Tracy Morgan prank falls flat, but other comedians kept the Emmys entertaining

The Tracy Morgan prank by host Jimmy Kimmel was disappointing, but audience members like Stephen Colbert and Amy Poehler kept the show rolling.

John Shearer/Invision/AP
Tracy Morgan (r.) pulled a prank with Emmys host Jimmy Kimmel (l.) in which they tried to convince those who weren't watching the show that Morgan had collapsed onstage.

The Good: Despite what much of Twitter would have you believe, the majority of last night’s winners were generally of the deserving variety. True, MODERN FAMILY (Outstanding Comedy Series), THE AMAZING RACE (Outstanding Reality Series) and THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART (Outstanding Variety Series) may not have been the most exciting or original of choices, but the continued excellence they deliver on a season by season basis won’t have us joining in on the chorus of complaining. Also not irking us, at least in terms of winners, were the trifecta of statuettes for Showtime’s fantastic freshman entrant HOMELAND (Which walked away with Outstanding Drama and Lead Actor and Actress for Damian Lewis and Claire Danes respectively), anything related to Woody Allen’s heir apparent Louis C.K. (Multiple winner for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special and Comedy Series) not to mention Lena Dunham’s lack thereof (Thankfully, stripping down on screen in HBO’s GIRLS only gets you invited to the show, not up on stage!). Other winners (not literally of course) from last night’s ceremony include comedians Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon and Amy Poehler, who not only showed they’re good sports when it came to losing gracefully, but were some of the few stars in attendance to remember that they’re supposed to be entertaining a vast global audience sitting at home not just those lucky few sitting in front of them. Which brings us to…

The Bad: The Producers of the Emmys really need to decide who this show is for: Is the purpose of it to entertain an audience numbering the hundreds inside a very hot auditorium, or the millions watching at home? We only ask, because if Jimmy Kimmel’s disappointing cold open featuring a bevy of female funny-women and a very naked Lena Dunham didn’t turn off viewers who don’t live in New York or Los Angeles, numerous jokes at Mitt Romney and the Republican party’s expense sure did. And while Kimmel deserves credit for keeping the show moving at a surprisingly brisk pace and peppering it with a few memorable one-liners (“Being a Republican in Hollywood is like being a Chick-fil-A sandwich on the snack table at GLEE.”), his negatives far outweighed the positives. His personal “In Memoriam” was both unfunny and tasteless, while his desperate (albeit successful) attempt to turn the show into a trending topic on Twitter by using Tracy Morgan as a prop fell flat. In short, we simply expected more from the smart and likeable personality that has spent the better part of this past decade carving out a nice niche for himself in late night. Equally disappointing were the evening’s speeches. Traditionally any award show’s highlight thanks to their unpredictable nature were, last night’s winners — with the exception of MODERN FAMILY’s Eric Stonestreet and HOMELAND’s Claire Danes — self-congratulatory and self indulgent in nature. In fact, the only thing more upsetting than the misplaced value the show put on clip packages (Reality! Comedy! Drama! Message: Please Watch Television) was that after thanking agents, managers, writers, friends and family, recipients pretty much uniformly failed to acknowledge the real reason they are up on stage: Us viewers at home!

The Ugly: Twitter last night, that kind of self congratulatory career achievement should be saved for the People’s Choice Awards), the biggest failure of last night’s show was one of our own. Each and every year we watch this show in the hopes that somebody, anybody will have learned something from the many many mistakes of show’s past by delivering an entertaining experience. Yet here we are, once again, sipping coffee on a Monday morning wishing we could get those four hours back!

The TV Addict staff blogs at The TV Addict.

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