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That Emmys opener was extremely awkward but blessedly short

Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

Um, what was that?

We all knew that the Emmys were going hostless this year, and that it had Absolutely Nothing to Do With the fact that the Oscars had done the same thing earlier this year and experienced an actual (and rare) ratings bump.

No, Fox -- which coincidentally is the only network without a late-night host that it can draft, er, invite to serve -- decided to go commando all on its own in the interest, we were told, of offering a more instructive look at the wonderful world of television.

The opening minutes certainly offered a brisk tutorial on how not to open an awards show, i.e., have Homer Simpson, a cartoon character, wander "onto the stage" before falling through the floor, causing audience member Anthony Anderson to leap to his feet swearing he will "save the Emmys."

An act that consists of Anderson running around backstage, refusing a Starbucks ("This isn't 'Game of Thrones,'"), asking his mother to stuff a few of the waiting statuettes into her bag, and then shoving Bryan Cranston out on stage.

Blinking into the light of a thousand luminous fans (and no doubt thinking, yes, I was once one of you before I became, apparently, an embodiment of the power of television), Cranston gave a brief and only slightly animatronic speech about the power of TV. Which is, he concluded in his best "Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln" voice, better than ever.

Perhaps, but not so you'd see it in the Emmy opener. Remember when Jimmy Fallon "saved" the Emmys in 2010 (after the decision to have five reality hosts run things the year before almost killed it)? That was an act of salvation.

 

But then Fallon was the host, and this year there is no host so we got pratfall Homer Simpson, larcenous Anthony Anderson and professorial Bryan Cranston. In its favor, no women were involved in the making of this debacle (Amy Poehler and Tina Fey clearly know a bad idea when they see one) and it was very short.

I can't wait to see how those precious 15 minutes saved contribute to my understanding of the power of television.

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