The Emmy Awards, watched safely from home, were a part of a night of ironies.
“Mad Men” won best drama, but it was more important to actually watch “Mad Men” during the Emmy Awards’ final hour. Jon Hamm, who should be winning best actor every year, is losing to Bryan Cranston, from a show called “Breaking Bad” that is no “Mad Men.” Ironically, “Breaking Bad,” like “Man Men,” is on AMC. AMC? Unless I mark it on my remote as a favorite channel, I can’t even find it. At AMC, they must be laughing. And popping as many champagne corks as the guys at Sterling Cooper.
It was also the return on HBO of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” It occupied the 10-10:30 slot, during “Mad Men” and the Emmys. It was like TV gridlock. You had to DVR “Mad Men,” watch “Curb” and the last half hour of the Emmys, and then immediately play “Man Men” back or watch its AMC repeat. Hard work!
The Emmy’s are probably better with Neil Patrick Harris as host, but really, they’re the same as ever. “Mad Men” did win, and AMC even managed to congratulate Matthew Weiner on his writing award while the show was playing on their channel. Fast! “30 Rock” won best comedy, although it’s unclear why at this point. It’s still funny, but it’s no “Office.” I feel for “The Office” people and Steve Carell. They have the best show. It’s sublime.
Over at HBO, a few bets were lost on “Grey Gardens.” The retelling of the Beale sisters’ story won best made-for-TV movie, but Jessica Lange beat co-star Drew Barrymore. The Emmy voters must have a sixth sense. I hereby bestow upon them new confidence and admiration. HBO still rakes in the Emmys. And after taking a look last night at Jason Schwartzman in “Bored to Death,” I can see that next year HBO will bring a bunch of new nominees to the table.
On the other hand, their ace in the hole, Jeremy Piven, looks like he’s toast, awards-wise. He actually lost best supporting actor to Jon Cryer, for “Two and a Half Men.” Last winter he lost the Golden Globe, too, after being their darling. The mercury poisoning thing has really damaged him. Jon Cryer? I cannot even watch Conchata Ferrell debase herself on that thing. Rent a movie called “Heartland,” 1980, to see her real work.
Meanwhile, “Curb” vs. “Mad Men” was a draw. The return of “Curb” featured the genius work of Catherine O’Hara, and a dizzying volley of language and semantics. It was absolutely hilarious. Larry David still has the black family living with him, but it does look like the plot line is get back together with Cheryl. Susie Essman and Jeff Garlin remain the unsung heroes of this show.
On “Mad Men,” the show got a little slapsticky. However: The man Don met a couple of weeks ago revealed himself as Conrad Hilton. This would have been Paris’ great grandfather, once married to Zsa Zsa Gabor. He would have been 75 years old when he met Don Draper. In real life, Hilton lived until he was 91, and died in 1979.
Betty Draper remains a scary figure and possibly the worst mother in the history of television. “I’m bored,” little Bobby tells her. She replies: “Go bang your head on the wall.” Why not just get out the hangers now? And little Betsy? She’s either on her way to juvie, or to being Kathy Boudin.Either way, it’s not gonna be pretty. I’m just sayin’…