Monday, September 17, 2007

Quarantine: Day Four

DeathCold 2007 just keeps on rolling here in my apartment. In addition to my myriad other ailments and complaints, I've actually developed a sore neck from sleeping so much lo these past 96 hours. Heading out to the doctor at 3, so hopefully he'll have some helpful advice that doesn't include the old "drink plenty of fluids" line. I've imbibed a ton of fluids, usually orange juice, during every cold I've ever had in my entire life, and I'm not convinced it has ever done me any good at all. Not once have I chugged a liter of Tropicana and bounded out of bed eagerly greeting a new, no-longer-infected day. Usually, the citric acid burns the back of my throat, I get pulp mixed in my post-nasal drip for the rest of the day and that's about it.

I'm even running out of non-online reading material. I finished Bret Easton Ellis' "Lunar Park" yesterday and may have to swing by the bookstore on the way home from the doctor for my next selection. Four hours of essentially solitary confinement has made me fairly desperate for entertainment. I actually watched about 2 hours of the Emmy Awards last night before I couldn't take any more, so you know it's getting ugly around here.

A few questions about the Emmys last night for anyone else who watched:

- Has Robert Duvall lost his marbles? I'm not trying to be mean. The guy's a brilliant actor; I'm a fan, even though he makes approximately 22 bad films for every good one. But he made two really weird, rambling speeches last night that almost made me question his sanity. In the first speech, he went on and on about Westerns being the great American genre right before waxing nostalgic about filming his most recent Western, the three Emmy-winning Broken Trail, in Alberta, Canada. The second "speech" made even less sense, and wasn't really even for him, but was intended for the film's producers. Just strange.

- The little mini-films introducing the writing staffs for the nominated variety/comedy shows was the highlight of the entire broadcast. That seems kind of sub-optimal for the Emmy Award producers, seeing as it's, comparatively, kind of a minor award.

- I get that Frankie Valli is from Jersey, and The Sopranos are from Jersey, and Valli's even made a few appearances on the show, but what the hell was up with that "tribute" featuring the guys from "Jersey Boys"? I mean, a montage of "Goodfellas" with the Four Seasons in the background, okay, that I get. (He even gets name-checked in that film. "Who the hell do you think you are? Frankie Valli or some kind of big shot?") But Sopranos is set in the present day and the music is largely contemporary. They should have booked Journey.

- I'm no fan of the Fox network, but in the interest of fairness, can we agree that they probably censored Sally Field for saying the word "goddamn" and not because she was talking about Iraq? Sally Field always irritates me at award shows (and, more generally, in life). She's won a ton of these things at this point, it should be totally old hat to her, but she still has to do that lame, over-excited, spazzy, "Oh I didn't expect this!" act every single time. Compare her faux-jittery, discombobulated style to the composed grace and impeccable wit of Helen Mirren's speech. It's just embarrassing.

But watch the video for yourself...They let her rant (meaninglessly) about Iraq for a few moments, even getting in that hacky old line about "if moms ran the world, there'd be no war, blah blah blah..." They only cut her off when she started swearing.

It's a separate matter whether or not you should be allowed to blaspheme on television. I think you should. You're allowed to say racial and sexist slurs on television ("30 Rock" laced one hilarious episode this past season with epithets ranging from "queerburger" to "faggotron"), so why not "suck it, Jesus" or "goddamn"? But still, those are the rules and it seems to me, in this case, they were applied as fairly as possible. With so much to be genuinely outraged about these days, including AT&T's genuine censoring of Pearl Jam's anti-war sentiments, this is a distraction.

- What was up with that Tony Bennett/Christina Aguilera thing? They sang for about 4 minutes, the dancers in front of them were distracting and not particularly impressive, and he looked like he barely knew what was going on. Plus, she's very pregnant. What's she doing climbing on top of a piano?

- The thing about Lewis Black's whole persona and style of comedy is that the jokes themselves have to be really funny. If he's working with sub-par material, as he was last night, the whole yelling-ranting-psycho schtick just gets kind of desperate and irritating.

- Was it me or did Ryan Seacrest actually do an okay job? Not that I laughed at any of his jokes, but hiring Sanjaya Malakar's foil to host a big awards show seemed like a basic error in judgment to me. But he kind of pulled it off, kind of. Only improvement would have been to have Randy and Simon at the foot of the stage critiquing his performance mid-broadcast.

- "Hell's Kitchen" wasn't even nominated for Best Reality Competition Show. WTF?

- Was happy to see "30 Rock" win. It really is the best comedy on television right now.

This concludes the Pathetic Sick Bastard's Frustrated Guide to Watching the Emmys Because He's Too Nasally Congested to Sleep.

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