Last night’s presentation of the 65th annual Emmy Awards was, according to the Internet at large, a bust.
The ceremony was boring; the jokes weren’t funny; the wrong people won the awards. “Nobody ever gets one of these three-hour statuette dispensaries completely right,” wrote The Washington Post’s Hank Stuever, but this year’s Emmys “poked along as flatly as possible. The banter had no flair for comedy.” Host Neil Patrick Harris’s opening monologue was “the peak embodiment of ‘giving people exactly what they do not want,’” wrote The Daily Beast’s Kevin Fallon, and after Jeff Daniels shocked TV audiences by beating the likes of Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey, and Bryan Cranston in the Best Actor in a Drama Series race for his role in The Newsroom, one deadpan headline on The Atlantic Wire read, “The Internet Is Mad Jeff Daniels Won Best Actor.”
“An awards show filled with skits about how bad awards shows are gave awards to people who talked about how bad the show turned out, while everyone on Twitter had decided that hours earlier,” Stuever concluded. “These days, that’s entertainment.” To recap: The Emmys this year were a surprising low in bad awards shows, even for an awards show that understands how bad awards shows are.
So here’s a brave, radical solution that’s all of 57 years old: Let’s just give up on the Emmys entirely.
In 1956, Stuart W. Hyde strongly believed that the Emmys were inherently terrible and wrote an article about it for The Quarterly of Film Radio and Television titled “Another Look at the Emmy Awards.” Hyde (then an assistant professor of telecommunications at the University of Southern California, who would later go on to write the popular textbook Television and Radio Announcing) argued that the Emmys, just seven years old at the time, were failing to live up to their own lofty goals and were instead destroying the ambitions of the creators who would drive television forward by arbitrarily anointing one TV program the “best.” In place of the Emmys, Hyde suggested, America needed a weeklong festival of TV watching.
Read more. [Image: Invision for Academy of Television Arts & Sciences / AP / Phil McCarten]