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Tempest in a Tea Cup: An Emmy Weekend Round-up

So I succumbed just a little bit to the Emmy mania that was sweeping through Los Angeles last night. Just a little bit, anyway. It all started Saturday with the Fourth Annual BAFTA Emmy Tea Party at the Park Hyatt Hotel, where the red carpet was walked by some of my favorite American, British, and Commonwealth television actors (more on that to come).

However, I will say that I didn't watch much of the actual Emmy telecast last night but instead stuck to my time-honored tradition of getting the winners from the internet and tuned in to some random moments whilst doing some other things (like trying to get drunk off of the drinks at a certain show's post-Emmy bash at The Highlands, where people watching the tape-delayed telecast seemed deliriously unaware of the award show's outcome). So then, which Emmy awards worked for me and which ones just didn't?

Megan Mullally for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy.

Gawd, seriously? Yes, it was Will & Grace's swan song this past season but that show stopped being relevant (and funny) years ago. (While Mullally's Karen may have once been hysterical, she'd become a cartoonish shrew of a character.) I really had my heart set on seeing Jaime Pressley accept that particular award, especially as Pressley was My Name is Earl's only shot at taking home one of the major awards. But alas...

Julia Louis-Dreyfus for Best Actress in a Comedy.

I was thrilled to see Louis-Dreyfus win and her weepy acceptance speech about the "reality" of certain post-Seinfeld curses was as hysterical as it was touching. Her performance in Old Christine is fun, fierce, and outright funny AND she remembered to thank her hubby, Brad Hall. Well, only after Debra Messing prompted her, anyway. If Lisa Kudrow couldn't take home the prize for her stunning turn as Valerie Cherish on The Comeback, I'm glad that it was Louis-Dreyfus who did. (Though poor Valerie: always a bridesmaid and never a bride.)

"The Amazing Race" for Best Reality Program.

Um, as if there was ANY doubt...

Helen Mirren for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Movie

I adore Helen Mirren and while I was rooting for Bleak House's Gillian Anderson to take home the prize, she lost to undeniably one of the very best actresses in the business. I thought that Mirren's acceptance speech walked just the right line between the silly and the serious and her message to writers thanking them for realizing all of their characters was touching, as was her insistence that there are actresses of every age and race waiting for more incredible characters to play. Sadly, it's a message that most people at the Shrine Auditorium need to hear.

Jeremy Piven for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy.

Freddie called and he wants his ascot back.

Tony Shalhoub for Best Actor in a Comedy.

Okay, here's where things get really weird. I love Tony Shalhoub, absolutely adore the guy. But over The Office's Steve Carell? Seriously? There's no contest whatsoever. To me, this was Carell's year, between The Office and Little Miss Sunshine on the big screen and he was ROBBED. I nearly ripped out my hair when I heard about this one. But it also cemented the notion in my head that the Academy would choose to recognize the series as a whole and not a particular performance or episode. (While I would have liked Michael Schur to win for Writing, I still don't think that "Christmas Party" was the series' strongest episode this past season.)

Kiefer Sutherland for Best Actor, Drama, and "24" for Best Drama

If Lost couldn't even get on the nomination list, I'm glad that Sutherland and 24 took home the top prizes last night for delivering another taut, gripping season of geopolitical terrorism in this kooky post-9/11 world of ours. Though I'd still rather have seen another "Jack" take the stage last night...

"The Office" for Best Comedy

Thank the Lords of Kobol that The Office actually did win, though there was still the slightest possibility in my mind that somehow the dearly missed Arrested Development would be crowned again. However, I was as pleased as punch that my current favorite comedy series was awarded the top prize last night and that the entire cast and crew, all looking exceptionally gorgeous in fact, took to the stage to celebrate. Everyone that is, except for Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, who mysteriously remained in their seats. Ricky and Stephen, while The Office has taken on a life of its own in its sophomore season, the series' existence in the first place is all down to you two and your own effingly brilliant Slough-based Office. And David Brent would have wanted you up there...

Meanwhile, the day before, I had the pleasure of meeting Gervais and Merchant. And, not only is Stephen Merchant seriously tall (I mean *really* tall) but he's also apparently quite press-shy. I tried to make him walk the red carpet press line on Saturday at the BAFTA Emmy Tea Party, but he remained stubbornly resistant, choosing instead to wait for Ricky to make it down the press line before entering the party together. (I do have to say though that both Gervais and Merchant are charmingly down-to-earth, considering the fact that I consider him to be a comedy genius and general all-around god.)

Also almost devishly nice is the adorable Lucy Davis (The Office's Dawn Tinsley) who was gorgeously tan and super-cute and who arrived with the equally gracious Owain Yeoman, late of FOX victim Kitchen Confidential, who shows up this fall as a hostage-taker on The Nine.

Another adorable pair was The 4400's Joel Gretsch and his lovely wife Melanie who were on hand with fellow 4400'ers Jacqueline McKenzie (drop-dead stunning in an orange dress), Richard Kahan, and an almost-unrecognizable Patrick Flueger, who showed up in full rocker mode with black, spiky hair, a nose ring, and striped, tight pants, accentuated with a silver chain. No sign of Chad Faust, however. (Though come back tomorrow for some thoughts on last night's simply jaw-dropping finale of The 4400.)

I chatted with a super-friendly Tahmoh Penikett about next season's Battlestar Galactica and he was thrilled to talk with someone who had actually seen the first five episodes of the series' third season (that would be yours truly) and had some very kind words to say about fellow BSG actor Michael Hogan (that would be Colonel Tigh), whom he hadn't really gotten to share a scene with before the upcoming season. As for what those scenes deal with, you'll have to wait until this fall.

But the best moment at the BAFTA event had to be when I recognized one of my favorite actor/writers, Simon Pegg, wandering around the red carpet in oversized sunglasses and denim shorts, clearly unnerved by the glitziness of the entire affair. Apologizing for not wearing long trousers, Pegg was clearly hoping to slink in unobserved (or slink out), but I made him walk the press line (I had failed with Merchant, so here was my chance to make up for it), only after chatting with him about how much I loved Shaun of the Dead and Spaced (shame on you if you've never seen it) and how I couldn't wait for his follow-up to Shaun, Hot Fuzz. Pegg seemed stunned that I knew who he was, much less was excited about his next film. It was quite simply one of the very best birthday presents I could have asked for.

And it almost made up for the lack of Lost on the Emmy bill. Well, almost...

What's On Tonight

8 pm: Two and a Half Men/How I Met Your Mother (CBS); Katrina: The Long Road Back (NBC); 7th Heaven (WB); Wife Swap (ABC); Prison Break (FOX); Major League Baseball (UPN)

9 pm: Two and a Half Men/The New Adventures of Old Christine (CBS); Medium (NBC); 7th Heaven (WB); Wife Swap (ABC); Vanished (FOX)

10 pm: CSI: Miami (CBS); Medium (NBC); Supernanny (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

9 pm: Vanished.

It's the second episode of FOX's new serialized drama Vanished (reviewed originally here). On tonight's episode ("The Tunnel"), some new clues open up the scope of the investigation. Meanwhile, the senator's ex-wife (Penelope Ann Miller) tries to reconnect with her family. I smell a red herring...

10 pm: Life on Mars on BBC America.

It's the sixth episode of this brilliant (and British) mind-bending mystery series that stars State of Play's John Simm as Detective Sam Tyler, a modern-day copper who wakes up in 1973. On tonight's episode, Sam finds himself confronting a hostage situation but for that hostage-taker things just got very personal...

10 pm: Weeds on Showtime.

Season Two of Showtime's suburban-set pot dramedy is in full swing. On tonight's episode ("Last Tango in Agrestic"), Nancy faces some, er, growth problems with younger son Shane, while Celia enroles Isabelle in boot camp and Heylia has a suitor.

11 pm: Lovespring International on Lifetime.

The improvised comedy returns with a brand new episode tonight. On tonight's installment, a Lovespring client falls in love with a homeless woman (guest star Alanis Morissette) that Burke smuggled in to Lovespring HQ to paint his office. Ain't love grand?


Anonymous said…
It's times like this that I really hate that you aren't here anymore.

This little comment box just isn't enough.

I thought we were in for a really bad night when Megan M won. It was definitely a WTF?!? moment. Things got immediately better (Alan Alda - woo!)

I was happy for Julia L-D.

Thrilled for Keifer and 24. Finally.

Piven. Feh. We all knew it was coming, and yet we were all still unhappy. I was holding out the slightest of hopes for Gob.

While I thought Steve Carrell was a shoo-in, and was defintely rooting for him, I am glad that at least it was Tony Shalhoub that won (again) and not one of the others. Seriously, Tony S is the new Candace Bergen. He looked slightly embarrassed to win again.

I know you didn't watch the show, but you really missed some great Conan moments.

And I was so thrilled to see one of my best friends on stage. Definitely a highlight.
Anonymous said…
You know I love Amazing Race, but I was actually pulling for Project Runway to take the Emmy this year. I'll take Santino's Tim Gunn impersonations over the stupid hippies constant Robin Williams imitations anyday.

The Race's last season was one of its weakest and Project Runnway never failed to entertain. After the past few suspicious episodes of this season's Runway,I'm reminded of just how great last season was.
Anonymous said…
I was surprised that Steve Carell didn't take home an Emmy but he may get an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor with the success of "Little Miss Sunshine." Fingers crossed. At least "The Office" was triumphant in the best comedy category. I'm really happy that non-traditional comedies ("The Office," "Arrested Development,") are getting more recognition. Now if only the networks would keep them on the air...

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