The 2016 Emmys were a snoozefest. All of the cool moments that the you think you remember about the 2016 Emmys were actually from the 2017 Oscars–La La Land “winning” over Moonlight, the Hollywood Tour Bus Gimmick, Nicole Kidman’s inhuman clapping, etc. Even though television has become more interesting than film, the Emmys have become a more monotonous affair. This Sunday, Stephen Colbert will lead the charge to make the Emmys great again. It’s an uphill battle. If they use last year’s broadcast, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, as an example of what not to do, then hopefully the quality of the award show will improve.
Embrace the Opening Segment
Often, the internet complains about the opening segment of awards shows. The “problem” is that they always seem to be a hodgepodge of characters from nominated shows assisting the host because he is late to get to the theater. The segment has officially been over used. Colbert tends to thrive in these opening bits. When he transitioned from Comedy Central to CBS, his introduction showed him crossing the United States while singing the national anthem with fans. It was lovely, but more importantly it was original. The award show structure is rarely described as original. Hopefully, Stephen Colbert can introduce a new perspective on the tired opening montage.
Avoid the Viral Awards Show Moment
Last year, Kimmel broke the number one rule for trying to “go viral.” He tried to go viral. Even with the help of the Stranger Things kids, the shtick of passing out paper bag lunches to the audience will never be iconic. Viral moments are supposed to be effortless and authentic. Right now, in some Hollywood writer’s room, some poor writers are desperately trying to develop what will be the next Oscars selfie or pizza delivery. Hopefully Stephen Colbert’s charisma will help guide him through any ill-advised segments.
Nothing makes an awards show lose steam quicker than when unprepared/uninterested presenters take the stage. Their negative energy sucks the life out of any gaining momentum of entertainment. Moments that are supposed to be lighthearted and fun turn into jokes that are either too tired or too aggressive for no reason. Someone always fumbles for their glasses. It’s a thankless job. Like the opening segment, the idea of presenters needs to be re-imagined. Colbert’s team has a gift for interesting segments. Hopefully his talent translates to Sunday night’s presentation of awards.
Colbert is in an odd position on Sunday night. He is a host for a television awards show but has made his name commenting on politics. In 2017, politics have become more dramatic and entertaining than all of television and movies combined. Finding the balance between commenting on our current state of reality and celebrating the winners of the 69th Emmys isn’t an easy feat. Coupled with the well tread missteps of opening segment fatigue, viral moment obsession and lethargic presenters, hosting an awards show isn’t for the weak. Colbert needs to be ready to play ball on Sunday. Something tells me, he’s up for the task.