After two years of horrible experiments gone wrong (Ryan Seacrest hosting "in the round" in 2007; five reality hosts handling the duties last year), the 2009 Emmy Awards were an entertaining show hosted by the always funny and charming Neil Patrick Harris. The bits were mostly winners -- especially the Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog "interruption", The Daily Show's John Hodgman announcing fake facts about the winners as they walked up to the stage, and Harris introducing presenters with their most obscure TV and movie roles. The presenters themselves were fairly entertaining, as well, with the highlights being Ricky Gervais and Jimmy Fallon. And though I was wary of separating the evening into award category segments (Comedy, Reality, Miniseries/Movie, Variety, and Drama), it turned out to work well for the flow of the show.
As for the winners themselves, they were mostly predictable, with previous winners taking home a large chunk of the awards. Mad Men won as Best Dramatic Series, 30 Rock won as Best Comedic Series, Alec Baldwin won as Best Actor in a Comedy, Glenn Close won as Best Actress in a Drama, and Bryan Cranston won as Best Actor in a Drama. And while there were a few surprises -- Toni Collette overtaking "it woman" Tina Fey for Best Actress in a Comedy -- it was mostly more of the same from Emmy voters.
It was great seeing personal favourites take home a couple of the supporting actor awards. The amazing Michael Emerson won the Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Emmy for his role as Ben Linus on Lost, and Kristin Chenoweth took home the Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy award for the cancelled dramedy Pushing Daisies. There were also some disappointing winners, specifically Jon Cryer for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy -- how on earth Neil Patrick Harris was once again denied an Emmy for his role on How I Met Your Mother, I'll never understand! It also would've been nice to see the always-nominated Steve Carrell and Hugh Laurie actually come home with a statue for the first time.
Anyway, the whole thing was 3-hours of mostly-entertaining comedy and showbiz self-aggrandizing, and here's to hoping next year -- when NBC takes its turn in the Emmy Awards rotation -- the show sticks with the idea of using a funny host and good writers. May we suggest giving the hosting duties to Ricky Gervais?
Below is the complete list of Emmy winners:
Comedy Series: 30 Rock (NBC)
Drama Series: Mad Men (AMC)
Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Toni Collette, The United States of Tara (Showtime)
Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock (NBC)
Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Glenn Close, Damages (FX)
Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad (AMC)
Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Kristin Chenoweth, Pushing Daisies (ABC)
Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men (CBS)
Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Cherry Jones, 24 (FOX)
Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Michael Emerson, Lost (ABC)
Reality-Competition Program: The Amazing Race (CBS)
Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program: Jeff Probst, Survivor (CBS)
Miniseries: Little Dorrit (PBS)
Made-for-TV Movie: Grey Gardens (HBO)
Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie: Jessica Lange, Grey Gardens (HBO)
Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie: Brendan Gleeson, Into the Storm (HBO)
Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie: Shohreh Aghdashloo, House of Saddam (HBO)
Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie: Ken Howard, Grey Gardens (HBO)
Directing for a Comedy Series: Jeffrey Blitz, The Office - "Stress Relief" (NBC)
Writing for a Comedy Series: Matt Hubbard, 30 Rock - "Reunion" (NBC)
Directing for a Drama Series: Rod Holcomb, ER - "And in the End" (NBC)
Writing for a Drama Series: Kater Gordon and Matthew Weiner, Mad Men - "Meditations in an Emergency" (AMC)
Variety, Music or Comedy Series: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Comedy Central)
Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program: Don Rickles, Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project (HBO)
Directing for a Variety, Music, or Comedy Program: Bruce Gowers, American Idol - "Show 833 (The Final Three)" (FOX)
Writing for a Variety, Music, or Comedy Program: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Comedy Central)
Directing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special: Dearbhla Walsh, Little Dorrit: Part 1 (PBS)
Writing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special: Andrew Davies, Little Dorrit (PBS)
Original Music and Lyrics: Dan Harmon, Rob Schrab, William Ross, and John Kimbrough, 81st Annual Academy Awards - "Hugh Jackman Opening Number" (ABC)
Paul Little is the founder and Managing Editor of ShowbizMonkeys.com. When not interviewing his favourite musicians and comedians, he can also be found at The Purple Room in Winnipeg, where he is Artistic Director. (@comedygeek)
There should be some kind of rule that you can't win an emmy if you're on a show that nobody watches. I can't believe Bryan Cranston won for best actor in a drama AGAIN. Seriously? Michael C. Hall and Hugh Laurie were BOTH robbed in that one. They could act circles around everyone else. Hrmf.
I hear he's VERY good on the show, though. Maybe it's our fault for not watching it. Much like it is clearly the Emmy voters' faults that they don't watch Friday Night Lights and thus Kyle Chandler is locked out of this category EVERY YEAR.
Also, didn't Ricky Gervais host something Emmy-like recently? Or am I making things up in my head again? Maybe I am just remembering his terrifying presenting job at last year's Emmys.
Also also, I am a bit ashamed to admit it, but I laughed the hardest of anything at Jimmy Fallon's autotune bit.
Ariana, I think that my hardest laugh was probably for Jimmy Fallon as well. Very funny.
I kind of feel like Gervais hosted something recently. But I also might be making it up. I do believe he is a contender for the Oscars though.
NPH was great. I too was leary of the format, but liked it. Enjoyed the obscure rolls.
I love NPH, but I also could have seen Tracy Morgan winning the award. Jemaine Clement should also have been in high contention for his category, but I am just as pleased to see Alec Baldwin walk away with it. Also, Jimmy Fallon, although his act is often hit-or-miss, definitely stole the show. Topical yet still silly. Genius.