Emmy Gets It (Mostly) Write

Turns out that in a television season nearly upended by a writers strike … it’s the pen (or keyboard) that reigns supreme.  “Mad Men” .. “Lost” .. “John Adams” .. “30 Rock” .. “Pushing Daisies” .. “Flight Of The Conchords” .. “The Daily Show” .. The Colbert Report” … all these shows are packed with talent in front of the camera, but it’s the folks putting the words on the page who deserve some serious spotlight time.

Biased?  Hell, yeah.  Still, explain how a show like “Mad Men” … which is set in the 1960’s, revolves around the lives of people in the New York City advertising business, and has a corps of actors that most people have never heard of … can quietly become one of the most admired dramas out there?  Killer writing, my friends. 

All the shows I mentioned above are blessed with intelligence, wit, and vision.  Look what happened with “Lost” once the “how long are we gonna have to sustain this thing” monkey was dealt with.  Having an end date allowed the writers to re-focus, and tweak the narrative with inventive plot twists … not padding.  You really can’t miss an episode now, it’s too important.  Appointment television … what a concept.

In my mind, The Daily Show and Colbert Report have replaced Leno and Letterman as the pop culture shows of record.  They don’t miss a beat and are so refreshingly smart.  Stewart and Colbert both thrive with material that’s unique to their sensibilities, and work with writing staffs that thoroughly understand them.

Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie of “Flight Of The Conchords” excel both with words and music.  Two of their songs, “The Most Beautiful Girl (In The Room)” and “Inner City Pressure” are nominated for Emmys.  They’ve raised deadpan comedy to new heights.

I’m a big fan of “Pushing Daisies” and in a weird way the writers strike may have actually helped this show.  Creator Bryan Fuller can take a closer look at what clicked and what didn’t in the handful of episodes that made it to the small screen, and bring an even better show to the table come September. 

What can you say about Tina Fey that hasn’t already been said?  She’s the whole package, but the fact that she can sit down and bang out her own material puts her on an even higher level for me.  Multi-talented, and getting it done her way.  I salute you.

Finally, how about a shout out to the Bay State’s own David McCullough.  This wonderful historian, and crackerjack narrator, is a true American treasure.  “John Adams” … 23 Emmy nominations.  Words, my friends, the power of words.  Inspiration for us all.

Then, there’s “Two And  Half Men” … the annual skunk at the Emmy lawn party.  Once again this dull witted pile of dung has grabbed a nomination for Best Comedy.  Inexplicable … and it taints all the far superior work by worthy nominees.  Charlie Sheen, best actor?  There are no words.

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