In the name of Emoji Major, I watched my first-ever awards show last night: the Emmys. I figured if I’m covering television like Breaking Bad and Friday Night Lights in little people, might as well catch the industry stars up there thanking the little people.
The evening really had more in common with a non-TV column past: It was nearly as challenging to sit through as a five-day silent meditation retreat I wrote about last week in Emoji Major No. 6 and certainly more mind-numbing. But it’s such a large-scale spectacle that it kind of cried out for an emoji chronicle. Two separate song-and-dance numbers and the bonus that Neil Patrick Harris kind of is an emoji. Plus, anything to bring back the Heisenberg hat.
From the opening skit–which I found particularly unfunny–it was right for this medium, like when NPH said that television is now something you watch on your TV, laptop, mobile device, watch, or glasses. I mean, he literally listed out the emoji for me. Unfortunately I couldn’t muster an emoji for twerking (at the demand of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler). Or maybe I just didn’t want to give it any more airtime. Same for Jon Hamm’s beard.
I did LOL IRL at Robin Williams’s tribute to his mentor Jonathan Winters, in which he impersonated a Zulu showing up to the wrong war. I also liked his story that instead of an autograph Winters had once drawn a school of fish swimming into the mouth of a whale with the caption, “This is what happens to conformists.” It’s a good day when I get to use fish and whale emoji in context.
I didn’t mind the montage about 1963 and the rise of the TV generation, but I found the reverence for television a bit unsettling. (I get that these are the Emmys, but still, creepy.) And I wish Carrie Underwood would have sung her “unforgettable performance” of “Yesterday” yesterday, before the show.
One moment I genuinely found moving was Edie Falco’s sweet, human, heartfelt tribute to James Gandolfini “the man” of loyalty and generosity:
The rest of the emoji Emmy highlights are acted out in two dimensions in the slide show above. I honestly hope you didn’t watch all three hours of the golden-statue giveaway–or at least that if you did so for gambling reasons you were the one person who picked Jeff Daniels.