Tuesday, September 18, 2018

About EMMYS 2018

There were some golden moments -- one involved a surviving cast member of THE GOLDEN GIRLS -- and the show ended on time.  Unlike the Oscars, the Emmys telecast didn't go over three hours.  However, I do hope that the writers, producers and director all recorded the Emmys show and will watch in real time like we viewers had to do last night.  That way, they can see for themselves why the telecast mostly sucked.  The opening musical number satirizing networks' lack of diversity in shows and casting was pretty ho-hum and eventually unfortunate.  Unfortunate because there were so few winners of color that CBS star James Corden, when he got up to be a presenter, requested the show be called "Emmys So White."
The absolutely terrific Regina King won and Emmy.  So did Thandie Newton.  But, at a certain point in the show, we saw more black people in the In Memoriam package that we did making acceptance speeches.
The hosts were Colin Jost and Michael Che from SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE.  The Emmys aired on NBC.  Later in the show, Che did a taped comedy feature called "Reparation Emmys."  THAT was funny.  He took an Emmy and presented it to black actors who were overlooked by the TV academy decades ago.  We saw Marla Gibbs, Jimmie Walker, Jaleel White and the inimitable John Witherspoon.  That piece should have opened the show instead of the lame "We Solved It" diversity crisis number.

Betty White made a special guest appearance.  She looked marvelous, a radiant 96.  Henry Winkler was the show's first winner and his Emmy was very well-deserved.  The role of the Southern California acting class teacher on HBO's BARRY is the best one he's had in decades.  The teacher has no idea one of his new students is a hired killer.  The problem with the Emmys was evident during Winkler's acceptance speech.  The actor became a huge TV star on HAPPY DAYS back in the 1970s.  He'd never won an Emmy.  He had about 40 seconds to make an acceptance speech after a much too-long and moderately funny opening monologue by the SNL host couple.  Time should've been whacked off that monologue in rehearsals and allotted to the night's first winner.  Winkler's acceptance speech and the love he got from the audience was a show highlight.

About love … the peak memorable moment of last night's show was true love and the live marriage proposal made by Emmy winner Glenn Weiss during his acceptance speech.  Glenn is pretty much the annual director of the Oscars and the Tony Awards. The audience went wild with applause.  A fabulous unexpected moment.  The girlfriend loved it too. She didn't see it coming either.
I had several fun days working with Glenn Weiss back in the early 90s.  After my contract with VH1 expired, one of the gigs I booked was as host of a relationship game show called BEDROOM BUDDIES, directed by Glenn Weiss.  Think THE NEWLYWED GAME only, on our show, couples didn't have to be married. It's a long, loopy story but I wound up getting that job thanks to Broadway Tony winner and film/TV actress Joanna Gleason.  The show was a 4-week summer replacement late night game show.  The four weeks were a test to see if we'd get picked up for syndication.

We didn't.  Everyone on the crew, except for the show's executive producer/creator, knew that it wouldn't get picked up because it was cheesier than a Wisconsin fondue.  We knew that critics would hate it.  Which they did.  One TV critic wrote "Not since Chernobyl..." They hated the suggestive contest questions about the couples' love lives.  Our game show was a spin-off from one called STUDS which had bachelors looking for love.

Critics hated the show but the experience of working with Glenn Weiss, the writers and the rest of that crew was one of the most fun work experiences I ever had in my career.  I loved every single day.  Our motto was, "Let's do our best, keep a good sense of humor, then take the money and run."

Mazel Tov, Glenn Weiss.  You deserve happiness.

Other than that -- the Emmy comedy bits with Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen, two comedy performers I totally dig, all fell flat over and over again.  Will Ferrell....why was he there?  His bit was funny … only to Will Ferrell.

My biggest disappointment with last night's Emmys?  Sandra Oh didn't win an Outstanding Actress award.

We didn't hear any Emmy winner say "It's an honor just to be nominated," nevertheless I'm positive that's how many of them felt.  Oscar winner Sally Field has been on network TV promoting the publication of her memoir, IN PIECES.  I've been lucky enough to interview her three times on TV.  The first piece I ever did that aired nationally was a 6-minute interview of Sally Field when she was promoting her 1981 comedy film, BACK ROADS. She'd won her first Oscar by then.  In 1988, she was a wonderful guest on my prime time VH1 talk show.  When I worked on WNBC local news, I interviewed her when she was promoting 1994's FORREST GUMP.

I have never, ever been nominated for either a local or national Emmy in my entire career.  If I was to hear my name in years to come as an Emmy nominee, I'd probably break out crying and I truly would feel that it's an honor just to be nominated.

1 comment:

  1. That was a boring show. I usually love Maya and Fred, but their bits were so bad.


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