In case you don’t know who I am (WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN), I am the editor of this blog’s smarter and stupider younger sister. This is my first unlive blog experience.
(Confession: I was busy with my last meal at home before I returned to school and was aghast to find the DVR acting up, so witty commentary for the first 15 minutes is absent. But let’s be real, what did I really miss.)
Note: I apologize for the excessive caps lock. I don’t know how else to express my excitement.
8:15 pm LOUIS C.K!!!!!! I can’t decide whether Louis pretends to be sadder than he is…I want to pretend he’s really enjoying life and living it to the fullest in wake of his divorce, but I’m not totally convinced.
8:20 pm Julie Bowen and Sofia Vergara are both nominated. Julie Bowen wins and Sofia tries her best to look supportive…but we all know the real story.
“That’s my Sofia, god bless you.” Maybe the feud is no more? I really can’t keep up.
We all know Julie Bowen is crazy but GOOD GOD HER ARMS. And she has officially said “nipple covers” too much in this speech.
8:30 pm Miss Chanandler Bong is presenting for Guest Actor/Actress in a Comedy…He has a new show that’s Community-esque and is pretty funny. Plus it looks like he’s been back on the wagon for awhile (though the picture below is not the best highlighter of that) so four for you, Matthew Perry.
8:32 pm Jimmy Fallon and Kathy Bates presenting for Comedy Direction. Realtalk, Lena Dunham is grating on my nerves lately and I really don’t want to get on the Girls hate train so I think I’ll just stop following her on Twitter and pretend I’m still in awe.
BlahBlah from Modern Family wins Best Direction, to no one’s surprise. More like Middle-Aged White Male Director of Accessible Middle Brow Comedy Series, AMIRIGHT?
8:35 pmModern Family spot pretending the newest Lily actress, Aubrey, is a sadistic four-year old is actually pretty funny. ESPECIALLY CAUSE KEN JEONG MAKES AN APPEARANCE and that’s just gold.
8:37 pm Man, everyone really seems to be laying on the bronzer lately. I.E. Jimmy Fallon and everyone else who shouldn’t be wearing bronzer.
8:37 pm Mindy Kaling and Melissa McCarthy, both funny women, are talking about funny men! P.S. Just got a glimpse of Mayim Bialik behind Jim Parsons and DAMN, “aspiring modern orthodox” cleans up good.
I would be happy with any of these nominees winning. Except Jon Cryer….DAMNIT. WHY. Two and a Half Men is the least funny show on television, as 99% of the population knows.
Jon Cryer is either in real-shock or fake-shock. Either way, it’s 1/3 endearing, 2/3 wildly irritating. Also, just thanked his wife.
According to the Emmy announcer, you can tweet at the winners on Twitter with #EmmyCongrats. Because the big shiny trophy and applause of thousands of people really isn’t enough for these folks.
8:44 pm Colbert time, presenting for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. “We should not be having a war on women…we should be celebrating women.” Sincerity 4DaWin! Amy Poehler looks beautiful and I DON’T KNOW WHO I WANT TO WIN.
Julia Louis Dreyfus!!! Veep is incredible, I don’t care what anyone says, so four for you, Julia.
Julia starts to read a speech written by Amy Poehler…SHE AND AMY PROCEED TO SWITCH SPEECHES. Comedic gold, dead serious. Second year that Amy Poehler has been at the forefront of an Emmy gag, and here’s hoping it continues.
8:49 pm 2012 “YEAR IN REALITY” MONTAGE. THIS IS WHAT WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR, EVERYBODY.
8:50 pm The Beek is presenting with Damon Waynes, Jr. The latter being the high point of ABC comedy series, Happy Endings.
The Amazing Race wins for Outstanding Reality Series. I’ll be real with you, the only episode I’ve seen of this show has been the one where a woman slingshots a watermelon into her own head accidentally, so I figure I hit it at it’s highest point. (P.S. The comments of that last linked video include the likes of “thats the second biggest load she took to the face…” People just continue to keep it classy.)
8:57 pm The Big Bang Theory spot makes me sad. Remember when this show used to be funny? Sheldon is in a CPA Fan Club, apparently.
Did those accountants seriously come on, wave, and walk-off?
9:00 Did the Emmys always have so many awards for reality tv?
9:01 pm 2012Year in Drama montage! That’s what I’m talking about. Incessant reminders that I need to watch Downton Abbey and The Walking Dead, that The Good Wife, Mad Men and Breaking Bad continue to be incredible, and that Once Upon A Time is still be wildly disappointing.
Of Grey’s Anatomy: Mom: I can’t believe this show is on the air.
I had to use serious earpluggage for the Breaking Bad Sequence, because I’m only at Season 3!
9:04 pm Claire Danes looking stunning.
Mom: That’s an unfortunate dress (I guess we don’t always jam.)
Aaron Paul wins for Best Supporting Actor. If you’re not watching Breaking Bad, you’re doing something wrong. And if you don’t follow him on twitter, you’re making an even more egregious mistake.
And he’s crying. The rest of this liveblog might be me reacting to Aaron Paul reacting because he is my new Ryan Gosling. Actually maybe not because UGH he’s engaged and his fiance is gorgeous and I am irritated.
9:12 pm distracted because Mom is talking about the Space Shuttle flyover that happened two days ago.
Tracy Morgan and Jimmy Kimmel are doing a bit. Eh.
9:14 pmConnie Britton and Hayden Pannewaytolazytolookupthespelling presenting.
Ted: Connie Britton is hot.
Mom: Which one is Connie Britton
Ted: The tall one [or the old one, but okay…]
Writers for Homeland win, so I guess I really should be watching this show.
Ted: DON’T PLAY THEM OFF. Let them talk for two fucking minutes!
9:17 pm Maggie Smith couldn’t be at the Emmys because she’s fucking Maggie Smith who owned the Battle of Hogwarts while kicking cancer’s ass and probably has some sort of endangered forest to save or diseased animal to nurse back to health.
9:26 pm Jimmy Kimmel has put together a faux-In Memorium montage for himself. I’m on the fence.
9:27 pm Julianna Marguelies WHAT ARE YOU WEARING.
Mom: I like it.
Damien Lewis lives for Best Actor in a Drama Series for Homeland. OKAY I GET IT I’LL WATCH THE FUCKING SHOW. Just called himself a “pesky Brit.”
“My two children at home thought Daddy had been nominated for an Emma.” THAT’S RIGHT.
9:36 pm All in agreement that Tina Fey looks wonderful.
Will this be the year Julianna wins? I think I can vouch for Kate and say we both hope.
Elizabeth Moss counts as Lead Actress in Mad Men?
Okay Clare Danes wins and I’m sure it’s well-deserved but ugh Juliannnnaaaaa.
Clare agrees with Ted that the writers were cut off far too soon.
10:27 pm Either the show is getting less-funny as the night progresses, or I am losing steam.
HEYYYOOOOO Doyle from Gilmore Girls wrote Game Change! Learn something new every day.
Unsurprisingly, Julianne Moore wins for Game Change. Won’t lie and pretend I’m cultured and saw it, but I’m guessing it was well-deserved. I mention that I saw her on the street once. Mom mentions she sat next to her at a lunch. COOL MOM guess you win, as usual.
“I am a professor in the business school, teaching macroeconomics. I have a set of powerpoint slides that I’d like to make more jazzy and exciting, without changing the content.”
I’m not sure whether it says more about the professor or just the study of economics that it will apparently take 40 hours and $400 to make his class sides “exciting” enough to keep his students awake.
I considered applying for the job, before conceding that my atrocious year of high school econ probably wouldn’t even satisfy the “elementary knowledge of economics” qualification.
On another note, I’m saddened that I can’t see which professor posted this gem. Nothing would please me more than learning that Robert Reich used the word “jazzy.”
I am oft plagued by the question of why, seven years down the line, people still sit through Grey’s Anatomy each week. Like many others, I bowed out when brain tumor-ridden Izzy Stevens began to have regular sex with her dead fiancé’s ghost. While these encounters were (thankfully) clearly masturbatory as opposed to necrophillic, the plotline was drawn out for an excruciatingly long time, to the extent that I wondered whether the writers had found their decision to kill off adorably-dimpled Denny Duquette premature, and were attempting to rectify it. They clearly had a thing for Jeffrey Dean Morgan, after all. They’d brought him back once before in Meredith’s dream sequence in the third season (which occurred while, in a not at all implausible chain of events, she spent forty-five minutes submerged in frigid Puget Sound waters attempting to voluntarily drown herself, only to fully recover emotionally and physically by the following week), along with that really adorable bomb squad guy who was unfortunately blown up in the second season by a bazooka hidden in that patient’s body cavity. Sad times.
Many would agree that in its first couple seasons, Grey’s Anatomy was a well-written drama with enough digressional dialogue and irrelevant conversation to make you believe that these beautiful doctors bore some resemblance to real people. Sure, Seattle Grace somehow managed to attract every single out-of-ordinary medical case in America (pregnant man, boulder-sized tumor, penis fish, broken penis, bitten off penis). But the show struck a good balance between humor and drama, with enough medical jargon thrown in to confuse yet satisfy the average viewer.
As the show hit its stride, Shonda Rhimes could have made the decision to keep Grey’s Anatomy finely tuned, with succinct and believable plotlines that may have not made it infinitely sustainable, but would have let it bow out of primetime after 100 episodes or so, ready for syndication and with some semblance of dignity. Instead, however implicitly, she chose the soap opera route. Everyone began to sleep with one another. Everyone broke up; everyone got back together. Everyone was held at gunpoint at one point or another. George died. Izzy, with a 5% chance of surviving her cancer, made a miraculous recovery. In true soap opera fashion, the resilient doctors of Seattle Grace survived many a scarring incident with only an episode or two of mourning, before returning entirely to normal. The show went from “believable enough,” to “never-in-a-million-years-would-a-doctor-say-screw-the-DNR unrealistic.” And because of that, Grey’s could easily last another ten seasons (if the entire cast doesn’t quit by then. The drama behind the scenes is juicy enough to be its own show).
But even if Grey’s were to be cancelled, it’s doubtful Rhimes would falter. She has two other shows on the air: Private Practice (I bowed out when Violet unwillingly had her baby cut out of her womb), and the recently-premiered Off the Map. Off the Map, which deals with beautiful people saving lives through Doctors Without Borders, is essentially a delightful mash-up of Grey’s Anatomy and LOST, so of course I had to check it out.
The only real difference I could discern between Grey’s and Off the Map is that, in the latter, the doctors are grimier and less professional. Now we get to goggle at a troubled rebellious doctor with a mysterious past instead of troubled uptight doctor with a mysterious past. (For more wild differences between the two shows, check out this handy NYMag chart Kate sent me.)
So what exactly is it about Shonda Rhimes that makes her shows so addicting? By the time you watch her third television foray, her formula becomes somewhat predictable.
In the pilot episode, every major character will have some sort of monologue about why they’re here, starting over in [insert new environment of your choice.] The usefulness of the monologue is two-fold. Firstly, it serves as a great hook. The number one reason TV shows fail is that people don’t want to invest in the characters. Monologues are wonderfully contrived ways to make you suddenly emotionally invest in and empathize with this fictional person whom you have little to nothing in common with. And secondly, it’s a wonderful casting and audition tool. When cute, untroubled Tommy Fuller pours his heart out to a non-English speaking South American man (we aren’t told what country we’re in. I’m not even sure the doctors know themselves) about his slacker, unfulfilled past in order to convince the man to let him treat his wife, that’s most likely the speech that got Zach Gilford the part. (Well earned? Meh.)
In all of Rhimes’ shows, the medical cases somehow serve as convenient metaphors to the doctor’s own personal lives (What purpose would these sick people serve did their illnesses not neatly parallel our favorite characters’ personal strife?) Unfortunately, metaphors are not so consistent and naturally-occurring in real life. (At least, they aren’t in mine). In all her shows, the characters give long-winded, eloquent and uninterrupted monologues, free of a single “um” or “uh.” Unfortunately, in the real world, we aren’t born with the ability to pontificate naturally at any time (at least, I wasn’t.) But then again, television is not like the real world. If it were, it would not be nearly as exciting. Shonda Rhimes does what she does well. She has a successful formula for creating largely unrealistic, but relatable on some base level, characters that keep us tuning in week to week. It doesn’t hurt that they’re all beautiful, either.
Some people might think my sister and I grew up in a household where television was celebrated and appreciated, due to our love for it. Quite the contrary. Despite working in television, my mother seems to have an intense distaste for watching it. What follows is a collection of some of her best quotes as she tries to force herself to enjoy the medium:
In which Mom has a difficult time following Chuck: “I thought he just had this other person – what happened to the blonde?”
(after scene change): “What are we watching now. It’s not even the same show.”
(during the recap): “Didn’t we already see this?”
In which Mom gets less and less polite as an episode of One Tree Hill progresses:
“This is stupid.”
“This is so lame.”
“This show is just getting creepier and creepier.”
“This is getting boring. It’s the same thing over and over.”
“That’s one of the most horrible things I’ve ever seen on television.”
BONUS – (during the zit commercial): “I guess they know their audience.”
In which Mom has a difficult time comprehending the unrealistic nature of dramatic television on One Tree Hill:
“WHY WOULDN’T SHE CALL THE POLICE?”
In which Mom attempts to emulate the inner monologue of Brooke, a fictional character on One Tree Hill:
“Get rid of Peyton so I can hook up with the guy.”
In which Mom is incredulous over the failure of Booth and Brennan (on Bones) to consummate their relationship:
“Wait, they aren’t having sex?”
In which Mom attempts to be insightful with regard to horrendous RomComs such as Made of Honor:
“At this point I can’t even figure out what’s depressing and what isn’t.”
In which Mom reacts viscerally to exciting moments:
*Cannot be fully explained in dialogue. Filled with many “OMIGOSHes” and loud screeches of laughter over things she doesn’t quite get out of context.*
In which Mom has no sympathy for secondary characters on One Tree Hill:
Owen: “I haven’t had a drink in 8 years.”
Mom: “Now is a good time to start.”