Casual Review: The 2016 Emmys

 ABC

ABC

One of my favorite past-times is watching award shows.  Sure, there are tons of people who complain that Hollywood congratulates itself too much, but those detractors tend to fall into two major categories: 

  1. People who will still watch the show anyway and just need something to bitch about.
  2. People who are super boring.

Either way, I usually have a good time live-tweeting my way through most award shows.  Sadly, yesterday I didn't get to catch the EMMYs as it aired live.  

I know, major bummer.  

But, I figure while I'm still sober enough to write all this, I figured I'd put a few minor reactions to yesterday's big show while it's fresh in the memory.

Jimmy Kimmel Was Good

Jimmy Kimmel Live, YouTube

Jimmy Kimmel is kind of an acquired taste.  On the one hand, he's one of the few hosts to hold Hollywood's feet to the fire, often times acting like the snarky everyman who has some gripes about the way the show normally goes (not in the audience, we're giving the award to someone else Maggie Smith!).  And unlike the slew of his late night contemporaries, Kimmel does not seem obsessed with appearing likable at every second of the telecast (which can sometimes make his act gentle roast act appear a little fearless).

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The cold open followed the staple of interjecting the hosts into the most talked about TV events of the season.  And while the was enough in the package to elicit some groans (Ryan Seacrest, the Modern Family insert), there were two moments that were very much worth the time:  James Corden getting Kimmel to dress up as one half of Wham and a killer guest appearance from JEB BUSH(?!?!!).

For that alone, the segment worked.

Jimmy Kimmel Live, YouTube

The opening monologue was just fine (if not a little rushed) and seemed to hit on a few major themes rather than topical non sequiturs.  By the fourth OJ joke, it was a little tiresome, but not enough to drag down the program.  If anything, this hosting gig proved Kimmel and his team of writers had some clever ways to do the Letterman-esque stuff they love to do, while also incorporating a few broad, mass appeal bits.

Jimmy Kimmel Live, YouTube

From the onset a short monologue seemed like a calculated decision to give Jimmy more time to play with the audience.  And one that definitely seemed to pay off as the show went along.

Sure the PB & J thing was a page directly out of Ellen DeGeneres playbook, but bit also gave us a subtle nod to the ridiculous number of times poor David Schwimmer had to say the word "juice" in The People vs. OJ Simpson.  

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But Kimmel has always been a BIG concept guy (The Handsome Gentlemen's ClubLie Witness NewsMean Tweets).  So there was no way he was going to perform at the EMMYs without doing a concept bit that goes real big.

Fortunately for Kimmel, when the big concepts work, they REALLY work.  

Jimmy Kimmel Live, YouTube

There's no denying Kimmel and Matt Damon have great chemistry.  Their banter proves that as good as Kimmel gives, he also takes a punch pretty well.  

Of course, Kimmel wasn't the only thing that felt fresh about yesterday's show.  A big change seemed to be the academy's willingness to crown some new (and, in some cases, long overdue) winners.

A Bunch Of People Won Who Deserved To Win

For example...

Winner of outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series, Kate McKinnon and her #Emmys gold!

Posted by Emmys / Television Academy on Sunday, September 18, 2016
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And hell, you know what, even this one.  Just name someone else who is killing it in the Best Actress for Comedy category like Julia Louis-Dreyfus.  Her fifth Best Actress Emmy and she fucking deserves it.

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More like Julie Louis-DreyfYASSSSSS.

The Audience Seemed Up For Some Fun

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Perhaps it's time we acknowledge the fact that TV people know how to have fun.  While crowd work is an important skill for hosts to have, it only works when you have a willing set of celebrities who are happy to put aside being ridiculously nervous and let loose a little bit.

Dare I say, this was a crowd that was more fun than this year's Golden Globes (an award show that literally prides itself on being one GIANT party)?

Please see the following arguments below: 

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It Had Tina And Amy

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This should really go without saying, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are award show must-haves.  And if they're not going to host the damn thing, they should always be required to present and do some kind of comedy nonsense.

In a world full of uncertainties, you can always count on Tina and Amy to deliver the goods.

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And folks, that's really it.  

It was a good show.  And it was a good show because of four simple things:

  1. The host kept things breezy. 
  2. A lot of new people won for a change
  3. The audience seemed happy to play along
  4. And Tina and Amy were there.

Kinda simple when you break it all down, really.

Kimmel did a good job and I look forward to having this conversation with you again next year when we see James Corden takes his likely role as host when CBS gets the show next year (that is, unless Stephen Colbert needs the ratings bump... but I'm imagining they give the lovable Carpool Karaoke host his first at-bat).  

Thanks for reading!

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