TV Review: The 71st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards

Variety | 9/22/2019 | Caroline Framke
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The 71st annual Primetime Emmy Awards had some truly surprising moments, twists that not even the most experienced prognosticators saw coming, moving tributes and calls to action. It’s just too bad that not a single one of them came courtesy of Fox’s production.

The Emmys are, all things considered, a dependably tame awards ceremony. They don’t have the storied glamour of the Oscars, nor the loose rowdiness of the Golden Globes. So maybe the show’s producers figured that going host-less wouldn’t be quite as big a deal, or at least easier to manage in the absence of any obvious (or willing) candidates. After all, the Oscars pulled it off after Kevin Hart bowed out amidst controversy to deliver one of the smoothest shows in years. Why not the Emmys?

Fox - Shaggy - Haphazard - Hours - Host

Well. As Fox proved over three shaggy, haphazard hours, skipping out on a host doesn’t automatically make for a sleeker broadcast. In fact, not having a host or some kind of anchor for the proceedings puts more pressure on everything else to provide some kind of through line and maintain the energy for the room and beyond. Instead, what ended up onscreen was a wildly confusing mess of conflicting ideas. The presenter bits only landed when an expert like Maya Rudolph got hold of them. Self-aware jokes about needing to find a host to save the show became manic and uncomfortably apt. Comedian Thomas Lennon did his best to vamp in voice-over, cracking at one point when he tried to make a joke and instead sighed, “this is why no one wants to do this: it sucks.” And as it turns out, trotting out the borderline terrifying “Masked Singer” costumes over and over again, even (especially) when joined by a lip-syncing Adam Devine, doesn’t do much but remind everyone just how...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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