September 19, 2005

Emmy Postmortem

As I expected, lots of folks on television forums are upset about the results of last night's Emmys. And not just fans. Arrested Development and Desperate Housewives lose to Everybody Loves Raymond? William Shatner and James Spader win for Boston Legal? Patricia Arquette for Best Actress?

There were more upsets this year than most, but surprises are inevitable when selections are made by a "blue-ribbon" committee rather than the entire membership. Unlike the Oscars, the voters in each category actually watch each nominee. That seems fair, but it means that the shows and actors are being judged by the quality of one show. This method boosts the fortunes of highly stylized actors in mediocre or inconsistent shows (all you need is one great script to win an acting Emmy).

So even if most people never watch Boston Legal, James Spader doing his thing is highly entertaining and distinctive. Same with Arquette, who stands out in her mediocre show, Medium.

Not to worry. Injustice and award shows go together like bananas and cream. We will all survive.