Emmys 2021, Emmy, Emmy Awards, Ted Lasso

Emmys 2021, Emmy

Alan Sepinwall: How Do You Solve a Problem Like the 2021 Emmys?

Rolling Stone’s chief TV critic weighs in on a predictable, baggy and overall sluggish Emmy Awards broadcast

9/21/2021 12:33:00 AM

How do you solve a problem like the Emmy s2021? Rolling Stone's chief TV critic Alan Sepinwall weighs in on last night's predictable, sluggish awards show.

Rolling Stone’s chief TV critic weighs in on a predictable, baggy and overall sluggish Emmy Awards broadcast

Mare/Gambittoss-up. So there were precious few surprises to be found on a night when a telecast saddled withabysmal comedy bitsand other clunky production choices (you shouldn’t need a microscope to see the name of TV legend Ed Asner during the In Memoriam montage) really could have used some help from the Emmy voters.

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That help did not arrive, with a small handful of series — many of them featuring white people in and/or from England, despite the TV Academy’s attempts to play up their newfound inclusivity — hoovering every trophy in site, turning a night meant to celebrate what we love about television into an example of the medium at its creakiest and most predictable. The rare moments of liveliness or surprise seemed to come about almost by accident, whether it was

I May Destroy Youwriter/star Michaela Coel’s powerful — and, especially contrasted with the Scott Frank ramble that preceded it, marvelously efficient — speech paying tribute to sexual assault victims, Jean Smart paying tribute to her late husband Richard Gilliland(*), or something lighter like Conan O’Brien mockingly saluting Academy chairman Frank Scherma. headtopics.com

(*) It was a really bad night for the Emmy orchestra’s attempt to play people off. Lifetime achievement honoree Debbie Allen made clear early on she wasn’t goinglet that happen, Frankignored multiple attempts to chase him from the stage, and even Smart got interrupted in the midst of a very emotional and good speech. Frank definitely could and should have tightened things up, but in general, the tension came because the telecast had to make room for disastrous sketches like the support group for actors who never won Emmys.

And the shame of it is, these were very good TV series that were kicking ass and taking names on Sunday night. Plus, other thanThe Crown— which had won before in other categories, just not Outstanding Drama Series — these were all first-timers at the Emmys, and the winner’s enthusiasm was often palpable, starting the night off with

Ted Lasso‘s Hannah Waddingham squealing with delight repeatedly through her speech. But there’s a sameness to the show that can be tough to get through, particularly when the one series that swept everything(*) has been around for a while.(*) And even the sweep didn’t fully register, because Tobias Menzies

wasn’t available to accept his supporting actor awardfor playing Prince Phillip, leading to a telling eye-roll from presenter Kerry Washington, who had just gotten choked up talking about Menzies’ fellow nominee, the gone-too-soon Michael Kenneth Williams.  headtopics.com

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To a degree, these results were also pandemic-influenced.Successiontook the year off, or else it might have spent the night trading victories withThe Crown. The drama and comedy categories in general felt lighter than usual, with limited series for the moment staking a claim as the medium’s dominant creative form. But the category lines feel maddeningly blurry.

Mareis probably going to get a second season, even after racking up several wins as a limited series, while HBO’sLovecraft Countrywas nominated as a drama, then canceled after only one season. The variety and talk awards often feature apple-orange comparisons, or wind up so split that

Saturday Night Livehad only one other show to beat (A Black Lady Sketch Show, which should have won) for the Variety Sketch Series category.What is the solution? Is there one? Would abandoning the honors system of recent years to require voters to watch all the submitted episodes in a category improve things? Probably not, since there was often a sameness to the results under that system. (Also, basing awards for seasons’ worth of work on one or two episodes, has always felt wrong-headed.) But while Netflix and Warner Media (which produced both the HBO winners and

Ted Lasso) can feel pleased with how the night went, on the whole it was a dire, monotonous event, and one offering little hope of how the Academy can improve things for future telecasts. Though maybe cutting out the comedy bits would be a good start? headtopics.com

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Cedric is as relevant today as Rich Little. Don’t bother. The story is behind a paywall. Why do famous people making millions need to gloat at them selves even more by awarding awards to each other for doing a job? What even makes the people who determine the winners qualified to even make that decision?

I didn’t find it quite as problematic as this author but there is a lot of room for improvement. Here is my review of the Emmys and my thoughts on the big winners (and losers).

2021 Emmy Awards: Every Must-See Look from the Red CarpetNicole Byer, well, nailed it in this purple Christian Siriano gown at the Emmy s (via toofab)

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Emmys 2021: All the Red Carpet LooksUpdating: What Hollywood is wearing to the 2021 Primetime Emmy Awards. Like, C'MON EMMYs

2021 Emmy Awards: Every Must-See Look from the Red CarpetTaraji P. Henson never disappoints on the red carpet Emmy s (via toofab) TooFab 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

2021 Emmy Awards: Every Must-See Look from the Red CarpetThe Crown's Emma Corrin's claws are out on the Emmy s red carpet (via toofab) TooFab This look is a no for me. 😬 TooFab No words.

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