Monday, September 17, 2007

Now I remember why I never watch awards shows

I half-watched the Emmy Awards last night, something I don't usually do. So I don't know whether they're generally professional and entertaining. But to me the whole event looked like they threw it together in a big hurry -- like they just found out it was happening last week. (Except for the actresses, who had clearly been planning their gowns for months.) A lot of what I see on TV gives me the impression that the network execs think, Oh, it doesn't matter, they'll watch anyway, no matter what crap we put on the air. But I didn't expect that attitude to inform the Emmy telecast itself.

I've been yammering about Roots recently, so I appreciated the 30th anniversary salute. But why did the entire Roots contingent look like they'd been huffing paint backstage? And where was Georg Stanford Brown? Also, I know nothing about Broken Trail, but it looks fairly serious-minded and history-focused, so when they announced the Best Miniseries nominees, I was praying it would win. Because after all that buildup about making TV history and touching people and elevating the form, how embarrassing would it have been if the Roots folks had to present the award to The Starter Wife?

Finally: In what decade will the sexual objectification of women stop being a staple of awards shows? In my lifetime? Because, naive as I am, I am always taken aback when the Emmys or Tonys or Oscars resort to "I'd do her" jokes about the women they're supposedly there to honor. "We'd like to recognize your achievement in the field -- but more importantly, we'd like to call attention to how hot you are! Am I right, fellas?" Are powerful women really and truly that frightening, that they must be reduced to blow-up dolls at regular intervals? I was most put off by Brad Garrett and Joely Fisher's too-long, not-funny back-and-forth about Joely's cleavage. Between that and the just-aired promo for their show, I get the feeling 'Til Death is nothing but boob jokes, which at least makes me feel good about never having seen it and not even realizing it was still on the air. But special sleaze mention goes to Neil Patrick Harris's patter about how Hayden Panettierre recently turned 18, nudge nudge, wink wink! Even she looked a little grossed out (but resigned. After all, it was the second jailbait-cheerleader joke of the night). I found this especially irksome because, now that the whole world knows Harris is gay, he has a very solid excuse to opt out of the disgusting "me likey boobies" stuff. But then, maybe that's why they wrote it for him in the first place -- I guess it all depends on what you think is disgusting. I'll get down off this soapbox in a minute, but I just have to ask: what does it say about our culture, or even just about TV, that scripted drooling over hot teenage actresses at the top of the show is ginger-peachy, but Sally Field's making a comment along the lines of "war makes mommies sad" close to 11 p.m. is enough to get the rest of her speech censored?

Gotta run -- I have a doctor's appointment (fingers crossed), and then the fiance and I head to Scranton for another whirlwind wedding-planning trip. Be good while I'm away.

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