One final Emmys column in honor of Tabasco.THE EMMYSWhat's love got to do with it?
By Rick Kushman Sacramento Bee
Leave it to the Emmy voters. They will do anything, whatever it takes, to remain out of touch and so very, very lame. They even missed the one sure thing, the most-talked about, photographed, buzzed over and praised show on TV, "Desperate Housewives," for best comedy.
On Sunday night, the 57th annual Primetime Emmy Awards from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles were bizarre as usual. Strange. Unfathomable. Momentarily righteous with awards to Felicity Huffman and Patricia Arquette. Then back to lame.
The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences named ABC's "Lost" the best drama, a slam dunk for almost any other group but a coin-toss with this bunch, then went all sentimental, missing "Desperate Housewives" and giving best comedy to CBS' "Everybody Loves Raymond," which ended a nine-year run this season.
"Raymond" is a terrific show, but it's not "Desperate Housewives," not this year, and it's not "Arrested Development" or "Scrubs," shows that would have made more deserving winners.
But the academy found Huffman, from "Desperate Housewives," and Arquette, from "Medium," as best comedy and drama actresses, two women who had outstanding - and overlooked - years.
Huffman, an enduring class act, was clearly the most stunned winner Sunday night. "I turned into one of those actresses," she said as she stammered around, trying to find the words. Then she thanked people like David Mamet for putting her in his plays, Aaron Sorkin for putting her in "Sports Night," Mark Cherry for putting her in "Housewives" and William H. Macy for marrying her.
Then the academy went back to its repetitive, nothing-too-risky mode. James Spader repeated his best drama actor win for "Boston Legal," although the two real best actors on TV, Ian McShane ("Deadwood") and Hugh Laurie ("House"), were in the field - and how the academy could miss Laurie's brilliance is inexplicable.
Tony Shalhoub won his second Emmy for best comedy actor, and that, at least, is defensible because he carries "Monk," but it still snubbed two terrifically funny guys, Zach Braff from "Scrubs" and Jason Bateman from "Arrested Development."
Sentiment, apparently, also ruled the supporting comedy categories, with "Raymond's" Doris Roberts winning her fourth Emmy and Brad Garrett winning his third.
Garrett showed he's far more contemporary than the academy. "I'd like to dedicate this to Britney and our baby," he said.
William Shatner from "Boston Legal" repeated as best supporting dramatic actor, over the likes of "Lost's" Naveen Andrews and Terry O'Quinn, while Blythe Danner, a longtime Hollywood favorite, won best supporting drama actress instead of CCH Pounder from "The Shield," who was the class of the field by a lot.
The show itself was equally erratic. "Emmy Idol" - a knuckleheaded idea if ever there was one - went predictably flat, though you have to think America was so ready for Donald Trump to jump the shark singing "Green Acres" with Megan Mullally. He was awful, but not awful enough to matter.
The rest were pretty good, but so what, though the Shatner-Frederica von Stade rendition of the "Star Trek" theme was freaky even for the Emmys. But Trump and Mullally won. Apparently the academy was voting.
There were pieces of the show that rose above the academy's general denseness. Ellen DeGeneres' dopey bits in the gaps were adorable, like her standing in line at the bar. "C'mon," she said, "Momma needs her scotch."
And there was the tribute and the cheers for retired network news anchors Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather, and for the late Peter Jennings - and Brokaw and Rather's tribute, in turn, to the journalists still covering Hurricane Katrina.
Somewhat ironically, it was a couple of late-night hosts who supplied two of the classiest moments.
David Letterman, one of Johnny Carson's most devoted admirers, paid tribute to the man of "wit, charm and grace" who died in January.
"Johnny gave me and countless others validation, true status in showbiz, and a career," Letterman said. He quoted Carson when Johnny was asked what made him a star. "Johnny said, 'I started out in a gaseous state, and then I cooled.' ... With all due respect to the laws of physics, Johnny Carson's star never cooled."
Then later, when "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" won as best variety, music or comedy series, Stewart came back with his admiration for Letterman.
"I just wanted to say, the way (David Letterman) feels about Johnny Carson," Stewart said, "is the way that all of us, the comedians of our era, feel about him."
By the way, "The Daily Show's" two Emmys (it also got one for writing) came in one of the few areas that was academy-proof; all the nominees were smart and cool.
There are lots of reasons for the academy's voting behavior - they vote for friends, or their networks and studios, or they don't watch much TV so they vote on reputation. Those are just reasons, not excuses.
It seemed that Emmy voters were so regularly off the mark, you weren't exactly sure who was getting chided when "Arrested Development's" creator, Mitchell Hurwitz, won the best comedy writing Emmy and said, "We would be remiss not to mention that twice the academy has rewarded us for something you people won't watch."
He was talking, of course, about the rating problems for his show. But he might as well have been talking about the television academy that watches little TV, even less of it that's new or fresh, then wonders why more and more people are drifting away from network programs.http://www.sacbee.com/content/lifest...14430017c.html