By Jamie Lin, Staff Writer
Sunday night was the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. The stars came, they saw and, for the most part, the expected winners conquered. Jimmy Kimmel’s opening sketch was perhaps a highlight of the night, but only because Lena Dunham (creator, writer, star and nominee for HBO’s “Girls” ) chose to go full (censored) frontal.
Major awards shows like the Emmys and Oscars have a history in recent years of being all too predictable, and at least in that respect, the 64th Emmys didn’t disappoint. I found that most award winners were decided based upon these categories:
1. Former winners from 2010 or 2011 (“Modern Family,” Eric Stonestreet and Julie Bowen for “Modern Family,” Aaron Paul for “Breaking Bad,” Maggie Smith for “Downton Abbey.”)
2. News shows that critics couldn’t stop talking about that had already won most of the pre-Emmy awards (Damian Lewis and Claire Danes and their show “Homeland.”)
3. Perennial favorites (“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “The Amazing Race.”)
To the Academy’s credit, the in memoriam montage was the right dose of sincere and sad, and it was nice to see acknowledgement of people who changed the industry even if they weren’t explicably in the TV business (Steve Jobs, Whitney Houston, Donna Summer). But preceding it with host Kimmel’s fake-out “in memoriam” reel for himself was more than a bit disrespectful.
What could’ve worked as a punchline became a joke made in poor taste when he decided to follow through with a cheesy video of Kimmel in classic “memoriam” shots. Kimmel’s larger stunts, in general, read as overdone and overproduced. It was the biting one-liners that were more memorable and funny, such as when he apologized to Jon Hamm for not winning the Emmy in his opening monologue, before any winners had been announced.
It seems that even the nominated actors agreed with the fans’ and viewers’ discontent with Academy voting, such as outstanding lead actress in a comedy series winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who pointed out that the Emmy should’ve gone to Amy Poehler for “Parks and Recreation” instead. But even more blatant was Jon Stewart’s proclaim that “how predictable these [censored] things are.”
But at least that was better than the lifetime we spent listening to the miniseries/TV movie winners. Good thing Louis C.K. and that Jonathan kid from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” won awards, or else I might as well have slept through the whole thing.