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Emmy Forgiven; “Broke” Sells, “Playboy” Disappoints

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Emmy host Jane Lynch was severely let down by the show’s writers Sunday night from the overproduced opening number right through the Jersey Shore parody and barely got a passable performance .
The best moment of the Emmy Awards came when the Canadian Tenors – who weren’t initially identified – sang during an In Memoriam part of the show that featured all the Hollywood stars (in front of the camera and behind the scenes) that had died in the past year.
When a feature on the dead is the highlight you know the show was pretty deadly.
But I’m not complaining. My night was made by two moments featuring men born in Buffalo.
The first was when Kyle Chandler (see right) – in the night’s biggest upset – won as best dramatic actor for his role as Coach Eric Taylor in “Friday Night Lights.” That was one of two big awards for “FNL” – the other being the best dramatic writing award for Jason Katims. Chandler seemed totally unprepared for the win and seemed later to be upset that he forgot to thank the co-star, Connie Britton, who played his wife.
A lot of people probably didn’t realize Chandler was born in Buffalo, primarily because he left town when he was very, very, young.
More people were likely to know that “Bones” co-star David Boreanaz – the son of Rocketship 7’s Dave Thomas – was born here before he reminded the world.
After co-presenter Anna Torv of “Fringe” identified the Canadian Tenors, Boreanaz asked her if she was Canadian. She said no, which led Boreanaz to say “I was born in Buffalo. That’s close to being Canadian.”
The Emmy voters identified most of the winners I would have selected – including three who don’t exactly look like the typical Hollywood star – Melissa McCarthy of “Mike & Molly,” Margot Martindale of “Justified” (she actually thanked a TV critic) and Peter Dinklage of “Game of Thrones.”
“Mad Men” won a deserving fourth Emmy as best drama, which seemed to surprise creator Matthew Weiner. And “Modern Family” won about every comedy award, which led to a couple of performance bonuses.
Ty Burrell’s speech speculating about his late father’s reaction to his success as best supporting actor was the best speech of the night. And every time co-creator Steve Levitan accepted an award, either he had something funny to say or his wife in the audience had a funny look at her face when he discussed their sex life in front of the world.
I have an idea for next year’s Emmys. Let either Burrell or Levitan be the host and definitely let Levitan write the filmed sketches.
* Now it is time to start addressing the new shows that are seeking 2012 Emmy consideration.
Nostalgic for a time that men were Bunny-chasing men and women didn’t seem to care as much about just being sex objects?
Nah, more likely audiences may be nostalgic for a time they could turn on a TV sitcom and not tell their children to cover their ears.
This is all a preamble to two new shows premiering tonight that show how far – and how little – women have come in the past 40 or 50 years.,
In reviewing them, I plan on going back to the format that worked so well in the past when the Buffalo News actually had a daily TV critic dispensing previews rather than have one that reviews shows “sight unseen.”
“Two Broke Girls,” 9:30 p.m., Channel 4: In the first three minutes, the lead character, a salty-tongued waitress named Max (Kat Dennings), says the words “boobs” and “dry vagina” (there isn’t a sitcom this year that doesn’t say vagina) and then finds her Russian co-worker “coming” in a back room – sight unseen, of course. Then we’re introduced to a second waitress, Caroline (Beth Behrs), a former billionaire who mistakes clam chowder on her uniform for a substance Cameron Diaz made famous in “There’s Something About Mary.” Max and Caroline initially trade barbs, then bond over their distaste for male dishonesty and need for money.
You’ll Like It If: You are into raunchy comedy and believe what the TV world needs to illustrate how far equality has come between the sexes is a show about women that can be as tasteless as times as its lead-in, “Two and a Half Men. It will also help if you love Dennings, who plays the very definition of acerbic exquisitely.
You’ll Hate It If: This comedy – which has made many TV critics Top 10 lists — is a taste test really. If raunchy and stereotypes aren’t your thing, you will run away from it. Besides the waitress, the cast includes three characters – a chef, a guy at the register and an Asian owner – who are over-the-top offensive clichés in this comedy from Whitney Cummings and Michael King of “Sex and the City.”
Outlook: After “Two and a Half Men,” it can’t miss no matter how far in the gutter the language goes and how bankrupt subsequent scripts become now that the waitresses have become friends. Dennings and Behrs have instant chemistry that eventually compensates for the tasteless start and should win viewers over after the series doesn’t try so hard to get your attention. Rating: 3 stars out of 4
“The Playboy Club,” 10 p.m., Channel 2: Eddie Cibrian stars as a former mob lawyer turned legit who helps cover-up the death of a big-time mobster who tried to hit on a beautiful, naïve cigarette girl (Amber Heard) who just got hired by The Playboy Club in Chicago. Laura Benanti plays the veteran Bunny who sings and tries to mentor the naïve ones.
You’ll Like It If: You’re nostalgic, you like to look at pretty women and love the jazz of the era that occasionally plays in the background of a show that is rich in style and atmospherics and short on believability.
You’ll Hate It If: You were expecting a series titled “The Playboy Club” to actually have a good deal of sex and don’t feel you need another history lesson on Chicago and the mob.
Outlook: Cibrian is the epitome of Don Draper cool and the pilot looks almost as beautiful as some of the girls in it. But if the low interest among younger viewers for ABC’s recent telecast of Jackie Kennedy’s thoughts and words and for AMC’s Emmy-award winning “Mad Men” is any indication, “Playboy” may be a tough nostalgic sell. It doesn’t help that it premieres on the night that “Castle” viewers discover how Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) survived a shooting last May. The truth is “Playboy” should have been a pay-cable series because without the sex it is pretty boring and tame. Rating: 2 and a half stars out of 4

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3 responses to "Emmy Forgiven; “Broke” Sells, “Playboy” Disappoints"

  1. Doug says:

    I find this blog hard to read because the paragraphs are all messed up and there is no spacing between them.

    Also, it easy to blame the writers for Jane Lynch’s performance, but that never happens with guys like Ricky Gervais, because real comedians write most of their own material, or at least have a big role in it.

    For that reason, I believe that Eddy Murphy at least has a chance to be funny when he presents the oscars.

  2. Tina says:

    I won’t be watching “Playboy” ever because Cibrian is a cheating douchbag who was having a full out affair with his now wife LeeAnne Rhimes! As good looking as he is who wants to look at him at all without wanting to smack him in the face?? He’s an idiot..hope the show fails miserably.

  3. “2 Broke Girls” is from Whitney Cummings, a real sleazy “comic” if you can even call it that, so the fact that it’s over-the-top raunchy doesn’t surprise me in the least. Her style of humor (if you can call it that) never appealed to me and leaves me appalled at the decline of American culture more often than not.

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