It’s in our contracts, y’know. In section 18, paragraph two, it states that all soap journalists and bloggers must complain, bitch and moan about every aspect of the Emmys, from pre-noms to post-show, from actor to actress, from overlooked to underdressed.
This is a year where most of us should just shut up and be damn thankful it’s even going to be televised. CBS and ABC passed on it, NBC was never in the game, and it was uncertain anyone would dedicate an evening to the affair. (Personally, I liked it better when it was on in the afternoon.)
But the CW came to the rescue, and the awards will be handed out this coming Sunday, August 30th.
The executive producer, Jim Romanovich, is to be commended on his energy and focus. It was he and ATI (the company producing the awards) that worked hard to get the CW to broadcast the awards. In every interview with Romanovich that I’ve read, his intelligence and understanding of the genre comes through.
But – and you KNEW there was a ‘but’ – I can’t help but be a little wary of what will appear on my screen on Sunday.
Like daytime itself, the awards telecast seems to be aiming for the CW’s prime audience (teens and twentysomethings). And I worry that, based on the description of the telecast, the Emmys will really be “CW’s exciting fall preview and fashion show……and hey, a few of these awards shoehorned in here and there!”
There are THREE musical numbers, and I’m not sure what to make of that. Vanessa Williams is a favorite of mine, and one song is a fantastic idea. Having her sing a second song, and having Sesame Street do a musical number, seems to be overkill.
I say this because there appears to be time for these things, AND a fashion show, AND the red carpet (and the tribute to Guiding Light, which I am looking forward to) but there isn’t any time to honor daytime actors who have passed away. (Romanovich said in an interview with Sara Bibel that the in memoriam content was cut from the show.)
In another year, perhaps that would not have been so important. But in the last 15 months, we’ve lost an astonishing number of legends from our industry: the divine Beverlee McKinsey, Eileen Herlie, Irene Dailey, Clint Ritchie, Phil Carey, and James Reilly. That, my friends, is an All-Star team. That they don’t even merit a quick on-screen mention (with Vanessa Williams singing “The Way We Were” in the background) is a total shame.
It wasn’t so long ago that daytime actors (like Margaret Reed) banded together to meet with Emmy producers as a advocacy group literally called, if I remember right, the Respect Committee. The issue, then as now, was that these events often boiled daytime down to hot sleazy sex, sequined gowns, a toss of bouncin’ and behavin’ hair and a few well-aimed slaps.
Focusing on the trip to Africa that Susan Lucci took (with Tony Geary and Kelly Monaco) is admirable. I’m not sure ALL of this content, though, will leave CW viewers with an idea that they should watch more soaps. And it may chase away longtime viewers who, y’know, actually want to see their shows and their communities HONORED and RESPECTED.
I’ll be watching, and I wish ATI and Romanovich the best. I hope the Emmys continue for years to come. But I hope they can grow and evolve without losing sight of their mission. Trendy and flashy tend to have a shorter lifespan. Guiding Light tried to be The Hills, and that wasn’t a fruitful pathway.
EMMYS, SCHMEMMYS: Speaking of the Emmys, I’m assuming that some awards are given off-camera or in the technical awards presentations (which Kathy Griffin refers to as “the Schmemmys”). If there isn’t time to properly honor the actors who have passed away ON air, I wish that ATI (or the collective producers of the shows involved) would have produced a short film of clips (10 minutes? 20 minutes?) honoring those professionals. Attendees of the Emmys could see it, AND it could be uploaded to YouTube the next day.