Executing a live television broadcast is always an anxiety inducing proposition. I’ve done it daily for 25 years, and over that time I’ve lost my hair and gained myriad prescriptions for high blood pressure. And that’s doing a very formula based show. But for tonight’s Emmys, the formula doesn’t work. They can’t set up lights, roll out a red carpet and pack A-Listers elbow to elbow inside an arena.
It’s A Lot of Guest Work
And things are already not going to plan. Last night at night 142 of the Creative Arts Emmys, the announcer named Jason Bateman as winning for his guest appearance on The Outsider, while the graphics said Ron Cephus Jones for his guest work on This Is Us. The dozens of viewers watching online were confused, and after a quick break Ron was confirmed as the winner.
Of course, host Jimmy Kimmel is prepared for things to go wrong. After all, he presided over the biggest snafu in awards show history. Last week he said he expects things to go wrong. As we saw, they already are. But that’s what I’m tuning in for!
Dress For Success
Jimmy’s been posting pics of him in a tuxedo top and boxers. Why not! Helena Bonham Carter said she may go naked. I’m in! Producers sent high def cameras and lighting kits to dozens of nominees for this show. I’m hoping someone wears a pair of Louis Vuitton pajamas, while another nominee wears a super glam gown that’s over-the-top extra.
You know someone’s pet will go nuts when everyone around it starts going wild.
That’s what makes this show so intriguing. Most broadcasts are in one location, with maybe a remote outside from the carpet or an extra stage. It controls the number of things that can go wrong. Usually, if a nominee can’t be bothered to attend, their picture is put up and if they win, the host graciously accepts on their behalf and the show is two minutes shorter thanks to a missing acceptance speech.
Tonight, no one is attending. Jimmy Kimmel will give a monologue to an empty Staples Center.
The winners and losers are almost an afterthought. It’s the show itself that’s the star. Will it give TV a path going forward for the next few months? Will it be a comedy of errors? Likely some of each.
A couple of big kudos to some of last night’s winners. RuPaul won Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program for the fifth year in a row.
And Eddie Murphy picked up his only Emmy. He earned the stature for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his return to Saturday Night Live when he hosted last December.
The Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation
I’m taking shots. A shot of rum for every audio feed that cuts out, a shot of Fireball for every video feed that cuts out.