Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Top Eleven Things I Loved About the 2008 Emmys

Hey Arts fans! The opinionated and television-obsessed blogger is back, if only by unpopular demand. Let's talk Emmys. Anna did an excellent job blogging the event, and I'm now here to recap my favorite moments. Why eleven? Because this year's Emmys were just that good (and by "that good," I mean a vast improvement over last year's ceremony).

11. Oprah opening the show. I'm not in the "Cult of Oprah," but dammit if she isn't gorgeous, classy, and well-spoken. She stumbled a little in reading off the TelePrompTer, but she was the perfect person to open the show's 60th Anniversary telecast. Who is a better example of how far television has come in 60 years?

10. The "In Memoriam" Reel. I know I'm a sap for putting this on my top ten list, and also a jerk for ranking it at number nine, but so it goes. The opening and closing clips of George Carlin young and old really struck me, and I almost got misty when I saw the great Tim Russert drilling Hillary Clinton on "Meet the Press." It also reminded me of the legends I forgot we lost this year, Suzanne Pleshette and Estelle Getty in particular. Rest in peace all.

9. Sally Field presenting Tom Hanks with the Outstanding Miniseries Award for John Adams. He called her Momma and then began to quote Forrest Gump's famous line about life being like a box of chocolates. Adorable.

8. Steve Martin finally presenting Tommy Smothers with an Emmy. After years of being ignored and silenced for speaking his mind and being unafraid to ruthlessly satirize politics and war, the great legend Tommy Smothers finally got his Emmy. Steve Martin was effortlessly hilarious, as usual, in his introduction, and Smothers was so grateful and still willing to stir the pot of political discourse. I wish there were more like him, but it isn't possible. He's one of a kind and impossible to touch.

7. Josh Groban's Television Theme Renditions. I expected this to be cheesy and a time-waster, and it ended up being one of the most entertaining moments of the night. Groban does great "South Park" voices while singing, and managed to touch on almost every great theme song of the past 60 years (though where was "The Final Frontier" from "Mad About You?" Did I miss it? The whole procession moved like a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos). Groban gets props for having a good sense of humor. Who knew?

6. Steve Carell and Ricky Gervais. David Brent meets Michael Scott. How great was it to watch Gervais taunt a stone-faced Carell? Someone write these two a film script, NOW! For me, this was one of the biggest laughs of the night. 

5.Mary Tyler Moore awarding the Outstanding Series-Comedy Emmy to Tina Fey. Mary Richards passed the torch to her heir, Liz Lemon. This moment was everything I hoped it would be and a triumph for women in comedy.

4. John Krasinski saying "How You Doin.'" How sexy was this? Seriously. I'm so glad I didn't take my eyes off the screen for the first two hours of the telecast, otherwise I would've missed this throwaway moment. And, by the way, I'm doin' a lot better now...

3. Laura Linney's line celebrating Community Organizers. What a great moment for the former Hillary supporter to unite her party in blue-Hollywood and stand firm behind her candidate. A great swipe worth watching again on Tivo. She's a class act, and made a great Abigail Adams. The ball's in Palin's court now.

2.The vignettes showing off the nominees for best writing for a variety, comedy, or music series. This is a cheat since I look forward to these every year. Each show's entry made me laugh, with the biggest guffaw going to Conan for his Angelina Jolie-inspired showcase. *Bonus kudos to Conan for his dig at Katherine Heigl. 

1. President Josiah Bartlet encouraging everyone to vote. Martin Sheen played the best president this country will never have, regardless of party affiliation. Bartlet was a man of great faith, integrity, and strong convictions. If anyone should convince people to pull the lever this November, its him. I only wish his intro had been penned by the great Aaron Sorkin. 

These aren't really in any order, but if you know me you can probably guess where I'd place each moment on the spectrum. Feel free to comment and remind me of any great moments I missed.

--Meryn, who doesn't know what she'd do if she was invited to the Emmys but would love to find out.

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