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Emmys fast-paced, unpredictable and as sad as Bills defense

By Alan Pergament

I sure am glad that I didn't predict the 65th Emmys for the first time in 30 years.

Because Sunday night's Emmys were more unpredictable than any in my 30 years covering television. I might have been shutout.

Except for the wins of "Breaking Bad" as best drama, "Modern Family" as best comedy and perhaps Jim Parsons of "Big Bang Theory" as best comedic actor, nothing went according to script.

The theme of upsets was pretty well established when Merritt Wever of Showtime's "Nurse Jackie" won as best supporting actress and gave her classic acceptance speech: "Thank you so very much. Um, I gotta go, bye."

Even annual winners and sure things "The Amazing Race" and "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" had their winning streaks ended.

Thanks to Wever and the quick acceptance speeches demanded by the producers, the most unpredictable thing about the Emmys was that it came in on CBS at 3 hours and 10 minutes, about 20 minutes shorter than expected.

Predictably, many people were probably disappointed and that would include fans of host Neil Patrick Harris, who was part of a lame opening featuring past Emmy hosts even if ended cleverly with Kevin Spacey in his manipulative "House of Cards" character speaking directly to the audience.

As funny as Spacey was, I doubt that enough people have seen his Netflix series to get the joke.

Similarly, I doubt many people got the joke that CBS chairman Les Moonves played the cop in the opening with Harris. Moonves started out as an actor but is a much better chairman.

To its credit, the show was as fast-paced as the Buffalo Bills offense – and more unpredictable.

I love "Newsroom" and think Jeff Daniels might be the best news anchor on TV now but watching him win as best dramatic actor was more shocking than seeing New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith hit three bombs Sunday against the sad Bills defense.

Similarly, I was surprised that Claire Danes of "Homeland" won over everybody’s favorite – Kerry Washington of "Scandal" – as best dramatic actress. I thought Danes was disqualified when “Saturday Night Live” ran a delicious parody of her performance as a crazed CIA agent.

I wasn't surprised that so many of the tributes to late actors were so moving, especially Rob Reiner's heartfelt tribute to "All in the Family" star Jean Stapleton and Edie Falco's emotional tribute to "Sopranos" star James Gandolfini.

The best speeches were delivered by Julia Louis-Dreyfus of "Veep," best miniseries actor Michael Douglas ("Behind the Candelabra") and "Modern Family" producer Steve Levitan.

Referencing all the tributes to fallen stars, Levitan cracked his show was happy even if it was the saddest Emmy ever.

Other than "Modern Family" and Parsons, it wasn’t a good night in the top awards for broadcast networks, who have to hope shows like NBC's "The Blacklist" and CBS' "Hostages" are Emmy game-changers. They compete head-to-head tonight. (I’d watch "Blacklist").

As much as I was disappointed that host Harris didn't do a song-and-dance number to open the show as he did at the Tonys, the mid-show number apparently done as a consolation prize was more disappointing than the Bills performance Sunday.

It seemed like a waste of time that slowed down the fast-pace of the show that had been established at that point.

I loved the shot taken at ubiquitous host Ryan Seacrest in one overlong bit and think it won't be long before Carrie Underwood competes with him for the award as the most overexposed performer in TV.

Did we really need for her to sing? Isn’t listening to her before Sunday Night Football every week punishment enough?

If you want to read more of my thoughts about the Emmys, head to my Twitter account

Because I have to catch a plane home from New York City after watching the Bills lose. So in the immortal words of Merritt Wever, "gotta go, bye."


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