Stay Tuned
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Monday, August 28, 2006

The Morning After

Thanks again to everyone who stopped by here last night to see if I could actually pull this off. As you know, my original plan was to update every 15 minutes, but I quickly realized it was just easier to really do it as it happened (Although my sore arms this morning probably don’t agree!). I hope all of you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

However, because I was so busy trying to keep up, I didn’t get to put my opinion in very much, so I wanted to take a minute or two this morning to give a little perspective—if that’s possible since I’m still more than a little giddy.

I’ve already read one review this morning that said Conan was the only bright spot in an otherwise “dull” show. I guess we were watching different shows.

I admit I didn’t get the show’s whole impact because I was just trying to keep up, but my biggest problem was that everything seemed a little rushed as it was clear from the get-go that there would be no long speeches—although the director probably gave the longest.

The show got off to a strange start with Conan’s video opening with a plane crash. Considering what had transpired that day in Kentucky, it was a little eerie (The NBC Station Manager in Lexington was apparently horrified.); but that feeling quickly went away as we saw him joined by Hurley from “Lost.” When Conan asked Hurley to come with him to the Emmys, he responded, “Dude, we weren’t exactly invited.” It was a truly inspired way to address the “snubs” without overly dwelling on it. All of the other parts of the video were good too though I wasn’t sure why if every other show was in character that Conan wouldn’t play along by saying Jack and not Kiefer. The “Dateline: To Catch a Predator” was absolutely hilarious, even though it was almost ruined by Chris Hansen’s attempt at acting. The ending, however, lacked a little as there was no real transition from the video to Conan on stage.

Conan’s opening monologue was also strong, but then things went a little overboard as he launched into a song and dance number about how there were big troubles at NBC. This would’ve been a great sketch on Conan’s show, but for the Emmys it seemed inappropriate and WAY too long.

I also thought the Bob Newhart in a glass box bit was funny, but I think they went to it too many times.

The show wisely cut out the tribute to TV’s new “golden age” and instead went with the Aaron Spelling tribute. Though it went a little long and could’ve used more clips, it was quite moving and it was nice to see the “Angels” back together again (Wow, did Jaclyn Smith put Farrah Fawcett to shame!).

The Dick Clark tribute was not too bad itself, but it still rang a little hollow for me because the timing just seemed off. Barry Manilow did come off a little cheesy and his attempt at spontaneity by walking over to Dick Clark didn’t work. It was nice to hear Clark sounding much stronger than he did on New Year’s Eve. And Simon Cowell didn’t do too badly with the cue cards and actually sounded gracious in introducing Clark. And he looked really good…

Unfortunately, most of the presenter banter was downright painful to watch—especially Martin and Charlie Sheen, who were mistakenly sent out too early, cutting off Conan’s introduction. But those moments were thankfully overshadowed by Hugh Laurie’s French translation and Stephen Colbert lamenting his loss to Barry Manilow. This was a good year, however, for acceptance speeches. The best speech award would have to go to Outstanding Writing for a Comedy winner Greg Garcia (“My Name Is Earl”) for naming everyone he didn’t want to thank, like the teacher who told him to sit down and shut up in seventh grade. There were also some great heartfelt ones from Jeremy Piven, Megan Mullally, Mariska Hargitay, and of course, Kiefer. Though some posters on the “TV Guide” blog apparently disagree with me, I thought Kiefer’s comments about his dad were adorable and exactly how any of us would react if we were laying eyes on one of our parents for the first time in months during one of the biggest moments of our careers. Some of the “TV Guide” posters—who were also apparently watching another show—thought Donald Sutherland looked mad. All I saw was pure pride. It was one of the show’s true highlights.

Kudos also to the people backstage who got Kiefer back to the front of the room in time for the best drama category. I was kind of worried.

As for the awards, there were some surprises. Blythe Danner, Tony Shalhoub and yes, even Kiefer and “24” were all surprises. And after thinking about it for a while, I have to agree that “Grey’s Anatomy” not winning anything was, indeed, a surprise. I said last night that the Supporting Actress race would tell us how the wind was blowing for “Grey’s” and boy did it ever! Don’t despair “Grey’s” fans, your show’s time is coming. It’s just that after its best year ever (in its fifth season, no less) and with half of the new fall shows inspired by it, the Emmys just couldn’t ignore “24," giving FOX its first drama series win (Kiefer's win was a first for the network too.).

The biggest disappointment of the night was, without a doubt, the Supporting Actor in a Drama category. It was bad enough that Gregory Itzin lost, but Alan Alda wasn’t even there. I wouldn’t have minded Itzin’s loss so much if “Wing” had been given a proper eulogy through Alda’s speech.

So how did I do with my picks? Not too well—and that’s just fine with me. The final scorecard shows I got two picks (Piven and “The Office”), two of my wild cards won (Mullally and Alda) and—most importantly—two of my Want to Wins (the ones I wanted most) walked away with trophies.

All in all, it was a pretty great night and I’m so glad all of you were here to share it with me!

If you’d like to relive the magic, you can catch an encore of the ceremony tonight on Bravo beginning at 9.