17 Jul

Award shows suck. This is a fact of life. However, a whole bunch of us will watch them. This is also a fact of life. We watch them because they’re being hosted by somebody we particularly like or we’re rooting for a particular show / actor to win or there’s nothing else on TV or our mothers like to watch and ask us to give them company or it’s a bet or it’s our job or perhaps we keep hoping that someone will now fall flat on their drunk face or maybe we just enjoy them – bad jokes, stiff banter, strange clothes and all. We each have our own cross to carry.

However, among the various awards shows, some are pure bullshit while others are hallowed institutions. Shows of the former variety can either embrace the fact that they’re simply a ratings ploy or an excuse for people to party (I’m looking at you, MTV) or continue to live in blissful denial (Golden Globes anyone?) and it’s fine because everyone knows the score. You see all the pretty (or pretty gross, depending on the show) people, pass your judgment and move on.

Then there are the shows that are supposed to matter – the ones that everyone takes so seriously, like the Oscars, the Peabodys, the Emmys…

Sigh. The Emmys.

I love television, especially American television. You’re not supposed to say that because the Brits are so much better with their tiny little shows where they do all kinds of cool things that they don’t allow in America (Exhibit A: Coupling) but I can’t help it. I come from the land of Ekta Kapoor. I’m television-deprived and America to me is the land of television-plenty where women don’t dress up like Cruella de Vil’s down-market ethnic cousin and men do more than just get passed around from mother to girlfriend to wife to mistress like an ungainly weepy parcel accompanied by a lot of bad “special effects” like thunder claps and lightning flashes. [Note: I’m probably making it all sound more fun than it actually is so consider yourself warned before you rent a DVD or something.]

Sorry, talking about Indian TV always brings out my bitter side. It’s just that I’m old enough to remember when it used to be really fucking good and young enough to see how it’s really fucking good elsewhere around the world now. Argh. Anyway…

So, the Emmys. Big deal, blah blah blah. I can’t stand it. Not only is it always a horribly boring show (except when Conan O’Brien was hosting and did his Anna Nicole Smith impression. Heh. But that’s neither here nor there, he did that thing every night for months when she had her show on and I laughed every single time) but it also sucks the fun out of those who are nominated. Even Hugh Laurie turns into a robot. A hot robot who can sing and play the piano but still a robot. Sure, you have the odd Stephen Colbert – Jon Stewart bit but even that sounds slightly off. But what bothers me about the Emmys more than anything else, are the people they nominate and vote for.

Take for example, this year’s nominees for Best Drama (full list here): Lost, Damages, Dexter, House, Mad Men & Boston Legal. First off, I’d like to point out the obvious – they had six spots to hand out and they still couldn’t manage to find a spot for The Wire or Friday Night Lights? Well done, messieurs et madames, well done!

Secondly, I haven’t seen Lost since the second season ended and left a bad taste in my mouth so I can’t say anything about it. I hear they’ve staged a comeback. Damages is a bit of a surprise, but Glenn Close and Ted Danson (and I’m saying this after watching that unfunny mess called Becker, so this means a lot) really hit this one out of the park so all right. Dexter is a show I love. I loved the book, I love Michael C. Hall, and I can’t wait for the third season to start! Yay, Dexter! Go kill somebody! House – and it really pains me to say this – was pretty meh for me this season until the last couple of episodes. But I love the show so I won’t be a cry baby about it. Mad Men is a show I really expected to dislike in spite of all the critical acclaim because I’m not all that fond of the “middle aged guys who booze and flooze” (not an actual word but should be in my opinion because how else will floozies exist?) stories, even if it is set in the 1960s but the show is just that well written and well made enough for me to have fallen in love with it.

And then there’s Boston Legal. Boston Legal. I’ve never been on board with this show no matter how quirky it got or how many sparks Captain Kirk and Mr. Grey (if you haven’t seen Secretary yet, put it on your list now. It’s completely disturbing how much I actually liked that movie) struck off each other. It’s always struck me as a mish mash of every single David E. Kelley show ever written and like every other David E. Kelley show (and dear God in heaven but this man has pretty much written and produced just about every single thing on television since he was old enough to get a paycheck – and married Michelle Pfieffer. Which has nothing to do with anything except I thought I should mention it as possible evidence that he is Dorian Gray. No! Please don’t hurt me, Mr. Kelley!) this strikes me as exceedingly average. At least shows like Ally McBeal and Boston Public or even The Practice had a couple of early seasons that were interesting and held out some hope of depth. Boston Legal – not so much. I just don’t get it.

Initially, I was just pissed to learn that BL had made it to the list once again but now I just want to know – what is it about Boston Legal that makes it so great? Maybe one of you is a fan and can explain?

And while we are on the subject, why is it that Mad Men got the love so early on while Friday Night Lights, which is just as well written and equally critically beloved (I won’t mention The Wire because everyone who’s ever seen that show has already railed about it and besides, at least it and Battlestar Galactica got nods for writing), can only get a nom for Casting?

Not that its casting director isn’t eminently praiseworthy for putting that ensemble together (I hope SAG is paying attention) but come on!


Posted by on July 17, 2008 in Entertainment, News, Television, Video


13 responses to “Travesty

  1. Overated Outcast

    July 18, 2008 at 1:07 am

    I really don’t care about Emmy nominations. To me, hollywood award functions are like the books nominated on Oprah’s book club.

    Anyways, I cling to my downloaded copies of The Wire and Friday night Lights, as much as John McCain supporters cling to religion.

    However, I love Boston Legal. I think it’s Kelly’s best work yet. For the first time, I’m actually sad that a show has reached it’s final season. What I like about the show is the way it sees things from a completely neutral and different perspective. Maybe that’s me.

    Okay, you saw multiple episodes of BECKER???. You’re really brave, lady. really brave. I think you deserve a Congressional medal or something for putting up with that piece of crap.

  2. narendra shenoy

    July 18, 2008 at 4:51 am

    My regular nightmare is when a spirit appears to me and grants me one wish, that he can make one person in the world vanish for ever and I can’t make up my mind whether to send Ekta Kapoor or Smriti Irani and the spirit, sick and tired of waiting around for me to make up my mind, himself vanishes, leaving me screaming in anguish.

    The american shows are better, I guess, lacking as they are in artistic contributions from both the aforementioned worthies.

    And you can really bash the keyboard! Enjoyed!

  3. Amey

    July 18, 2008 at 9:54 am

    While we are on TV serials (well, talking about them) and Indian TV made an appearance, have you seen the new Mahabharat? It’s just great…

  4. Amrita

    July 18, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    OO – thank you! Okay, so it’s just my general dislike for the Kelley school of television speaking then. I think Spader and Shatner have great chemistry but I generally don’t give a crap about what they’re doing together. I don’t fully understand my own reaction and I’m not willing to invest any time in the series to find out more for myself so I … I guess I’ll never know?
    And yes, I’ve seen multiple episodes of Becker! 😳 Did I say that out loud?

    NS – Hey, when the spirit moves, my fingers move! Verbosity is my friend! I’ve said this before about Ekta Mata and I’ll say it again, what bugs the hell out of me is that she has all this power to do fun and interesting stuff while continuing to churn out her bread and butter shows but she just puts out more crap. It’s the entire Jeetendra family has a grudge against us.

    Amey – No, I hadn’t even heard of it. No cardboard gold crowns on chubby warriors then? I have to check this out.

  5. Overated Outcast

    July 18, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    Oh, can you beleive that Sarah Silverman got nominated for I’m f*ucking Matt Damon!! hehe ….

    and she and jimmy just broke up ….

    why do couples break up after they succeed in something together??

  6. Amrita

    July 18, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    I know! At least the Emmys have a sense of humor, huh? 😀 And yeah, it’s kind of sad – somebody said it was because she got a new show and it’s been a difficult time for them as a couple. Sigh.

  7. Amey

    July 18, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    You haven’t heard of Ekta’s Mahabharat? The one with greeko-roman costumes and 300 and Jodha-Akbar copycat scenes? Have you been away from Indian blogosphere recently?

    P.S. Did I hear you say once that you lurk around my blog?

  8. Amrita

    July 19, 2008 at 10:24 am

    Oh, so that’s what prompted your Mahabharat post? Sorry, my mind’s been really fractured for the past few weeks. Ekta mata is producing it? Um… pass!

  9. Overated Outcast

    July 19, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    That’s what prompted my Mahabharat post too!!

    btw, did you like arrested development? I read somewhere that they are thinking about a big screen adaptation ….

    thank you carrie bradshaw!!

  10. Amrita

    July 22, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    Wait, that was you? Then what was Amey’s? Erm… 😳
    And I believe they’re looking for financing as we speak. bateman is definitely on board. YAY!!

  11. Amey

    July 22, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    Oh yes, the first week of the show prompted my “FAQ” post. You should watch it. Every single episode is worthy of a long post. The only reason I don’t want to start an independent blog dedicated to it is that I may get bored/irritated and stop watching it if I am alone.

  12. Sanket

    July 29, 2008 at 12:53 am

    ‘Friday Night Lights’ and ‘Battlestar Galactica’ are two of the only reasons I watch 60 minute dramas. My other addiction is ‘The Office’ & ‘Entourage’. Plus ‘The Wire’ was so damn good that no one should ever make cop dramas anymore – just show reruns of ‘The Wire’ instead and rack up monster ratings with absolutely no work – Hollywood will love it 🙂

  13. Amrita

    July 29, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    Amey – hee 😀

    Sanket – Are you on the Mad Men love train?

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