especially since FNL is gone) but did anyone else feel that with four series Emmys Jon Hamm might get noticed too? And since the new Mad Men doesn’t look to be hitting anyone’s TVs til 2016, we’ll have to sit tight a little while longer. Oh he’ll win alright, but I predict voters will be past the show by then. Next thing- it seems to be the year of Melissa McCarthy. First stealing the show in the runaway hit Bridesmaids and now winning Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy for Mike & Molly (this win is a cumulative “you’re awesome”- style pat on the back for all her incredible work.)

Why anyone is surprised about Charlie Sheen showing up is beyond me. This is after all a business, and the guy has profited from controversy, so why wouldn’t he show up? He knows a massive opportunity when he sees one, and whether or not his “good wishes” were genuine is irrelevant since his credibility vanished long ago. They were very smart to include him in the broadcast and no one will remember that part of the Emmys anyway. What I hope they do remember were the six comedic supporting actress nominees taking the stage en masse. Brilliant move.

I’d love to be contrarian and say that shows like Boardwalk Empire and Big Bang Theory were robbed after groundbreaking seasons of TV, but Modern Family and Mad Men are two of my favorite programs ever so I won’t. Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen? Had those trophies coming, if you ask me. A widely held belief points to the ‘lag effect’ of the Emmys, where shows and people don’t get recognized until it’s almost after the fact – they say Emmy voters turn a blind eye to new shows and don’t notice til they’ve been up and running for a while. This doesn’t seem to be so true anymore, although True Blood omissions do give pause. My point is that Emmys are catching up with public opinion, and they’re awarding prizes to relevant actors which is a good thing. Seems like maybe someone’s taken a big cue from The People’s Choice Awards, after all. Now for our poll let’s dispense with the pleasantries about outstanding talent and programming and talk about what actually matters.

Today’s poll:

Voice your choice in today’s featured poll and tell us which of these Emmy red carpet looks was your favorite:

1)   Gwyneth Paltrow

2)   Sofia Vergara

3)   Claire Danes

4)   Kerry Washington

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