Another article on Jeff Probst:TV Review: Emmycast tries to get real, and flops
Are the TV writers still on strike?
There have been boring, listless and otherwise ham-handed Emmy broadcasts among the past 59. Sunday's Emmycast was all of those things. But "The 60th Primetime Emmys" also seemed an inadvertent homage to the 100 days of the Hollywood writers strike last season, when the shows that were able to continue demonstrated what TV without writers is like.
ABC's Emmycast seemed to recapture that dreary world, despite the strike having been settled seven months ago, and the credits for the Emmycast listing writers and script supervisors.
The writing was on the wall (sorry) at the top of the show, when its five co-emcees — Heidi Klum ("Project Runway"), Tom Bergeron ("Dancing With the Stars"), Howie Mandel ("Deal or No Deal"), Jeff Probst ("Survivor") and Ryan Seacrest ("American Idol") — arrived on stage, all dressed in tuxedoes.
They, of course, were also the five nominees in the brand-new reality host category. Each is skilled, charming and/or gorgeous doing whatever series got each of them nominated. But on the Emmy broadcast they shared no chemistry, and seemed at a loss for anything clever to say from the outset.
After their initial strained banter, Probst confessed to the audience, "We have absolutely nothing for you. This is not a joke."
"This is not a bit," Mandel chimed in. "This is reality, and who better to offer that to you?"
Seacrest broke it to viewers that "there is absolutely nothing" on the TelePrompTers.
"We are like on Sarah Palin's bridge to nowhere," Mandel said.
A few more tedious moments and William Shatner burst from his seat in the Nokia Theatre, strode on stage, and gave a tug to Klum's tux, which ripped away to reveal a scanty black sequined number.
Well, at least someone presumably wrote that gag, however lame.
The remainder of the three-hour broadcast was occasionally jolted back to life by the appearance of people who knew to BYOM (bring your own material).
An early presenter, Ricky Gervais, displayed how he's one of the drollest performers on the planet as he recalled his absence last year, when he won a comedy Emmy for his series "Extras."
"I couldn't come last year. Which is a shame. But I STILL won. Do you remember?"
Another presenter, Steve Martin, introduced himself by saying "I'm Steve Martin and I'll be out here in just a minute" — a 40-year-old quip from his standup days that was still fresher than most of the broadcast's material.
Politics, and the presidential race, was in evidence in the exchange between Jon Stewart and his co-presenter, Stephen Colbert. While Stewart tried to list the best miniseries nominees, Colbert began munching from a bagful of prunes.
It was necessary, said Colbert, slipping into character as right-wing buffoon, then added, "Right now, America needs a prune ... This dried-up old fruit has the experience we need."
Stewart looked doubtful. "You know, after eight years of prunes, you would think _"
"Never enough!" Colbert snapped, then ate another. "What could possibly go wrong?"
While the Emmycast seemed to want to validate reality shows, it also crammed in a few pleasant, but extraneous, tributes to favorite scripted entertainment. These clips, a few reproductions of familiar sets from such shows (the WJM newsroom from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," Monk's Diner from "Seinfeld") seemed little more than filler.
Not nearly soon enough, the program was nearing its conclusion. Jimmy Kimmel handled the chore of presenting the best reality host Emmy.
With his customary wryness, Kimmel offered all five nominees a bit of backhanded praise for their shared Emmycast performance.
"Haven't they been sufficient, everybody?" he said.
He was being too kind.Link: http://www.newsvine.com/_news/2008/09/22/1894826-tv-review-emmycast-tries-to-get-real-and-flops