The Five Most Obnoxious Things That Happened At The 2014 Emmys

1. People were surprised by how hot the cast of OITNB is.

The cast of Orange Is The New Black looked stunning, per ushe, causing everyone else’s brains to fall out of their heads onto the red carpet. Approximately 10 gazillion highly original comments were made about how great the actresses looked out of their prison jumpsuits.

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Beauties #Emmys #OITNB

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I woke up like this

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People mostly played it safe on the Red Carpet this year. Except Lena Dunham, who wore Giambattista Valli and presumably doesn’t care if you like it.

Laverne Cox, Taylor Schilling, Dascha Polanco, Yael Stone, Laura Prepon, Lena Dunham. Via InStyleMag.

Laverne Cox, Taylor Schilling, Dascha Polanco, Yael Stone, Laura Prepon, Lena Dunham. Images via InStyleMag.

Teyonah Parris, Sofia Vergera, Lizzie Caplan, Lucy Liu, Melissa McCarthy, Amy Poehler. Images via Time.

Teyonah Parris, Sofia Vergera, Lizzie Caplan, Lucy Liu, Melissa McCarthy, Amy Poehler. Images via Time.

2. Weird Al sang a show themes tribute with boob jokes.

The song was pretty meh. Then we got to Weird Al’s boobs joke in the Game of Thrones theme, and all I could think of was Seth McFarlane’s monumentally gross “We Saw Your Boobs” montage during the the 2013 Academy Awards. Ugh.

It would be easy to dismiss as an isolated, well-meaning-but-not-funny thing, except…

 3. Sofia Vergara was literally put on a pedestal and objectified.

Image via Mic and Buzzfeed.

Image via Mic and Buzzfeed.

Bruce Rosenblum, chairman and CEO of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, gave a speech about diversity while Emmy-nominated actress Sofia Vergara spun on a rotating pedestal. The audience laughed and clapped at her butt while she spun around like a car in a showroom. Seriously.

Vergara responded to criticism, saying, “I think it’s absolutely the opposite. It means that somebody can be hot and also be funny and make fun of herself.”

4. Shows featuring gay male actors playing gay male characters did well, but women trailed behind.

Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons and Joe Mantello were all nominated for The Normal Heart, which won Outstanding TV Movie. Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Nathan Lane were nominated for Modern Family, which won Outstanding Comedy Series. And Jim Parsons won Best Lead Actor in a Comedy for Big Bang Theory, although the character he plays is straight.

Ryan Murphy holds the Emmy along with cast members of The Normal Heart.

Ryan Murphy holds the Emmy along with cast members of The Normal Heart. Via Radostm Tumblr.

Among queer women, Kate McKinnon was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series for her work on SNL, but she didn’t win. Laverne Cox was nominated for Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series for her portrayal of Sophia Burset on Orange Is the New Black, but she didn’t win. And Sarah Paulson for playing a straight character in American Horror Story: Coven, but she didn’t win either.

Now, I know it’s not a competition within the queer community. Gay men need representation and I’m sincerely happy they’re finally getting it. But I’m hearing a lot of congratulatory statements about LGBT inclusivity, when really, it looks a lot closer to GGGG inclusivity. That isn’t adequate media representation; our lives and experiences are not interchangeable.

I have mixed feelings about this, especially because…

5. Modern Family beat out Orange Is The New Black.




Feature image via InsideTV.

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Laura Mandanas

Laura Mandanas is a Filipina American living in Boston. By day, she works as an industrial engineer. By night, she is beautiful and terrible as the morn, treacherous as the seas, stronger than the foundations of the Earth. All shall love her and despair. Follow her: @LauraMWrites.

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  1. Modern family was good a few years ago but the last season was meh.. I am amazed it could have won this year against OITNB.
    Also I am upset True Detective got nothing but Breaking Bad is just the best show ever made. I know they got the Emmy already but daaamn, they were just good, actors and writers, all of them, just unbeatable.
    Hated Lena Dunham dress but loved Lizzy Capland’s.

  2. 4. I struggle with 4 so hard. The more queer people and queer narratives we see on television, in media in general, the more I think that “visibility” might be a trap. It just seems so objectifying. Like, it’s more assimilation than acceptance. And more privileging of (white, cis, family friendly) male narratives.

  3. And don’t forget Sarah Paulson, another ladyqueer nominee who didn’t win!

    Still thrilled for Uzo Aduba for her win (don’t know her persuasion but we certainly know Suzanne’s!), but of course that was relegated to the Emmy ceremony that wasn’t televised. (Also worth mentioning that ALL the people of color who won Emmys this year won in the untelevised ceremony. Yikes.)

    I never understand the whole “they clean up so good-like!” shock about the OitNB cast. They all look beautiful on the show, too.

    The Vergara thing… I can’t even articulate anything about it. So something. It’s not good.

    • Thank you for reminding me! I’ve added Sarah Paulson.

      Excellent point about POC only winning when it’s not televised. It was just a sea of white bodies up on that stage most of the time.

  4. I think it’s telling that the Academy’s example of diversity is a gorgeous straight woman spinning on a table for everyone to look at and drool over. “Yes, we are diverse! We have many different shades of attractive straight ladies. Actual facts about diversity are boring. BUTTS!!!” It’s straight guy diversity, it’s sad and it’s gross.

  5. The Emmys need a “Dramedy” category. I feel like the Comedy awards always go to a 30-minute sitcom, and the one-hour shows that aren’t strict Dramas lose out. There are certainly enough shows now that cross the line between Comedy and Drama to make a category for them.

    • Totally. I feel like the category it was submitted under hurt OITNB. Because yeah, Modern Family is more ha-ha-comedic. But OITNB is breaking new ground in so many ways! It’s a shame that it seems to be penalized for not fitting perfectly into one of the pre-existing boxes.

      • I do think they’ll submit as a drama next year though — they’d have a much harder time justifying S2 as a comedy. And they’ll have a better shot, too, since Breaking Bad will be over. They were really just hedging bets.

  6. I actually didn’t like the normal heart. It felt heavy on the respectability politics and that’s not something I can stand behind. It felt like (and this might not make sense) a gay movie for straight people. Like it aimed to portray gay people in a way that made straight people comfortable and they could leave feeling like decent people for watching the movie. You had your “respectable”” straight acting” gay man and then you had you morally ambiguous, sexual deviants. It just didn’t sit well with me.

    • It felt very dated in its efforts, but to be fair they were letting Kramer preserve the work that he created 30 years ago. To me it was more a piece of theatrical history (because at the time that really was revolutionary) being given a permanent “production” and respecting Larry Kramer enough to let him stick with his original vision. In 1985 that was a tremendous piece of artistic activism. If someone had written that today, I’d have a problem with it. And I think if they’d actually had someone else adapt the screenplay it wouldn’t have felt so off, but there’s no way they were going to do that to a living legend.

      • Regardless of how revolutionary the original piece was in its time, it was still heavy on the respectability politics, which is why the original work never sat well with me either. I decided to give the movie a chance, hoping that part of it would be updated. The fact that someone would rather preserve that part of the work rather than revise it so it isn’t as (I hate this word) problematic is a problem as far as I’m concerned. The fact that it is treated as acceptable and no one, apart of the production, made it clear that it isn’t, is gross to me. Being decades old is no excuse.

        • Not familiar with the contents of the original play myself, but I remember reading somewhere that when it original opened to rave reviews one of them said it was destined to be for the first decade of the AIDS crises what The Crucible was the the McCarthy era. If that is true, than I wouldn’t be surprised if it hasn’t aged well.
          Often the stories that age the fastest are the one ripped the closest from current headlines. The ones meant to capture the urgency of something going on at that period in time. They tend to present complex social conflicts in narrow political division that lack universality of relatable theme or character. At least that’s my theory anyway.

  7. Whenever I try to bring up all the problems with Modern Family, people get mad at me because “It’s a good show with a diverse cast!!! Gay men!! Non-white people!!!” It makes me sick. I like the show, but it bums me out majorly that people can’t accept that it has its issues, and that it’s not the shining example of diversity that people think it is.

  8. Vergara responded to criticism, saying, “I think it’s absolutely the opposite. It means that somebody can be hot and also be funny and make fun of herself.”

    I’m with her.

    Come on people. When your willing to make yourself the butt of joke (figuratively speaking of course) and laugh about your own image at the same time, what right have we to say your a victim or a tool. It’s like telling a fat person they shouldn’t make jokes about there own appearance because no one should think being fat is funny!

    She knows that a women with her figure is usually noticed for that part of herself before most things and in show business that’s both an asset (no pun intended) and a problem. If you make it worth for you and still laugh about, that should mean your (at least partially) in control.
    Frankly as I watching the darn think, it felt like the real joke is that more people pay attention to hot bodies than boring speeches even when the speech is about something worth caring. Bruce was the one being made a laughing stock! It’s like he said “I know some of you don’t really care to hear about us doing anything social relevant. If your one of those people with no attention span, Sofia is here to keep you from changing the channel.” If anyone should be embarrassed it’s those members of the audience.

      • That’s a point of debate which goes as far back as All in the Family making fun of racism. That is, if you admit that some talk on your show is racist, does that automatically more acceptable? I think it’s really a matter of power and context. I agreed that the ‘boob’ song by Seth at the oscars was degrading because it made references to depictions of nudity in serious, even tragic movie scenes and made it trite. THIS? This was just frivolous and the actress HERSELF was being ironic! Unless anyone else bullied her into, it seems she was in control. Why should that be anymore offensive that all those jokes Dolly Parton made about her busty figure? I’m not a believer in that all line “if you’ve got it, flaunt it” because that implies you’ve got nothing else to offer, but here someone was offering else by her own admission: a scene of humor.

        • Replicating sexism without further critique or any sort of subversive action isn’t progressive — it just upholding the status quo. Dolly Parton’s cheeky comments are different because she explicitly speaks out about classism and double standards for women.

          Doing something sexist and then laughing doesn’t empower women, even if a woman is involved.

        • To Below: It’s clear we’re just going to have to agree to disagree here. I found the skit tacky and objectifying, but not sexist (and no I don’t think objectification is always bad as I’ve explained in another conversation on this site).
          I’m sorry, it’s just didn’t seem sexist to me. It may not have been “subversive”, but I don’t believe it was really “upholding the status quo” either. It was just flaky to either one. As thin and silly as the equally objectifying poster of Marilyn Monroe for The Seven Year Itch. It you or anyone else was offended you have my sympathy. I just don’t think Sofia Vergara has anything to apologize for.

  9. #5 “genre-bending” aside on OitNB’s part, why is Modern Family still winning comedy emmys? Is it the Nickelback effect? Am I missing an entire side in my sense of humor?? Is it because I wear striped pants with a plaid shirt sometimes and am clearly just not its target demographic??? all of the above?

    hullllghhhwweee *continues contorting mouth in incoherent whines*

  10. Yeah, I agree with those who say that the category hurt OITNB. But but it should have won anyways -pouts-

  11. My mom was watching this last night and all she seemed to care about was if Miley was going to perform “Wrecking Ball” Then I saw that Modern Family won against OITNB and I said ‘fudgebars’ really loud because you do not cuss in front of your conservative mother. And then I wore a look of shock until bedtime.

  12. awards shows are all lame popularity contests, where the folks with friends in Hollywood who still make people feel comfortable at parties tend to win. This is true of the Oscars, the Grammys, all of it. Keep in mind these are people that have no problem presenting special awards to individuals who can’t even enter the country (due to that whole drugging and raping a 13 year old thing), and offer special performance slots to straight men perpetually under arrest for physically assaulting women. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t WANT the approval of the Emmys, and don’t WANT their awards tacked on shows that are truly innovative and diverse. Not because the shows don’t deserve it, but because the awards themselves just suck.

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