Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mad Men Wins Emmy for Best Series! And a Great Night for Democracy on the Emmy Show!

AMC's Mad Men won the Emmy for Best Dramatic Television Series tonight - a first for a basic cable television show, and more proof that the New Golden Age of Television is flying high. Matthew Weiner also won for best writer for Mad Men, and it was great to see the show's cast up there on stage as the end of the telecast. As fine as they are on the show and its early 60s ambiance, they really shine in their 2008 clothes and faces.

FX's Damages, another superb basic cable drama show, also came through with Glenn Close as best actress and Zeljko Ivanek as best supporting actor (his performance was unforgettable - one of the best in the history of television). I missed Showtime's Dexter not getting any awards. From what I've seen of the new third season, to debut next week, its time will come.

Tonight's Emmy show was also a great evening for democracy and freedom of expression. Tom Smothers received a special award, and spoke eloquently of freedom of speech. HBO's Recount, about the 2000 theft of an election, won two Emmys. And even though John Adams the real President was no friend at all of the First Amendment, it felt good to see HBO's mini-series about him win five well deserved awards - not to mention that it let Laura Linney, who won a best actress Emmy for her portrayal of Abigail Adams, get in a good supportive line about "community organizers". (Stephen Colbert also had an excellent riff in his routine with John Stewart about liking McCain-esque shriveled prunes.)

And speaking of the freedom to be downright hilarious, I've never seen Don Rickles more funny than up on the stage, introducing and later receiving an Emmy, tonight.

Yes, I think we live an age in which television exceeds motion pictures and novels in providing the best dramatic entertainment. I said a few years ago that, far from being an idiot box, only idiots don't watch television. That's more true today than ever.

My 20-minute interview last Fall with Rich Sommer (Harry Crane) at
Light On Light Through

and The Flouting of the First Amendment

The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book

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