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  • The Network TV BloodBath Analysis (Part 3 of 3)

    May 21st, 2014

    FOX –

    Total Cancelled Shows – 7

    Almost Human, Surviving Jack, Rake, Enlisted, Raising Hope, Dads, X-Factor

    The Breakdown

    Some were happily put out of their misery, but there are 2 that could have been saved and salvaged…

    Surviving Jack – Fox never gave this show its proper chance. Chris Meloni and Rachel Harris were hilarious. This show had some of the nostalgia factor of The Goldbergs, some of the harshness of Married with Children, and some of the hilarity of…watching Christopher Meloni be a dad. I wasn’t convinced by the first episode, but I stuck with it and ended up really enjoying it. If it had a better lead-in and time slot, this show could’ve connected. Meloni deserved better after the courtship Fox and the producers went through to get him on the show.  Jack, I hardly knew ye. Chris Meloni and J.K. Simmons should be in a comedy together.

    Almost Human – Loved the first 2 episodes, but it quickly got stale for me. I didn’t care enough to keep watching, though I know it had a loyal fan base. It wasn’t as big a hit as Sleepy Hollow so they cancelled it, but they could’ve given it another shot – probably would’ve worked better on Friday nights than Mondays.

    Rake – Great pilot if you live in LA. Totally lost me (and about 4 million other people) in episode 2.

    Raising Hope – Consistently one of the funniest shows on TV, but after a while I guess it was time to go. They should be proud of their run and I was happy to watch most of it.

    X-Factor – I based my company on Simon Cowell but I am SO happy to see this go away. They never had more than 2 talented acts in 3 seasons, Simon Cowell wasn’t mean enough and seemed truly bored, and Britney, LA Reid, Kelly Rowland  and whoever that Shakira-wannabe was were all painful to watch. Not to mention the awful hosts. I’m sorry, but Mario Lopez is no Seacrest. The only saving grace to this show for me was Demi Lovato.  Good riddance to bad talent.

    Should’ve Been Cancelled InsteadGlee, The Following, The Mindy Project.

    Glee – This season should have been the end. Once Cory died, the heart of the show died too. Ryan Murphy brought in this whole new cast of wannabe stars, one more awful than the next – and the audience HATED them. So then he changed the show back to the original cast and mixed it up. Now, it’s like the newbies never existed (a waste of 13 awful episodes) and it’s no longer about a glee club – it’s about making it NY. Hello, why don’t you just call it FAME! This show doesn’t HAVE another 22 episodes in it, it’s painful these days and if the rumors are true and Naya Rivera was fired, I’m officially Gleeked Out. Done. This series could have had a GREAT wrap-up and send-off this season. Instead, it’s staying past its welcome.

    The Mindy Project – This show never knew what it wanted to be. I like Mindy Kaling, but I honestly don’t like watching her in a lead role. I find her funny, but annoying. She’s not pretty, but she’s not ugly. The supporting cast has changed more times than the host of the Oscars. And even though some say it’s gotten better, I just don’t see what the network sees in this show.

    The Following – I don’t know how or why I got through this season, but it wasn’t even close to the first season. It was awful. There’s not really anywhere else to go with it, and if you counted the body count of the first two seasons, it would easily be the most murderous show in the history of network TV. Hundreds killed. The first season was really good, the second season was ridiculous, the third season – it shouldn’t happen.

    New HitsSleepy Hollow, Brooklyn Nine Nine. Sleepy Hollow isn’t my type of show, so I’ve never seen it but I LOVE Brooklyn Nine Nine. What a great new comedy – consistently hilarious and a great ensemble. I love that this show connected, though with its new move to Sunday nights next season, I worry about it a little bit. Fox, please PLEASE don’t fuck it up.

    Summary – Fox needs some MAJOR new hits and quick. With X-Factor gone, American Idol more of a utility player than star attraction, and The New Girl taking a huge (and painful) hit both creatively and in its ratings, Fox needs a win. They only have 7 live-action shows left (plus 3 animated, plus Idol) and Glee is already set to end next season. Plus Bones, The Following, and Mindy Project probably won’t make it past one more season.  But they have some huge new shows and “events” coming next season. So, I’m crossing my fingers for them.



    Total Cancelled Shows – 12

    Trophy Wife, Suburgatory, Mixology, Super Fun Night, Once Upon A Time in Wonderland, Mind Games, Lucky 7, Killer Women, Betrayal, Back in the Game, The Assets, The Neighbors

    The Breakdown

    I’m not sure if you can call them cancelled if they only lasted 2 episodes. They barely qualify as “aired,” which is the case with 4 of these shows. There are some wonderful comedies in the above list that should have been kept and given more of a shot. There were some awful time slot choices and some awful promotions involved. But also some awful shows. But if any network made me mad this season, it’s ABC! Now feel my vengeance.

    I’ll be honest – at least 9 of these shows deserved what they got.

    Super Fun Night – If I wanted to watch an obnoxious fat girl try to get laid, I’d go back on JDate.  I don’t get Rebel Wilson’s appeal. She’s mildly funny but she’s a cheap Melissa McCarthy knock-off. There, I said it. Not because there can’t be two funny fat chicks on TV, but because Rebel’s slapstick shtick gets stale after 2 episodes. In this case, it was old after 10 minutes. I feel bad for Liza Lapira who is also on her 4th cancelled sitcom in 4 years.

    Suburgatory – This show was great, then less great, then good again, then not so much. Perhaps it is its inconsistency that was its downfall. It had a strong voice at first, but that faded into weekly wacky sitcom situations. It had a decent run, but The Goldbergs needs its time slot and there is nowhere else to put it.

    Mixology – I really enjoyed this show. Maybe I’m alone, but I thought it was different, it had potential, I laughed out loud every episode and the cast was really interesting and funny. The casting directors did a great job finding NEW talent! Were there a couple lamer episodes? Maybe. But I really liked the structure of the show. Of course, I’m not sure where the second season would take it, but this show deserved a better shot and another chance.  I hope to see the cast in other shows very soon. The writers were the original writers of The Hangover – the ones who actually SOLD the script – and don’t get nearly as much credit as they deserve.

    Trophy Wife – I may miss you most of all, scarecrow. I thought I’d hate this show. And at first, I didn’t love it. But it really grew on me. Malin Ackerman was actually funny, Bradley Whitford is always wonderful, and even the horribly annoying Michaela Watkins started to warm my heart. But the funniest members of the cast were the two kids, Warren and Bert. As the season went on, they got better and better. This show SHOULD have aired after Modern Family – it was the perfect fit. But for some ungodly reason, they never put it there. This show was on the bubble in the truest sense, and looking at some of ABC’s new comedic offerings next season, they are going to regret cancelling this show. Fare thee well, Bert.

    Should’ve Been Cancelled – All of ABCs remaining shows are pretty strong, and I’m really glad they gave Nashville another shot. I’m not sure why it’s not connecting as well as it should.

    New HitsMarvel Agents of Shield, The Goldbergs, Resurrection and Scandal. ABC landed in 4th place, but had the most successful new shows. Scandal isn’t a NEW hit, but man has it taken off even more – and I love it. The Goldbergs is hilarious nostalgic fun and it really hits home. I’m so glad it’s coming back. Agents of Shield lost me. I watched the first 6 or 7, then kinda realized I was watching it for the wrong reasons and not because I liked it. Resurrection had one of the best pilots of the year and it’s still interesting enough to keep my attention. If you’re writing a show with religious elements, that’s the pilot to watch to learn how to do it right.  And all of ABCs other shows are solid – Grey’s (yes, I still watch it!), Revenge, Castle, and Modern Family, though the latter two have not been nearly as strong as previous seasons. But to have 3 breakout hits and the #1 social media-obsessed show on the air is a pretty solid distinction ABC can take to the bank.

    Summary – The problem with ABC is either they launch massive hits or truly awful bombs. There is no middle with ABC. Their shows either last many years or 3 episodes. ABC is going through a new regime and they are swinging big next season, but they’ve done pretty well despite being #4. Their shows are well-liked, they just get watched more in DVR+7 than live. Let’s be honest, if the NFL didn’t exist, ABC would not be #4.

  • Seven Steps to Saving “Smash”

    March 30th, 2013

    By Danny Manus

    I realize I’m in the minority (vast minority according to Nielsen numbers), but I’m a big fan of Smash. Critically loved in its first 2 or 3 episodes, it’s been painful to watch what the network, the creators, and the producers have done to this once-promising show. If ever there was a case of a show that needed a total upheaval but deserved another chance, Smash is it.

    Why do I care? Well, besides being a total TV Whore and producer, I’m a born and raised New Yorker, brought up on musical theater. I sang in choir all through high school and even worked at the local performing arts theater (a theater that launched Hollywood and Broadway stars like Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Dan Domenech).  And I love seeing this world brought to the small screen.

    I also absolutely hate watching good (or potentially great) shows go down without a fight or without the right support, and it seems to be NBC’s M.O. to cut the cord without giving things a real shot (Prime Suspect, Boomtown, Studio 60, Southland, Awake, etc.).

    I was hooked to Smash before the first note was sung. The advertising, the wonderful cast, the promises made of an adult, less sappy version of Glee – I was in! It was exactly what should have worked on NBC at exactly the right time, especially premiering after The Voice.

    And when the pilot of Smash aired, and Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty belted out that big number “Let Me Be Your Star,” I was hooked. And so were millions of others. It was a hit!

    CUT TO: 8 weeks later…it was a flop. Now, I’ve read all the articles are reports of what went wrong. Everyone had a different vision for this show from Spielberg to Creator/Executive Producer/Psycho Bitch Theresa Rebeck to NBC Execs to the cast. No one was on the same page about anything – the tone, look, casting, music, storylines. It was a mess. It became a cheesy drinking-game inducing soap opera.

    But there are plenty of insanely cheesy shows on the air, especially on NBC, and they were doing OK. So it had to be something else. Yes, the character of Ellis was absolutely unwatchably bad as was the actor portraying him (who better hope a soap opera hires him or else he’ll never work again). The “actor” playing Messing’s son was painfully unable to act or emote and you could feel Debra Messing begging for her scenes with him to be over. And the show just didn’t GO anywhere past episode 6. It was stuck.

    And in its second season, despite a cast shakeup, it’s done even WORSE. Unfortunately, a third season is nearly impossible now. Though it hasn’t officially been cancelled, many in the cast (including Messing) have already signed on to other pilots.

    But IF—IF!—NBC was inclined to save one of its potentially more impressive and fun shows (which could make them tons of Glee-style money on the original music it produces), there are 7 things that would need to change to revamp the show and make it a hit.

    1.  The basic concept of the show needs to change. Instead of it being a behind the scenes look at a show as it tries to make it to Broadway, it needs to be about a behind the scenes look at a show that’s ON Broadway! The biggest issue with the series currently is that each episode is horrible repetitive and stale. How many times can ONE show (that isn’t Spiderman) come back from the dead and keep plugging away. It’s gone through 3 directors, 3 lead actresses, 2 lead actors, 2 producers, 2 writers, etc. There is nothing more you do to the show except PUT IT ON BROADWAY and see what happens!

    Plus, with it still in eternal rehearsals of the same 4 boring musical numbers, there’s nothing on the line. There are no stakes. No one has anything except sweat equity and passion invested in the project, except for Anjelica Huston’s ex-husband, whom we don’t care about. If it was playing ON Broadway and there was huge drama behind the scenes, there would always be the ticking clock until they had to go on every night and perform, and those performances would portray the drama going on off stage.  There is so much more drama, hi-jinx and fun to be had with a show that’s playing on Broadway rather than a show that just wants to.  The difference between Smash and Glee is that the characters on Smash are supposed to be professionals – so let them be!

    The alternative to putting ‘Bombshell’ on Broadway immediately? Kill Marilyn. Marilyn was a great set up to the show when it started, but she’s over now. She was over the second Michelle Williams didn’t win the Oscar for My Life With Marilyn. No one gives a shit about Marilyn Monroe except old queens. You’re supposed to be targeting a younger demographic, but they’d rather watch a musical about the life of Minaj than Monroe.

    2.  For the love of God, stop regurgitating the same four ‘Bombshell’ songs in every damn episode. I love “Let Me Be Your Star,” but if I ever hear it again, I’m going to bleed from my ears. Because it’s not just sung in every other episode, it’s also in every single commercial and advertisement – there’s nothing left to love about the song! You’ve killed it. Dead. And the other handful of Marilyn songs we’ve also heard 100 times. I like that producers have created a second show this season to play off of so we get some new music, but now we’re just going to hear those same 3 songs for each of the next 6 episodes. They need to use more popular music like Glee does if you want people to be able to sing along. And if they REALLY wanted to set themselves apart, do what they did in Les Miserables and let the talented actors who are used to singing live, actually sing LIVE! There’s nothing worse than bad lip synching, and Megan Hilty is the only one who seems to have mastered the task. Glee works because every week we get 5-6 new songs. If they kept singing that one damn Journey song every episode, no one would watch that either.

    3.  The Producers need to go watch Noises Off!  The show or the movie. Either one will do. And then they need to work much more comedy into the show. I’m not saying make this a sitcom, but Debra Messing and Christian Borle are fantastic comedy actors and their roles feel SO stifling to their talent. Messing has barely broken a smile since episode 4 and Borle ONLY looks happy when he’s given the chance to sing and dance. In case you forgot, Messing won an Emmy for Best COMEDIC Actress. Let the woman play to her strengths. Which brings up the next point – LET DEBRA MESSING AND CHRISTIAN BORLE SING! Messing has barely done ONE number since the pilot by herself and the woman can sing. Borle has only done a handful – and the man won a Tony! Debra Messing is the star of the show – give her something to sing. And if Anjelica can hold a note, give her a song too.

    4.   No more Stunt Casting unless it’s permanent. It’s wonderful to put names like Jennifer Hudson, Uma Thurman, Jesse L Martin, Sean Hayes, Bernadette Peters, Daniel Sunjata and Joe Jonas in your commercials, but the problem is – putting stars like that in the show make us wish they were the stars of the show. Not only that, but only Uma Thurman and Bernadette Peters had natural entrées and exits to the storylines. The rest were basically forgotten plotlines that went nowhere. Some had nice storylines within the episode (like Sunjata), but then disappeared for no reason other than the show clearly couldn’t pay their salaries for more episodes.

    NBC put Jennifer Hudson on every poster, in every commercial, and featured her song and voice in every Season 2 promo there was. But she had no place in the story or series. She was just there, she sang her songs, and then she was gone. Her character in no way affected any of the others.  And the problem was, she was better than everyone else. I love Hilty with a passion, and McPhee is incredibly talented and sexy, but no one sings like Jennifer Hudson. So either you have stars that outshine your cast coming in for no reason, or you have stars come in that the audience is waiting to hear sing but they never do, like Jesse L. Martin and Joe Jonas. Trust the talents of your cast, or recast.

    5.   Speaking of which, Jeremy Jordan needs to go. Look, I like Jeremy Jordan a lot. In fact, he went to my alma mater Ithaca College and he is a SUPREME singing and dancing talent. He is a Broadway star if I’ve ever heard one and I could listen to him sing all day long and be very happy. But he’s painful to watch on TV. And I’m not sure if it’s because he’s just not ready for the small screen yet (Lea Michele is still figuring out how not to play to the balcony after 4 seasons of Glee), or if it’s because the character the writers have created is so flawed in the worst and most obvious of ways, that it’s incredibly hard to care or connect to him. Not only don’t we want Karen to fall for him, but we don’t even understand how she could. Despite his talent and brief glimmers of feelings, he’s an asshole that bites the hand that feeds him every time it’s offered. And for viewers who watch the show because they dream of being on Broadway, they can’t connect with a character that is being given the shot and decides to piss it away every week. If he doesn’t want it badly enough, then we won’t want it for him. He needs to learn the lesson I teach all my screenwriting students – this ain’t an artist colony, it’s the entertainment business.

    6.   The writers need to create empowered and strong female characters instead of the whiny, overpowered, overwhelmed, lovelorn, confused, slutty, low self-esteemed diva wannabes that currently inhabit the show. I think it’s pretty clear that the original series creator Theresa Rebeck created insecure characters she could relate to. Problem is, everyone hated her – and now they hate her characters. This is a show geared towards women and gay men – yet the female characters are some of the weakest on TV. Messing’s character is an adulterer-turned-basket case who has no direction, no confidence and no self-worth unless her husband, her male writing partner, her male director, or the male script doctor brought in to save her, tells her she’s good.  Anjelica Huston’s character is supposed to be this powerful producer type, but she’s really an emotional former gold-digger who can’t make a decision unless she gets the head nod from her ex-husband, whom she hates yet constantly relies on. And her romance with the mobster bartender was so implausible, it was laughable. Is she high society or just high maintenance? McPhee’s Karen was supposed to be the star-struck ingénue we root for but suddenly, after going through some rehearsals and a quick Boston run in Bombshell, is now the toast of the town and a celebrity who can get a new show going just by snapping her fingers. Plus, she finally gets out of her bad relationship with a cheater, and she jumps into bed with not only her Director (after being so strong to resist him in the first season) but also her new co-star, a drug addict with an anger problem and a chip on his shoulder. If ALL the women in the show have horrible taste in men, they won’t be characters women can look up to.

    7.   Bring back the competition aspect and make this show more like A Chorus Line. The show worked best when Megan Hilty and Katharine McPhee’s characters were battling each other, and now they are barely in one scene together per episode. Make us FEEL something as our characters FIGHT for something. Right now, the fight is over. They’re just waiting for things to happen, and that is boring for the audience. Hilty’s back as Marilyn, McPhee’s banging every guy connected to her new show, Huston’s got the show back from her ex-husband, Borle is directing Bombshell and Messing is….there too. But none of them have anything to fight for anymore. Give them something new to fight for and keep the competition aspect going.

    TV shows with truly new concepts that stand out amongst the crowd don’t come around too often, and they certainly don’t come around on NBC too much. This show had everything going for it, but bad producing and lazy writing has destroyed what could have been a solid 4-5 season run. It may be too late now, but if the NBC execs and show producers could wake up, acknowledge they screwed up, and follow the aforementioned steps, they might have one more chance to make Smash live up to its name.

  • Why Ryan Murphy Must Be Stopped

    July 18th, 2011

    By Danny Manus

    I’m a Gleek. There, I said it. I was in my high school’s choir (which got redubbed choir cult our senior year) and I worked at the local community theater.  I was a NY kid, so I was raised seeing (and loving) Broadway shows. And I’m a child of the 80s. So, I get Glee. But there’s an evil force surrounding Glee that must be stopped immediately…and his name is Ryan Murphy.

    When Ryan Murphy creates something, he’s a visionary. He has this twisted yet relatable commercial sensibility to him that connects to pop culture beautifully – most likely because he’s such a fan of pop culture himself. He has this ability to create a WORLD that most of us are aware of already, but take it to this whole other wonderful place…

    But then he seems to lose sight of his vision and get wrapped up in his own self-importance and self-aggrandizing bullshit (or maybe just the gobs of money rolling in), and like the Godzilla of Showrunners attacking his own Japanese City, he ruins the world he creates for the rest of us.

    I’m not saying Ryan Murphy is a bad guy per se…he’s just a really bad multi-tasker and it seems he doesn’t have the heart to truly care about whom he hurts as long as it promotes his own agenda. As soon as Ryan Murphy finds success with one of his projects, he immediately looks for the next big thing to put his name on – and that’s fine – that’s how Hollywood works. But unlike many, when Murphy multi-tasks, he falls incredibly short.

    Case in point. I was a HUGE Nip/Tuck fan. And right before the last season of the show, I got to work as an executive on a movie with Nip/Tuck star Dylan Walsh. We all went out to dinner one night after shooting and I nonchalantly asked him about the show. As any fan will tell you, the first 2 seasons of that show were pure fucking brilliance. The third season was GOOD but started going off the rails, and by season 5 it was almost painfully unwatchable.

    Julian McMahon, the Aussie star of the show, had completely forgotten he was supposed to be affecting an American accent. Joely Richardson had started banging the kid playing her son and likewise forgot that she was supposed to do an American accent and so she disappeared for a whole season (her pronunciation of Chris-chee-ann instead of Christian still haunts my thoughts), and poor Dylan Walsh looked so pissed that he had to read the inane melodramatic drivel given to him that it was pretty hard to watch.

    So, I asked Dylan what happened to Season 5 (the penultimate season) and he basically said that everyone was unhappy and wanted off the show and hated the material, but they couldn’t leave, and that came across on screen.  Even Ryan Murphy himself has said that the last two seasons of Nip/Tuck were awful because he hated the actors and the actors hated him and the writers fucked it up.

    And why? Because once Nip/Tuck took off, and Murphy got some acclaim, he used his stardom to write and direct the feature “Running with Scissors” in 2006 (which he began prepping for in 2004 – after the second season of Nip/Tuck). He took his eye off the ball.

    Jump to 2009 as Glee becomes a ridiculous smash hit and despite a bit of unnecessary soapyness in the writing of the first season, it was FUN and original and smart. And the money, press, fame and accolades came rollin’ in. And once again Murphy used this to transition to a big film with a big star – “Eat Pray Love” with Julia Roberts.

    And what happened? The second season of Glee jumped the shark, got silly and melodramatic and had more disjointed over-the-top storylines (like what happened on Nip/Tuck) and unnecessary tribute episodes that became more Murphy Masturbation than cohesive brilliant storytelling.  

    And now this Glee Machine – which could have run for 7 seasons, will now be cancelled after 4 or 5 (mark my words). Why? Because instead of doing the smart thing and stretching the timeline of high school to keep the show and its stars intact (having each season being HALF a school year instead of a full year for instance or switching it up and fudging the timelines), he’s decided to get rid of most of the main characters of the show after season 3. Chord Overstreet was let go and Lea Michele, Chris Colfer and Cory Monteith (so far) have already been given their walking papers a full season before their departure – which should make shooting this 3rd season NOT awkward at all. Dead Actors Walking…

    But he’s not done. I promise, many other actors are going to get cut from the show and they just don’t know it yet. There’s no way to keep the rest of them and NOT these 3 as they are ALL pretty much the same age. And his idea to keep Matthew Morrison (the weak link of the show) and make him the focal point instead of the kids is a big mistake. And then – just to show his polished and performed actors currently on the show that ANYONE can do their jobs so shut the fuck up and stop complaining – he launches the Glee Project Reality Show to find the show’s new star.

    If I was a star on Glee, this would make me furious. And by the way, if you’ve been watching, half the contestants on the reality show are pretty bad or at least annoying, and it’s pretty clear that they aren’t casting new stars to ADD to the cast – they are casting stars to REPLACE the cast – because they fill the same roles. I get that Glee is about acceptance and becoming who you are – but do we really need a “little person” or ANOTHER bad boy or gay diva or moderately talented big fat chick on the show?

    The reality show has just become a vanity project that lets Murphy get on camera and pronounce in his best gay baritone voice that “kids need to be themselves.” Unless, of course, they disagree with Murphy – then they better get in line and change.

    And now, after the second season of Glee, Eat Pray Love and the Glee Project, Murphy has taken on another show – a new series for FX titled “An American Haunting,” starring Connie Britton, Dermot Mulroney and Jessica Lange.  Now, it sounds like a cool project and yes, I will watch. But someone needs to mind the store. And someone needs to stop Murphy from doing promotions because every time he opens his mouth, he RUINS something we love and makes his actors feel 6 inches tall – which is what he did on Nip/Tuck and it backfired horribly.

    Murphy seems to have the showrunner version of A.D.D. He gets bored with his shows, he gets bored with his actors and he thinks HE is the center of the world and everyone must amuse him at all times. Here’s the thing – I get not caring if you’re known as a dick. Hell, I’ve based a business around it. But you don’t want to be known as The Guy Who Killed a Phenomenon and Ruined Children’s Lives Just Because He’s A Dick. There’s a difference.

    So, in the name of all those Gleeks out there, for all the Nip/Tuck fans out there, and for all the fans of good TV out there – please, someone stop Ryan Murphy before he strikes again.

  • The Emmys 2010: Winners, Losers, Upsets and Analysis

    August 31st, 2010

    By Danny Manus


    As I said before, the Emmys are like my Christmas…if I wasn’t Jewish. And they are even better now that they are LIVE on the West Coast, which wasn’t the case until 2 years ago. This year, since the show aired on NBC, Jimmy Fallon was the host. And the network was counting on big ratings this year with new popular shows Glee, Modern Family and True Blood up for big awards.


    But alas, even the Gleeks couldn’t save the Emmys, which posted basically the same ratings as last year, and even went DOWN 2% in the young demo. After watching the telecast I honestly don’t know what more the show could do to get people to tune in besides fill it with musical numbers – oh wait, they did that. Well perhaps they could get big stars like George Clooney to – oh wait, they did that too.  Hmm…maybe they should have just built a boxing ring and let Conan and Jay go at it. Eh, maybe not. Hey, maybe we can just make Justin Bieber the star of every fucking show on Earth…and then watch me kill myself. Or maybe they should just take out some of the miniseries and TV Movie awards which are so utterly boring – and no one in the targeted demo watches them anyway. And instead, put in more comedy.


    The first 90 minutes of the show were possibly the best Emmys I have seen in years. I know some people didn’t like the graphics flashing in the background, and maybe purple wasn’t the BEST color palette choice, but I think it was better than the Oscars bland white design. Besides, this was a big year for gays on TV, and the biggest demo to watch awards shows like the Emmys are the gays, so perhaps purple was the perfect choice.


    Speaking of which, I loved Neil Patrick Harris last year and would love to see him again, but Jimmy Fallon did his thing and his musical interludes and opening were fantastic. His ode to the shows that have passed on – 24, Law & Order and Lost – was great. If the second half of the show gave him more to do, perhaps the fun could have lasted. But alas, as soon as HBO started winning things, the air was sucked out of the show like a hoover was attached to the roof. 


    But let’s rewind. First up was comedy and Modern Family ruled the night with wins for Best Comedy and Eric Stonestreet (I called it!) for best supporting. While he wasn’t the favorite to win (and personally I would have voted for Ty Burrell), he is a straight man playing lovably flamingly homosexual and he does it so hysterically that he deserved the win. Sorry, Chris Colfer, you’re just as gay but slightly less huggable. But if 3 years from now, you’re still on Glee, I think you’ll win. I say that because next year, it’s Ty Burrell’s to win and the year after it will be Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Much like West Wing, they will award a different star every year til they all have one!


    Voters went for Modern Family rather than fellow newcomer and odds-on favorite Glee because, well, Glee isn’t a straight comedy. The only 60 minute dramedy to ever win the award is Ally McBeal, but something tells me Glee will see gold in the next two years.  Jane Lynch did win for her role in Glee (also called it!), and she deserved it! I know Kristin Wiig IS SNL these days and Julie Bowen is fantastic on Modern Fam, but Jane Lynch is just pure comic gold on Glee. Kudos! It was obviously the end of the line for 30 Rock. Partially because voters didn’t want to award NBC anything (they only won ONE for their shows this year), but also because it’s time to bring in the new blood.


    Jim Parsons picked up his first trophy for Big Bang (I was right again!). All I can say is thank God Tony Shaloub didn’t win. Sorry, Alec but there’s a new kid in town. Bazinga! And Edie Falco (an upset which I predicted!) picked up an awkward statue for Nurse Jackie, which is even less of a comedy than Glee. Voters just like her and perhaps this will give the show some much-due notoriety and press. But I don’t think she’ll win again.


    Then came the reality portion. WOOHOO TOP CHEF! In what was the best season in years (100 times better than the current DC season), Top Chef FINALLY de-throned Amazing Race. The upset was that if a show was going to beat Race, people thought it would be American Idol, but the last 2 seasons of Idol have clearly gone downhill and were the weakest musically and in overall entertainment since Cowell mentally checked out and Paula physically checked out. And I am thrilled that Top Chef took the gold. Can we all agree now that Amazing Race is no longer as interesting or casted as well as it used to be? They just take OTHER reality stars and send them on an all expenses paid trip around the world. BORING.


    But the real acting surprises were saved for the Drama category, where I have to say…I was wrong. I was SURE that Julianna Margulies would win for The Good Wife and she had all the momentum, but in her 5th year as star and producer, Kyra Sedgwick got the gold. Now, I LOVE The Closer and she was great last season on it, so I’m actually very happy with this upset. Don’t worry, Julianna, you’ll win it next year!  And I’m pretty sure January Jones’ dress this year will stop her from being nominated again. Same for Lauren Graham – what the hell was she thinking?


    But I digress…Bryan Cranston won (3 times in a row now) for his leading role in Breaking Bad, beating out heavy favorite Michael C Hall, who had an incredible season and beat cancer in his spare time. And for me, Hugh Laurie is the biggest continual snub in all of TV other than Bill Maher, who after 12 nominations is still coming up goose eggs. Hugh had an emotionally powerful year, even though the show itself was not up to snuff. And hello – he’s BRITISH and does a pitch perfect accent! At least next year, because of the scheduling of his show, Bryan Cranston won’t be eligible, so it will be up for grabs.


    The supporting awards went to 2 first timers – Aaron Paul for Breaking Bad and Archie Panjabi for Good Wife. I am thrilled about Archie’s win – she’s a revelation on that show. And while I don’t watch Breaking Bad, I know Aaron is good. But seriously…how do you not give the award to Terry O’Quinn for playing TWO very different and difficult characters at ONCE on the last season of Lost? Come on, voters! That was disappointing. And perhaps if Martin Short’s wife had died 2 months earlier, he would have gotten the sympathy vote. What, too soon?


    And of course Mad Men won the big award…whoopee. Look, I’m sure it’s a great show, and no, I don’t watch it. But I already want to punch Matthew Weiner in the face and his “assistant writer” whom he put up for the Emmy and WON (that lucky bitch isn’t even 30!). I was really disappointed that Lost (in its final season), Good Wife, Dexter and True Blood all lost to an overrated show that no one watches.  Look, I’m a TV whore, but I never said I was a TV snob. Please, let this be the last year it wins.


    In other news, Conan didn’t win. But on the upside, neither did NBC. This year’s voting really shined the light on two things – what wonderful shows there are on cable and what hatred the industry has for NBC and those that run it. And after seeing the comedies they have coming up in their new season, I don’t think they will be garnering any more love anytime soon. I’ll cover TV Premiere Week in a couple weeks…stay tuned!


    For mini-series and TV Movies…eh…who cares? I didn’t see any of them except “You Don’t Know Jack,” which was OK. The Pacific won, as predicted. Though I could have thought of a better way to spend $200M! In a slight surprise, Temple of Grandine won all the MOW categories. I’m happy for Claire Danes, who deserved it, but could someone tell that retarded lesbian cowboy to please sit down?


    Okay, so those were the Emmys. I laughed, I cried, I screamed in frustration. This year, I was 6/7 for comedy (I guessed Glee would win), but the TV Movies and Drama category screwed me. Damn you, AMC! Damn you!!!


    Until next time, keep watching! It’s good for you!

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