Hugh Laurie Wuz Robbed

I’m not in the habit of getting much sleep during the week, averaging a shut-eye of around 3am. For that reason, I was able to watch the Primetime Emmy awards live on the E! channel right into the wee hours of Monday morning. As most of you are probably aware, this is the TV equivalent of the Oscars; big stars from the small screen hit the red carpet in their hundreds.

But long before viewers get a chance to slate so-and-so’s dress, E! had their interminable, and interminably vacuous, Countdown To The Red Carpet show. To be clear, this isn’t Live From The Red Carpet where celebs are interviewed as they arrive. It’s the utterly pointless show that precedes it. And, as there are no celebs to harass and ask stupid questions (such as, "How do you stay so thin?"), it’s all about conjecture: what will this person be wearing? Who will they arrive with? Who will win an Emmy? How will they style their hair? Who will they thank in their acceptance speech? Only in America…

All that time to fill, so little content to fill it with. That’s why viewers are subjected, ad infinitum, to something like this: Queer Eye For The Straight Guy’s Carson Kressley in a white tux (he looked like he was going to his school prom) pontificating about various make-up/shoes/accessories etc the stars will probably wear. It all got terribly QVC when he demonstrated some of the products on one of the presenters (not sure why, but he was very nervous throughout the telecast). 

Then there’s a cut to another correspondent who tells her fellow correspondent that she looks "lovely". The fellow correspondent reciprocates – and this is repeated throughout the broadcast whenever they hand over to someone else ("Over to you Sal. And may I say how lovely you’re looking?"). There’s some inane chatter and a small Emmy-related clip is introduced before it’s back to the red carpet and Carson showing the watching millions how to apply this year’s hottest eco-friendly foundation. Hour after hour of insincere perfect (straight, white) smiles, flattery, sycophancy and boundless enthusiasm – watching this pap is guaranteed to give you a newfound appreciation for Natasha Kaplinsky.

And so to the ceremony itself which was hosted by Ryan Seacrest, a familiar name and face to fans of American Idol in this country. For anyone unaware of this TV/radio presenter, he’s probably making plans for world domination as I speak. He’s so ubiquitous, he makes Fearne Cotton seem like a fresh face. Emmys 2007 got off to a hilarious start with a song and dance number by Family Guy’s Stewie and Brian in which they took the mickey out of some of primetime TV’s most popular shows.

It was downhill from there as, inevitably, elements of this live show just didn’t work: the Shrine Auditorium’s in-the-round stage ensured guests in certain seats watched the backs of Emmy recipients all night; Broadway show The Jersey Boys’ tribute to The Sopranos was an embarrassment (whose terrible idea was that?) and the writer of Ryan Seacrest’s opening monologue should never work again. Too many of his so-called gags were deader than Rik Waller’s career.

However, welcome surprises included Prime Suspect taking home a couple of gongs (including one for a stunning Helen Mirren) and Ricky Gervais winning Best Actor (Comedy) for Extras. Queen Latifah introduced the tribute to Roots which rightly received a standing ovation in its 30th anniversary year. As her speech pointed out, it redefined the idea of whose stories could be told on TV. 

Veteran actress Elaine Stritch lost it completely as she struggled to see the autocue during her presenting duties: "I’m not faking this. I really don’t know what the hell I’m doing," she said as the attendees burst out laughing. Don’t ask me how her co-presenter Stanley Tucci kept his composure, but this incident is a perfect illustration of why I watch live telecasts of awards ceremonies.

Finally – the ‘they wuz robbed’ moan. The Sopranos left the auditorium with far fewer gongs than it deserved. Considering that this is easily one of the most influential, superbly-written (and acted) TV programmes of all time, it’s a disgrace that its haul is so low (relatively speaking).

In addition, Best Actor in a drama series should’ve gone to Hugh Laurie instead of James Spader. Or even, James Gandolfini. I love those two guys but Hugh Laurie’s performance in House deserves the highest recognition his peers can bestow on him. How many American actors could come here, create a compelling anti-hero with a limp, spout all that medial speak and do it with a convincing English accent to boot? I rest my case. If Hugh Laurie doesn’t win next year, I’m’o git Medieval on their ass.

Today I am mostly lovin’ – My beloved Arsenal. Boys, you still waste too many chances in front of goal and at times, the defending would make George Graham tear out what remains of his hair. But Spurs were taught a footballing lesson and I’m on cloud nine!

Today I am mostly hatin’ – The fact that I still don’t know what that fab dance music track is on the Sure biorhythm advert. It sounds like Basement Jaxx. Is it? Someone put me out of my misery please!

MSN Editor Coops

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15 Responses to Hugh Laurie Wuz Robbed

  1. Helen says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with you on The Sopranos and Hugh Laurie.But,hey ho, we\’re only the viewers,what do we know?

  2. Coops - says:

    One day, the powers that be behind the Emmys will admit a terrible mistake has been made with regard to The Sopranos. I will be the first to acknowledge it was often up against superlative drama in the form of The West Wing. However, it\’s still a shame that its collective haul is far less than it deserves. As for Hugh Laurie – he\’d better win next year or I\’m getting on a plane to sort those people out myself…

  3. Yvonne says:

    hugh laurie is a god……..and cute at that!!!!
     
    its \’my life\’ by elmo is the sure track 

  4. kate says:

    Here here!!!
    Lets hear it for Hugh Laurie as House….!
    Best TV in years!

  5. biggles says:

     
     
    i totally AGREE!!!  If i was ever seriously ill, i would want Dr. House, regardless of his tantrums.
    HUGH LAURIE is BRILLIANT and certainly deserved the award….Hang on in there, Hugh, your fan club is growing.

  6. sam says:

    i love hugh laurie in House he is so good and funny he and the rest of the cast should win more awards, i have watched every single episode of house and cant wait for the next season.

  7. Jacqueline says:

    While I like Hugh Laurie very much and think he is an extremely talented man, I think his misanthropic misery guts alter ego Dr House has exceeded his shelf-life.  Sorry, but how long can we watch someone rail against God and be abusive to all mankind just because his leg hurts? Aside from the sheer unrealistic nature of this premise, the in-your-face atheist slant of the character is also too much.  People would be quick to call me a closed-minded \’Jesus freak\’ for saying this, but if Dr House disrespected Muslims, gays or any other high-profile and highly vocal community as much as he does Christians, the show would have been taken off the air with a quickness.  Beyond that, what does it say about a society who finds it entertaining to watch a caustic, bitter display of human behaviour from someone who as a doctor is meant to be the antithesis of such, at the very least while on duty? It\’s almost – and I said \’almost\’ – like finding entertainment in watching a care giver abuse a child.  And, what does it say about a society who embraces a \’Dr House\’ on the basis that a person\’s character and treatment of other people is unimportant as long as they are good at their job?? That\’s equally a completely unrealistic – and frightening – premise.  It may be just a TV show, but the success of a show like this makes a huge statement about the people who support it. 

  8. Coops - says:

    Petal, thank you for your comment. Well-argued. However, I\’d like to correct you; Dr House is an equal opportunities abuser and just about everyone has felt the wrath of his tongue…except Hindus and Buddhists. Maybe the show jars with your sensibilities, but it\’s very well written and acted. Lest we forget, there are always other voices to counteract and balance House\’s wholly idiosyncratic view. As a character, he intrigues chiefly because he is an imperfect human being…but a great doctor. And that\’s thanks to the nuanced, subtle and compelling performance given week in week out by Hugh Laurie. In drama (or comedy come to that), it\’s never the perfect, wholesome, PC-conscious characters that stay with audiences; it\’s the flawed ones. From Tony Soprano and House to Alf Garnett and Dirty Den. It was ever thus…

  9. Jacqueline says:

    Thanks for your thanks, if that makes sense LOL.  I agree with you that Dr House is an equal opportunities abuser, but I also think it is fair to say that his abuses will jar the sensibilities of anyone who is a repeated target; Christians/God definitely fall into this category.  I\’d also like to say that knowing others are abused along with yourself does not provide any assuagement.  If five people get hit in the head, one person\’s pain isn\’t lessened by knowing four other people were hit as well.  It\’s an extreme analogy (LOL) but I\’m just making a point.  I do acknowledge, as you well pointed out, that there are voices that often counteract Dr House\’s strong views.  But of course, none of these voices will ever be as powerful as his simply because he is the most important character of the show.  As the main character, I accept it as the natural order of things for his views to be most prominent.  But as a result, this also means that his behaviour/comments will have the most impact and resonance amongst the viewers.  And ultimately, no one will remember the counteractions.
     
    I have to also say that \’House\’ had been my absolute favourite show for the past 3 years and I think that Hugh Laurie is brilliant beyond words.  I really, REALLY think that his performance is phenomenal.  And I certainly don\’t think that he should be perfect to be more appealling because that would just make him totally unrealistic – and boring. It is just that no matter how well the performance, if the character, despite that he is fictional, is at complete contrast with the values and beliefs you hold dear, he will become hard to watch and I think that\’s true for most people.  People tend to connect with characters they admire. Admittedly House is an excellent doctor, but for me that\’s not all it takes to make him admirable. It\’s one thing to be flawed (which we all are); its another to be a total jerk LOL!  It\’s actually a shame for me because I really used to enjoy the show.  But in Season 3 he made it nigh on impossible for me to empathise with him.  During the Tritter arc and other various incidents with both his staff and patients, he just came across as a nasty piece of work who simply enjoyed being nasty.  Throughout Seasons 1-2, you could see the humanity beneath the surface and I found that the dichotomy in his character made him so much more tolerable.  But by Season 3 there was no dichotomy – he was just mean LOL! No debate that Hugh Laurie is amazing; and I have to say that some of Dr House\’s quips were really funny.  A personal fave was when the dwarf asked him, \’Are you high?\’ and he replies, \’Higher than you!\’ with a smirk.  I\’m chuckling as I remember that.  But overall, I just don\’t find Dr House enjoyable to watch anymore.  But hey, just my opinion; I\’m clearly in the minority.  Thanks for the chat!  

  10. dixie.carom says:

    " Thanks for the chat!"
    Between Petal and Coops you have created a veritable thesis not a CHAT!!! lol.
    The discussion between yourselves has been more entertaining than any tv show I have seen in a while, but it has left me in a real pickle.
    Should I continue reading such well thought out and presented arguments such as yours thereby missing potentially good tv (I currently spend most of my time around the pc as I control what happens, rather than some network executive), or should I move back into the other room to watch shows like Dr House (what channel is/was it on anyway?).
    Thanks to both of you for re-awakening interest in 2 of my old passions, Good Television and good use of the English language to further intelligent debate. All I need to do now is figure out which room I\’m going to be spending my time in

  11. Lindsey says:

    I have to agree about the brilliance of Hugh Laurie as Dr House. I do think that is derogatory attitude to everyone is certainly not politically correct or even within the bounds of acceptable human behaviour but I also believe that perhaps his confrontational attitude towards every group leads to people challenging their own beliefs – actually thinking about what it is they consider to be morally right rather than what society dictates. That\’s possibly over-simplifying the issue but I hope you get what I mean.Regarding wanting to be treated by House – no way unless I had absolutely no other choice! I would spend hours having painful medical procedures just to find out that most of them would have been unnecessary anyway. House is definitely my last port of call as a doctor!

  12. Lam says:

    Stumbled across your page……and then became obsessed with finding the answer to the music on the advert.Anyhoo…..apparently it\’s \’My Life\’ by Elmo.

  13. Charles says:

    Why has George Graham never gone into management again?

  14. Coops - says:

    (no name) Thanks for going to all that trouble to find out the name of the music on the Sure advert. Very kind of you. (no name) re: George Graham, good question. I have no idea why he\’s not managing at the moment. But after his stint at Spurs – he can\’t sink much lower can he? Sorry Spurs fans, I couldn\’t resist.  🙂

  15. Coops - says:

    (pas de nom), I\’ve edited your comment to remove the blatant advertising. Feel free to leave comments but no swearing and no spam.
     
    (pas de nom)Never seen Jersey Boys on concert, I was not going to see it, Jersey Boys tickets got sky rocked thanks to stupid brokers. But even if I had seen it, I wouldn\’t buy it. I\’d rather wait and see it on DVD. Well suprise I changed my mind and I got 2 tix for the Jersey Boys show 27 October 11:11(http://cid-65e336bcf3929172.spaces.live.com/)

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