HBO ruins, like, everything.
Listen to me! I sound like some old lady. Like I’ve been deprived of good television for years and don’t understand things like Justin Bieber (Wow! I just realized that this reference might be officially outdated!). Maybe in a way I am an old lady. I’m a network television type of gal. I binge watch “Frasier” on Netflix and actually know that Melissa McCarthy is on a CBS sitcom called “Mike and Molly.”
Network television just makes sense to me. The last time I was in New York I spend 70 percent of my time getting lost in 30 Rock soaking in all of the glorious television history. People are saying time-wise that Jimmy Fallon’s “The Tonight Show” spends more time focusing on comedy and less time interviewing stiff celebs. And why shouldn’t it! That’s the beauty of network TV I fell in love with when I was a kid watching “Seinfeld” on Thursday nights with my dad.
Network television is accessible. It has something for everyone. It’s variety. Legally speaking, there is only so much they can get away with so there is no swearing, no dirty gags, no nudity, and no unnecessary violence. It lets comedy rely on good, clever writing and drama rely on pure acting talent. Some of the best shows have come off of the networks.
But that almost seems like the far off past now (and by this I mean like the mid-’90s). Today we have HBO and all other fancy networks that you have to pay for. I don’t have any money, therefore I don’t have HBO or Showtime or any other cable channel. I occasionally watch E! and TLC if I’m feeling really adventurous, MTV if I’m missing high school (which is hardly ever (never)). I like comedy as we all know so I don’t really watch any kind of drama even on the networks. And when I do watch a drama like “Grey’s Anatomy” it’s only because in my mind it is a really bad comedy.
Yet as I scrolled through the numerous articles and tweets about Emmy nominations this morning I was, as always, disappointed and mad at myself for thinking things would actually go well for my 70-year-old TV soul. I don’t think I have to tell you twice that the Emmy noms are disappointing (at best) and for many reasons.
Some are upset because some of their favorites were snubbed. I get that. Some are annoyed with the people that did get nominated. I totally agree. Some are confused as to what the Emmys are. For example, my co-worker asked me what music got nominated when I was trying to communicate just how upset I was this morning at work. To those people I say please, get some help. Let’s all take a moment to remember, however, that the Emmys are always disappointing. They always suck. I don’t know who is in charge of the voting and stuff, but man! They are worse than the Academy sometimes!
The reason I’m so mad (as usual) this year is because almost everything nominated is something I’ve never seen. I know I know. You’re thinking, “But Steph you love TV! It’s implied in the name of the blog!” I do love TV. But like I said, I like accessible, clever TV. Not TV I have to pay for. As the rant above states, I’m a bit of an old fashion. I want sitcoms to come back. I want people to stay up in anticipation for Seth Meyer’s “Late Night.” I want Emmy to do away with the best reality show host category, for goodness sakes.
One of the reasons I dislike things like HBO so much is because they gave us two shows I can’t stand; “Sex and the City” and “Girls.” Two shows about women. Two very different concepts about four female friends. Two shows that represent women in terrible ways. This grudge I have is not fair, I know, but it is a necessary evil. And it’s just one good example of why I hate HBO-type channels. I’ve seen both of these shows a lot thanks to YouTube and reruns, so I have solid basis for this argument. They take a sitcom-type idea and turn it into a dirty, naked hour long show about drama that leaves me wondering why the show is considered a comedy in the first place. I actually really like Lena Dunham, but her character makes me cringe. I mean, I’m crazy and a writer, but my God, is anyone that annoying and sad in real life?! And don’t even get me started with “SATC.” That show is crap. No one who is a real human being with a soul actually acts like that. And if you say you do then you need to put the Cosmo down and get a reality check.
I know TV shows are usually far from reality, but when I hear people raving about “Game of Thrones” I ask, “why?” I just don’t get it. Maybe it’s because I just want to be entertained in a different way. I don’t think boobs and violence is entertainment. And don’t get me wrong, I’m no prude. I enjoy a penis joke as much as the next person and like I’ve said before, not munch offends me (I do own “Wolf of Wall Street” on DVD). But when did TV get so complicated? Am I this much of a dreamer to think that some day sitcoms and late night comedy will fall back into people’s hearts like they have in mine?
And yet maybe I’m coming at this from the wrong angle. Maybe I’m just mad that Emmy snubbed so many deserving network people to make room for HBO-type shows. For example, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (an excellent show by the way) killed at the Golden Globes this year, but only got one nomination in the Supporting Actor category. Nothing for the show itself, and not for Andy Samberg. Also, Mindy Kaling of “The Mindy Project” was snubbed again this year. She’s a brilliant comedy actress and she doesn’t get nominated because Emmy is too concerned with the level of annoyance coming from Dunham.
To those people that enjoy HBO, that’s totally cool. I get that it’s an enjoyable thing. I like “Arrested Development” and a lot of people don’t like that, so we are even. HBO does have good movies like last year’s “Behind the Candelabra.” I don’t dislike it entirely, I just hate what it has done to television.
When I look at the Emmy nominations I get sad because I know half of us have never seen these shows. What’s the point of awarding TV that half of the world doesn’t get or understand? I get “Breaking Bad” and I’ve actually watched a lot of it. It’s excellent bla bla bla, but it’s on AMC so I can actually access it!
I just wish Emmy and bandwagoners understood the history and love in network TV. I watched a documentary the other day about the making of “Seinfeld” and it made me nostalgic. Call me stubborn or unrealistic, but I really wish TV was still what it was in the ’90s. Then maybe I wouldn’t be wondering why “Parks and Rec” isn’t nominated for Outstanding Comedy Serious. When did the show “Silicon Valley” become a thing? Will I get to live to see the day Julia Louis-Dreyfus comes back to the networks? Why is Aaron Paul so damn adorable?
Maybe I don’t hate HBO after all. Maybe I just hate that Emmy doesn’t acknowledge network television anymore. Even the Oscars have a foreign film category. Has network TV become the ugly step child to HBO’s powerhouse programing? Can it be that “How I Met Your Mother” and “Big Band Theory” are foreign to television now? Are they the dinosaurs that are about to become extinct? Does this mean John Mulaney’s new sitcom (starting October 5th!!!) won’t make it?
I love TV, but I hate the Emmys.
Good things to come out of the nominations this year:
-Amy Poehler nominated for “Parks and Rec.”
-SNL nominated for variety show and some music!
-Fallon also in the variety show cateogry.
-Kate McKinnon nomination for Supporting Actress!
-Adam Driver Supporting Actor for “Girls.” I hate that show, but I kind of love that beautiful little weirdo.
-“Portlandia” nominations all over the place!
-Lots of good SNL hosts nominated for guest Emmys.