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The 2008 Emmys: The Highs and the Lows

I was right where all the action was at the Emmys last night, and it was totally exciting to be in the press room, chatting with the winners and watching the ceremony. Yet, as fun as that experience was, I felt like this year they somehow sucked a lot of the fun and energy from the show. At times I almost (almost) found myself wishing for Ryan Seacrest's Tudors costume of yore. Check out what I thought was in, as Heidi would say, and what was owt:

  • I really enjoyed that little montage of all the actors saying famous TV lines, and I thought it meant promising things for the rest of the intro. Sadly, it was followed up by the five hosts taking the stage and uselessly telling us that they didn't plan anything and then William Shatner ripped off Heidi Klum's clothes. Awk-ward.
  • Speaking of awkward, I'm a huge fan of Ricky Gervais, but his whole bit with trying to get Steve Carell's Emmy went on for so long and almost felt a little too real at times. For a moment or two I wondered if Carell was truly ticked off. I was grateful when that bit was over.
  • There seemed to be quite a few technical difficulties/strange decisions on the production end, from cutting away from Kirk Ellis's speech to having the microphones go silent when Vanessa Williams tried to introduce the nominees for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama.
  • I must say, however, that I am very glad they did away with the theater-in-the-round thing that they tried last year. So, improvement points there.

For more of the best and worst — and there is some positive stuff —


  • The "Sock it to me" bit made me cringe, a lot — partly because it was obvious that something unfortunate was going to befall the person saying it, partly because very few people managed to pull off an amusing reading of the line.
  • On the other hand, I did appreciate the idea of recreating iconic sets. Wouldn't it have been cooler if the whole show had been done from the Seinfeld diner, the Simpsons couch, etc.?
  • One of my favorite moments of the evening: Mary Tyler Moore introducing "our eternally 'golden girl,' Betty White!" I love both those ladies, and it was sweet to see them onstage together. Well, it's always sweet to see Betty White.
  • Another favorite moment: Sally Field calling Tom Hanks "son," and Hanks calling Field "Mom." So cute!
  • And Best Speech goes to. . . Tina Fey. She was funny, smart, self-deprecating and gracious. In general I was so happy to see all the awesome Tina Fey love at this year's Emmys.


Join The Conversation
Nitachequita Nitachequita 8 years
I loved the Josh Groban performance, and the South Park bit had me rolling on the floor. Also loved the Gervais/Carell skit. Steve is so good at the straight face, but his wife cracking up next to him made it so obvious that it was a joke.
Phil Phil 8 years
Worst Emmy Awards show I've ever seen! I just want to get that out of the way first. I was anxious about this year's telecast when the hosts were announced, and last night's show confirmed my fears. There was not a single interesting thing the hosts did. One thing I actually enjoyed was Josh Groban's TV theme song medley. It was one of the few high points for me, aside from the awards being distributed to so many great shows (though, not a fan of 30 Rock's wins). Ricky Gervais and Steve Carrell's banter was hilarious and was the only other high point in a terribly disappointing Emmy telecast. Finally, I detest that the Emmy's weren't even broadcast live on the west coast! Despite that, the entire show was poorly edited. It was a terrible move for the producers to cut off Kirk Ellis' speech, giving such little time for acceptance speeches in general, and hurrying every aspect of the ceremony. The pace given to the show when the producers realized it was running late killed the grandeur and emotion that should have been present for a night that's meant not for handing out silly awards but for celebrating the hard work people put in to make television shows of such high quality. I think I may have enjoyed this year's Golden Globes presentation more than I did last night's Emmies.
tralalala tralalala 8 years
I thought the Gervais bit was absolutely the best part of the show. Cutting Kirk Ellis' mic was a dick move, and I don't think it was because they were running out of time, you make time for the acceptance speeches. They didn't even give him 10 seconds. Ugh, it was awful. Laura Linney and Paul Giamatti's much more subtle political commentary was pretty awesome though. Ditto with Tom Hanks. Sigh.
ferny ferny 8 years
I find it hilarious that people are saying that the Ricky Gervais/Steve Carell bit made them feel awkward. I mean, have they even seen the (British or American) Office? I think the fact that Ricky Gervais can still give us butterflies in our stomachs is a triumph on its own!
ehadams ehadams 8 years
This was the worst Emmy's show I have ever seen, if not the worst awards show ever. Terrible. Gervais was the only saving grace and even that got a bit old.
babylove1019 babylove1019 8 years
Does anyone know who's dress Lauren Conrad designed?
Allyace Allyace 8 years
That was one of the worst awards shows I have ever seen! The openning was just awkward. Were they supposed to be talking over each other the entire time? And the bit with pulling off Heidi's cloths was just weird. It is like they didn't even give their lines a read-through before coming onto state. I completely agree w/ whoever said John Steward and Stephen Colbert should have hosted. They would have been far more entertaining. I also pretty much disagreed with every award that was given. Except Tina Fey b/c I love her. But how do you not give Michael Emerson the Emmy for his role on LOST????
nadioz nadioz 8 years
Ricky Gervais/Steve Carell moment was my favorit part of the show !
suziryder suziryder 8 years
Steve Carrell was sooo deadpan during his bit with Ricky Gervais that I thought he was genuinely pissed off with him. It was awfully uncomfortable to watch until the very end when it was clearly a bit. Tina Fey was awesome, I admire her so much. My fiance and I were so excited for all the awards John Adams won - so so well deserved. Yaaaay Paul Giamatti!!! :D
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 8 years
And I loved Josh Groban singing the TV theme songs too. He did such a great job!
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 8 years
I thought the Ricky Gervais/Steve Carell bit went on a little too long, but it was funny at first. I giggled when Tom Hanks and Sally Field greeted each other as their characters from Forrest Gump. That's one of my favorite movies! The five hosts were not funny at all, and neither were any of the skits or "bits" that the presenters had to say before handing out the Emmys. No one I really cared about won anything at the Emmy's except for Barry Sonnenfeld for directing the pilot of Pushing Daisies. And I like Tina Fey, and it's nice she won, but I've never seen 30 Rock.
verily verily 8 years
Choosing Josh Groban to sing all the theme songs was a little odd, but he carried it off admirably. I thought it would have tied to TV a bit better if they had asked one of the SNL spoof singers (Jimmy Fallon, Adam Sandler) or Wayne Brady to do it. But overall, I think it was one of the more interesting things to happen during the awards. Loved the 30 Rock love. Hated how House got passed over for all but one directing award.
Mykie7 Mykie7 8 years
Tina Fey gets props just for being there. Everywhere she goes immediately becomes more interesting just because she's there. I thought the speech by Tommy Smothers got a little uncomfortable at points too. I felt that Gervais carried that on WAY too long. I was laughing my ass off at first, but when he actually left the stage and went into the audience, it was over. That was stupid and went way too far.
Linda-McP Linda-McP 8 years
The opening with the five hosts was awful. What were they thinking? And the Ricky Gervais/Steve Carell bit was awkward at best. On the brighter side, Glenn Close and Tina Fey gave wonderful acceptance speeches and the win for Mad Men made the evening.
Evalla Evalla 8 years
I heart Tina Fey.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
Ryan Seacrest ruins anything he is in, I didnt watch if he was on. switched over to Mad Men alot.
luckyme luckyme 8 years
Josh Groban singing the theme to South Park was pretty freaking funny. That had my husband and I cracking up.
em1282 em1282 8 years
Loved the Colbert eating prunes bit. I just think Colbert and Stewart should have hosted the entire evening--I always love it when they present and they would have been better than the 5 hosts during the night. They got on my nerves.
fleurfairy fleurfairy 8 years
The Gervais bit was funny at first, but got awkward. I think sometimes British humor just doesn't work on this side of the pond. The 5 hosts were super annoying, especially Howie Mandel. Does that idiot ever shut up??? I was SO mad when they cut off Kirk Ellis' speech when it was shaping up to be a very relevant and well thought-out speech about our Founding Fathers and their visions for a unprecedented democracy. Angering!! Thanks alot technical people. Tom Hanks always makes me laugh and I loved the repartee with Sally Field. I also loved Steve Martin. He is hilarious.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that this is an awards show that has been around for so long that sometimes people try TOO hard to be campy and funny. i did enjoy a lot of the moments that were splattered through out - but you're right , there were a few that were a tad awkward and i don't know - i guess they were trying to get the laughs, but i don't feel like all were successful. oh well - all in all not a bad show.
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