Something the Emmys should learn from MTV's VMAs: If you want to have someone at the show AND get an award AND the categories look tough, just make up a separate category. Call it the, uh, TV Vanguard. And give it to Jon Hamm.
The poor guy has done extraordinary work on "Mad Men" and lost year after year, mostly to Bryan Cranston. I am tempted to go off on a rant here about Jeff Daniels beating them both last year, but it's not worth it. These are the Emmys, and the oddities in the nomination process alone are exhausting. This year, much as I love Hamm and "Mad Men," I can't fault the wins by Cranston, or "Breaking Bad," or Aaron Paul, or especially Anna Gunn, since all gave all-time fine performances. But come on, let's find some way to honor what Hamm does, too.
Again, trying not to rant, there were a lot of familiar faces in the winners circle, and the customary logical oddites: "The Normal Heart" is the best TV movie, but not the best acted, best written or best directed one.
I was more focused on the show as a whole, and it moved along very nicely since I joined the telecast late and caught up via DVR -- trailing real time just enough that I could fast-forward at will (and did, through nomination lists and that bizarre Sofia Vergara bit.) As you can see from my tweets I thought Seth Meyers did OK most of the time, although that David Caruso joke was bad and outdated; Billy Crystal's tribute to Robin Williams was lovely; Weird Al was awfu; Aaron Paul now has enough Emmys that he should never do another movie like "Need for Speed"; the voters told Netflix "not yet, fella" and Stephen Colbert seemed to audition for "Harvey." (Digression: As the Beacon Journal's Mark Price has writtten, "Harvey" is loaded with references to Akron.)
But I reserve a special level of annoyance for Gwen Stefani, who offended TV viewers everywhere by mispronouncing "Colbert" so badly that she could have been John Travolta, and she let go unchallenged her line about LeBron James leaving Miami. I know, it was part of a stupid arriving/leaving rhetorical structure. It's still not about him leaving there. It's about coming back here.