I confess: I stopped watching the Emmys. It was shortly after Tina Fey won (yay!) and some idiot announced that I should “love TV and fear the Internet.”
But honestly, I’d been offended for quite a while before Sonnenfeld’s crack. And my other confession is that I love television, particularly the crappy reality type, and the shows that are constantly overlooked and undervalued by the Emmys and the ratings types, like “Buffy” and “Arrested Development” and “Sports Night” before that and, heaven help me, “Jericho.” So, I’m predisposed to oppose the Academy. That’s America.
But this! This parade of calcification, this Piven’s-second-win sleepwalking, this revolting attempt to re-create the glory days of “Laugh-In” (really? Is this the Emmy demographic? What am I doing here?) and “remedy” past sins by offering up a lamely presented, lamely conceived, and embarrassingly received “we suck” emmy to Tommy Smothers, even as TV serves up worse dreck and more castrated drivel than it possibly ever has … this was downright gross. I mean, my god. Josh Groban was the highlight, and I’ll tell you, I was not expecting that.
And lest I sound like a neo-Republican … the sexism of this charade! It is truly astonishing. Five reality hosts hosting the show and the best they can come up with for a bit is a Heidi Klum strip-tease? Seriously? And oh, hey, look, the “Desperate Housewives” bitches are still such bitches, all these years later! Isn’t that hilarious how they all hate each other because women are such bitches? I admit, my tone might also be colored by the stupendously witty pre-show, featuring Jimmy Kimmel slobbering in musical style all over Salma Hayek, because women aren’t worth talking to unless they’re hot and apparently men aren’t worth talking to unless they’re hot, either! It’s a gross-out two-fer!
And then these oblique references, and blatant references, in the case of Sonnenfeld, to how the Internet is making things so much harder for television are, honestly, anything but pity-inspiring. You know what you can do to counter the effect that the Internet has had on television viewership? Be better than the Internet. You can probably pull it off, if you put even the tiniest bit of money and talent into it. Try, just try for one second, one day, one season, to actually pay attention to the sea change that’s happening in modern culture and put just a smidgen of your energy into attempting to hear it and understand it, instead of acting like nostalgia-drunk old dickheads who can’t see past a chasm of cleavage and insider Hollywood jokes.
Stop telling six million people that their show isn’t worth keeping (“Jericho”). Stop trying to get me to watch the endless and indistinguishable parade of overly scripted, patronizing, gender-stereotype ridden sitcoms you pump at me every single season. Stop kicking shows like “Arrested Development” off the air, stop giving Jeremy Piven Emmys, and most of all, stop pretending that I don’t exist. Hey, you, television. Can you hear us? We’re the millions of people who are on the Internet instead of watching this crap, and you’d be wise to throw us a bone once and a while, because at some point, we’re going to be all you’ve got left. It’s really great that you’ve caught the snap with “Daily Show,” “Colbert,” and “30 Rock”, but you’ve got a lot to make up for, know what I’m sayin’?Read more →