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Tina Fey's Sarah Palin earns a big 'You betcha' from the Emmy people

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jul 17th 2009 2:03PM
Tina Fey as Sarah PalinTina Fey's surprise return to Saturday Night Live as Sarah Palin was one of the ten greatest TV moments of 2008 (and quite possibly the decade, the century, the millennium and the eon).

So it's no surprise that Fey's name and show 30 Rock came up so many times in the recent list of Emmy nods. I'm no longer convinced that she's a woman. I'm convinced she's an experimental humanoid prototype designed by studio executives solely to win awards like Tom Hanks (aka "Project Red Shoe").

It's also no surprise that one of the two acting nods she scored included her Palin performance on SNL.

The Emmy nod is the perfect praise for the power of Fey's impression and performance of the polarizing Presidential applicant. (My apologies for the perplexing and repetitive "P" sound. My apologies for saying "apologies" and for saying it again and so on).

It's fairly easy to do a Palin impression. The woman is more one-sided and easier to figure out than a green Rubik's Cube. Here's the recipe if you want to make one at home: throw in a scoop of Minnesota housewife, a bit of Peggy Hill confidence, throw in two heaping scoops of "You betchas" and unnecessary winks, stir vigorously until it reaches the very edge of disorientation, ice and pour.

Fey didn't do that. She really threw herself into the whole character, mirroring the things people loved and hated about her all at the same time. She captured her charm and homespun uniqueness that helped her stand out in the political muck, and nailed her empty rhetoric and rambling responses that scrambled frantically around in darkness behind a perpetual cutesy smirk.

It might look easy, but playing someone who doesn't know what they are doing while they are trying to fake it is extremely difficult and deserves special recognition, much like Michael C. Hall's work as Dexter Morgan who also got a nod this year for Best Dramatic Actor. In fact, Fey should have been nominated for Best Guest Appearance in a Dramatic Series instead of a Comedy for her Palin performance. Either Fey is that good or Palin was that fake.

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Carly

This should be a no contest. There is a related post at http://iamsoannoyed.com/?page_id=588

July 18 2009 at 8:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim

Two points:

1. Tina's impression of Palin was very good, but the real beauty of it was that 80 percent of the writing was lifted from things Palin REALLY said.

2. I don't get the "Project Red Shoe" reference, but I can tell you that Hanks' movie, The Man With One Red Shoe, was not very good.

July 17 2009 at 3:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Jim's comment
Danny Gallagher

It was either "Project Red Shoe" or "Project Hooch" and "Project Red Shoe" sounded more sciency.

July 17 2009 at 3:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Scott

Careful, Danny, I don't think Palin approves of anything remotely sciency (a word she'd definitely use!)
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It was either "Project Red Shoe" or "Project Hooch" and "Project Red Shoe" sounded more sciency.
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July 17 2009 at 3:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Skapig

The sheer number of nominations for 30 Rock and Fey demonstrates how much of a joke the Emmys are. Both are insanely overrated. At best, they achieve mediocrity. The show never approaches brilliance. It just doesn't suck. With very few scripted comedies on the air and even fewer halfway decent ones, there isn't a whole lot of competition. For whatever reason, the media laps up Fey and went crazy for her once Palin hit the scene (easier than tracking down hard news, I suppose). From what I've seen, there isn't anything to justify the rabid fanaticism.

July 17 2009 at 2:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Skapig's comment
Joey Geraci

What do you consider a "brilliant" comedy? I think a show that is consistently funny, edgy, and unique deserves all the accolades it can get. There certainly haven't been many comedies throughout history that have been better.

July 17 2009 at 4:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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