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The 2012 Emmy Awards: What did you think?

Sep 24, 2012

Join Post TV columnist Lisa de Moraes to discuss the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, including who won what, how Jimmy Kimmel did as host, surprises, disappointments and more.

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- The 2012 Primetime Emmy Awards live blog
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- The red carpet at the 2012 Emmy Awards: Decoding the fashion statements - Sunday's Emmy show filled with surprises. Honest.

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I understand "Sherlock" losing to "Game Change", but Downton Abbey walking away empty-handed... really?

Hi and welcome to the Emmy post-mortem chat! Let's get started....

You're forgetting Dame Maggie Smith's win for best supporting actress in a drama series -- easy to forget since she did not show up to give an acceptance speech.  I think  "Downton" won a couple Emmys the previous weekend too -- hairstyling and music composition. I know, not much compared to last year. Let's face it, the last season wasn't as good as the first, and "Downton" simply got mowed over by all the love for "Homeland." If they change the name of the show to "Downton Abbey: Asylum" next season, debuting in January, will the TV academy let it return to the Best Movie/Miniseries competition?

I don't get Showtime so am unable to watch "Homeland." I do get AMC and am a big "Mad Men" fan. Is "Homeland" that much better of a show than "Mad Men"?

Such a different sort of show. "Homeland" is the new chick in town and had loads of momentum going into Sunday's trophy show -- she said with perfect 20/20 hindsight.

Any idea why he never wins?

Because he makes it look so easy.  He's the Jean Arthur of TV thespianism. (Arthur was one of the best --ever but made it look so easy, she never won an Oscar. )

Wow - that was just terrible. Other than Julia Louis-Dreyfus/Amy Poehler bit and Jon Stewart it was unwatchable. Dan Zak had it right this morning - I will never watch the Emmy's again - will check in for the red carpet and then follow awards via your live blog.

I'm flattered -- thank you! But, unlike Dan, I found the show fascinating to watch -- but I'm a more serious student of TV -- like a doctor who is fascinated by all his patients' ailments.  Clearly the Emmy show is ailing.... it looks to be one of its lower rated.

Did she get some in the limo before she show or stick her finger in an electrical socket? Please explain this Emmy winner's hair.

I'll explain Bowen's hair if you'll explain Claire Danes' gown.....

Why does Claire Danes bug the crap out of me as much as she does? And what the heck was up with her yellow dressed comrade Julie Bowen and all her references to nipples? Tacky!!!!!!

You say "tacky" as though you meant it to sting... I think it was intended to be a gag... my guess is that deep down, she resents the insistence of ABC Decency Police that she wear nipple covers, feeling they hamper her natural talents.

Pookie, I was barely able to find the Post's liveblog of the telecast and when I did... what a disappointment. Something like the Emmys needs back-and-forth with your readers. Do you prefer not to use that format or is this a Post mandate?

Here's what happened. The Post is testing different ways of covering live events -- I'm all for that.  They had hoped to have a live blog with a chat-like commenting system beneath it, but the commenting system "broke" Sunday afternoon.  A dedicated team of very hard working folks here tried to remedy the situation asap.  Glitches happen.

Isnt Claire Danes pregnant? That is why I thought she had so many rolls in the cover her baby bump.

Yes, and if you look at Danes on the red carpet, it drapes nicely around her baby bump. But, by the time she walked ou on stage, it looked, frankly,  like a lovely, simple, columnar sheath that unfortunately had gottten caught up in the elastic waist of her knickers.

Whoever convinced Julie Bowen, Claire Danes and especially Julianne Moore that Emmy-dressing from top to bottom in the same hideous solid shade of fluorescent yellow-green as my local fire engines are painted for high visibility should have to pay the bill for the damage to my eyeballs. In the name of ophthalmology, is there some way the Emmy producers can ban this shade from future shows?

This is what makes this country so great -- I loved, loved, loved Julianne Moore's dress. First, I have nothing but respect for someone who tries to pull off that color. Apparently it takes red hair and porcelain white skin. Next, she's got nerves of steel to show up at a Hollywood trophy show that covered up. Really, she's my fashion hero. I thought she looked gorgeous.

Pookie, my criterion for judging an actor's Emmy-worthiness is how much their show would suffer if another actor replaced them in the part. By that token, Sofia Vergara is the most valuable adult actor on Modern Family and Julie Bowen the least. How do you explain Bowen's two consecutive wins while Vergara's passed over? Could it be jealousy of her looks, which would also explain Jon Hamm? +

No, I can't explain it unless -- see Ed O'Neill answer, previous....Julie Bowen is very good as the family dork, but Vergara deserves the win...

I watch the Oscars every year because the movies are new every year. The Emmys are so boring because almost every category is a repeat winner. So it just becomes the same exact people thanking the same exact agents every year. At least Mad Men finally lost this year. Last season of Mad Men was just one depressing episode after another.

Redundancy is the enemy of  the Emmys and when the TV academy and show producers figure that out, they'll be making progress. So far -- no luck. Term limits maybe? That said, there was more turnover this year than in the past several -- new winners for best drama series, actress and actor -- that's three  biggies. The comedy wins were a repeat of last year...

I haven't seen "Homeland." I expect ratings for their show to shoot up after their big wins. But I don't know how it would be possible to surpass Season 4 of "Breaking Bad" - especially Cranston's performance. Help me understand. Also Jimmy Kimmel was painfully bad.

Kimmel is an acquired taste -- and, yes, some of his gags fell very flat, like having his parents escorted from the theater. That was a page right out of his late night show... Meanwhile, Emmy wins do not translate to bigger ratings... seriously. If they did, "30 Rock" would be a monster hit...

Jimmy Kimmel has the best late night show. Why doesn't the Post list his guests daily? It's like his show doesn't exist.

When his show moves to 11:30 and he runs with the Big Boys, we'll add it... does that help?

Was that intentional (by ABC to an ABC show) so that Kimmel could attempt that joke?

It was VERY badly done... Levitan was clearly wrapping up his speech, and with a heartfelt comment about how grateful they all are to have jobs they love in the current economic environment -- aka "playing to the heartland" -- and in the time Kimmel got up on stage to make his "apology" for the producers' misstep, asking the unhappy audience they really wanted to stick around for another hour -- Levitan could have concluded his speech. It was very very badly done, on the producers' part, and on Kimmel's part. And the show ended before 11 p.m. according to our computers at the office, which suggests that maybe it was about squeezing in another ad break sold at Emmy prices. Which would not be cool,  if  that is what was going on...

Tom Bergeron finally won his long-deserved Emmy!

Big plus. He is the best reality show host. By several laps... and yes, I loved his comment about wanting to thank his family "most of whom know who they are."

Hi Lisa -- after last night the Emmys ceased to be an important awards show, not that it wasn't headed that direction already. The show itself couldn't have been more awkward and awful (I never did figure out what the Tracy Morgan bit was about), but worse than that we're back to the whole repeat winner issue. I have nothing against the winners themselves, but why on earth doesn't the academy or whoever adopt some rules about how many times a person/show gets to win? Or are nominees simply going to have take themselves out of the running to avoid embarrassment (as I believe Candace Bergen who decided that 5 for Murphy Brown was enough)?

The competition would lose all credibility if there were term limits because then what is really being judge -- certainly not which programs and actors were the best in their field...If the members of the Hollywood creative community had any good sense, they would stand down as, like you said, Candace Bergen did after winning several consecutive Emmys for best comedy actress, to give others a chance... Instead, they continue to submit themselves for consideration, and then, when they win -- a 10th time in a row, they nick the Emmy show -- during the Emmy show -- for being so redundant.. Yes, I'm looking at you, Jon Stewart...

If anything, guess it was nice for her to be mentioned?

Am I the only one who was shocked to be reminded "Game Change" aired during the eligibility period? It seems an eternity since HBO premiered it...

What should the producers do to make the show more interesting? For the first time in years I didn't stay up to watch the whole telecast, just didn't seem worth it to me. Although two fellow alumni from my tiny college were both up for Emmy's. Only one of them won. But it was still cool to see him up on stage.

What tiny college is that? What needs to happen is that 10 time winners need to be shamed into recusing themselves. The academy needs to convince major Hollywood stars to host the show. Not the Jimmy Kimmels of the world. Host segments need to be better -- having your parents removed from the hall because they told you as a child you would accomplish anything you set your mind to and you didn't just win the Emmy for best variety show, is maybe hilarious to your other family members but not to, you know, the rest of the country. Just because the opening segment was funny -- sorry, but I liked it -- doesn't mean you can skate through the other 2.5 hours.... I'd toss in a suggestion about acceptance speeches, but last night's were much better than usual -- not too many laundry lists of agents, manager, lawyers being thanked as usual in the trophy show genre... I could go on and on, but you're probably nodding off already...

I say no more thank-you' can say anything except that they have the best cast/crew/bosses, etc.

Yes, a giant foam hammer should come down from above and whack the actor on the head who starts thanking their lawyers. And thanking of  fiancees for "looking at me the way she does" should also merit a clunk on the head.. Or bring back the old vaudeville hook... I'd watch that

Jon Cryer's win had to be the worst (in terms of merit) and yet his utter shock and honesty in response made me glad he won. Does that mean I'm a sucker for an undeserving-dog?

Like I said in my recap of the night's many surprises, it was the least the TV academy could do for Cryer, for having survived like a gentleman all the show's Charlie Sheen years...though it was like watching the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show give is Best in Show win to a rescue mutt...

Pookie -- which dresses wowed you?

Edie Falco's Stella McCartney dress for sure... Also Julianne Moore's Dior. Plus: January Jones' Zac Posen gown was a knockout. And Tina Fey looked lovely in her Vivienne Westwood, but maybe mostly because I'm not used to seeing her in something so flattering and conservative -- she usually veers toward the goofy. Finally, Lucy Liu's Versace warrior-princess gown was great...

I thought the biggest diss on Sarah Palin, although some might not have interpreted it that way (given the "thumbs down" comment), was when Julianne Moore thanked her dialect coach for "Game Change." Sheesh, if Sarah speaks so strangely that an experienced actor like Moore needs a coach, that reflects pretty badly on Palin, doesn't it?

Not at all. Why does it reflect badly on Sarah Palin -- or on an actress portraying her --  that the actress acknowledged Palin has a very distinctive way of speaking?

Earlham College, who is not known for its acting program....

Thanks for responding...

Who was the guy with her? He looked familiar, but I couldn't place the face.

That's her husband, Geoffrey Arend. You may know him for ABC's "Body of Proof."

I've been telling people for a long time that Jimmy K should host the Emmys and/or the Oscars. What happened? I would have thought he kill. I love him and even I was disappointed.

It wasn't his best, for sure.. Meanwhile, the ratings just came out and for the record the  Emmycast clocked 13.2 million viewers, which is about 800,000 viewers more than watched last year's trophy show on Fox -- and 1 million better than the last time it aired on ABC, four years ago when it was hosted by a panel of reality series hosts -- a broadcast that is in the history books as having set a new standard for bad Emmy show ideas...

I'm a regular watcher of both shows. I have always admired "Mad Men" but the plots are generally a slow burn with occasional huge payoffs. "Homeland" is on fire with huge payoffs every single episode. I was left speechless at the end of many a "Homeland" episode and would immediately want to see the next one. It's addicting and one of the best shows I've seen in a long, long time. I think it completely deserved the win over "Mad Men."

Great answer to earlier question in re why "Homeland" over "Mad Men." Thanks.

Ms. Pookie: Clearly all your talent is in your incisive mind and sharp tongue, not it in your closet. That fabulous expensive French designer dress had an elastic waist, that's why. I guess Peas in the Pod or whatever maternity stores they have in Hollywood isn't a place to shop for red carpet attire.

 I know Lanvin. I own Lanvin. Lanvin is one of my best friends. But  just because it's an expensive Lanvin gown does not mean it looked good on her when she walked out on stage. It looked awful. It looked gorgeous on her on the red carpet.... That's one of the tricky things about elastic -- it's a constantly moving target...

How did the Emmy's do in the overnights against football on NBC?

It finished behind football...

Thanks for the background on the technical difficulties. Sorry to hear your team had to deal with that and thanks for their efforts. On another note, are you surprised by the "Mad Men" snub? I know people felt the year was uneven, but the episode they seemed to submit in just about every major category - "The Other Woman" - was showshopping television.

It was a terrific episode.. My assumption is that academy voters are suffering from  "Mad Men" fatigue --and "Homeland" is a very bright new shiny light in the TV firmament.

Hey Pookie: I've got to say the best moments from last night's Emmy Awards broadcast were the ones that weren't scripted. To wit, the acceptance speeches by Jon Stewart, Damian Lewis and Tom Hanks were heartfelt and meaningful -- and to the point. And, not surprisingly, Stewart's became a sound bite this morning on NPR. Except for Ron Howard moving introduction of the "In memorium" to Andy Griffith, Dick Clark et. al. who've died since last year's Emmy broadcast, the scripted moments by Jimmy Kimmel and the presenters were dreadful and boring. I am only sorry that Dame Maggie Smith couldn't have been there to accept her award and liven the broadcast a bit.

It is a pity because she's a humdinger of a speech giver... I don't  think the scripted bits were as bad as you do....I'm wondering if the Emmys should take a year off -- like ABC did about 13 years ago with The Ten Commandments broadcast. After broadcasting the Charlton Heston orgy of excess for, like, forever, ABC took it off the rotation for a year which really gave people something to think about. The next year they came back in bigger numbers...

I thought he did fine. I read newpapers reviews where the reviewer apparently doesn't like him to begin with... His bits weren't written for people who long for Bonanza reunions. The show did drag on, when it got into the more dramatic awards with people who took the show too seriously. Two hours in, no one is looking for profound.

I'm never looking for profound in my trophy show viewing...but I agree with you...

The standing O for Michael J. Fox.

It was an aw-shucks moment, for sure...

How many people actually watched this year's various Emmy-nominated drama series? Is there some point at which the audiences are so small that , no matter how good they may be artistically, they're perhaps undeserving of nominations (analogous to the tree-falls-in-the-forest scenario)?

No, they're still deserving, but they're going to hammer the Emmy broadcast, ratingswise... It's like the Oscars the years when there is no big blockbuster movie competing for best picture -- the ratings plunge... One of the most watched Academy Awards broadcasts is also one of the most panned by critics -- the year David Letterman hosted... That's because "Titanic" was competing for best picture that year...

So did you think the whole tweeting about Tracy Morgan was lame? Did it play better in person than it did online?

I thought it was a baldfaced ratings play on Kimmel's part disguised as a "social media" moment. I'm very cynical about it... I'm also out of time. Thanks for joining me. I will still be chatting on Fridays, at the regular time. Hope you will join me.  Bye for now!

In This Chat
Lisa de Moraes
Pulitzer Prize winner, Peabody recipient, Medal of Freedom honoree -- Lisa de Moraes is none of these, but she is an authority on the bad direction, over-acting, and muddled plot lines being played out in the TV industry's executive suites. de Moraes worked for a decade as the television editor at The Hollywood Reporter, the entertainment industry trade paper, where she was routinely on the receiving end of more shouting phone calls from TV suits than Paula Abdul's manager.

When she upgraded to The Washington Post in 1998, a well-known executive producer called to suggest she have someone else start her car, but her trenchant writing (and refusal to use words like "trenchant") earned her the following praise from the brilliant, handsome media observer at Slate: "She writes like a wicked bitch." Wikipedia has called her "a noted television columnist," but they're often unreliable. It's pronounced "deh more ICE."

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