Hey NBC, you put on a pretty good show last night ! We’re saying that out loud, because we think you might need to hear it, because it seems like you’re suffering from a bit of low self-esteem. Sure, the Emmys is meant to celebrate the best of television, not the host channel, but you went pretty far in the self-deprecation direction. Yes, Community wasn’t even nominated, The Office had a down year, 30 Rock’s Emmy dominance was due to be disrupted, and the two shows that got pride of place at this year’s awards — Glee and Modern Family — deserved it. But did you have to lead off the whole evening with a joke at your own expense?
The first lines out of Jimmy Fallon’s mouth, post the opening Glee “Born to Run” number, were, “NBC asking the host of Late Night to come to Los Angeles to host a different show, what could possibly go wrong?” Get it right out there, NBC! Later in the evening, the montage that introduced the variety and talk show categories ended with clips focusing on how mean NBC was to Conan. Which, frankly, you were: Don’t try to make us feel bad for you!
Meanwhile, Community and Parenthood were only a presence at the awards thanks to the commercial breaks, during which endless Community/Infiniti spots aired, as well as a Parenthood promo that quickly veered into some sort of Clorox ad. Sure, Joel McHale and Lauren Graham presented awards, but you couldn’t leverage an extra appearance from a Chevy Chase, Donald Glover, or Peter Krause? Shilling for Infiniti was the better option? Did NBC use all its pull getting the two leads from the forthcoming Undercovers a chance to present an award? Piling on: 30 Rock lost, as did SNL and The Office, somehow Steve Carell didn’t present an award, and Alec Baldwin didn’t even show up.
On the bright side, the whole thing was a very good ad for Jimmy Fallon, whose show airs on NBC, and NBC’s beat-us-up-or-ignore-us approach did lead to one of the most entertaining Emmy awards in recent memory. Plus, we actually are starting to feel a little bad for the peacock: a network has to be seriously down-trodden for it to stop bragging about itself.