I know I said to skip the Emmys, but I was a total hypocrite and ended up watching them. I’ve gotta say, I’m not nearly as bitterly disappointed as I usually am. There were a lot of surprises, a lot of new winners, and best of all, a lot of really, really well-deserving winners. Some random thoughts:
— I watched at the office with the sound down (hey, we were working on putting out a paper), but even so I could tell that the opening number, with Jimmy Fallon singing and dancing along with the cast of “Glee” and a host of other stars, was awesome (confirmed, after watching it on YouTube). Since it was muted, I can’t speak to how his hosting was, but I noticed an awful lot of him singing during the first hour. Wise move. Fallon’s musical numbers on his late-night show are great, much better than his regular hosting abilities. Way to play to his strengths.
— I know some “Lost” fans will be upset that the final season was snubbed, but objectively, “Lost” didn’t deserve to win any category it was in. When you’re up against powerhouse dramas like “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad,” you have to settle for being third best. Those two shows really are that good.
— It’s hard to argue against the double threepeats of “Mad Men” winning for best drama and Bryan Cranston winning for best actor. But I’ll do it anyway. Cranston is terrific, but I would have liked to seen Jon Hamm win that and “Breaking Bad” take best drama.
— There won’t be a fourpeat for best actor though. Season 4 of “Breaking Bad” won’t debut until next summer, making it too late to be eligible for the 2011 Emmys. So who will challenge “Mad Men” for best drama? How about HBO’s upcoming “Boardwalk Empire”?
— The most satisfying — and surprising — win of the night had to be Aaron Paul for supporting actor in a drama. Totally well deserved, though. His role on “Breaking Bad” was probably the best acting job on television in the past year, just mesmerizing in every scene. His closest competitors are Cranston and “Sons of Anarchy’s” Katey Sagal, who wasn’t even nominated.
— Big letdown in the best actress categories. Kyra Sedgewick? Archie Panjabi? Please. Connie Britton and Elizabeth Moss were robbed. Robbed, I tell you!
— “Modern Family” wasn’t the best comedy of the year (that was “Parks and Recreation”), but it was the best nominee. It was more consistent and funnier than “Glee.”
— Those two shows were well represented early on, with Eric Stonestreet and Jane Lynch winning honors. Those were spot-on choices. Lynch, especially, stole up every single scene she was in. She might make a habit of winning as long as “Glee” is around.
— Jim Parsons wouldn’t be my pick for best actor in a comedy (that’d be Alec Baldwin or Larry David), but I know there are a ton of fans who love him. I can live with that.
— Edie Falco, though, shouldn’t have won. Not that she’s not a great actress — she is, and proved is on “The Sopranos” — but in what world is “Nurse Jackie” a comedy? Should’ve been Amy Poehler.
— “The Amazing Race” finally lost its seven-year stranglehold on the competition reality show category. Good. Last season wasn’t up to its usual standards. “Top Chef,” which won, had an outstanding season and deserved it. (Remember, this was for the Brothers Voltagglio season, not this season).
— NBC breathed a sigh of relief when “The Daily Show” won for best variety, musical or comedy show. That meant no awkward moment honoring Conan O’Brien. It was fair too — Conan’s “Tonight Show” wasn’t great until its final tumultuous month. I would have rather seen “The Colbert Report” get it, but I can’t complain about “The Daily Show.”
— Best directing could have gone to “True Blood” for the job they do making Stephen Moyer look tall. I know Alexander Skarsgard is a big guy, but he towered over Moyer and Anna Paquin. I actually think Moyer was the shortest of the three. You wouldn’t know it from watching the show.
— The one big drawback to watching the Emmys on mute: Missing out on John Hodgman‘s voiceovers. That was the highlight of last year’s show, and I have a feeling it was must-hear TV again this year.
— “Temple Grandin” deservedly wiped up the movie category. Everyone involved with that was fantastic, and is warmed to heart to see the real Temple Grandin on stage, dishing out hugs. (If you saw the movie, you know that’s a BIG deal.)
— Clarie Danes did not look like Claire Danes. That’s not a bad thing, just . . . . a thing.
–Between the presenters and a barrage of commercials, NBC didn’t let up on promoting its new fall shows. But that didn’t make me any more eager to watch any of them. In fact, I’m getting tired of them already.
— It was very nice to see Maura Tierney on stage, looking healthy again. She underwent treatment for breast cancer last year. Same with Michael C. Hall. His hair’s back after chemo treatments last year (remember that beanie he wore to the Golden Globes last year?).
— Speaking of Hall, between his nomination and the wins for best directing and best guest star (John Lithgow), I’m really champing on the bit to see last season of “Dexter.” I think it’s out on DVD now. Gotta adjust my Netflix queue.
— Al Pacino may be a great actor, but he’s also a ranting maniac. His speech seemed to go on forever. They should have yanked him offstage with a hook and saved some time for the casts of “Mad Men” and “Modern Family” at the very end.
— Speaking of the very end, there were two big surprises. They saved best comedy series for last, which for as long as I can remember has been the best drama spot. Makes sense though, with all the hype about “Modern Family” vs. “Glee.” But the biggest shocker of the night? The show ended on time.
— Wait, never mind, Archie Panjabi winning was still more shocking.
So what’d you think? Did you approve of the winners, or are you peeved at perceived snubs? What did you think was the biggest surprise, and what was your favorite moment?
Hey, follow me on Twitter (twitter.com/thatwarmglow). If you did, you could have followed my live Emmy tweets last night. Oh well, maybe next year.