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Pop Culture Corner: The Emmys 2015

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THE HOST

I thought that Andy Samberg was an overall good host for the Emmys. He’s definitely a safe choice, about one step above Seth Meyers. I thought he was funny but his hosting also seemed like an obvious effort to pull in a younger audience. My vote for next year is John Oliver or Kate McKinnon.

I did appreciate the lack of cheesy song and dance skit. The opening video set the tone of his opening monologue, which was playful, but honest. As was portrayed in the opening – it is a little ridiculous to expect anyone to keep up with the amount of good television that’s available today. Living in LA, the billboards and constantly changing posters along the sidewalks make it difficult to ignore the shear quantity of pop culture to keep up with. Since the summer is such a down time for “good” television, the recent visual promotions and repetition of the titles of upcoming shows, makes me excited for fall television, but also wondering what I’ll have to miss out on since I also care about sleeping, socializing and having a full time job.

If Hollywood wants to pull in a younger audience for award shows, a more obvious, and possibly effective route would be to make the show available via live stream. It’s still frustrating that award shows are not able to be live streamed. If you can watch any sporting event on the ESPN app, on any device, why can’t you get on a FOX app and pay a certain amount of money to just stream the award show? It seems mutually beneficial and is mostly frustrating because I know we have the technological capability to make it a reality.

THE WINNERS & SPEECHES

WTF Veep? I’ve seen the show and it’s funny but not “4-time Emmy winning actress award” funny or “the show to finally beat Modern Family” funny. To me, Parks and Recreation was a much more culturally relevant show and boosted the careers of Chris Pratt, Aziz Ansari and Aubrey Plaza. Sure, Veep has Tony Hale, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus is a brilliant actress and comedian, but I still don’t understand why it would win best comedy show, and even more than that, why give the award to Louis-Dreyfus over Amy Poehler when it was Poehler’s last year to win for Leslie Knope? Also what about Lisa Kudrow for The Comback? That show is hilarious and Kudrow is just as much of a comedic icon as Louis-Dreyfus. Pohler played it cool with her non-chalant attitude, glasses, and hoodie, but maybe she knew to expect the same bullshit. Amy Poehler still wins my heart.

It seems unbelievable that Viola Davis is the first non-white female to win the leading actress award and I remember everyone saying before last year’s show that this was going to be the year that Kerry Washington would be the first for Scandal, and I remember how disappointing it felt when she didn’t win. But just one year later, Taraji P. Henson, Viola Davis and Washington were not only nominated, but frontrunners. It’s not because Hollywood finally realized there is a serious racial bias, but because this year, more than years before, the shows and the characters existed and the opportunities were available. This is what was so powerful and true about Davis’s acceptance speech. She didn’t win because she’s black, she won because Annalise Davis was the best female character in a drama this year and Davis was the best actress to portray her character.

It was also fantastic to see Jon Hamm finally win for Mad Men. That show was truly a phenomenon and though the hype fizzled out towards the end, it was a quality show with great characters led by the mysterious and not quite sure if you like him or hate him, Don Draper. Jon Hamm is one of those actors who is able to appear humble and grateful whenever in the spotlight, but incredibly talented and deserving of the admiration he gets. I also noticed this when Jon Stewart and Jeffrey Tambor won. Jon Stewart is a television icon and yet his head writer speaks when the team wins the first time, and when the team wins again, he ends the speech with “and now you never have to see my face again.” If only he knew how sad that actually makes me, and how much his absence is truly felt on late-night television. If acting somehow miraculously doesn’t work out for Jeffrey Tambor, I think he could be just as successful as a speechwriter. His acceptance speeches show that he so clearly understands his responsibility in portraying a transgender woman on television, today and seems to appreciate the task.

There’s been so much mystery surrounding Tracy Morgan’s health that it created a tense moment as he began to speak. No one was sure what he would say or how he would sound. To make a first public appearance like that, presenting the award for best drama series at the Emmy Awards was insanely brave and must have been terrifying. I think his joke about impregnating women at the after party provided great comedic relief and assured everyone that he would be back to his old self soon.

THE LOOKS

Last year, just shortly after Robin Williams’ suicide, the crowd sported green ribbons to support suicide prevention awareness. This year, the ribbons were in support of highlighting the importance of action against global warming, as was announced via The National Resources Defense Council’s Tumblr page. Yes you read that correctly: a Tumblr page. The statement read, “Climate change is the most critical humanitarian crisis of our time… (I disagree but that’s fine) … In December, hundreds of world leaders will gather in Paris with an urgent mission: working together to finalize a new global agreement for combating climate change.” Stars sporting the ribbon included, Jeffrey Tambor, Don Chedle, Laverne Cox, and the fantastic Gaby Hoffmann.

Although I fully support the “Ask Her More” campaign in an effort to ask women more legitimate questions other than “Who are you wearing” on the red carpet, I can’t help but gush over my favorite looks this year. Here they are:

MINDY KALING

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I have some experience choosing the best color schemes for darker skin tones and I think Kaling always picks the most flattering jewel tones that make her skin radiate in photos.

EMMA ROBERTS

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Roberts looks like a classic Hollywood glamour icon in this look. It’s almost as if she’s saying “This year I’m here to look fabulous but before you know it, I’m gonna be winning these awards” and deservingly so.

KERRY WASHINGTON

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This was definitely my favorite overall look from the night. Washington looks like a literal gladiator. Of course, she looks like a godess in everything she wears but her toned down makeup and loose updo really make this a winner.

PETER DINKLAGE (MAN BUN)

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Honorable Mentions:

AMY POEHLER

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JANUARY JONES

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SARAH HYLAND

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