THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Tallulah Morehead Headshot

The Emmys Awards Show: Little Borritt

Posted: Updated:

They give awards to television? Whatever for?

They opened on shots of TV aerials. When was the last time you saw a TV aerial? Is there anyone under 40 who even knows what they are?

The opening musical parody number was written by Marc Shaiman & Scott Whitman, who are geniuses. Marc co-wrote the song "Uncle F**ka" in the South Park movie, the single funniest song ever written.

Everyone in America who saw The Tony Awards (That's 1,000 people in New York City and 37 others nationwide) loved Neil Patrick Harris's hosting, except for me. I don't get all the Harris love. He's personable and charming and mildly amusing, but frankly, he's like a male Ellen DeGeneris, tepid and unexciting, and I got not one big laugh from him all evening.

Harris did a joke during a long, pointless tour of the set, thrown in just in case the show ran short (which it never does), about how you usually can't see the band because they're unattractive, while we were looking at a hot black drummer I could have happily watched all night. He was considerably better looking than Harris. Maybe Harris should be in the orchestra pit.

At the top, they had a montage of drinking jokes. Drinking isn't a joke. It's a calling.

Is Scrubs still on the air? Why? Does Scrubs have a public option? How about a Scrubs death panel?

When John Hamm presented an award with Tiny Fey, they said "Thank you for looking at us." Thank you for letting us. Those are two fine-looking people. Sadly, Tina Fey doing scripted banter that is inferior to the great comedy she writes is not joyous viewing.

When showing the nominees for Supporting Actress in a Comedy series, Band Concert, or Religious Pageant, devout Christer Kristin Chenoweth felt it necessary to show us she has a tongue. Well, she's gone to great lengths over the years with her Christian blather to show us she has no brain; I guess she felt a need to show us that her head contains at least one functioning organ.

All the nominees in this category participated in a funny-eyeglasses running gag, except Vanessa Williams, who apparently snobbishly considered herself above it. Maybe if it had been an embarrassing-lesbian-photo-shoot running gag she'd have felt more at home. Fortunately she lost. Unfortunately, it went to the nasal Christian bimbo I can't stand. She was crying, as was I. That Chenoweth creature over Amy Poehler and Kristen Wiig? Insane! Where's Kanye West when he could do some good? Is there a restraining order keeping him away from award shows?

They had my lovely Cat Deely announcing an opportunity for home viewers to vote during the show (More fun than watching it?) for an award to be given at the end. Of course, watching in California, she was shown with a caption saying: "Recorded earlier. Voting is Closed." How nice. A treat just for East Coast viewers. Whose bright idea was that? Someone in New York, I'd guess.

The Daily Show's John Hodgeman did a bit about being the off-camera announcer that ended with, "May I come on TV now?" to which Harris replied, "Not tonight, John, not tonight," a gag that might have played better if he hadn't been on camera as he said it! Somebody clueless is handling the "comedy."

In the category Best Writing of a Comedy Series, Verse Play, or Spelling Bee, somehow there was one nominee that wasn't 30 Rock, but of course the rogue nominee didn't win. Matt Hubbard, the writer who won, looks to be about 12 years old. He thanked his wife. Gays aren't allowed to marry, but children are? Shouldn't you at least go through puberty before marrying? His voice was higher than the Chenoweth creature's. What is this, Utah?

After an unfunny bit about seating a prize winner behind two basketball players laid an egg, Harris told us: "That bit was funny." Neil, we'll make those judgements ourselves, and no it wasn't.

Harris: "The only person funnier than our next presenter is the woman who's presenting with her. I won't tell you which is which." I will. They were Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Amy Poehler. Amy is funnier. A lot funnier. Always.

As the nominees for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, Opera, or Our Gang Tent Show were read, you could judge their popularity in the room by the level of ovation, with Kevin Dillon and Jack McBreyer getting the loudest reactions. Those people must not have voted, because it went to Jon Cryer, who got the quietest reaction. (And it should have gone to Rainn Wilson. Quick someone, give Kanye some Hennessy's; this is getting out of hand.)

Cryer thanked, among others, his "little baby girl." What exactly did this infant do to help Cryer win, besides providing him with additional motivation not to lose the job? If Charlie Sheen had won in his category, would he have thanked his sperm? (I know, "If Charlie Sheen had won." That's like saying: If Abe Lincoln had come back from the grave to sing hip-hop.)

Okay, Sarah Silverman in a mustache was genuinely funny. In fact, it was the first time I'd laughed all evening.

One of two women from Gossip Girl whose names I didn't get, wearing a red dress open to her pelvic bone, said the Creative Arts Emmys (so are the ones we're watching non-creative arts Emmys?) were given "to honor and recanize actors and technical experts." Darling, the word is pronounced "recognize." It has a G in it, like that spot you're showing the entire front row. Maybe someone should have taught you the English language while the half a yard of fabric you were wearing was being glued to your nipples. You're an actress; you're supposed to be able to speak. Important as it is, just dressing like a whore in public isn't enough.

Tina Fey and Justin Timberlake won the Emmys for guest performers in a Comedy Series, Ballet, or School Assembly, awards apparently not important enough to give on the real show. At least Tina won this one. (It's not that Tina is Emmy-deficient. It's just that she's funnier than all these other women combined.)

Accepting the Emmy for Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, Dance Competition, or Poetry Slam, Alec Baldwin said of Rob Lowe: "I'll be honest, I'd trade this to look like him." Yeah Alec, you've always been so repulsive looking. Hearing Alec Baldwin, one of the sexiest, best-looking men in show business, express envy of Rob Lowe's second-tier looks was bizarre. It would be like hearing Marilyn Monroe say she wished she looked like Dame Edna. (No offense, Edna my darling.)

We got to watch an animated baby beat an animated doggie senseless over an Emmy vote, as a "gag." Who thought that was funny? Michael Vick?

The Emmys given to reality shows were some kind of gag awards, right? No one actually gives awards to reality series, do they?

They had Maxim from Dancing with Republicans do a bit of a dance shirtless, in just a too-small vest, and that was really entertaining (except for this girl dancing near him, who kept blocking my view of his chest) followed by some of the dancers from So You Think You Can Dance, which, no joke, is a really good show, and has no Tom Delay on it.

Wait a minute! Flava Flav wasn't even nominated for Best Reality Show Star? He was robbed. Kanye! The only reason Jeff Probst won this was because of the cachet my recaps of Survivor on this website give him, and he didn't even thank me. Typical! I've done more for Jeff than Jon Cryer's infant did for him. Apparently getting to the Nokia from Samoa, Jeff was too rushed to be able to put on a tie. Are these The Casual Emmys? Jeff, not every TV show has a dress code of sandals, cut-offs and straw hats.

Neither Jon & Kate Plus Eight, nor I'm a Celebrity, Get me Out of Here, nor even I Love New York were nominated for Best Reality Series? Are we supposed to take these awards seriously? It went to The Amazing Race for the 300th consecutive year. It's won every year since the days of silent television, and yet the timid show has yet to say which race it is they find so damn amazing. (I think it's the elves. They're immortal. That's amazing!)

I missed Best Writing for a Reality Series, not to mention Best Reality Actor. That should have gone to Ronnie on Big Brother 11, for his performance playing a human being. He wasn't convincing, but it was such a big stretch for him, he should have been "recanized" just for trying. And Big Brother's Chima should have won Best Acting Out!

Supporting Actress in a Movie, Miniseries, Infomercial, or Dog Show was won by an Iranian actress. (who looked and sounded amazingly like the late goddess Anne Bancroft, and higher praise than that I can not bestow.) Boy; the Bush administration years really are over!

Hold it! Ken Howard won Supporting Actor in a Mini-Series, Movie, Staged Reading, or Public Dressing Down over Andy Sirkis, Bob Newhart, and Sir Tom Courteney? Kanye! "Thank you very much," said Ken, "This is very encouraging." Ken, just because Ruth Gordon is dead doesn't mean it's all right for you to steal the best gag from her 1968 Oscar acceptance speech for Rosemary's Baby.

Okay, this was totally outrageous. Andrew Davies won Best Writing of a Movie, Mini-Series, Flea Circus, or High School Play for his adaptation of Charles Dickens's magnificent novel Little Dorritt. When it was broadcast, I wrote a column over on my regular blog castigating him for daring to rewrite Charles Dickens's dialogue, filling it with anachronisms. ("Amy, you're cramping my style," one of the mid-Victorian characters snapped at another, for one egregious example.) And then they give this hack an award, further cementing his delusion that he writes better dialogue than Charles Dickens. He should be punished, not rewarded. They were lucky I was watching at home (so I can write this piece for you, out of my awesome unselfishness), because if I'd been there, I'd have had to pull a Kanye myself. This one was wildly undeserved! Unsurprisingly, Davies didn't have the cajones to show up.

Little Dorritt also won for Directing. Well, it was well-directed. (Yes, I watched the whole series. I read the book, too. I wish I were reading it again right now.) Winner Dearbhla Walsh (I have no idea how to pronounce it either, nor does she) thanked her lesbian lover in her speech, promising that they would celebrate that night with a salacious three-way with her Emmy. Well, Emmy is a female, but watch out. Those wings are sharp!

You know, Neil Patrick Harris claims to be gay, but I think he's just faking it for the career boost. No genuinely gay man would use Nathan Fillion in a pre-taped comedy piece, and have him wear a shirt.

Jessica Lange, what have you done to your once-beautiful face? They showed a clip of her in Grey Gardens in an extreme-old age make-up, and she looked considerably better than she did accepting her award for the performance. Apparently she didn't wear an age make-up in the film; she wore a youth make-up. No wonder King Kong dumped her for Naomi Watts. Fay Wray looks better, and she's dead! I could hear Janice Dickenson somewhere saying, "Wow. She makes me look good!" Has it been 80 years since Tootsie?

I hope The Big Bang Theory is funnier than its three stars' painful, forced banter. (I keep meaning to watch it once, but it's always competing with that tempting "Off" option.)

Late Show With David Letterman director Jerry Foley's advice to up and coming directors (I like them best when they're up and coming), "Learn how to take a punch," made me laugh, which was becoming an increasing rarity as the evening wore on and on and on.

I wish to make a fearless prediction. Make a note of it, and a year from now, see if I'm not correct. I predict that at next year's Emmys, the award for Writing of a Variety, Music, Comedy, Passion Play, or Greek Tragedy Series, deservedly won this year by the 4,000 members of The Daily Show's writing staff, will not be won by the writing staff of the new Jay Leno Show. (Have you seen it? Could you believe that it could actually be worse than The Tonight Show has been for the past few years? If Jay's new show sucked any more, the studio audience would suffocate.)

Is anyone but Jimmy Fallon's immediate family still watching his TV show? I didn't think so. His writers are telling their families that they're working as pimps, to maintain some shred of self-respect.

Finally Ricky Gervais! Why wasn't he hosting? Really. I'm serious. Ricky Gervais should host. Have you noticed that he's a whole lot funnier asleep than Neil Patrick Harris is awake? Well I've noticed. Ricky, I love you. If you weighed half what you do and had a vagina, you'd be Tina Fey.

Why is Doctor Who never nominated for Best Drama? It's considerably better than most of the nominated shows.

Michael Emerson, who plays Ben Linus on Lost, finally won. He's only deserved it for three years now. I hardly recognized him. His face wasn't covered in bloody cuts and bruises. I guess, somehow, no one has beaten the crap out of him this week. (Although wait until Bill Shatner catches up to him in the Nokia parking lot.) On the show, he gets the snot kicked out of him so often that he spends half his time in the make up chair while the make up person tries to figure out which cuts and bruises to apply, based on whether he's shooting a flashback (beaten up by Sayid), a flash-forward (beaten up by Jack), or a present day scene (beaten up by Baby Aaron). You'd think a mastermind manipulator like Ben could lay plots that didn't always end up with him getting pummeled. I understand his Emmy attacked him in the press room. (Congrats Michael. Well and long deserved.)

By the way, talk about an Oedipal nightmare. On Lost, Michael Emerson's real-life wife plays his mother! Someday he'll end up in Emerson at Colonus. (Okay, you may need a degree in theater to get that joke, but too bad. I need a few jokes for the intelligentsia. Mensa members all worship the Emmys!)

Fortunately, I had binoculars handy, so I can tell you that the first person in the annual Dead Folks In Memoriam montage, seen only in extreme longshot, was delightful Edie Adams, who deserved better. Honestly. They were so far away from beautiful Edie Adams, you could barely make out she was a human being, but we got to see the -- ah -- irregular features of Karl Malden's face so close-up in Hi-Def you could almost pick his nose for him. (Pick it? You could use it for a one-bedroom apartment!)

Dear, sweet, kind Henry Gibson. Good night, my darling diminutive bard, and thank you.

Wait! Snoopy died?

Inexplicably, they put the name "Walter Cronkite" over a shot of Buzz Aldrin on the lunar surface. Cronkite only reported the trip. He didn't go to the moon himself. Contrary to rumor, Walt wasn't on the Sea of Tranquility ahead of them, waiting to interview Neil and Buzz when they disembarked.

Among those whose deaths were not important enough, it seems, to make the montage: Paul Burke, Mary Travers, Estelle Getty, Paul Harvey, John Hughes, Me, Budd Shulberg, The Taco Bell Dog, Harve Presnell, Billy Mays, Jimmy Boyd, Gallagher's Career, Sydney Chaplin, and Marilyn Chambers. These folks were all so insulted at being snubbed, they'll never speak to the Academy again! (Really. How do you include Bea Arthur and omit Estelle Getty?)

Simon Baker, star of The Mentalist, proved what a fraud he is by needing to open the envelope to read who won Best Actress in a Drama, Freak Show, Broadway Musical or Street Mime Performance. When Sally Field lost this award, I was disappointed she didn't stand up and say, "You don't like me. You really, really don't like me."

(I happened to see Sally's mother, Margaret, play the lead in an ancient sci-fi potboiler, The Man From Planet X, on TCM just last night. Suddenly Sally's weirdness made sense. She's half-alien! Her dad is actually the Man From Planet X, or at least, that was how he signed the motel registrar. Look at the film. The resemblance is unmistakable. And Sally looks a bit like her very pretty mother as well.)

Bob Newhart gave out the award for Best Comedy Series (of course to 30 Rock), which was a little unfair, as Bob all by himself is funnier than most of these shows combined. If you've got Bob Newhart and Ricky Gervais on the same show, what more could you possibly want?

Speaking of women who've mated with hostile space aliens, Sigourney Weaver presented Best Drama Series, Satirical Revue, Political Cover-Up, or Football Rally, which went to Mad Men, although I can't see what they have to be so angry about.

Sigourney's dad, Sylvester "Pat" Weaver, created The Tonight Show. I expect him any time now to rise from his grave and strangle Jay Leno.

The show only ran about five minutes overtime, so I guess they needed more time-wasting filler. Somehow, when they hit over-three-hours, Neil Patrick Harris managed to resist the urge to then do a big musical number, as he insisted on doing at The Tony Awards just when everyone wanted to hit the bar, as I do now. Cheers, darlings.

To read more of Tallulah Morehead, go to The Morehead the Merrier.