Monday, July 24, 2006
emmy viewing

On August 27th, 2006 The Academy of Television Art & Sciences will give out the Emmy Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Television for 2005-2006.

Right now, in many homes, apartments, offices and hotel rooms, members of the Television Academy are perusing DVD's in any number of catagory's so they can vote on what each feels is the "best" in whatever catagory of panel(s) they have volunteered to judge. And at this point I am three quarters of the way through the first category I signed up to judge: Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special.

The Nominees are, in alphabetical order:

The 78th Annual Academy Awards.

I of course watched this show at the time it was broadcast in early March of this year. But, I must watch it again, now, so that I am seeing it at the same time as I am seeing the other four nominee's and vote based on my viewing of this 'special' show today. This is the one DVD in this catagory that I have not watched as yet. I decided, since it is over three hours. (the commercials have been completely removed ....) and that of the five nominee's this is the only one I actually had seen already, that I would watch the others first....more on this show after viewing the DVD....

Bill Maher: I'm Swiss.
This is an HBO Comedy Special. I had seen little bits and pieces of it at different times, as HBO shows their programing multiple times for the convenience of their subscriber's,
but I had not seen it from beginning to end....I enjoyed this show enormously. It is beatifully produced and so it looks really stunning. I happen to think Bill Maher is one of our comic geniuses so I enjoyed the content enormously, too. It was for me, not difficult to watch at all, and the show seemed to fly by....For those who are not familiar with his is topical and political and though I depise these terms---it would be cosidered "liberal", which is just fine with me. He is tough on our leaders and our legislators and his subjects run from the Presidency and Foreign Affairs, to Domestic topics such as Gay Marriage. For those who haven't quite gotten the message yet, I agree with almost everything he says.

George Carlin: Life Is Worth Losing.
I had not seen almost any of this Comedy Special when it was broadcast. Maybe the last 5 minutes or so, but that was all. Again, this is an HBO Comedy Special and it too, has had multiple showings on HBO. This is a dark look at life and at the world in all it's ambiquities. It is not always comfortable to watch, but Carlin's view of the world is one that I personally find incredubly thoughtful and somewhat depressing, yet truthful and very funny, too. This is a very very smart man.
A thoughtful man who's cynicism comes from living on this planet a good 70 years or more and looking at the truths of how screwed up our culture and society really is...he skewers just about everything and all of his humor is very much based in his view of how crazy everything about our world really is. This show fly's by and is packed full of descriptive poetic language, if you will....there is Suicide, Reality Television, and Auto-Eroticism to name just a few of the topics he touches on....Carlin is in some ways remeniscent of Richard Pryor---that same "shoot from the hip" style---nothing is scared. Nothing. Production values are simple but top notch. The set is a graveyad and the show was taped 'live' in a theatre in front of an audience, (as was Bill Maher's show). The production is 'him', and that is as it should be.

McCartney In St. Petersburg.
This was a Network Broadcast Music Special which I had not seen any of...though there was another McCartney 'Special' last year or the year before that was on HBO or Showtime...I cannot remember which...which was part of this same catagory the last time I judged it. That 'special' was quite memorable and beautifully filmed and it was longer than the one I watched this weekend.
This one had been an hour long, but without the commercials it was only about 40 minutes. In all honesty I found it difficult to watch because the entire 'special' was in that MTV Style of camera shot of anything throughout the entire show was longer than 2 seconds...maybe a few shots in that 40 minutes were 3 seconds. I personally find this kind of camera work very hard on the eyes and my concentration is poor too, because I don't get a chance to really 'see' or focus on anything long enough. Especially given that this was St. Petersburg, I thought there were missed opportunity's to be a lot more creative than what I saw. Another kind of boring thing about it was that all of the mucic was in a certain 'beat' with almost no change of pace and almost every song was in the same key so that it almost seemed like it was one l-o-n-g 40 minute song...! I found this aspect truly boring. So, this was a very dissapointing show for me, especially since the previous McCartney Special was such a surprisingly artful and beautifully musically rendered show in comparison to this shorter and less creatively imaginative one. This show did not fly by for me.

And last, but by no means least:
The XX Olympic Winter Games-Opening Ceremony.
I had not seen this program either. Not a moment of it. And this was a beautiful production in every beautiful, in fact, that in brought me to tears. This particular program falls into the "Variety" part of this catagory. It had everything. Music, Dancing, Shooting Flames, Beautiful Costumes and the camera work was fantastic....most satisfying, in every way. Nothing was missed. So as I watched this program I felt I was there in the stadium, and better, too, with close-ups and at times when they used the overhead cameras in the blimps, it was breath taking to watch. The home country for these games was Italy, as you may recall, and the Italians did a masterful and moving job of these opening ceremonies, particularly when the Olmpic Flame was finally lit...that was an awesome moment not soon forgotten. And it is a real plus to be able to see a program like this without any commercials. The cumulative impact is much greater when you are not interupted by the glory's of "Preperation H" or some other advertising...I would have to say that the Production values of this program were 'top notch' superlative!

So, sometime today and or tomorrow I will try to watch The 78th Academy Awards and then make my final decisions on these five programs. I should be recieving the DVD's for the second panel I am judging today or tomorrow, depending on the mails....and then there will be more "uninterupted viewing"....

More To Come.....

Links to this post:


had this to say:

Naomi Dear,
I'm so happy to be back online. Such a naughty computer.
I love both Carlin and Maher. Lenny Bruce and now Sarah Silverman go a bit over the line for my taste but Carlin is truly a philosopher.
I need to catch up on your last posts.

Monday, July 24, 2006 at 1:15:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Years ago I needed a copy of Tuesdays with Morrie for a unit I was teaching. I hunted and finally found one on Ebay. It turned out to be one that was for Emmy consideration. I can't remember if it won or not. Love the movie. I ended up eventually buying a legit copy when they were finally made available.

Monday, July 24, 2006 at 1:38:00 PM PDT 

Blogger srp
had this to say:

I don't suppose you will tell us which one you are voting for. My vote would go to the Olympics, it was outstanding even with the commercials.

Monday, July 24, 2006 at 1:51:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

oh boy... not sure if I'd want to vote on them or not lol. I had a number of discussions on the oscars with my friend DeForest Kelley and he didn't like voting very much..

I have always liked Carlin. and you are so very right.. he says it as he sees it..and more than not, he's right on!.. yet makes it entertaining.. not an easy thing to do.

I always watch the oscars, emmey's and golden globes...most the time the ones i like don't win.. but hey I'm not giving the award either! lol

enjoy the dvd's!!!!

Monday, July 24, 2006 at 1:58:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi, how interesting to read your reviews of these programs. I saw the Oscars, but nothing else. George Carlin is a genius and I have loved him ever since the days of the Hippy-Dippy Weather Man. I know what you mean about the MTV/music presentations. They are enough to cause ADD in people!

Monday, July 24, 2006 at 2:10:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I have been a HUUUUUGE George Carlin fan since I was a kid.

"Wonderful Wino" will still crack me up. (this reminds me of something funny; I must post my memory soon.)

His serious essays are works of art.

His monologues about euphemisms almost make me fall to the floor laughing.

I do not watch television, but if I saw a Carlin special advertised, I'd stay home from school to watch it.

Monday, July 24, 2006 at 2:47:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I haven't seen any of those you just mentioned. Some judge i'd be! Ha!

Monday, July 24, 2006 at 2:58:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Hi Naomi, What a fun life and job you have! I do think comic are the court jesters of our time and I love that they give our leaders hell!

Next time we play scrabble at the cafe, I'll let you know and we can arrange a phone blogger meet-up! Then I'll post on it. Wouldn't that be fun!

Monday, July 24, 2006 at 3:13:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Happy Belated Birthday. It was a real treat to come across your blog The Queer Chef says hi.

We actually have the same first name, which is rare, and neat. I think you sound like a fascinating person.

And I love love love your night blooming cereus. I had one for a while but I never got it to bloom. Only my grandmother could coax blooms out of it, and sadly she's no longer with us.

I hope you have a nice day.

Monday, July 24, 2006 at 3:34:00 PM PDT 

Anonymous MaryLou/TX
had this to say:

Thank you for sharing. Those of us who are always in the audience will feel like we are a tiny, tiny part of the show. This is going to be fun!

Monday, July 24, 2006 at 4:06:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I find it so odd when another blogger touches on the same subject that I
My post today was the modern man comic clip of Carlin.
I enjoyed your post and can't wait to hear the rest!
Have a wonderful day!
(=':'=) meow hugs
(")_ (")Š from da Raggedy one

Monday, July 24, 2006 at 4:51:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Oh what a fun category.
We always think it's fun getting the DVD's for voting on the Annies (Animation Awards)... so I can only imagine the unlimited choices for you Emmy voters.

The Olympics Ceremony was fun. We did watch that. Though, I've yet to figure out why there were cows involved (?). That made us laugh.

I like both Mahr and Carlin and agreed with all of your observations.

~S :)

Monday, July 24, 2006 at 5:16:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Wow! look at all those trophies. What an honor for you to be one of the judges. It's a pity those programs are not shown here. We have cable TV but they show the old films.
The Emmy has not mistaken themselves by getting you as one of the judges. It just fits you and no one else can do it fairly but you I presume.

Monday, July 24, 2006 at 6:37:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I have only seen two of the shows so I would have to go with the Winter Olympics in that case :)

Monday, July 24, 2006 at 8:37:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

That is a LOT of viewing to do.
I think George Carlin is very funny. He is not always my cup of tea, but the man can be hilarious.
I have a book of his from several years back, and parts of it are laugh out loud funny.

Monday, July 24, 2006 at 8:51:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I just posted a comment. A long comment. And then, I got an error message. Ugh. I hope it went thru.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006 at 1:51:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

if i were among the judges id definitely pick the winter olympic games..that's my best bet. i do hope i get to watch the announcement of winners. i haven't been watching tv lately coz im to busy chatting online with really great people from webdate dot com.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006 at 4:26:00 AM PDT 

Blogger dan
had this to say:

George Carlin is a genius.

The way he uses words and his insight into the strange ways we intercommunicate is dead on funny every time. :)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006 at 7:56:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Hi Naomi, what a great honor for you to be one of the judges!
Sounds really an agreeable entertainment and fun job to do but also this is a work filled with much responsibility too. Unfortunately I haven’t seen any of those you just mentioned.

And thank you so much for your kind and enthusiastic words about my "Tabebuia pentaphylla".
Have a nice day!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006 at 8:28:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

It's a good thing I'm not in the Academy, I'm sure I'd agonize over every choice! But I'd draw the line at giving other AWARDS shows an AWARD, I just think that's too much. Every time I see an Oscars broadcast get an Emmy it just feels like the industry is cannibalizing itself to stay afloat. You're such a responsible voter, I'm sure many people pick without having seen all the nominees! Good luck!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006 at 10:36:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

We went to a George Carlin show (I think it was last year?) and I about fell outta my chair. I was alternately shocked and amused. He's funny as hell.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006 at 10:51:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Oh my what an awesome responsibility! How difficult! All of them sound interesting! Are you going to the Emmy's? Will you be seeing Wendy???

Tuesday, July 25, 2006 at 10:53:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I think you're right about the cows. ;) Must be of local import to Torino. Either way, it made us giggle to see cows dancing around on the field.

It would sure be hard to vote on this category. I'd be trying to figure out whether to reward content or production quality.

~S :)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006 at 12:27:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Me again, Naomi.
Thank you so much for your kind words about my pink flowers on Glance-Olhar. As always, I love your visiting!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006 at 1:58:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

How neat to get to be a judge! I always wondered who did those things! I have not seen any of the ones you mentioned. I'm not much of a TV watcher anymore it seems, except all my favorite reruns and some of the British comedy.

Well, they chose a good one to be a judge when they chose you Naomi!!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006 at 4:35:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I agree....what a great responsibility, but I have no doubt you will choose well, Naomi.
Thanks for all the reviews. I really enjoyed reading them. Are you allowed to tell us who you voted for?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006 at 5:33:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I really enjoyed that Maher special as well.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006 at 6:09:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Wow, I haven't seen any of these. Not that it's a big surprise in my world as I am usually years behind anyone else.
Fun things to judge, though. I like George Carlin, so I guess my vote would probably go there without seeing anything. Ya, great judge I would be!! :)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006 at 6:17:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Oh, what an honor to be on of the judges for a category!!! I haven't seen the middle 3, but I did love the Olympics!! Good luck with your judging!!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006 at 8:22:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Don't know if I'd have the attention span to sit down and watch all of those. I get antsy halfway through any movie or TV show. :)

I snorted and started laughing when you wrote this about Paul McCartney, though: "almost seemed like it was one l-o-n-g 40 minute song"

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 at 9:50:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Wow Naomi! You are an Emmy judge! That must be nice. Your reviews are very interesting although we don't get to see most of those shows here in Mexico... have a great "viewing" time.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 at 2:27:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

WOW, a judge, cool stuff! Ok, now for my uninvited opinions :)

Seems silly to have an academy awards show win an academy award to me... Both comedians are funny, but Maher is a better produced show. While reading your list, I was pretty sure if it were my job, I'd pick Maher (even though he's a liberal and I'm so right wing :)...

However, if you are truly to judge variety, production, video and all aspects of a program, the olympic show might have more true qualities. So, I think you'll be choosing between Maher & the Olympics. Good Luck !

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 at 3:03:00 PM PDT 

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