Most of the Emmy telecast was bad; The new ‘Year of Wonders’ does it right – Delco Times


The 2021 Emmy Awards went out pretty much as planned.

Programs such as HBO’s “Mare of Easttown”, Netflix’s “The Crown” and Apple + ‘s “Ted Lasso” tended to dominate although Netflix’s “The Queen’s Gambit” beat Delco’s “Mare” pride in the Best Limited Series or Best Film category.

Going through a list I made of the expected recipients when the Emmy nominations were announced in July, I saw few, if any, surprises. Some may be disappointed, especially those who would have liked Michael K. Williams to win a posthumous award for “Lovecraft Country,” but in general voters chose well and gave the Emmy the right show, performer, writer or director. . This includes the prize for the best competition program at “Ru Paul’s Drag Race”. (You hear this from a big fan of “The Amazing Race” and “The Voice.”)

A popular show like Netflix’s “Bridgerton” may have won multiple nominations, but the show’s overall quality was not as good as its ability to entertain. It never evolved beyond being fun. The less prominent performer or writer linked to Hulu’s overlooked “The Crown,” “Mare,” “Gambit” or even “The Handmaid’s Tale” did a better job than his “Bridgerton” counterpart.

That said, “Bridgerton” star Regé-Jean Page stood out at the Emmy night as the best dressed man in the house and, frankly, I’m looking forward to Season 2 in early 2022, may. -be from February.

While the Emmys have shown themselves proud in terms of recipients – Jason Sudeikis for “Ted Lasso”, Jean Smart for “Hacks, Brett Goldstein for” Ted Lasso “and Hannah Waddingham for” Ted Lasso “in the Comedy categories; Josh O’Connor, Olivia Colman, Tobias Menzies and Gillian Anderson, all for “The Crown” in the Drama categories; and Ewan McGregor for “Halston” and Kate Winslet, Evan Peters and Julianne Nicholson from “Mare of Easttown” in the Limited Series categories – the pitching ceremony on CBS was appalling, by far one of the worst awards shows I’ve ever had. have never seen.

Given how appalling some of the recent rewards programs have been, this dubious distinction is hard to deserve. The show floundered from the start.

The opening number hovered between lame and dumb, especially when compared to some of Neil Patrick Harris’ gems for the Tony Awards.

Seth Rogen didn’t help matters with his obvious, crooked monologue about a room full of Hollywood stars sitting together in a small unmasked room.

It’s not so much that Rogen failed to find a source of humor, but that he took a beating. Rogen told jokes, but he didn’t show much wit. He also masked the pronunciation of Hannah Waddingham’s name, calling her on the catwalk as Hannah Waddington.

Rogen set the bar very low with his boring routine, so low that no one could have guessed that the evening’s emcee, Cedric the Entertainer, could never reach it.

Cédric sticks to the ease and the obvious. His first monologue, and all that followed followed Rogen’s lead who lacked wit. It appealed more to an undemanding Las Vegas audience than to the discerning viewer.

Sketches involving Cedric also tended to bombard. The one involving the fly that plagued Mike Pence during the 2020 Vice Presidential Debate was the only item that nearly worked.

The only smart moment seemed to be when Eugene Levy and his fellow “Schitt’s Creek” comrades complained that there was no dialogue on the TelePromTer, and they weren’t sure what they were supposed to say or who was. the nominees for the Emmy they featured, Best Writing for a Comedy Series (“Hacks”). Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Annie Murphy, and Levy’s son Daniel Levy were so hilarious about their dilemma that one wonders if it was all planned out.

Wit, for once, soared as the cast of “Creek” crossed their path in the style of the Roses, their characters on the show, all of whom received a 2020 Emmy. The track got even better. when the TelePromTer arrived, which caused O’Hara to say, “Oh, thank goodness!”, as the cast were about to talk about the best director of a comedy. Although they eventually got lines, none were written for Levy.

The episode was the only really funny thing that happened all night.

Unless you counted Aidy Bryant’s pathetic dress that looked like a cross between a Little Bo Peep costume and something for a flower child from the 60s that had no taste. I half thought she had come to the Emmys straight from an audition to be the peasant talent contest finalist in “The Sound of Music.”

Stranger than Bryant’s outfit was the bathing cap Emma Corrin wore. She looked like she was trying to say that she preferred being in “The Handmaid’s Tale”.

In general, the dresses worn by the presenters and recipients were superior to those seen at the most recent awards ceremonies. Among the best dressed were Kerry Washington, Hannah Waddingham, Jean Smart, Micaela Cole, Julianne Nicholson, Michaela J. Rodriguez, Yara Shadidi, Vanessa Lachey and Catherine O’Hara.

New “years of wonder” are worth a look

Last Wednesday the title for Best Cover of a Classic TV Series went from “The Conners”, with or without Roseanne, to ABC’s current production of “The Wonder Years.”

The show is less a takeoff from the hit series from the late ’80s and more a continuation of it.

There is a difference. The 12-year-old and his family in the new interpretation are black. To the show’s credit, she was able to weave race-related situations and issues into her storyline without being too sentimental or heavy in her message.

This is particularly impressive given that one of the events that occurs during this inaugural episode is the assassination of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

Everything about the way this horror of the story is portrayed rings true and causes more thought and feeling than if the writers and producers were trying to manipulate their audience rather than let a fact and how it affects people take it. human form.

This is the dominant feature of the new “Years of Wonders”. It’s so human.

Everything has the right touch. It’s witty and clever in its humor instead of being smug or slapstick like most 21st century sitcoms are. The humor comes from the situation, from the observation and from the perspective. It registers itself as funny because it registers itself as real.

The same goes for the more serious moments of the opening script. They carry weight, but they don’t seem preachy or over the top, another flaw of most TV stations in recent years.

Another result of clever handling of situations and razor-sharp writing is that “The Wonder Years” has a lot to say about being a teenager, coming to its own, and families that transcend anything racial.

Race provides a context for things, but in general “The Wonder Years” talks about common aspects of growth that can be identified by anyone as having progressed from adolescence to adulthood.

You recognize the situations Dean Williams, the character played by Elisha Williams, faces and appreciate both his understanding and his confusion about them. Also good are Dulé Hill and Saycon Sengbloh as Dean’s parents, Laura Kariuki as his sister, and Amari O’Neil and Julian Lerner as his best friends. Don Cheadle adds to the mind as the narrator, the adult Dean.

There are also a lot of subtleties to note. Dean was transferred from his long-standing elementary school in his neighborhood and sent in 1968, for integration purposes, to a school named in honor of Jefferson Davis, the President of Confederation and one of the most racist. most ardent in history. When a white couple see Dean’s father and coach arguing over what should influence Dean’s baseball skills, they interpret him as the men upset that Dr. King gets shot, becoming thus those who spread the news while ignoring the immediate situation before them.

In a time when there is so much sufficiency for the sake of sufficiency, simplistic beyond belief and stereotypical in comic book format, it is heartening to see a new entry like this “The Wonder Years” that understands everything, knows how to mix comedy with pathos, and finds authenticity from many points of view, juvenile and adult.

Too much for monday

Sadly, an experiment on which I had high hopes failed miserably.

Monday night prime time has become a bit of a dilemma for me because I enjoy watching both NBC’s “The Voice” and ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars”, and they air simultaneously (locally on channel 10 for “The Voice” and channel 6 for “Stars.”)

I figured I might be able to keep track of both at the same time if I was quick with my remote and captured the actual performances of each show while skipping the comments from the judges and, more importantly, the stories on the competitors.

To paraphrase the Rolling Stones, the weather didn’t allow it.

Only once in the 45 minutes before I stopped trying to try some sort of sync did I manage to get to the point where a dance started on “Stars” as “The Voice” was interrupted by a commercial.

Most of the time, all I saw on either station when I changed were commercials.

Finally, I made peace with my dueling desires by sticking to “The Voice” and leaving “Dancing with the Stars” to watch later on On Demand or Hulu.

“The Voice” won because my curiosity as to whether any of the judges / captains – Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Ariana Grande or Blake Shelton – will turn their chair to recruit an actor for their teams. I also find the entertainment on “The Voice” more polished.

So far I’ve heard wonderful singers as the times I’ve turned to “Dancing” and haven’t found any commercials, the judges – Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioni and Derek Hough – were casting their voices. The only time I kept watching was when they were talking to Amanda Kloots, a Broadway gypsy who is the widow of the sadly deceased Nick Cordero, who I knew when he was in “The Pirates of Penzance” at the Bristol Riverside Theater and kept in touch with. (I also sat next to Kloots’ parents at a show she was in at the City Center in New York City.)

For the remainder of the season, I’ll stick to “The Voice” during airtime and catch up with “Dancing” mid-week.

That way, I can quickly move through most of the rehearsal stories, as well as the over-the-top hosting of Tyra Banks. “The Voice” gives me more time to find things to do around the house – doing the dishes, sweeping a floor – while its competitors talk about their dreams.

I can also edit parts featuring “Voice” host Carson Daly, whose sloppy and poorly chosen clothes revolt me. Someday, I hope Daly goes along with Simon Cowell from “America’s Got Talent” and trades his ugly, baggy t-shirts for a suit and tie.

Neal Zoren’s television column appears every Monday.

About Marco C. Nichols

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