Ready for Medicare: The Emmy Awards at 65

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Two words: Sofia Vergara. And it’s all downhill after that. Perfect dress, perfect smile, perfectly hilarious, perfect…well, you know.

Yes, it’s the 65th annual Emmy Awards and the The TV Junkie was…not there. But she was there in spirit and in her living room. Although it is tempting to go on and on about the red carpet, the TVJ will leave that in the capable hands of her good pal, Joan Rivers. The complete list of the winners is below, so let’s just focus on some of the hits, misses and the “huhs?”.

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And on with the ceremony!

Jane Lynch, Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O'Brien, Neil Patrick Harris, Jimmy Fallon

There was an interesting opening segment with host Neil Patrick Harris in front of multiple TV monitors having a conversation with soundbites. Then he was upstaged onstage by a passel of former Emmy hosts, including Jimmy Kimmel, Jane Lynch, Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien (who was brilliant). Apparently this had all been orchestrated by one Kevin Spacey, with his ace in the hole: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, who literally climbed and crawled up on stage to present the first award. My vote on next year’s host? Sorry, Neil, but Spacey has to be in the running!

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And that first award, for Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, which set the tone for the whole evening, went to one of the TVJ’s faves, Merritt Wever from Nurse Jackie. Her response: “Thank you so much. I gotta go, bye.” Brief, succinct, to the point! Tina Fey is the funniest writer on the planet, male or female, so perhaps she should write a show for Wever. Just putting it out there into the universe. The TVJ has never really been a fan of Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who won Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for Veep, along with costar Tony Hale, who nabbed the Emmy for Supporting Actor. Hale not only grabbed his Emmy but grabbed Louis-Dreyfus’s purse and stood behind her as she accepted hers, all while another costar, Anna Chlumsky, tweeted in her seat.

One of the evening’s great show-stealers was Elton John — he who they call Sir — who’s reading of the intro to his tribute to Liberace was hilarious. The TVJ has no idea why they chose him for this tribute. Yeah, right.

Michael DouglasLead Actress in a Mini-Series or Movie went to Laura Linney for The Big C: Hereafter. Matt Damon’s comment — “She’s so talented that she doesn’t even have to be here to win” — was a tad bizarre, but Linney is that talented. And kudos to the academy for recognizing her and her funny, heartwarming show.

Picking up his Emmy for Lead Actor in a Mini-Series or Movie for Behind the Candelabra, Michael Douglas quipped to Matt Damon, “You deserve half of this. Do you want the bottom or the top?” I feel a new bromance coming on.

The Supporting Actress in a Mini-Series or Movie went to a well-deserving Ellen Burstyn for Political Animals. For the 12 people who followed this show, Burstyn’s was a great performance in a great role. Eighty seems to be the new 30. Brava!

Guest Actress in a Drama Series went to another TVJ fave, Carrie Preston, for her role as the ever-wacky but always brilliant Elsbeth Tascioni in The Good Wife. Check the TVJ’s last column for more gushing on Preston, who is also on True Blood and Person of Interest.

The Colbert Report won for Writing, Variety Series, as well as for Variety Series. A true gentleman, Colbert gave credit where credit is due, to Jon Stewart (and his late mother, to whom he was famously close).

Bobby CannavaleSupporting Actor in a Drama Series went to another TVJ fave, Bobby Cannavale, for Boardwalk Empire. His soulless, chilling character of Gyp Rosetti was worth the price of admission!

Best Mini-Series or Movie went to Behind the Candelabra. Bet the producers of The Bible had a mini-stroke over that one!

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And at least House of Cards got something: David Fincher, for directing the show that should have won the Emmy for Best Drama Series over Breaking Bad.

And Best Comedy? Guess! Come on, guess! Yep: Modern Family. Um, again? Don’t get the TVJ wrong, Modern Family is one of her faves, but where the f**k is The Big Bang Theory? TBBT is clearly the best comedy on TV, as evidenced by Jim Parsons, who won again last night for Lead Actor in a Comedy Series as the gloriously funny Sheldon Cooper. Kaley Cuoco also has to be the most underrated actress in sitcoms today. She’s the Mindy (of Mork and) of today and plays off those guys so well, shining all the way. And it was only fitting that the best moment of the night was Parsons presenting an award with Bob Newhart. The Bob Newhart Show, Newhart, Bob — isn’t it ironic that it took TBBT to give the TVJ’s favorite comic on the planet his well-deserved Emmy?

Whether jumping in line with the Emmy accountants — Newhart’s pre-acting profession, don’t’cha know — or showing young’uns how it’s done, Newhart is the best of the best. He got a standing O, natch!

And now for the commentary filed as “Huh?”

Shemar MooreNote to Shemar Moore: Don’t talk, just stand there and look pretty.

Upset Time: Lead Actor in a Drama Series Jeff Daniels for The Newsroom? Seriously? Don’t get the TVJ wrong, she loved Jeff Daniels, but what about Spacey? Cranston? Hamm? Go figure.

Lead Actress in a Drama Series went to Claire Danes for Homeland. Whatever.

And The Voice? Seriously? Since the TVJ is not a reality show fan, save for Dancing with the Stars (which really takes talent and work), The Voice is as good as any of them. Start the TVJ hate-tweeting now!

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Best Tweet of the Emmys: Albert Brooks. He tweeted, “When I die, just show clips of me and shut the f up!”

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Best Photobomb: Who was that guy behind NPH?

Other best moments: Jimmy Kimmel presenting with Sofia Vergara (all three of her) and Diahann Carroll and Kerry Washington (‘nuf said)! Also, the revelation of Excessive Hosting Disorder, or EHD, as the stars of How I Met Your Mother costars staged an intervention for NPH, ending with him being carried off to the Ryan Seacrest Center for Excessive Hosting. Oh, and what of that midshow song-and-dance number? We all know NPH is a great talent, but adding Nathan Fillion and Sarah Silverman to the mix was just the right note. And Derek Hough, the TVJ’s fave from Dancing with the Stars won for choreography! YAY!

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Rob ReinerNow, about those much-talked about memorial segments. Robin Williams’ tribute to Jonathan Winters was short and sweet, done at the lightning speed that both are known for, but seemed more like an “I’m back on TV, please watch my new show” spot. But only two in-memoriums felt truly from the heart and hit home. Paying tribute to Jean Stapleton was Rob Reiner, visibly emotional, saying goodbye to his TV mother-in-law, much as we all said goodbye to Edith Bunker. The added photo of Stapleton with Carroll O’Connor was a touching farewell to two of TV’s most beloved characters. Edie Falco’s tribute to James Gandolfini was equally touching and paid tribute to the man he was: a good, kind, soft-spoken gentleman loved by those he worked with and those he touched with his kindness and caring. Each changed the way we view TV with their iconic roles and their enormous talent and we are all the better for having hosting them in our living rooms.

Introduced by Don Cheadle, the clip of Walter Cronkite announcing John F. Kennedy’s assassination, forever etched into the TVJ’s memory, led into a wonderful segment about TV and its place in American history. From JFK Jr. saluting his father’s coffin to Dr. King’s “I have a dream,” to the arrival of the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, TV has been and always will be, our eyes to the world. Even Carrie Underwood singing “Yesterday” couldn’t ruin the moment.

COMPLETE LIST OF WINNERS:
Drama Series: Breaking Bad (AMC)
Actor, Drama Series: Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom (HBO)
Actress, Drama Series: Claire Danes, Homeland (Showtime)
Supporting Actor, Drama Series: Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire (HBO)
Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad (AMC)
Directing, Drama Series: David Fincher, House of Cards (Netflix)
Writing, Drama Series: Henry Bromell, Homeland (Showtime)
Comedy Series: Modern Family (ABC)
Lead Actor, Comedy Series: Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Lead Actress, Comedy Series: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep (HBO)
Supporting Actor, Comedy Series: Tony Hale, Veep (HBO)
Supporting Actress, Comedy Series: Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie (Showtime)
Directing, Comedy Series: Gail Mancuso, Modern Family (ABC)
Writing, Comedy Series: Tina Fey and Tracey Wigfield, “30 Rock” (NBC)
Miniseries or Movie: Behind the Candelabra (HBO)
Lead Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Michael Douglas, Behind the Candelabra (HBO)
Lead Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Laura Linney, The Big C: Hereafter (Showtime)
Supporting Actor, Miniseries or Movie: James Cromwell, American Horror Story: Asylum (FX)
Supporting Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Ellen Burstyn, Political Animals (USA)
Directing, Miniseries or Movie: Steven Soderbergh, Behind the Candelabra (HBO)
Writing, Miniseries or Movie: Abi Morgan, The Hour (BBC America)
Reality-Competition Program: The Voice (NBC)
Variety Series: The Colbert Report (Comedy Central)
Writing, Variety Series: The Colbert Report (Comedy Central)
Directing, Variety Series: Don Roy King, Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Choreography: Derek Hough, Dancing With the Stars (ABC)

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The TV Junkie was preceded in her family by a large mahogany cabinet that housed a small screen with a large speaker below. Thus began her love affair with the older sibling in the living room. Theirs was a tenuous relationship, prone to mishaps (forgetting to use the special "screen" for Winky Dink), joyous events (Julie & Carol at Carnegie Hall), sad moments (Clarabelle saying goodbye to the Peanut Gallery) and a wide range of emotions (the funeral of John F. Kennedy and the Inauguration of Barack Obama). From Captain Video to Star Trek to Lost; from A Brighter Day to The Edge of Night to One Life to Live; from Peyton Place to Dynasty to Desperate Housewives; there has never been a greater love, than that of the TVJ and the best friend a girl could ever have. Like "The TV Junkie" on Facebook and follow her on Twitter: @thetvjunkiepml.