The 2013 Emmys were in no way a televised wasteland composed entirely of dirges, bizarre, self-indulgent bits, musical performances no one asked for and efforts to acknowledge the awkwardness of the evening that only made things worse. No! Of course not! That would have been weird! The people behind the show didn’t look around and decide, “Hey, to celebrate this, let’s have Elton John play a song for Liberace? On the piano? For some reason? Maybe to blunt the impact of Michael Douglas’s embarrassing gay joke when he wins for ‘Behind the Candelabra’ but even then not really?”
No, they were a celebration of one of the most vigorous art forms around, in which Merit (t Wever) was rewarded and the excitement was palpable. After Sunday night’s memorials, I too aspire to conduct my life in such a way that, when viewers at home see my tribute, they sigh and say, “Not another one! What is this, number eight? I’m going to the bathroom.” That’s how I want to be remembered.
For a night celebrating an era that keeps being dubbed the New Golden Age of Television, where you can see a wide array of critically acclaimed shows about
a wide array of protagonists who represent humanity at its best and worst brooding generally middle-aged generally white men who are undergoing crises in their personal and professional lives, it wasn’t much of a party. It was a party in the sense that a “painting party” or a “moving party” is a party — in that it is a gathering of people who are all suffering through the same unpleasant thing together and if they finish early there may be beer left. I am still trying to decide whether they were performances no one asked for, occasionally interrupted by lugubrious memorials, or vice versa.
Here, taken at random, are 10 things more exciting than the night’s festivities:
- James Franco and Anne Hathaway spending three hours reading a heartfelt apology for hosting the Oscars.
- The “game” when you meet someone a party and it turns out that person went to a college that maybe one or two people that you went to high school with but have no very clear recollection of also attended, and so you spend the next several minutes quizzing each other about them but it doesn’t really bring you any closer.
- “The Newsroom’s” inevitable recap of this very incident 10 months later.
- Friday nights at Miss Havisham’s place! Candelabras! Wedding dresses! Cobwebs! Resentment!
- Symposium on Medieval Dentistry, because at least you wouldn’t go into that expecting it might be a good time, and so, who knows? You might be pleasantly surprised!
- Someone doing that dance you do when you’re trying to find your keys or wallet on your person by patting all your pockets.
- The Quiet Car
- Pretty much anything else on television right now.