If you tuned out of the Emmys to catch last night's Breaking Bad live, you may have rejoined the telecast at the same surreal moment that I did-- going from watching the actual Walt and Jesse to watching their dub step counterparts dancing around the stage in Hazmat suits. Wait, what just happened?
And if you were a fan of any of the Best Drama Series nominees you got a chance to see your favorite characters in some surreal circumstances, from Don Draper and Betty Francis doing more athletic dancing than they've ever actually attempted on Mad Men to the cast of Boardwalk Empire (not actually a Drama nominee, but who can resist the costumes?) dancing to a 20s-inflected remix of Daft Punk's "Get Lucky." The entire sequence was a lead-up to the presentation of the Outstanding Choreography prize, in which it was mainly the regular choreographers from So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With The Stars competing against each other (Derek Hough, of DWTS, eventually won).
Given that I had turned off the Emmys around the time of Elton John's seemingly endless Liberace tribute, it was good to at least see the broadcast pick up the pace. But later on, when even Michael Douglas and Claire Danes were getting the "Play 'em off" music from the orchestra, I couldn't for the life of me figure out why we'd taken so much time not just for the dancing (which was, of course, great) but for the pomp and circumstance introducing the idea and handing out the award. Derek Hough deserves an Emmy just as much as anyone else, but did he also deserve an entire video introducing the idea of him being on the stage? And when you've got a pretty neat series of dances directly relating to show's in the night's broadcast (other highlights included The Big Bang Theory, Game of Thrones and American Horror Story) why tack on another 45 seconds of generic dancing, again to "Get Lucky," that ends with the word "CHOREOGRAPHY" splashed across the stage. Yes, I believe we understand the concept of the segment-- Neil Patrick Harris even played us a whole video about it.
I'm generally a gleeful awards show watcher and willing to watch endless interpretive dancers and montages, but I found myself flagging last night, with nearly all of the scripted bits (how about NPH in that TV torture box?) paling in comparison to the improvised moments in the speeches (Tony Hale holding Julia Louis-Dreyfus' purse was the high point by far). It's like awards shows consistently try to ignore their greatest asset, which is actually the people winning the prizes. Claire Danes or the creator of Modern Family might be going off on a tangent and you might want to wrap them up, but dammit, you gave them the hardware. If you're going to give time to dancing gimps from American Horror Story, you might as well extend the same courtesy to the actual winners. Maybe if Claire Danes could breakdance she could have made her case better.
Did you like the dance or was it a waste of time?