Why The Emmys Are Always Dull

Of the four traditional American awards shows, the Emmys are the least interesting. The Grammys have all those live performances, and the Tonys and Oscars have only a handful of acting awards so each one seems suspenseful. By contrast, the Emmys, held last night in Los Angeles (winners here), has so many categories that it begins to resemble your kid’s football match, in which nearly everyone goes home with a trophy. Additionally, the same shows tend to win year after year (“Modern Family” and “Mad Men” repeated as winners of Best Comedy and Best Drama), which lessens the suspense even further. The rest of the Emmys were mostly predictable. Jane Lynch (pictured), the host, got things off to a cheery beery start but the first four awards went to “Modern Family” and all of a sudden the torpor set in. (“Modern Family” won the most awards during last night’s broadcast, but “Boardwalk Empire,” with 8, and “Downton Abbey,” with 6, won more Emmys overall.) My favorite moment: Margo Martindale winning outstanding supporting actress/drama for “Justified.” On Broadway, Martindale once played Big Mama (trivia question: What is Big Mama’s Christian name?) in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” She was real great.

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