Emmys 2011: What should and shouldn't be on this year's Emmycast
Granted, this is more of a wishlist, something that we understand the academy and show producer Mark Burnett aren't going to see. And some of what's on this list is going to be just plain silly. But that's the kind of mood we're in today .
WHAT WE WANT TO SEE
Jane Lynch let loose: As we've said before, she knows how to improvise and does a great job at it. If she sees someone funny in the audience -- maybe Cloris Leachman whooping it up or Jimmy Fallon stifling a laugh -- she needs to have the freedom to go with it.
A quick run through the miniseries and movie categories: Last year's ceremony dragged during this segment. Things will be sped up a bit because the outstanding movie and outstanding miniseries categories have been combined, but that only saves one category. It may also carry more interest because many more people saw this year's favorite, "Mildred Pierce," than last year's big winner, "Temple Grandin."
An "In Memoriam" montage with the audience mic turned off: There's no way to avoid this maudlin sequence, because every academy would be shouted down if they didn't include a tribute to those who have passed in the last year. But it's sickening to hear the level of applause crest and ebb depending on whether the person flashed on the screen is a popular star or a seemingly no-name producer, agent or (most offensive of all) writer.
The funny people are allowed to be funny. The academy has gotten this message over the last few years; whenever someone like Tina Fey, Steve Carell, Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert has hit the stage, they are usually given the room to do material they've either written themselves or had their "teams" work on. Nothing kills a show more than giving someone who's known for a quick wit a bunch of nonsense presenter patter to read from.
The judges from "The Voice." Sure, the show didn't get nominated in the reality category (even though it should have). But wouldn't it be fun to see those swively chairs with Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine judging the vocal stylings of Lynch, Neil Patrick Harris, and whoever else decides to sing that night? "The Voice" is Burnett's show; surely he's got the juice to get those folks on stage.
A "Survivor"-like vote-off. Just to keep things lively. Let everyone in the front row decide who gets to stay and who gets to leave via a tribal council-style vote. We're sure the person booted off the island will be happy to hang around the lobby with a drink in hand, but if he or she wins, that person won't be allowed to come up for his or her award.
Short acceptance speeches. We can dream, can't we?
WHAT WE DON'T WANT TO SEE
The "Glee" cast: At least for more than a few moments, anyway. As we said last week, Jane Lynch is too talented to use Sue Sylvester as a crutch Sunday night.
An "In Memoriam" song not written by Sarah McLachlan: It's the least we can ask. We're already ticked that her music has been ruined for us because we associate her songs with pictures of suffering dogs and cats. Can't we have someone sing a good drinking song like "Danny Boy" instead? We'll even take "Amazing Grace."
An appearance by Mark Burnett himself: Burnett is an amazing producer, but he's also only slightly less blustery than one of his big stars, Donald Trump. We don't need him to come on stage to tell us that this is the most-watched Emmys ever or some other kind of balderdash. If he stays in the production truck, we'll be happy campers. Speaking of which...
An appearance by Donald Trump: Actually, any Trump whose name isn't Ivanka should stay away. "The Celebrity Apprentice" didn't get nominated, so we're likely to avoid an appearance from The Donald. But we know any bit with him will be lame and forced, so he should just stay in New York and enjoy the show on TV.
Seth MacFarlane singing: We know he has a new album and special out where he croons standards. But unless he's singing in the voice of Stewie, we're not interested.
Charlie Sheen or any mention of him: Pretty sure the former won't happen, but good luck with the latter. Sheen jokes are just way too easy to not write into at least some presenter patter. Let's hope they're kept to a minimum.
We'll see if any of this comes to pass Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on FOX.
What do you want to see -- or not see -- during the Emmycast Sunday night?