Welcome to the 2011 Emmys—and the first inaugural ThinkProgress Emmy liveblog! Joining me is the marvelous Libby Hill from TV on the Internet. We’ll be posting updates in reverse chronological order, so keep refreshing. And join in the comments or hit us up on Twitter, me at @alyssarosenberg and Libby at @midwestspitfire with questions or snark.
10:56 Alyssa: Modern Family wins, and this night finally draws to a close. A few general thoughts:
-The general lockout of 30 Rock strikes me as a good thing. The show’s gotten complacent and stale. I hope Tina Fey finds a way to move it forward this season.
-It’s really unfortunate that Modern Family has a gay couple that it’s explicitly decided aren’t married (and I know that’s true because the actors who play Mitch and Cam told me that at the HRC Awards last year). It’s true that Mitch and Cam are humanizing gay couples, but the show really should have taken that step if it wants major credit for being groundbreaking.
–Too Big to Fail is really wonderful. I’m excited to see what HBO’s movie division comes up with next year. I hadn’t thought about it this way going into the awards show but it’s the thing I think I’m most sorry didn’t get more recognition. With any luck, Homeland will take off, and we’ll have a show with some social relevance that collects some statuettes next year.
-Peter Dinklage’s Emmy win was a nice way for Game of Thrones to force the wedge in the door. With any luck, this won’t be Lord of the Rings syndrome, and the show will get broader recognition next year. If I was a betting woman, I’d tell you to put money on Maisie Williams, as long as HBO puts her name in contention. Next season should be amazing for Arya.
Thanks to Libby for all the help. And thanks to all of you for tuning in. See you tomorrow morning!
10:55 Alyssa: I really don’t think hosting an awards show is an entirely impossible task, but people manage to make it look sisyphean every time.
10:48 Alyssa: Mad Men’s win here seems unsurprising, a fairly balanced allocation of the awards across the board.
10:44 Alyssa: I demand a Downton Abbey–Modern Family crossover. It can be like the Hawaii trip! Can you imagine Sofia Vergara and Maggie Smith?
10:39 Libby: If I had to judge a person’s acting ability by how convincing their acceptance speech is, Kate Winslet would not fair well.
10:37 Alyssa: Not remotely surprised by Kate Winslet’s win for Mildred Pierce, but I highly recommend Cinema Verite. Diane Lane and James Gandolfini are very, very good in it.
10:32 Alyssa: Guy Pearce might not want to say he’s had a lot of sex with Kate Winslet given her recent divorce. Also, the thought of birthing an Emmy? Men, for your information: NOT HUMOROUS, JUST PAINFUL.
10:24 Alyssa: “Hallelujah” is not really an appropriate song to play to memorialize the dead when you think about it carefully.
10:20 Alyssa: Okay, I wanted Idris Elba to win for Luther, but it adds insult to injury that Barry Pepper wins for a role in inaccurate, rightwing history over William Hurt in Too Big To Fail, which is a fantastic, useful general interest explanation of the financial crisis.
10:18 Alyssa: When Amy Poehler wins for Parks and Recreation someday, I hope she gives her speech as Leslie Knope.
10:17 Alyssa: I’m always sort of pleased when the accountants get their moment in the sun at awards shows. Hollywood needs its bureaucrats too!
10:09 Alyssa: Here comes the British invasion with the writing win for Downton Abbey. Idris Elba better get a trophy tonight or I am going to be very cranky.
10:07 Alyssa: Jane Lynch. Please, please stop. You are not a lesbian because you hate men. Even the men from Entourage. This is terrible.
9:58 Alyssa: My teenaged, Early Edition-loving self is so ridiculously happy for Kyle Chandler’s win for Best Actor. I really hope he sticks with TV instead of movies so I can see more of him.
9:56 Libby: “Comedic” announcer guy is pretty much the worst thing that’s ever happened to things.
9:54 Alyssa: I know people were upset by The Killing, but Mireille Enos is one of the smartest actresses I’ve ever interviewed. I hope she gets a better season next year.
9:45 Alyssa: Lannisters pay their debts out of the vast number of awards they’ve won and melted down to fill Casterly Rock. Peter Dinklage rules. And almost makes up for Maisie Williams not being put in contention for her work as Arya.
9:41 Alyssa: Well, I’m glad to know Boardwalk Empire is dandy since I’m going to watch all of the first season this week to catch up in time for recaps. Thanks, Emmys! Also, curious to know what the other competitors could have done if they had his pilot budget.
9:40 Alyssa: I’m using Loretta Devine’s presence on stage to suggest that people see Jumping the Broom. It’s a really nice little class comedy and she’s one of the best things in it.
9:34 Libby: I like to think that Margo Martindale sits at home and listens to Foster the People all the time. Alyssa: First Tim Olyphant reference! All my Deadwood peeps drink and lust after men with impractical senses of rectitude!
9:31 Libby: Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose. A fantastic win for Jason Katims and Friday Night Lights. This win makes my heart hurt in the very best way.
9:27 Alyssa: The combination of Kathy Bates’ narration from a Harry’s Law monologue and shots of Dany and Drogo from Game of Thrones made me laugh harder than anything has all evening.
9:20 Alyssa: Jon Stewart is a national treasure but he should mix up the men and ladies in his posse on stage, particularly when people are freaking out about the demonstrated maleness of the writing staff.
9:16 Alyssa: We’ve reached a point in the evening where Jane Lynch pretends to slap someone who works behind the scenes and it’s supposed to be funny. Send humor care packages. And failing that, bourbon.
9:12 Alyssa: And here for a badly-needed dose of self-mockery is Lonely Island and Michael Bolton. I will admit to listening to “Jack Sparrow” on repeat a lot. Although, seriously, the ridiculousness of “It’s not gay when it’s in a three-way” is really not making me love this night any more:
9:05 Alyssa: I feel like Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes, saying “Bored!” every fifteen minutes. However, I am not shooting holes in my wall. A nice State Department family lives next door and I feel like that would be anti-social.
9:03 Libby: How many times per season do you suppose they say “This is what it’s all about” on American Idol? I’m guessing 300,000. Alyssa: I offer a bounty to anyone who will do a supercut so we can determine the exact answer. For science.
9:00 Alyssa: Jane Lynch is a wonderful gay icon but I feel like she is playing to a ton of stereotypes tonight. “Call Rachel Maddow and find out what time spinning is. Take the pickup in for an oil change. No, I’ll do it myself. And there was a third thing but I left it in my fanny pack.” I mean, really?
8:59 Libby: On a slightly feminist note, I’m disturbed at how much of reality television is apparently women beating the crap out of each other. Seriously. Men host things, women punch each other while wearing too much makeup.
8:55 Alyssa: Okay, crossing over Breaking Bad and The Office may have saved the night for me. Aaron Paul makes everything better.
8:51 Libby: Louie is changing the landscape of television and entertainment as we know it. I know that I should just be grateful that I get to experience his amazing work and that the Emmys even know he exists. But what would we be if we didn’t keep hoping for something better? For people to get the recognition they deserve.
8:47 Alyssa: Libby and I are both surprised here as Melissa McCarthy wins for Best Actress in a comedy. But McCarthy was so go-for-broke funny in Bridesmaids that I sort of can’t bring myself to be upset about this. “This is my first and best pageant ever!” is pretty adorable.
8:42 Alyssa: I’m sorry. I’m glad that The Big Bang Theory exists for the purposes of nerd mainstreaming, but Louis C.K.’s performance on Louie is a genuinely genius starting point for a conversation about American masculinity, sex, and parenthood. I know this is so sincere it should break this liveblog, but I’m genuinely sad and frustrated that it looks like he’s going to be totally shut out tonight.
8:41 Alyssa: Zombie Charlie Sheen: classy to the coworkers his temper tantrums blew up earlier in the year.
8:40 Alyssa: Jane lynch on her daughter’s tea parties these days: “They complained about taxes, called Obama a communist, and wondered how the Latina kid got in.”
8:34 Alyssa: “Thank you to my somewhat satisfied wife,” is, sadly, the best laugh line of the night.
8:32 Alyssa: Louie loses for comedy writing, and my heart dies a little bit more.
8:30 Alyssa; Zooey Deschanel is always so deer-in-the-headlights that when she has to act surprised about something, like these patently ridiculous fake lines, it doesn’t remotely register.
8:27 Alyssa: Now that Modern Family’s won everything, I am imagining a spinoff of Game of Thrones called Medieval Family. The Lannisters would destroy the Dunphys, though I do think Gloria could take Cersei.
8:24 Alyssa: So, we agree that this is not good, right? I think the only way this ceremony will be redeemed for me is if Idris Elba wins for Luther and proposes to me from the stage.
8:18 Alyssa: When I think about it, I’ve met more actors from Modern Family than any other show nominated tonight. Ty Burrell can emcee the heck out of a Ford’s Theater Gala, and because he got me through that event without going insane last year, I’m pleased for him.
8:15 Alyssa: Julie Bowen: “I don’t know what I’m going to talk about in therapy now. I won something!” This feels like the right win to me. Claire Dunphy is a great straight woman, and one of the least cliche mothers on television. Libby: I can see as many of Julie Bowen’s ribs as Modern Family has supporting acting nominations tonight.
8:12 Libby: Much of this makes me sad, because, oh hey, look at all those awesome shows that didn’t get the recognition they deserved and that I could be having a much better time watching on DVD instead of something as POINTLESS AND FRIGHTENING AS THE EMMYTONES!
8:09 Libby: My husband has spent much of the weekend watching old Emmy broadcasts on YouTube and showing me the worst production numbers from them. It is clear that this broadcast has decided to attempt a return to terrible form.
8:04 Alyssa: Jane Lynch would destroy Pete Campbell. Also, this totally bolsters my idea that Mad Men should end with Peggy and Joan in a convertible running off to a lesbian commune in California.
8:02 Alyssa: This is sort of making me wish that Entourage had done a musical episode if only to see Ari’s profound discomfort.
8:00 Alyssa: Uh, Leonard Nimoy is telling Jane Lynch she’s the “most logical” person to MC the Emmys because “To men, you’re womanish. To women, you’re mannish.” We’re 60 seconds in, and this has already not been a good night for gay people.
7:59 Alyssa: Hosts have already told red carpet guests that they want to tear their faces off and wear them in public. Now, one asks Laurence Fishburne “Is there any chance you could kick me, or karate chop me in the neck?” The red carpet is always a horror show, but this is a whole different level.
7:56 Libby: KTLA just asked David Spade why his shows never get the recognition they deserve. ::Crickets::
7:52 Alyssa: Revelation of the night so far. LL Cool J’s secret passion is the History Channe’s gator huntin’ show Swamp People. Which may qualify as an *actual* guilty passion.
7:45 Libby: Additionally, Paula Abdul talked to the KTLA hosts for 2 minutes and said the words “The X Factor” no less than 2 dozen times. I think she’s ready to run for the Republican nomination now.
7:42 Alyssa: Rob Lowe explains the Hollywood definition of catching up on lost family time: bringing your kids to awards shows they were too young for the last time you had a good moment in your career.
7:40 Libby: TWatching the Emmy broadcast on KTLA in Los Angeles is fantastic. They scream at celebrities from the sidelines and force them, not just to chat, but to awkwardly meet other celebrities. Thus far, they’ve made Steve Carell and Peter Dinklage chat inanely and Alan Cumming and Paula Abdul hug while a random blonde rubbed Alan’s pants. I LOVE EMMY NIGHT!
7:33 Alyssa: Jon Hamm promises more vampires and Glee crossovers on the next season of Mad Men and a nation of advertisers gets misty over the possibility.