Cable cleaned up again at the Emmys last night. Again. And while the awards show itself wasn’t the most unpredictable or exciting one in recent memory, it did have its moments. Let’s recount some of the biggest ones, shall we?
Most Controversial Moment – Apparently, some folks in the Twitterverse were none too pleased when TV Academy CEO/chmn Bruce Rosenblum asked Sofia Vergara to step up to a rotating pedestal as he droned on about Academy business. The joke was that TV always gives the viewer “something compelling to watch” even when the content involves the obligatory, annual TV Academy spiel. Cries of sexism abounded. Vergara blew off the criticism as silly during a backstage press conference and then went to the HBO party where she gave onlookers something even more compelling to watch as she boogied down with Derek Hough of “Dancing with the Stars.” Emmys controversy created. Check. Debated and discussed. Check. On to next year…
Weirdest Moment – Sometimes you’re watching the Emmys when all of the sudden Weird Al Yankovic shows up to add lyrics to instrumental TV show themes. It was very weird. Of course, his name is “Weird Al,” so it’s all to be expected? While some of his riffs elicited laughs (handing George R. R. Martin a typewriter was a nice touch), most seemed to fall a bit flat as the audience struggled to figure out what the hell was going on. By the time they accepted this bit of bizarre theater, the number was over—but not before Andy Samberg carried his “Game of Thrones” Joffrey impression over to the next presenter, Lena Headey. Then it got funnier. But it was still weird.
Most Bromantic Moment – Are Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston secretly married? Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but there were times during their acceptance speeches for both of their well-deserved Emmys when they seemed to look into each other’s eyes and intertwine their souls into an idyllic Brotopia where men can hug, dammit! Let’s face it: These two shared years of intense scenes during the run of AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” and it was almost a father-son relationship both on- and off-screen. They deserve their moment of bro-Zen on national TV. Again, nothing wrong with that.
Most Creepily Funny Moment – Speaking of Bryan Cranston, his sudden interception of Julia Louis-Dreyfus as she was taking the stage so he could lip-lock her in a throwback to their earlier on-screen kiss on “Seinfeld” years ago… well, it was hilarious. And priceless. And kinda creepy. All at once. But an inside source who was in the audience tells me that it all might have been pretty darned spontaneous, as the two were seen plotting and scheming only a few minutes earlier during the commercial break. Anytime an awards show moment occurs without having been planned weeks in advance, we’re grateful.
Biggest Standout Moment – OK, so the bit in which various TV stars stood up to ask Seth Meyers questions from the audience was amusing (especially the stuff about the bathroom key). But you know, comedy is hard. And while most of the actors struggled awkwardly to make it work, one standout—Melissa McCarthy—showed us all how it’s done. She’s so friggin’ good that it really wasn’t fair to wedge her in the middle of all that (they should have saved her for the end). Her tirade about the parking situation simply rocked the house, and so we’re reminded why she’s, you know… Melissa McCarthy. And we’re not.
Most Touching Moment – Kudos to Ryan Murphy or whoever in his camp thought of bringing Larry Kramer to the stage to join in the acceptance of the Outstanding Television Movie Emmy for HBO’s “The Normal Heart” based on Kramer’s autobiographical play. It made the moment far more memorable, and it reminded us all that the airwaves can do more than just entertain us. TV—and especially cable these days—has become the most influential and powerful medium on the planet. And those of us lucky enough to work in this industry should never forget that.