The 2014 Emmy Awards Recap

History Repeats Itself.

Sometime early in the Emmy Awards show Monday night, I began to feel Déjà Vu.  Hadn’t all these shows and people won before? Even some of the winners looked terribly blasé as they made their way to the stage to collect yet another Trophy.  If it weren’t for the surprise lip-lock ambush by Bryan Cranston (winning his fourth Emmy for Breaking Bad), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (winning her third Emmy for Veep) would have looked bored. She practically rolled her eyes, as if to say “not again” when her name was called.

Even Allison Janney’s win as Outstanding Supporting Actress in the freshman comedy Mom on CBS seemed stale, although it was her first nomination in this category and the show’s first year on television.  I think Janney is terrific, I am a fan and I like her on this show, but it all seemed so planned, so predestined. Of course Janney is going to win an Emmy for playing a sex-hungry ex alcoholic irresponsible mother of a sex-hungry ex alcoholic irresponsible mother.  She raised the Emmy over her head triumphantly shouting “number six.” She had already won an award in the Creative Arts ceremony a few weeks ago for her guest star turn in Masters of Sex. Next year, no doubt she will be shouting “number seven, number seven.”

I am also a huge fan of Modern Family, but I think the show has taken a dip in quality and originality the last few years.  So many of the jokes you can see before they arrive, like a zeppelin before it moors.  The show is less about quirky characters interacting than it is about obvious joke set-up with a predictable pay-off.  This makes me a little sad.  What makes me sadder? The fact that it won, when it clearly shouldn’t have.

Jim Parsons won his fourth Emmy for The Big Bang Theory – Jim is great – but please can we spread the wealth?  Ditto for Bryan Cranston’s fourth win for Breaking Bad, which ended so long ago it feels like it shouldn’t have been included in this year’s award line-up at all.  It also won best drama.  True Detective didn’t have a chance pitted against the sentimental votes for Breaking Bad.  Viewers swear it is the greatest show that ever appeared on television.  Of course it is going to win in its last season.

However, I do approve of two wins: the actresses of American Horror Story: Coven.  Although Jessica Lange won for the first season of this mini-series, she had played an entirely different character and was in the best supporting actress category not lead when she won before.  Besides she is my favorite actress and she can keep on winning.  I also loved the fact that Kathy Bates won for the same show and the show has continued to win throughout its three year run.

Maybe I am a cynical curmudgeon, okay I am a curmudgeon, but it just isn’t fun to watch the same people win year after year.  Is it really a barometer of talent if an actor plays the same character five, six years in a row?  Don’t they get it down after a while?  It must be frustrating for perennial nominees who never win.  They get to see other actors walk away with four or five Emmys year after year, when they would be happy with just one Emmy.