Tag: Tina Fey

2010 62nd Annual Primetime Emmys Post-Show Recap

As stated in a post regarding last year’s Emmys, me and awards show have a love/hate relationship – I love them and they seem to hate me, or rather me and the collective viewing audience. Uninspired would best describe  them of late, but Academy of Television you actually kept my rapt attention this year. It might be because I didn’t watch them live, but the pace overall for the Emmys telecast was brisk, peppered with many worthy laughs and filler moments that weren’t completely eyeroll-inducing. I credit a lot of this to the stellar hosting job executed by current Late Night helmer Jimmy Fallon. From the amazing Glee-ful opening with four of the hot show’s stars, Tina Fey, Jon Hamm, Joel McHale and more joining him in belting out a Springsteen classic, through his moments introducing the various genres with the help of nominees Amy Poehler, Stephen Colbert and Julianna Margulies in the audience and even the “Shows We Lost” montage he never failed to entertain.

Naysayers can say nay about his time on Saturday Night Live – his were never peek performances like Will Ferrell, usually breaking character first and unable to deliver most of his lines laugh-free – but I was always a fan and thought he had his best years behind the Weekend Update desk. It also didn’t hurt he pulled duty next to my Fey-vorite.

He’s also no slouch when it comes to the melding of music and comedy, which seems to be all the rage these days thanks to belle of the TV ball Glee. My first memory of Fallon was his dead-on impersonation of Adam Sandler, another SNL alum known for wacky comedic songs, and a couple of years into his stint on the seminal sketch show he released an album with a track I still frequently revisit, “Idiot Boyfriend.” Just try not to smile at the hilarious video below co-starring then-up-and-coming-now-It New Girl Zooey Deschanel.

Knowing Jimmy had the ability to MC as shown by the success of his talk show’s first year it wasn’t a surprise when he was tapped to take the reins of the Emmys hosting gig, but I had further confidence he would deftly lead the telecast by the sheer merit of his work back in 2002 at the MTV Video Music Awards. That opener still sticks out as one of the most memorable beginnings to an awards show of all time and had yet to be topped on my list of favorites until Fallon, Fey & the Glee gang’s “Born to Run” performance.

The buzz and ratings after Sunday both suggest that Neil Patrick Harris and Hugh Jackman aren’t the only song-and-dance men to call on if you want to have a successful live show telecast.

Not to forget about the awards part of the show, Glee took home a couple of high-profile wins with Jane Lynch nabbing Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy and Ryan Murphy getting Best Director for the top-notch pilot episode. Mad Men continued its drama domination with their third-straight year of trophies for both series and writing, and freshman favorite Modern Family went away a big winner with Best Comedy and Writing for its pilot as well as a pleasant surprise with Eric Stonestreet taking home a Supporting Actor in a Comedy trophy for his phenomenal work as Cam in the ensemble sitcomAn additional surprise win in an acting category went to Aaron Paul getting a much-deserved statue for his supporting role along-side fellow winner and co-star Bryan Cranston for AMC’s needs-to-get-more-recognition drama Breaking Bad.

Major category winners:

Comedy

OUTSTANDING COMEDY
Modern Family

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie)

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family)

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Jane Lynch (Glee)

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Betty White (SNL)

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Neil Patrick Harris (Glee)

OUTSTANDING DIRECTION IN A COMEDY
Ryan Murphy (Glee)

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A COMEDY
Christopher Lloyd and Stephen Levitan (Modern Family)

Drama

OUTSTANDING DRAMA
Mad Men

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer)

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife)

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad)

OUTSTANDING WRITING IN A DRAMA
Erin Levy and Matthew Weiner (Mad Men – “Shut the Door, Have a Seat”)

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA
John Lithgow (Dexter)

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Ann Margaret (Law & Order: SVU)

OUTSTANDING DIRECTION IN A DRAMA
Steve Shill (Dexter)

Variety, Music or Comedy

OUTSTANDING VARIETY, MUSIC, OR COMEDY SERIES
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

OUTSTANDING DIRECTION IN A VARIETY, MUSIC OR COMEDY SPECIAL
Bucky Gunts (The Winter Olympics)

OUTSTANDING WRITING IN A VARIETY SHOW
Dave Boone and Paul Greenberg (The 2010 Tony Awards)

TV Movie, Miniseries or Dramatic Special

TV MOVIE
Temple Grandin (HBO)

MINISERIES
The Pacific (HBO)

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A TV MOVIE, MINISERIES OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
Al Pacino (You Don’t Know Jack)

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A TV MOVIE, MINISERIES OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
Claire Danes (Temple Gradin)

OUTSTANDING DIRECTION IN A TV MOVIE, MINISERIES OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
Mick Jackson (Temple Grandin)

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A TV MOVIE, MINISERIES OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
David Strathairn (Temple Grandin)

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A TV MOVIE, MINISERIES OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
Julia Ormand (Temple Grandin)

OUTSTANDING WRITING IN A TV MOVIE, MINISERIES OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
Adam Mazer (You Don’t Know Jack)

OUTSTANDING REALITY SHOW COMPETITION
Top Chef

Thank You For Being a (Facebook) Friend

This is the face of post-ageist Hollywood, gentlereaders!

After months of love for the golden girl of comedy have been flying all over the interwebs, it’s now officially confirmed that Betty White will host a special Mother’s Day edition of Saturday Night Live on May 8th. The show’s creator-producer, Lorne Michaels, told USA Today that the Facebook campaign, which kicked in after White’s Super Bowl commercial for Snickers, “…took on a groundswell. [White as the host] isn’t something we would have said no to, [but the campaign] validated that, ‘Oh that’d be fun’ [aspect]… It was the outpouring of affection from fans, and we feel the same way.”

Besides featuring the 88-years-young Mary Tyler Moore and Golden Girls star the episode will also reunite six former female “SNL” cast members, most of whom happen to be moms: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Molly Shannon, Maya Rudolph, Ana Gasteyer and Rachel Dratch.

Setting the Mood, or The Art of a Title Sequence

A sucker for a good awards show – although they quite often leave me underwhelmed well before the final winner is announced – the Emmys will kick off the season in September with golden bar standard, and personal fave, 30 Rock leading the nominee pack (record-setting 22 for a comedy series – who says women aren’t funny!?) and while anxiously anticipating how many statues Fey & Co walk away with, the real category of intrigue is one that I, admitting with great shame, had no idea was even a part of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences – Outstanding Main Title Design.

Perhaps this is one of the “technical” (aka, snooze-worthy-so-let’s-sex-it-up-with-this-year’s-It-starlet-announcing-the-winners) awards they give away prior to a telecast, but please TV Academy let’s give some primetime credit where credit is due to a category with an amazing history of well-deserved winners, most recently last year’s Mad Men.

Its return with the third season premiere on Sunday reminded me how a brilliantly-executed title sequence can immediately capture the mood of show. Here the orchestral, Hitchcockian music and style/color design and most poignantly the use of a faceless man endlessly falling Vertigo-style through era-specific advertisements that feature a bevy of scantily-clad women, tumblers of drinks and a final image of the “perfect” nuclear family that sets the stage for vice-indulging, secret-keeping ’60s family/ladies/ad man Don Draper. Those MADison Avenue men are proud.

Being a research-loving fact-finder, I’ve discovered that the Main Title Design’s category inception was in ’97 and since then the Academy has bestowed wins to a number of shows that top my personal list of favorite opening sequences (yes, such a list does exist along with favorite font — for the record give me something in a serif any day). In 2002 a little network called HBO received its first win in this category with Six Feet Under.

Haunting theme music from Thomas Newman and artful images (love those chiaroscuro hands) that highlight preparation for one’s eternal dirtnap (thank you HBO for showing me the embalming process) encompasses the juxtaposition of beauty and decay found in death, and life, that the series so adeptly captured.

For a series focusing on the cause in addition to the effects of death, Showtime’s Dexter has a title sequence befitting its dark yet playful world — turning the mundane, morning routine of cop and serial killer Dexter Morgan (the amazing Michael C. Hall’s 180 degree turn in character from his David Fisher on Six Feet Under) into a menacing montage.

Finally, jumping back to HBO/Alan Ball collaborations and the jewel of this year’s Title Design noms, True Blood‘s opening sequence is an amalgam of dirty, swampy, sexy, fire-and-brimstone imagery coupled with twangy rockabilly song “Bad Things” (by Jace Everett, a decent alternative to Chris Isaak) that encapsulates the soapy, southern gothic nature of the supernatural saga.

See the complete list of this year’s Emmy nominees here .