by Nicole Crews
Me: Are you watching “Orange Is the New Black”?
Mother: Is that like “Fashion Police”?
Me: It certainly involved the police at some point.
Mother: I’m not familiar.
Me: Well, I’ll try to keep my nose clean so you won’t ever have to be.
From the moment host Andy Samberg stepped onto the set of the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards wearing a no-chance-of-getting-laid ’70s prom tux and looking like Pee-wee Herman with a makeover, I knew it was going to be a weird night. His jokes flopped more than Heidi Klum’s “Project Runway — Sesame Street Edition” Big Bird-yellow gown. “Mad Men” lead actor winner Jon Hamm and Adrian Brody, with their hobo “It’s five o’clock somewhere” shadows and midnight tuxedos looked like they might take him out in the parking lot and beat the crap out of him afterwards.
The gaps in laughter were more prominent than “Orange Is the New Black” supporting actress winner Uzo Aduba’s front teeth and the audience — adorned largely in black — looked like it was in mourning for comedy. You know it’s a sad night for fashion when the accountants for Ernst & Young are the best dressed in the house. You also know there’s something wrong when the words said about Lady Gaga are “understated and elegant.”
“Is there a writer’s strike going on that I don’t know about,” I tweeted.
“They should really consider hiring writers next year,” fellow scribe Eddie Huffman Facebooked.
There was more drama onstage than series winner “Game of Thrones” when comedy lead winner Jeffrey Tambor spoke out — twice — about transgender awareness and director Jill Soloway reiterated the theme like a court jester thrumming home a profound point to the king in her polka dot suit and “I love big shoes” footwear. (Wait, did Pee-wee Herman have something to do with the Emmys?)
Lead actress winner Viola Davis, already stepping into the role of Maya Angelou, rapped the knuckles of Hollywood for not providing enough powerful roles for black women. Why she didn’t call out Tyler Perry for taking them all, I’m still unclear. “Bessie” won for best TV movie and more, re-crowning Queen Latifah, and Regina King took home an Emmy for miniseries supporting actress for “American Crime.” Oprah and Gayle must have required sedation — or another order of cheeseburgers.
Self-described outsider Amy Schumer won variety sketch series for her delightfully irreverent show “Inside Amy Schumer.” “The Daily Show” — once a indie phenom on the talk-show circuit — took home enough trophies to circle retiring host Jon Stewart’s encampment on Mars if Trump is elected president.
No primetime spring chickens, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Allison Janney took home Emmys for best actress comedy for “Veep” and supporting actress for “Mom,” respectively. The cast and crew of “Olive Kitteridge” were onstage more Emmy night than host Samberg. Frances McDormand’s win as lead actress in the role gives new meaning to method acting. Dishevelment is, apparently, the real new black.
And Peter Dinklage walked tall to take the win for supporting actor for his work on “Game of Thrones.” Indeed it was the night of the little guys — and that’s terrific — but what was really in the minority during the Emmys was entertainment. Hollywood is notorious for its bouts of taking itself too seriously, chastised — and lauded — for using their celebrity to further political purposes as well as using art as a platform, but what’s really scary is when that’s solely where America and the rest of the world is looking for answers. Or as the “Olive Kitteridge” director yelled out on stage, “This came from a book people!”