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August 30, 2015

Seven Emmy-Worthy TV Shows Within TV Shows

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jul 18th 2010 4:00PM
Emmy statueEvery year, the Academy of Television Arts and Science hands out hundreds of Emmys in categories that cover every inch of TV minutiae except "Best use of eyebrows by a cable newscaster" and "Best catering." One major category of meta-TV awesomeness, however, has been unjustly ignored by the Academy: shows within shows.

These fictional blocks of television programming creep up in a variety of situations -- a character may work as a TV personality in the narrative, or we may just see characters watching the tube while they're chilling on couch. They may fill up just 30 seconds of screen time, but shows within shows have to be flawless in order to drive the story and serve their often-comedic purposes. So here's our attempt to recognize the best TV shows within TV shows.

May I have the envelope, please?

Outstanding Dramatic Series in an Outstanding Animated Series: 'The Scary Door' on 'Futurama'

Sure, shows like 'All My Circuits' and 'Everybody Loves Hypnotoad" draw in huge audiences by enthralling viewers with riveting plot lines, endearing characters and toads that can melt the personal will of their viewers, but 'The Scary Door' adds an extra scoop of pathos to a tragedy sundae that's already served in a hubris bowl.

Mankind's true nature is put to the ultimate test as unwitting souls embark on a strange journey through some kind of space-type place where they encounter a giant eyeball or a monster, or something. It's that unknown that truly frightens man more than any other force on Earth, and when those unknowns are made known, they might seem scary or they might not. Either way, we get to watch it as opposed to doing something boring like working or delivering things, so it deserves some kind of financial or metaphorical symbol of achievement.

Outstanding Daytime Dramatic Series in an Outstanding Comedy Series: 'Androids' from 'Red Dwarf'

Soap operas are becoming something of a lost art now that the big networks are rearranging their daytime schedules. There is a better than average chance that this daytime staple could become more endangered of a species than a prairie-chicken in a Hormel meat packing plant.

It's good to know, however, that they won't become completely extinct. The future will preserve this tiny piece of television history, as evidenced by this daytime soap that shows the sensitive side of robots and the trials and tribulations of being born, even if you didn't ask to be put together.

Outstanding Miniseries in an Outstanding Daytime Children's Show: 'Monsterpiece Theater' from 'Sesame Street'

Exposure to the fine arts is too often missing from modern public education. Some might think that learning your ABCs and 123s are more important than creative exposure and instruction, but art, as artist Roy Lichtenstein so eloquently put it, "doesn't just transform. It just plain forms." I'm sure our children aren't forming enough either.

Thankfully, one of television's longest running and most trusted forms of children's entertainment and enlightenment has attempted to correct this with the introduction of "Monsterpiece Theater," a weekly showcase of the best the theater and fine arts the world has to offer impressionable young minds.

Outstanding Sports News and Information Show in an Outstanding Comedy Series: 'Sports Night' from 'Sports Night'

Nothing makes my eyeballs stew in their sockets more than watching sports news. Its attempt to cover every single aspect of every single game from every single league from every single corner of the globe just makes me wish I picked up needlepoint, an activity that doesn't require sitting through inane banter for an hour in order to fully embrace it.

All sports shows should look to the CSC's nightly sports news update desk for how to do a sports show right. There aren't any frills or useless stats thrown at you with the velocity of a mini-gun.

It gives you the scores, the highlights, the things you need to know so you can go about your daily business and pretend to the rest of the world that you care about sports outside of your hometown team or the one you thought you'd play for the rest of your life before blowing out your knee at a keg party before your first college bowl game appearance.

Outstanding Reality Series in an Outstanding Comedy Series: 'MILF Island' from '30 Rock

The most boring part of the Emmys, hands down, is the reality show award. Every year, it's "And the Emmy goes to ...'The Amazing Race,'" "And the Emmy goes to ...'The Amazing Race,'" "And the Emmy goes to ...'The Amazing Race.'" I'd be willing to let the Emmy people give the statue to anything on VH1 just so I wouldn't have to sit through it for another year.

There is a show, however, that could give the people behind 'Race' a run for their residuals. This thorn in the side of '30 Rock' seems to be a 'Survivor' ripoff but with a very interesting twist. Instead of filling a deserted island with pudgy nudists with tax problems, loud mouth female truckers or any number of clearly over medicated individuals, it's an island of MILFs!

I don't know what the structure of the game is or if it's a reality dating show set in a tropical climate or even the most sensual nature show of all time. Who really gives a *&$%? It's an island and it's inhabited by half-naked, emotionally exhausted, insanely desperate MILFs! Do I still need to make this any clearer? OK, it's like 'Gilligan's Island' but full of MILFs (counting Mrs. Howell).

Outstanding News and Information Show in an Outstanding Animated Series: 'Smartline' from
'The Simpsons'

Emmy award winning anchor Kent Brockman gives us the straight dope with his probing news show 'Smartline.' Instead of blanketing the audience with tons of news from the status of the local tire mountain fire to the color of cat the crazy lady thew in the river, it covers just one major headline of the day and beats the information out of it until nothing is left but a bleeding ball of news.

This ain't your typical local news show. No local boys and/or girls doing good or cats getting stuck in wells, unless said cats have some kind of unorthodox ties to a communist soup kitchen. This show dares to tackle such divisive and controversial topics as "Is Michaelangelo's David's doodle obscene?" and "Religion: Which is the one true faith?" Andy Rooney wouldn't touch those stories with his 10-foot eyebrows.

Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series in an Outstanding Comedy Series: 'The Larry Sanders Show' on 'The Larry Sanders Show'

Larry Sanders might seem like the least fresh or freewheeling of the major hosts on the battleground of the late night wars. However, Larry's show possess a unique quality in the world of talk show-dom that few can claim or even learn to adapt: talent by association.

He's a relatively quiet blob of blubbering mumbles behind that mishmash of paper and mugs he calls a desk, but his lack of presence gives his guests an exponential amount of charm and likability, which seems to make them twice as entertaining. He turns his guests into charm deadites: unholy creatures who suck the energy and enthusiasm out of Larry and occasionally Hank and drain it for its fullest potential. Just look at what he did to Jim Carrey, a man who could turn his unbridled enthusiasm and hyperactivity into an ethanol fuel if someone could make him sit still long enough to inject the needle.

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I love "Red Dwarf" as much as the next geek, but I'd have to give Outstanding Daytime Dramatic Series in an Outstanding Comedy Series to "All My Circuits" from 'Futurama'. Explosive amnesia FTW!

July 19 2010 at 2:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

you guys should just shut this site down for the summer, 'cause you're obviously out of things to write about.

July 19 2010 at 2:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm 100% sure that putting MILF Island on the fall schedule would put NBC back at #1 for the season.

July 18 2010 at 6:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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