Unlike the presidency, the Emmys go to the winner of the popular vote, joked host Stephen Colbert in his opening monologue.
That was pretty funny with just the right patina of tragedy – which, of course, is exactly what comedy should be.
Still, I much preferred the cold open musical number where he joined a bunch of handmaids in long, unflattering robes and white bonnets, dancing their way onto the stage and an audience of industry stars, only to then whip off their garments and turn into the Radio City Rockettes right before our eyes – still wearing their bonnets, of course.
It occurred to me that if Trump had his druthers he just might like certain Rockettes to be wearing those bonnets at a Christmas show in the White House – as he sexually harassed them and more – since this could hide some of the faces that displeased him. Sure, they all might be #UnderHisEye, but it is He that always gets to choose exactly what he sees – and how much.
Okay, I digress. Or do I?
For as Colbert wisely stated, Donald Trump is indeed the biggest television star in the world right now and who could argue with that? On one hand, that gives him the ultimate TV Q – a worldwide face known by everyone. On the other, it makes him the ultimate target of each and every one of us. So let’s just say what pleased me most about Sunday night’s ceremonies were the numerous bullseyes scored right into the center of his, um…Q.
Donald Glover won two Emmys for starring in and directing his FX comedy series Atlanta (the first Black director to do so in this category) and only semi-satirically thanked Trump for making Black people #1 on the most oppressed list. This was not only a poison dart of a joke but a not so subtle acknowledgement that were we not actually living the lopsided reality of Trumpmania he (Glover) would likely not have won at all.
Of course, we’ll never know. Though one would like to think our Electoral POTUS could at least bring some smidgen of good to the world. Though – well… maybe not.
One thing IS for certain — the vast majority of the best series Emmys went to shows that directly, or quite unsubtly and purposefully, dealt with what our Electoral POTUS has wrought on the country.
The best dramatic series – Hulu’s Handmaid’s Tale – is the futuristic yet seemingly barely exaggerated stasis of life in America under a Trump-like extreme right wing of religious crazies.
The best comedy series – HBO’s Veep – paints a barely exaggerated picture of what it’s like in the Oval office, for women in politics and for the rest of us who are left to follow along either helplessly in lock step or just plain confused.
The best variety sketch series – NBC’s Saturday Night Live – was the ultimate pop culture touchstone of all things Trump-related, be it arch nemesis Hillary/Kate Mckinnon’s win as supporting actress; Melissa McCarthy’s guest comedy actress win for playing now former press secretary Sean “Spicey” Spicer; or Alec Baldwin’s win as best supporting actor for playing, well…you know.
The best variety/talk show – HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver – spent most of its half hours in total intellectual outrage chronicling the many blatant lies told by Electoral POTUS with solid research to disprove them. Too bad most of his voters and he himself will never see and process the evidence. (Note: Still, Trump did once tweet that host and fellow nominee Colbert was a no talent guy during the eligibility period so one supposes that’s something).
This says nothing of all the other winners and their Trump-related themes. The oppression of one woman – and by proxy a group of women – by a very tall powerful white man in best limited series Big Little Lies; the dystopian world in best television movie Black Mirror, whose Emmy winning creator admitted has been likened to one long never-ending look at 2017 madness; not to mention the many awards to the largest group of non-white and sometimes non-heterosexual men and women the Emmys has EVER seen. (Note: Including Lena Waithe, the first Black woman EVER to win a comedy series writing award).
That is not to say each and every one of the above didn’t earn the accolades. Only to acknowledge that awards have mostly to do with the intersection of talent, timing and luck and nothing makes the #resistance happier than to finally be feeling #woke enough to acknowledge all those who somehow managed to slip though the cracks in a pre-Trumpian world forcefully pried our eyes permanently (well hopefully) wide open.
And yes – California and we here in Los Angeles (the capital of show business awards giving) are at the heart of the #resistance. Though I, for one, don’t think of myself as #elite. There is nothing #elite about any of this because we non-Trump voters are now a mere minority power in national governance despite actually being in the #majority.
So how is it that we’re leading a mere #resistance? Well, ask any woman who has ever wondered why, if they handily outnumber the men in populace, it has been for centuries that mostly men are in power.
As they say in Facebook statuses (and probably by more than a few Russian bots): It’s complicated.
The Chair’s Worst Emmy Moment: Colbert joking with the real former Trump press secretary Sean Spicer, who rode out in a fake podium spouting more untruths we’re now somehow supposed to laugh at while simultaneously normalizing him. #NeverForget
The Chair’s Best Emmy Joke: Colbert’s quip that Donald Trump is Walter Much Whiter – in a nod to Breaking Bad’s crazed and tragically iconic lead Walter White.
Now that was not only funny, with a patina of tragedy, but very appropriate. After all, the fictional Walter White’s most memorable line – delivered in equal tones of indignation and outrage at not being listened to and adored– was:
I am not in danger. I AM the danger. A guy opens his door and gets shot and you think that of me? No. I am the one who knocks!
Lesley Gore – “You Don’t Own Me” (from “Offred (Pilot)”)