Monday, 22 September 2008

The Curse Of Caruso!

Seriously, I think this blog, as well as changing Heat magazine policy on shameful circles, has somehow punched way above its weight class (like, way way way way above), and affected the Emmy voting. Here is a rundown of the horror:

Two weeks ago, I said of Michael Emerson in The Shape Of Things To Come, (pictorially represented here by co-stars Elizabeth Mitchell and Daniel Dae Kim, as I couldn't find a red carpet picture of Emerson):

[T]he best performance of the year. Screw it, the decade. Michael Emerson's command of the screen is already frightening, and this most shocking of episodes featured his greatest moment yet, a near-wordless breakdown followed by terrifying revenge as our anti-hero chooses to unleash unworldy terror upon his nemesis, even at the cost of losing his hold on the thing he holds most dear. There were countless other superb moments in this episode, but that was the most impressive five minutes of the year.

And the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series goes to... Zeljko Ivanek in Damages! I've not seen the show, so I can't say what he is like on it. However, he is a terrific actor, impressing me hugely in The Pillowman opposite Billy Crudup and Jeff Goldblum a few years back. Nevertheless, NOOOOOOOOOOO! I hope you're happy now, Jacob!

A few months ago, I said of House's Head co-director Greg Yaitanes (pictorially represented here by House actress Olivia Wilde, as I couldn't find a red carpet picture of Yaitanes):

[W]hile I liked the whole finale overall, the first part was, sadly, overdirected to the point of obnoxiousness by Greg Yaitanes (who I have railed against before). If ever there was a TV director who is determined to get noticed enough to win a film career, it's him, filling the episode with annoying Sonnenfeld-esque close-ups, flashy lighting, and Cuddy stripping. Here is a picture of her post-strip. [ETA: See original post for boring picture if you really need to see House and Cuddy looking bored.] I'm not going to contribute to the uncomfortable memory of poor Lisa Edelstein having to dress like a schoolgirl and rub her butt on a pole. [ETA: And I'm still not going to. It was unedifying.]

And the Emmy for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series goes to...Greg Yaitanes for House's Head! As I said before, I'm perplexed as to why co-director Katie Jacobs got no mention, but there might be some info out there I don't know about. Still, at least he didn't win for his hilarious work on Heroes, and House's Head did feature some good work.

Earlier this year I said of Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner (pictorially represented here by Mad Men actress Christina Hendricks, as I couldn't find a red carpet picture of Weiner):

After the first episode we had learned that during the 60s, men were sexist pigs, women were oppressed and treated as chattel, homosexuals were closeted, white Americans were racist, and everyone was drinking and smoking way too much and ignoring the health risks. It was enlightening! And then the next six or so episodes did very little to move beyond these points.

And the Emmy for Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series goes to...Matthew Weiner and his script for Mad Men pilot Smoke Gets In Your Eyes! As I've said since, the show has grown on me, and I don't feel so frustrated by its insistence on drawing attention to its period detail as I did at first, but even so, that pilot was awfully obvious, and season closer The Wheel, which Weiner also wrote (with Robin Veith), was much stronger.

A loooooooong time ago, I said of Pushing Daisies director Barry Sonnenfeld (pictorially represented here by Pushing Daisies actor Lee Pace, as I couldn't find a red carpet picture of Sonnenfeld):

His work on the Coen's early movies blew me away when I was younger, and he did strong work with Rob Reiner on When Harry Met Sally and Misery. Then he became a director with an extremely limited bag of tricks ripped off from his time on Raising Arizona, mostly involving dollying into something to express emphasis, fish-eye lenses, lots of attention-seeking POV, and pointless overhead shots...In a 42 minute long show, he had at least 34 emphasis dollies, 11 overhead shots, and POV every five minutes (yes, I actually counted). It blighted the show to such an extent that I even forgot to be annoyed by the cloying narration. I may have enjoyed some of Tim Burton's early work, and I might have even liked Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, both of which were stylistically very similar to Pushing Daisies, but that knowing fairy-tale style gets old real quick, and the show was utterly hamstrung by it.

And the Emmy for Outstanding Directing For A Comedy Series goes to...Barry Sonnenfeld for Pie-lette! As Noel Murray said on The AV Club, "it's kind of interesting that Sonnenfeld was all-but fired for going over budget and getting too ambitious with the show". Consider this a validation of his over-spending and reliance on a limited set of ideas. Thanks, Emmys! Luckily, as I have said many a time, once he stepped away from the director's chair, things improved immensely.

A little while ago I said of the episode of The Office called Dinner Party:

Director Paul Feig and writers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky delivered a masterpiece of sphincter-tightening discomfort that not only showed up the original BBC series (which I would have thought was an impossibility), but also anything that fraud Mike Leigh has done. It was the kind of format-busting experiment that proves that, when given enough legroom by the suits at the network, mainstream TV can transcend expectations and deliver devastating and uncompromising storytelling.

And the Emmy for Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series goes to...Tina Fey for the 30 Rock episode Cooter (pictorially represented here by herself, because of Reason X)!

Oh, I can't hate on Tina Fey for winning that one, as she is just literally absolutely factually the utter Queen of the mystical land of Shiznit, but even so, that wasn't the best episode of the season. Great fun, but not quite there (though I did love all of the Matthew Broderick stuff; some of my favourite satire of the year).

It's all a bunch of gratuitous carping up in this bitch! That's not good. Ignore it all. Though I had my own preferences in these categories, the winners all pleased me in some way or other. It's not like there are any really egregious choices there, and even if I felt really negatively towards something (such as the work of Sonnenfeld and Weiner), it was often setting in stone a template for something that I grew to like very much. Congratulations to everyone who won, for reals. And yes yes, I did find a red carpet picture of Matthew Weiner (seen here with John Slattery).

If you think I'm going to get as many hits by covering this blog with pictures of Matthew Weiner, talented fellow though he is, instead of pictures of Christina Hendricks, then you are smoking the drugs. I'm all about the hits, people.

1 comment:

sjwoo said...

Apparently it was one of the lowest rated Emmys, too, so you don't know your own strength, Admiral.

We only caught the final hour and didn't think it was so bad (my guess is that Byrne, Laurie, and Hamm split the vote and somehow Cranston snuck in there). However, I'd like to lodge a formal complaint against Tina Fey. As much as I love her, she has got to stop with her "I'm so ugly" schtick, because she's not. Not even close. If she suddenly starts to look like Camryn Manheim, yeah, she can proclaim her unattractiveness, but Fey is already well established as the sexy librarian, so she needs to cool it.