Show of hands: who watched the Emmys?
Second show of hands: who enjoyed watching the Emmys?
(If this was a cartoon, here's the part where tumbleweed would blow past.)
Two weeks ago, we learned one thing: the people who make TV are very different from the people who watch TV. Apparently we needed a bloated, three-hour love fest that celebrated Modern Family and not much else (well, okay, Homeland, too, I suppose) to communicate this.
The big clincher was that Jimmy Kimmel wasn't even all that entertaining as a host, making a couple smug comments at the top of the show that made him sound—and seem—"too cool" to be hosting in the first place.
A good awards show needs to be two things: 1) actually reverential of the material it's covering and awarding, and 2) entertaining. The Emmys this year were neither.
So when it was annouced Monday that Seth MacFarlane would be hosting the Oscars this week, I cheered. And then I groaned. And then I made a noise that was somehow both.
The problem here is that there's a fine line to walk, and I'm not sure MacFarlane can do it. Close your eyes; now picture Brian Griffin introducing the In Memoriam Feature. "This year, we lost Michael Clarke Duncan..." No sale.
So anyway—why do you (or don't you) watch awards shows? What would get you to watch again? What makes a good host and what makes a bad host?
What to Watch, What to Netflix, What to Ditch
WATCH: Last Resort
Thursdays, 8 p.m. - ABC
This show has no business being as good as it is. That said, it has the head writer from the late, lamented Terriers on board, and the excellent Scott Speedman and Andre Brauer in leading roles.
There were two heart-stopping moments in last week's pilot (about a nuclear submarine crew forced to go rogue when a government conspiracy turns the country against them). The crew ends up on an island, establishes its sovereignty, and things get interesting from there.
What would've made a sort-of-boring Tom Clancy novel is actually a riveting and suspenseful drama, and I'm thrilled to see where this goes next. It's like the best parts of a good military show mixed with the epic character drama of Lost. Do not miss this.
NETFLIX: Eli Stone
I sort of hate Ally McBeal (There's a column on that coming at a later date. And I'm a big fan of CBS' new drama Elementary, which casts Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as a modern-day Holmes and Watson in New York.
Johnny Lee Miller headlined the excellent and sort of forgotten series Eli Stone, about a lawyer given a special mission from a higher power...that manifests as a weird bevy of visions, singing and dancing, and an occasional cameo from George Michael. See? Very Ally McBeal, except this is moving, fun, and makes sense. I love it. Give it a whirl.
Mondays, 8:30 p.m. - CBS
Why, oh why, is anyone watching Partners, on CBS? It's a clunker from the creators of Will & Grace about two best friends, one gay, one straight, and the lives they lead. It's super-unlikeable, despite great actors; just an offensive mess.
See you next week, friends!