Live blog: watching the Emmy Awards

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CBS routinely presents the best of the four major awards shows of the year. While the Tony Awards are the least-watched of the EGOT, they usually have the entertainment value in people who know how to put on a show and consummate host Neil Patrick Harris.

So it was easy to get hopes up for this year’s Emmy telecast, and it turns out, just as easy to have them dashed.

Worst award show ever seems a bit extreme, but this year’s Emmys lacked any real drama, surprise or entertainment value.

The show was just a snore.

Attempts at comedy, like former hosts rushing onto the stage to tell Harris how to host the show, fell flat. Guest performers Elton John and Carrie Underwood were given dull presentations. Winners were given such ridiculously short time for speeches, no one except Michael Douglas had any time to do anything memorable. And their brevity accommodated several late-show production numbers and misguided in memoriam tributes. The award order lacked a logical sequence. And the winners offered few surprises – Breaking Bad did finally win it’s best drama award, though it happened in a year where a lot of viewers were wondering if House of Cards might win, ushering in yet another new era or television by honoring an Internet-based series (Cards director David Fincher did score the best director of a drama prize). The biggest surprise may have been Jeff Daniels’ Emmy for The Newsroom, a love it or loathe it, or loathe yourself for loving it series.

Ultimately, as Harris raised his glass to close the show, it seemed we would have been better off watching Breaking Bad Sunday, and reading the results of the Emmys over Monday-morning coffee. 11:35 p.m.

Here’s Sunday’s Live blog:

Breaking Bad wins the Emmy for best drama. The net series revolution will have to wait, at least as far as Emmy is concerned. Can’t really argue with it, though House of Cards is a heckuva show, and Netflix is probably going to be in the winner’s circle soon. 11:11 p.m.

They say the Emmys love movie stars, and in Behind the Candelabra, they had a movie that was originally intended for the big screen. 11 p.m.

Thank you, Michael Douglas, for stumbling into a great double entendre, and then just going with it and throwing another one out there. This show needed this kind of levity. 10:59 p.m.

Despite Jane Lynch and Edie Falco’s lovely tributes, singling out people for special In Memoriam segments made the ultimate In Memoriam portion of the Emmys seem like, “Oh, these are the other people who died this year.” And some of those people are multi-Emmy winners, and true legends. Very poorly thought out; but then, so is most of this show. 10:47 p.m.

Thought I saw a shot of Lena Dunham and musician boyfriend Jack Antonoff. He could have been saying, “our award show is so much better.” 10:41 p.m.

Has there ever been a more self-referential awards show? Great to have the choreographers get their award presented on the show and even get a number. But a behind-the-scenes video introducing it?! In the third hour of the show!? That’s a DVD or online extra. Not prime time material. 10:19 p.m.

Please, don’t talk to me about Breaking Bad tomorrow, unless I watch it during breakfast. Waiting on my TiVo. 10:12 p.m.

The Colbert Report finally breaks through in the variety category. Great intros, particularly Daily Show’s Muppets and SNL using the footage from Seth and Stephon’s wedding. 10:07 p.m.

In case you were wondering, Homeland writer Henry Bromell, an Emmy winner tonight, died of a heart attack in March. He was 65. 10 p.m.

This is stepping back a few minutes, but though the Corey Monteith tribute has been controversial, Jane Lynch did a lovely job with it, paying a tribute to her late co-star that was not overwrought, inordinate, and acknowledged the unfortunate circumstances of his passing. Still not wild about singling out memoriams, but nice save, Jane. 9:55 p.m.

Emmy has done a service in reminding me that we have two big 50th anniversaries coming up: the Kennedy assassination and the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. And they were big TV events. But, with all due respect to her, why is Carrie Underwood singing Yesterday? 9:51 p.m.

Can Diahann Carroll get an award for the first spontaneous, entertaining moment of the evening? 9:41 p.m.

Here’s thing thing, Neil: When you do a song-and-dance number at the beginning of the show, people aren’t thinking, “Wow, this show’s already gone so long, and now I have to sit through this?!” 9:34 p.m.

You sort of feel like Anna Gunn (AP photo, above) deserves an Emmy just for everything Skyler is going through on Breaking Bad (which I could be watching now). Strange to see Brian Cranston with hair and without a goatee. 9:24 p.m.

So far, this this Emmy telecast is a collection of decent ideas poorly executed. That includes the Elton John performance. Great to have the man there. Seems like a logical match with Liberace. But to have Michael Douglas and Matt Damon give him this lifeless intro, followed by Sir Elton mechanically reading from a TelePrompTer? Thus far, we have a show devoid of any sense of showmanship. 9:02 p.m.

Emmy winners need not write a speech any longer than a tweet. Quick trigger on the play-off baton. 8:46 p.m.

Wow. What did I say about premium cable night? Julia Louis-Dreyfus wins best lead actress in a comedy for Veep. So she brought a prompter, which seemed to be an attempt at a comedy bit. Attempt. 8:42 p.m.

Even seeing them together, it’s hard to wrap my mind around the fact that Zooey and Emily Deschanel are sisters. This is already turning into a big cable (and premium cable, no less) night. I was rooting for Bill Hader to break Saturday Night Live into the best supporting actor on a comedy category. 8:31 p.m.

Merritt Wever, best supporting actress in a comedy series for Nurse Jackie. I keep thinking I ought to watch Nurse Jackie. 8:20 p.m.

Neil, I think opening song-and-dance number was the way to go after all. 8:18 p.m.

Of course, Amy Poehler would get the first legit laugh of the night: We would be degrateful. 8:16 p.m.

Are we really leading off with a “Can Neil Patrick Harris host a show” bit? Do that few people watch the Tonys? 8:14 p.m.

First challenge of tonight’s Emmy Awards: Can it keep me from switching to Breaking Bad at 9? Would I rather watch Breaking Bad or watch it win an award? 8:08 p.m.

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