When I was growing up, I always watched the Emmy Awards. It was my opportunity to see my favorite television performers in the surreal moment of being off-script.
But I haven’t watched them in a number of years, and I know why: I’ve never seen most of the programs being honored. A lot of them have been on HBO, which I’ve never subscribed to, and an increasing number on services such as Netflix.
And the Emmy ratings were lower than they were any year except 2016, so it’s not just me. I’m sure the Handmaid’s Tale miniseries was tremendous – I read the book 20 years ago – but the buzz about the TV program is all secondhand to me.
Even the shows that are on basic cable, which I could watch, I don’t. I happened to catch an episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia recently – it was on after the Daily Show – and I hated it so much, I couldn’t finish it.
And speaking of hate, Ken Levine, who has won three Emmys for writing Cheers, did his usual snarky review of the event, both as a podcast and in his blog, and apparently he got a lot of backlash. He was critical of Emmy announcer Jermaine Fowler, who is black, and some folks decided that Levine must be racist.
Well, I heard a couple of Fowler’s bits, and I thought they were fine, for WWE (wrestling), or being a home team announcer for a basketball or football game. (Someone else suggested that Fowler should cover sports, and there were those who perceived THAT to be a racist comment, because they were presumably implying that blacks should stay in their lane.)
I have real ambivalence about former White House press secretary Sean Spicer showing up at the Emmys. On one hand, he was a lying [place your favorite profanity here] in his previous position. On the other hand, his sudden appearance caught the audience by surprise, notably Melissa McCarthy, who portrayed him on Saturday Night Live, and Veep’s Anna Chlumsky, whose reaction became a Facebook GIF. I’m just pleased that none of the networks – CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN and even FOX – are going to hire him.
As that list of shows that I “should” watch grows and grows, my chances of watching future Emmy Awards shrinks. The good stuff I’ll catch on YouTube clips.