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October 1, 2014

The 2010 Emmy Awards Had a Great Host, but Odd Pacing

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 30th 2010 12:01AM
Jimmy Fallon hosts the 2010 Emmy AwardsWhy anyone volunteers to produce an awards broadcast is beyond me. You just can't win; there are always going to be awards that people don't care about, and no matter how well you pace things, those awards will always drag the show down.

The producers of Sunday's Emmy Awards did the best they could to keep things moving, and in the first 90 minutes, it looked like they did just that. Then they realized that they had another 90 minutes left. And that's when the problems began.

At least they had a fantastic host in Jimmy Fallon. And if they had used him in the last half, things would have gone much better. But that's not how award shows go, even though everyone who watches them wishes it was different.

Fallon made a huge splash with his opening 'Glee'-inspired video and dance number. The video was funny, and had a chill-inducing feel as Jimmy and the 'Glee' cast incorporated stars such as Tina Fey, Joel McHale, Jon Hamm (doing a funky dance!), Betty White, Jorge Garcia, and others -- they bypassed Kate Gosselin (twice), even though she said she was a "great dancer!" -- in a rousing rendition of Bruce Springsteen's 'Born to Run.'

Jimmy Fallon EmmysFallon and his Emmycast writers took full advantage of the host's musical and impersonation skills. The best example was when Fallon did a medley of songs to pay tribute to the departed '24,' 'Law & Order' and 'Lost,' channeling Elton John, a member of Boyz II Men, and Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day. In the 'Lost' tribute, he pretty much spoiled the entire series for anyone who didn't watch it, concluding by saying "I didn't understand it, but I tried."

Fallon also introduced each genre's awards segment with his acoustic guitar, singing with an audience member who represented that category. It worked with Amy Poehler, Stephen Colbert and Julianna Margulies, but the bit got old, as did the presenter descriptions submitted by Twitter users.

Speaking of the genre segments, they were designed to make the show more exciting, with big categories up front. But all it did this year was make the pacing uneven; producers were speeding their way through the major comedy and drama categories, with very little presenter patter, fast nominee introductions and a quick trigger finger on the play-off music. Matt Weiner, for instance, got abruptly played off when claiming a writing award for the 'Mad Men' season 3 finale ... sure, the guy can be wordy, but that's ridiculous.

But I wonder what happened when the producers saw the gaping maw of the last 90 minutes facing them. It was odd that the comedy, drama, and variety categories took about two segments each, while the movie and miniseries categories took five or six. Sure, it was entertaining to see Temple Grandin standing and pumping her fist every time the HBO movie about her won an Emmy, and the movie deserved it. But most viewers were probably checking out at this point.

Was there any reason why the producers couldn't insert a segment like the one where the 'Modern Family' cast was considering different ideas on how to "improve" their show, including Sofia Vergara in 3D, Cam and Mitchell as sports-loving straight guys, and Clooney everywhere? It might have broken up the boredom. And it would have not been a crime to insert Fallon into that 9:30 - 10:30 hour a bit more; as most hosts do, Fallon disappeared for the most part during the lull, when one zinger line -- Bucky Gunts alone could have killed a half hour -- could have brought the audience back.

More good stuff:
-- Even though it felt like the producers were rushing, I did welcome the elimination of the presenter banter. Only people who knew how to do it well -- Fey, Colbert, Joel McHale -- got to be funny. Even then, they kept it to one or two lines.

-- The Infiniti ads with the cast of 'Community.' Very true to the spirit of the show, and showed very little of the car. I like that kind of product placement.

-- The video montages celebrating the past year in each genre. I give the producers credit for facing the Conan thing head on in the Variety montage.

-- This line from Fallon's mercifully brief monologue: "NBC asked me, the host of 'Late Night,' to come to Los Angeles to host a different show. What could possibly go wrong?" The quick cut to Conan O'Brien shaking his head was perfect.

-- John Hodgman as the announcer, for the second year in a row. My favorite lines: he described 'Fraggle Rock' as a show about meth, and he said Jon Stewart wasn't there because he was resting 'on a bed of melted Emmys.'

-- Clooney's Bob Hope Humanitarian Award speech reminding everyone about the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and urging people not to forget about victims of disasters as time passes.


More bad stuff:

-- The In Memoriam montage. Jewel's song, written for a lost friend, was beautiful, but no one paid attention to it. As usual, the applause meter was in place, showing how popular each member of the deceased was. And they didn't show David Mills, a writer and producer for 'The Wire' and 'Treme' who died earlier this year.

-- The Twitter presenter descriptions thing. I can't repeat how bad it was too many times.

What did you think of the Emmycast this year?

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petals1811

Fallon was good. I like seeing what people are wearing so that's always entertaining, but there were a lot of awkward moments. The Twitter stuff was awful as was the commentary after each intro and winner announcement.

It also was a bit of a drag because I'd never heard of some of the shows that won so I didn't recognize a lot of the supposed "stars".

Awards shows in general just don't seem to pack the same entertainment punch they used to.

August 31 2010 at 6:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Catherine

I agree. "Lost"'s fans were fanatical about the show - and I think it's because those fans were reincarnated from either the past or future where the world around them was gone, as far as they could tell, and they were the only ones left - or souls who had at one time been stranded. It just struck a very deep chord for so many - and there has to be an explanation. As for myself, I thought it was the dumbest show I'd ever seen - and when they went to off-location shoots and the scenery was fake it was laugh out loud god-awful. But for those who were fans, they truly loved this show. Again, you have to wonder why some people can relate so immensely to something and others have no use for it. It's in the stars...and a very personal thing.

August 30 2010 at 11:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Todd LeBaron

I think it's a very telling sign when someone...
ANYONE...makes a comment like "Remember the days of Desperate Housewives"...that's just plain frightening,
and even more frightening to compare that to Raymond or Seinfeld...kind of like someone expressing fond nostalgia for The Powerpuff Girls!

August 30 2010 at 10:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Todd LeBaron's comment
petals1811

Hey, hey....no knocking Blossum, Bubbles and Buttercup. I'd take them over the Desperate Housewives any day. LOL

August 31 2010 at 8:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jazzbo

OMG It was horrible, especially the beginning! We Springsteen fans cringed.... It was so bad.

August 30 2010 at 9:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
denise

They forgot to mention Bea ARthur, the other Golden Girl!

August 30 2010 at 8:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike

Jimmy Fallon was terrific!!!
Book this guy NOW for the Oscars!!

August 30 2010 at 8:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Orpah

I didn't enjoy the Emmys simply because i hardly know
anyone on TV anymore. The reason...most of the shows are so vulgar and boring anymore. It's shows what a bunch of idiots are watching them.

August 30 2010 at 8:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lorrie

And here I thought it was my lousy attention span.

August 30 2010 at 7:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jackie Lindstrom

Jmmy Fallon was great. They just didn't use him enough. These shows are often tiresome and when he was on my family sat up and watched. A very talented young man, Jimmy Fallon. I hope they figure out how to do it better next year and they use Jimmy more.

August 30 2010 at 7:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
TONY

I think the first half was like the second half....TERRRRRIBLE...why can't they just announce the stars who are presenting and give the damn award without all this so called stupid childish so called entertainment...it never works and is only boring and embarassing...makes the show 2 hrs longer than it has to be...

August 30 2010 at 7:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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