Any awards show worth its salt (and tequila, if we're talking Golden Globes) knows that the best way to get people to watch a TV show about TV shows getting awards is to keep them guessing about what's going to happen next. This year's Emmy Awards fall into the "good show" category thanks in part to a few surprises.
On the very top of my list of things I hoped would happen tonight was a medley with Andy Samberg's "Lonely Island" crew and Michael Bolton; what came about was my wish fulfilled in spades. Akon, Ed Helms, Maya Rudolph, and John Stamos performed parts of the trio's songs including "I Just Had Sex", "3-Way (The Golden Rule)", and the Bolton assisted "Jack Sparrow" (for which the once long-haired crooner donned full Sparrow dreads) and were perhaps the highlight of the show.
Charlie Sheen didn't have anything interesting (read: controversial) to say
Maybe he's saving all the best digs for his "Comedy Central Roast" on Monday night, but the former star of "Two and a Half Men" seemed genuinely nice and magnanimous towards his former co-stars. Final judgment will be reserved until all the "Roast" jokes are told.
Walk-up commentary for winners
"John would like to thank the economy for tanking during sweeps"
""Game of Thrones" is filmed on location in Awesomeland"
It was hit or miss with the mostly comedic commentary, but it moved the ceremony on as award recipients made their way from seat to stage.
The pageant of Comedy Actress nominees
When I first saw Amy Poehler leap from her seat and head for the podium, I thought a scene straight out of "Zoolander" was unfolding; unable to accept a loss, a bid for at least trophy for underdog "Parks and Recreation" is launched when its Outstanding Actress nominee Poehler claims the prize before the winner is announced. Then, all the other nominees follow her to the stage in what becomes a beauty pageant crowning for Melissa McCarthy. The spontaneous moment was one of the best of the show.
Previously, when the Emmy nominations were first announced, there was a great thrill that "Mike & Molly" sweetheart McCarthy had won a spot among so many other great actresses for her work in the sitcom's first season. She's charming, funny, unassuming and rightfully deserves her award (and the pageant tiara that came with it).
"Mad Men" goes four for four as a winner of Outstanding Drama Series
Wins in the Outstanding Actor and Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series for "Friday Night Lights" coupled with losses for "Men" in Outstanding Actor, Actress, and Supporting Actress categories were pointing to the possibility of a Hail Mary win for "Lights" in its final season. In the end, however, Don Draper and crew took home their fourth Best Series trophy in as many seasons on the air.
Margo Martindale wins a Supporting Actress statue on her first nomination
You may say, "What's the big deal? Lots of actors win an award on their first try". The truly amazing news here is that the moonshining law-bender "Justified" scene stealer wasn't recognized sooner. She played different versions of secret-keepers playing moral guide on "Dexter" and "The Riches" with great aplomb.
Steve Carell gets the shaft in the Outstanding Comedy Actor category (that's what she said)
Kyle Chandler got an Emmy for his series' swan song (see below), but alas, "The Office" bids farewell to Michael Scott with a whimper instead of a bang (that's what…oh, that's just too easy). Maybe Scott will return at some point as a high level manager and give it another go.
Kyle Chandler stiff arms competition and takes home Outstanding Actor in a Drama statue
With Bryan Cranston- winner of the award for the last three years- out of the running due to lack of episodes airing during the qualifying period, this race was wide open. Jon Hamm seemed the odds-on favorite to claim the prize on his fourth consecutive nomination, but he still has the rest of the 60's to win, right?
Steve Jones is the most awkward red carpet host ever
This guy (the Ryan Seacrest of Simon Cowell's "X Factor") was single-handedly responsible for providing 99% of the show's awkward moments before the broadcast had ever begun. His red carpet commentary was- I think- meant to be funny, but just came out creepy. He said to Rob Lowe "I want to tear your face off and wear it as a mask to see what it feels like to be that good looking". 'Nuff said.
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