Monday, September 21, 2009

The 61st Primetime Emmy Awards

Last night's ceremony was brisk and elegant with the right amount of originality and a few surprises.

The host, Neil Patrick Harris, did an excellent job and I wouldn't be surprised if he were soon asked to host the Oscars, given that he's fast becoming an industry darling when it comes to successfully hosting award events. It doesn't hurt that he's gay and very cute.

The big winners of the night were:
  • HBO, with the highest number of wins (21) out of the highest number of nominations (99);
  • 30 Rock, taking home the Best Comedy award for the third time in a row;
  • Mad Men, winning for Best Drama for the second time in a row;
  • and perennial favorites The Amazing Race (the new season starts next Sunday, and I can't wait) and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
Other big winners were Glenn Close (Damages), Alec Baldwin (30 Rock), and Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) for winning a second time in a row for their work.

I was very happy for Toni Collette (who plays 5 characters in one in United States of Tara) and Jessica Lange (for Grey Gardens -- because I like her, even though I wouldn't recognize her anymore with all the work she's had done).

I felt very bad for Neil Patrick Harris, who Ray tells me is very good in How I Met Your Mother and whom I wanted to see win because he is openly gay and plays a womanizer on prime TV, thereby invalidating a lot of stereotypes.

I was surprised by Michael Emerson's win (Lost) even though he totally deserves it (he's wickedly good in the part of the bad guy) and Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies) and judging from her reaction, so was she.

A good ceremony whose new format, splitting the awards in segments based on their type (Comedy, Miniseries-Made for TV Movies, Reality, Variety, and Drama) made sense and increased the overall cohesiveness, making for a more organic experience.

However, I do wish they hadn't opened with Comedy, perpetuating its lesser status when compared to Drama. Given the innovation of the new format, to a minimum, they could have awarded Best Drama first at the end of the night, perhaps starting a trend were Comedy and Drama's top prizes alternate their order at the end of the show.

Other than that, an entertaining night.

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