DATELINE: Overblow Self-Congratulatory Emmy Awards
How much we are out of touch with the modern Emmy voter!
The best miniseries this past year, in our humble estimation, were nominated for numerous awards. However, they came away with next to nothing.
We loved Westworld and Feud: Bette & Joan. How could they do so badly in terms of winning awards?
Jonathan Nolan and Ryan Murphy went out of their way to create extraordinary worlds, with detail and sets that transported the characters and storylines to places both familiar and peculiar.
Westworld takes place in some distant, odd future where automatons are coming to have consciousness and will shed their bonds of slavery. Feud takes place in some distant past where the Golden Age of Hollywood is fading faster than old stars themselves.
Somewhere along the road to hell of good intentions, we found both series veering off into a ditch with the more unwashed members of the viewing public.
Clever doesn’t sell, and history’s lessons are lost on the 21st century cable viewers.
You might find a few root causes for trouble: Murphy depicted great stars like Bette Davis and Joan Crawford as divas who became their own best performances. Nolan depicted robots, but we couldn’t tell them apart from real people. Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange gave the performances of their lives, to no avail.
It didn’t help that Olivia De Havilland took umbrage with the way she was portrayed by Catherine Zeta-Jones.
All those women stars were passed over worse than Bette Davis by the studio system and archrival Crawford by the Oscars. It’s said that Mamacita Feud actress Jackie Hoffman pulled a Crawford and begged to accept Best Supporting Actress for anyone who couldn’t be present for the award, if she didn’t win.
Alas, winner Laura Dern was there: and Hoffman’s nasty wit overwhelmed her sense of good taste, worse than Groucho at his worst. She sore loser better than Joan.
Evan Rachel Wood and Thandie Newton might be the Davis-Crawford level stars in Westworld, though they did not actively compete against each other. They likely cancelled out the other in votes.
You had too much classical music in Westworld to suit the rocks-off bourgeoisie taste of TV audiences. Debussy’s ‘Reverie’ echoed through half the episodes, and audiences had no idea what it was or if they could tolerate it.
Perhaps these two series were not politically correct enough to suit the anti-Trump fervor in Hollywood. After all, the main antagonist of Westworld was a Trump-style billionaire with arrogant pretensions, played by Anthony Hopkins.
Jack Warner, played by nominee Stanley Tucci, was a minor-league Trump in Feud.
Time, the great equalizer, may still redeem the two mishandled losing series. They will be re-discovered by generations to come; you can count on it.