“Good luck distinguishing this rather dreary ceremony from any other year’s,” wrote Matt Roush in TV Guide. “This was one of the worst awards shows ever,” said the NY Post. “LOSER: Seth Meyers, Awards-Show Host,” decreed Entertainment Weekly.
I thought the 2014 Prime-Time Emmys that aired Monday were funny, innovative (Weird Al!) and moved really well. And I think I speak for all Daytime fans when I say we WISH we had a celebration like that to honor our shows.
First of all, almost all of their nominees show up. When was the last time Kelly Ripa, Ellen DeGeneres, or the ladies from The View actually attended the Daytime Emmys when they were nominated? Remember 2011 when NATAS invented a tribute to Oprah Winfrey and she wasn’t even there? They set a bunch of old Oprah show clips to Gladys Knight singing “That’s What Friends Are For” and then “cut to” a taped piece of Celine Dion at Caesar’s Palace. YOU get a fake award… and YOU get a fake award… and YOU get a fake award!
Daytime actors tend to “wing it” with the Emmys. Who could forget the tribute to Y&R/B&B creator Bill Bell where Eric Braeden meant to ad-lib “God bless Bill Bell” but instead said, “God bless Eric Braeden”? Live award shows are nerve-wracking, that’s why they have rehearsals and teleprompters… Prime-time actors not only rehearse, they prepare their own material and do bits. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are the masters, but Julia Louis-Dreyfus is right up there, giving us her self-involved Veep character last year having to be prompted to thank her family, and this year the “reminder” kiss from Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston that they did indeed kiss on Seinfeld.
(Cranston also played Douglas Donovan on Loving from 1983-85. He probably has a thing or two to say to The Good Wife’s Julianna Margulies who gushed that their writers “never cease to amaze me with 22 episodes a year under pressure.” You want pressure? Try writing 250 episodes a year like soap opera writers.)
Prime-timers gets interviews with people on the red carpet who actually know who they are and respect their work, not “jokes” from Kardashian wannabes about wanting to “rape” them. Prime-timers get three hours on national television, Daytimers got one hour and 47 minutes this year on a dodgy website. Prime-timers get a classy “In Memoriam” of all the people who died in the past year (Robin Williams, sniff), Daytimers not only didn’t get that, we got a red carpet so bad it almost killed us.
One thing the Daytime Emmys did right this year was selecting Kathy Griffin as host. She’s clearly a fan of Daytime and was hilarious. And I’d like to think NATAS wouldn’t have shown an “In Memoriam” segment that didn’t include daytime legend Matthew Cowles (Billy Clyde, AMC) – especially not with his stricken widow Christine Baranski sitting in the audience.
It’s not too much to ask for the Prime-Time Emmys to move more quickly, have a funnier host, or not put the most over-exposed member of Modern Family in a tight dress on a rotating pedestal. But you can’t say Monday’s show didn’t honor and respect the people who work hard to make entertaining prime-time television.
And that’s a lot more than anyone in Daytime can say.