I wish that I had watched Breaking Bad instead.
As I wrote a while ago about the Oscars, the thing that makes these awards shows exciting is if you have a horse in the race and you get to see it win. But there were so many shows that I did not watch that happened to be nominated, that much of the telecast was boring.
So here are my thoughts:
I like Neil Patrick Harris. I think he is a real showman. I think that they wanted to confound expectations by having him not do a musical number in the beginning, but that was a mistake. And putting multiple numbers in the middle of the show was a worse mistake. You can start with a big production. But once the awards get going, we just want to see who wins next. We don't care about any kind of special tributes (except the In Memorium)
Speaking of which, I thought the personal tributes were very nice, but then you have the problem of people being left out. I understand why Cory Montieth's death was highlighted, because it was unexpected. But then you realize that Jack Klugman, a TV icon, was lumped in with everyone else.
The jokes were the jokes. They usually aren't that memorable.
I thought that the Netflix shows would come out strong this year, but they didn't.
Veep had a stronger showing than I thought, but Amy Poehler is consistently robbed for best actress in a comedy.
One of the few guys I don't know won the best supporting actor drama award, which left me disappointed, as did Mayim Bialik not winning for The Big Bang Theory.
Speaking of which, that show should also have won the best comedy award. Modern Family was a great show when it came out primarily because of the humor and heart. You could laugh with or at the characters, but you could see their genuine affection and a sense of family. I've since stopped watching when I came to perceive a coldness that was pervasive among all of them. The Big Bang Theory started with an emotional distance, but over the years the characters have grown and developed and continued to be incredibly funny.
It is not a shock that Liberace won a number of awards, particularly Michael Douglass. If a pretty actress uglifies herself for a movie role, she is more likely to win an award (Chalize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Anne Hathaway, etc). If a straight actor plays gay, he is more likely to win an award (Tom Hanks, Christopher Plummer, Eric Stonestreet).
The biggest shock for me was Jeff Daniels winning. My theory is that everyone who voted knows that The Newsroom is a Hollywood fantasy and is disconnected from any kind of reality. I mean, think about this, it is too unreal for Hollywood! But they are so attached to Daniels' character because he is the embodiment of their own hopes and frustrations. He gives voice to their thoughts in an heroic way. So regardless of the other nominees, they would honor him because of that.
But at least Breaking Bad finally got the best show award.
Tonight is the finale. If it ends with the same emotional force as we've seen the rest of the season, we should see them win again next year.
(Below are my live tweets. If you have nothing better to do: enjoy!)