September 25, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 16  

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Same ol' crap at the Emmys

Shukvision
Mark Polishuk
Opinions Editor

To a TV critic, the Emmys are like Christmas morning, except for the lack of gifts, family, novelty songs about grandmothers being killed, snow, stockings and pretty much any sort of merriment. On the plus side, the Emmys have Matt LeBlanc. How you doin'?

The 2003 Emmys took place last Sunday and the winners were a fine bunch of actors... that deserved it three years ago. That's the curse that haunts the Emmys; they're too repetitive. Once a show gets established as "Emmy-calibre," it will keep getting nominations until the show becomes so God-awful it makes your VCR vomit. Once you win one Emmy, I think it's some kind of guarantee you'll win another whether you deserve it or not.

Of course, this also means if a show or actor is consistently doing good work, then they can win several awards. Nobody would argue that James Gandolfini is anything but great on The Sopranos and he certainly deserved to be awarded. However, what about an actor that does equally good work, i.e. Peter Krause from Six Feet Under? Shouldn't he get his first instead of Gandolfini getting his third? Gandolfini has enough weight of his own without another trophy adding extra bulk.

With this sort of "paying your dues" system in place, Everybody Loves Raymond won its first best comedy award, a good 2-3 years after it became the same thing every show. The fact that Raymond is much less funny than Curb Your Enthusiasm doesn't mean squat in the eyes of Auntie Em.

This year's ceremony didn't have a single host, but instead a revolving bunch of comedians presenting awards and doing comedy bits. So the good news is Conan O'Brien, Jon Stewart and Ellen Degeneres all got a chance to do a skit. The bad news is they each got one segment, whereas Darrell Hammond from SNL got two segments doing crappy impressions of Donald Rumsfeld and Ah-nuld. Darrell Hammond. Wow. I think I'd rather see Phil Hartman in his current state than Darrell Hammond at any point.

The emotional high point of the night was a tribute to John Ritter, but even this was sullied by the fact ABC announced it will be keeping 8 Simple Rules on the air and Ritter's death will be worked into the storyline of the show. Working title: Katey Sagal stars in Widowed With Children.

All in all, the Emmys were a pretty forgettable show. I'm glad I split my time watching the Miami/Buffalo football game. If there's anything that is an alternative to award-winning television, it's Joe Theismann's broadcasting.

 

 

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