Monday, September 23, 2013

Standing Up (Or Rather Sitting Down) For The Emmys

On Sunday night, I admit I had no intention of watching the Emmys. I was sitting on the couch of one of my best friend's apartments when his fiancee said, totally out of the blue, "Oh the Emmys are on tonight." We were, of course, watching football and had not even considered missing out on the night game. But as we looked at the schedule and saw the looming prospect of Pittsburg on the docket, everyone quickly had a change of heart. After all, who really wants to watch the Steelers get blown out a third week in a row?
Well I do a little bit, but that's besides the point. So we flipped over to the awards.

Generally speaking, I have found it difficult to get myself into the Emmys. I always used to wonder who had time to watch all of those series. I was always an Oscar guy, because most movies are one-offs and take up far less time in your life. So of course a person could feasibly see everything in a season... if it was made available (looking at you foreign film category).
But as NPH stepped onto the stage and the process of opening letters started up, a strange thing happened. I found myself actually enjoying that process. Not only did I like what I was seeing on stage, but I was actually able to follow along with a criminally high perspective. I had seen almost every single nominee... because the shows I enjoyed this last year are the same shows they wanted to honor. How about that! I could truly make an informed opinion on who I enjoyed between cast members of Breaking Bad, The Newsroom, Mad Men, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and (to a lesser degree) Downton Abbey.

And the few shows I couldn't give perspective on were only merely by choice. I simply did not have a desire to explore those reality series. Or a few of the sitcoms. But it certainly wasn't out of a lack of opportunity or time.

What I think is happening is, we're seeing a shift in the inner mechanics of the industry. Suddenly shows are more accessible than ever thanks to Hulu and Netflix and the HBO Go's of the world. And the shows themselves are getting shorter. 7, 8, 9 to 13 episodes per season. It's not really that difficult to find the time for that anymore. Back when it was the norm to have 23 to 26 episodes in a season... well I could make a case that it was legitimately impossible to catch everything. But now I genuinely want to see what's next. I see shows coming together with a set game plan. "Okay," they seem to say at every writers meeting, "here's the ending. How can we get there?" Sure it's only broad strokes, but these days if I here a show only had three seasons... I get truly excited. Because I can watch it all before turning 50... I'm 25 by the way. And they probably figured out how to wrap it up quite well because they didn't have enough time to force extracurricular subplots that lead nowhere.
It was that grand hope I had for LOST that ultimately didn't get delivered. Shows with endings in mind as enticing as their pilots.

But I digress. NPH is an excellent host. The Emmys made fast work of the clock and got everybody in and out without drolling on about god knows what (I'm looking at you Grammys). It got me in and out in time for the second to last episode of Breaking Bad. And for that I am grateful.

You know, I think I'll be watching the Emmys a bit more often.

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