Historically, I have always thought of the Emmy Awards as a mixed bag. On the one hand, the Emmy is the one award where occasionally something new and different can get recognition. In 1966 both Batman and The Monkees were nominated for Best Comedy. The Monkees won the category. On the other hand, more often than not the Emmy Awards seem to prefer giving their prizes to the tried and true. A case in point is the rather typical police drama Cagney and Lacey, which garnered Emmy nominations and awards year after year. This year's Emmy Awards ceremony, held last Sunday, reflects the history of the Emmys quite well. Some new and different shows were recognised, as were some tried and true shows.
As for the new and different, I was very happy that Lost won the Emmy Award for Best Drama, as well as the awards for Directing for a Drama Series for its pilot episode. And while I am. And while I am not a big fan of nightime soap operas and I have never even watched the show, I must say that it was nice to see Felicity Huffman win the Emmy for Best Actress in a Comedy Series for Desperate Housewives, as well as the award for Directing for a Comedy Series for the show's pilot. Like Lost, there has never been another show like it if the buzz surrounding Desperate Housewives is to be believed.
As to the tried and true, I was very disappointed to see Ian McShane of Deadwood lose to o James Spader of Boston Legal in the Best Actor in a Drama category. McShane plays one of the all time great villains on American television, while Spader plays simply another lawyer. I was also disappointed to see Terry O'Quinn, John Locke on Lost lose the Best Supporting Actor award to William Shatner of Boston Legal. As much as I love Shatner (I am, after all, a Star Trek fan), he is simply playing another lawyer on Boston Legal while O'Quinn is playing one of the most interesting characters on television at the moment. I must say that I am also unhappy with the award for Best Comedy. HBO's Entourage, easily the best comedy on television at the moment, was not even nominated for the Best Comedy award. Worse yet, Everybody Loves Raymond beat out Scrubs and Arrested Development for the award. Indeed, with the exception of Desperate Housewives, Everybody Loves Raymond won the lion's share of comedy awards.
As much as I grouse about tried and true shows like Boston Legal and Everybody Loves Raymond winning awards, I have to say I was happy with many of the other awards. It was good to see Tony Shaloub win Best Actor in a Comedy Series for Monk. I was also happy to see Geoffrey Rush recognised for his incredible performance in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (having watched many of Sellers' movies, I must say Rush was pretty convincing).
As I said earlier, this years Emmy ceremony reflects the awards' history quite well. This year some new and different shows were recognised as well as some tried and true shows. I suppose one can only hope that next year's awards more new and different shows are recognised and less of the tried and true.