(Ed. Note: The Emmys were last night, and the Funkhouser crew was on hand to soak it all in. Below are, in their opinions, the most impressionable moments and issues of the night.)
Brennan English on Twitter Rage:
My favorite part of the Emmys: Twitter rage.
The reaction of Twitter to any major pop culture phenomena is always good for some menial entertainment , particularly whilst watching the unwatchable–awards ceremonies. Last night was no exception, and my hand-selected cross-section of the Internet did not disappoint in agreeing with me on the worst Emmy winners and snubs. Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory bring in jillions of dollars, viewers and Emmys, but the Internet thinks these programs are long past their due date; why can’t the rest of the world see things our way? Well, because for Emmy voters, what’s old is oftentimes just good enough, with the exception of Julia Louis-Dreyfus. She clearly isn’t old as she cannot age. So Orange is the New Black, Amy Poehler, even Tatiana Maslany — you may get your turn one of these days; it took The Sopranos five seasons to win the big one. Regardless, Billy Eichner and the critics of Twitter and Tumblr will be here to implode on your behalf.
Mrs. Tyler Thompson on Ricky Gervais:
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) August 26, 2014
I’ve been a fan of Ricky Gervais since he starred in the British version of The Office, and his sarcastic twist on the Brits’ self-deprecating humor was really on display last night when he lost the Emmy for Best Actor in a Comedy Series to Jim Parsons…again. Gervais tweeted a selfie of his loser face afterwards and later while presenting the award for Best Writing for a Variety Special–“the big one,” he quipped–he gave his acceptance speech anyways. “Ha, ha, I won. I knew I would because I’m the best actor. Better than those other actors – Parsons, Cheadle, H. Macy, Joey from Friends and Louis from Louie, spelled slightly differently.” Gervais also hammed it up when Jimmy Kimmel teased that instead of a movie star face, Gervais had a “television face.” Well, actually, “a Netflix face.” That last one was really hit home since Gervais appeared in a Netflix commercial that aired during the Emmys, spoofing Kevin Spacey in House of Cards and an inmate in Orange is the New Black.
It’s a shame Ricky didn’t win the Emmy, but he’s a much funnier loser.
S.E. Shepherd on the Cran-Stache
Look, this year’s Emmy’s telecast was pretty terrible. Seth Meyers was completely serviceable as host, but his general non-offensiveness went a long way to remind audiences that these award shows are way more fun when they’re hosted by a loose canon. And many of the winners were retreads from recent editions of the Emmys. But the one thing that elevated the telecast from forgettable to Tweet-worthy was a lone line of upper-lip hair on the face of one of the best TV actors ever — Bryan Cranston. Looking like a waiter at a sleazy French restaurant in the 1940s, Cranston unleashed upon the world his greatest creation to date: The Cran-stache. It was sublime in its simplicity, and I’m thankful I was among the millions that had the pleasure of basking in its glory. LONG LIVE THE CRAN-STACHE!
C.M. Tomlin on the Step-Aside Host and a Nefarious Conspiracy
For all we make of how difficult and judged being a major awards-show host is, let’s face it: it’s gotta be pretty easy. A good monologue and you can coast through the rest of the night. Seth Meyers did a perfectly fine job leading the Emmy charge last night (“Tonight we are all Crazy Eyes”) but, more interestingly, he pulled a maneuver he’s completely accustomed to from his SNL days: ceding the spotlight to those who may possibly upstage him. He introduced Jimmy Kimmel in the first twenty minutes and Kimmel proceeded to deliver a mini-Emmy monologue and pseudo-roast of Matthew McConaughey (“he traded his TV for a conch shell full of weed!”) that legitimately competed with Meyers’. Later he would team up to let national treasure Billy Eichner drag him around New York City upstaging him at every turn and bring out buddy Andy Samberg to steal a Game of Thrones bit. These moves — to share the spotlight when the night could have been dominated by him — fit Meyers’ general M.O.; as head writer for SNL and the program’s Weekend Update anchor, he knows when to share a joke with a colleague. It worked, but overall left Meyers feeling a little in the wings at the end of the night with his lineup of special guests stealing the show.
Awards-wise the big Networks made damn sure that everyone knows cable isn’t getting too big for its britches by taking home best comedy (Modern Family), Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy (Ty Burrell for Modern Family), Best Actress in a Drama (Julianna Marguilies for The Good Wife) and Best Actor in a Comedy (Jim Parsons for Big Bang Theory). I don’t want to sound too conspiracy-theory-guy, but this was Burrell’s second win, Parsons’ fourth Emmy and Modern Family’s fifth consecutive win. While I do believe that both Burrell and Parsons both play sitcom characters who are among the best in television comedy over the last twenty years, it seems a little excessive. And while Modern Family is a consistently solid show, I’m not sure it deserved a fifth consecutive Emmy (that’s a Best Comedy Emmy EVERY YEAR it’s been on the air) for a season that was arguably its weakest yet. Is this the signal that the major networks still run the show? Surely there were stronger overall comedies in 2013-14 — it all reeks of a “not so fast, cable” move from Emmy voters affiliated with more mainstream television.
Richmond Bramblet on a Generally Succcessful Evening
The Emmys were perhaps one of the most entertaining awards shows in recent memory. Seth Meyers handled the hosting duties with ease, and he and his writers came up with fresh bits. Granted, when I first turned it on he was playing “For A Dollar” with Billy Eichner, which will get me every time. The 8:30-9:00 slot was jam packed with comedy, including a Tim Watley reference, and the next two hours flew by because it all seemed new. Speeches weren’t long and drawn out, except I’m not really sure what Jim Parson’s “you can’t account for taste” speech was about. Seth played to his strengths and used his funny friends to make the night a success. Also, Weird Al makes everything better. Get to typing, George…
Kalan Kucera on An Alternate Universe McConaughey Win
“All right to the tres power, hombres. Man, y’all are beautiful. All these awards man, I just… it makes a man feel blessed to know that people connect so much with his work. It makes a man feel blessed to know he’s a man. Or at least to think of himself as one. To know that if he’s a man, and not some shapeless entity, floating through the aether of time on some journey, a journey that doesn’t seem to have any purpose or… or meaning, or he doesn’t even know what it is that he is. Maybe he just thinks that Lone Star beer tastes good, but maybe that beer doesn’t exist. Maybe it’s a figment, man, not of his imagination, but maybe of some greater being’s mind. Maybe, he’s not an entity, but a neuron in the neural pathways of God man. But if he’s a man and if Lone Star exists then it’s just fiiiiinne and dandy my friends.
I don’t want to accept this award for me, man. I want to accept this award on behalf of all of the better versions of myself that I haven’t even met. All those versions of me in the infinite copies of the Universe man. The ones like, helping kids and stuff. He’s not an actor, he doesn’t get all of these awards and accolades and the praises of his fellow man for the exceptional work he does. But I see him and I nod, slightly, in his direction with respect and honor, the way all McConaugheys in every plain of reality ought to be treated. That’s because, we’re all McConaugheys in our own way. Maybe not a successful one, but that don’t mean that it ain’t true or that it is. We’re just a bunch of neurons, so how could we even know, you know what I’m sayin’?
Wow, I just blew my mind. Before I go though, I’d like to thank all of the other nominees. Cranston, you are what you are and what you aren’t man, and I respect that. Jon Hamm. Jon Hamm. Kevin Spacey. Dig your name. Jeff Daniels, I can’t wait to meet ya. Woody, oh, woody. Marty. Good ol’ Marty Hart. The adventures we had man. This award is yours man, in the Universe where you’re me and I’m a Mexican ballplayer man. And I can’t wait to see you in that World mi amigo. I just can’t thank all of you and all of me enough for this heartfelt outpouring man. Who knows what words are about to come out of my mouth, but what else can I say but Alright, Alright, Alright?”
Aaron Flener on Not Watching At All:
The most interesting part of the Emmy’s, to me, is seeing the people who play the characters I love on their show looking NOTHING like the characters they play on their show. Two examples:
1. Aaron Paul looked entirely too drug free and happy for my liking.
2. Jon Hamm didn’t look like he had a beard on his face, his beard looked like it had eyeballs and nostrils.
I would say more but I only watched the show for around 5 minutes.