Does TV Still Matter?

September 22, 2008

The general consensus at the water cooler this morning was that last night's Emmy Awards ceremony was really boring. As we told you, the This American Life TV crew grabbed 2 awards, at the Creative Emmys last week. Ira's acceptance speech was, of course, charming and quick. Some of last night's attendees should have taken some notes from him. I missed the opening, but Variety editor Cynthia Littleton live blogged it. As I suspected, the parts I missed were no more exciting than what I saw. At the office this morning, we all agreed that the best part of the show was comedian Don Rickles, who went way off script and poked fun at the event. He came back on stage moments later to accept an award for a documentary about his life. He was genuinely funny and sweet, and very appreciative for his award. However, his criticism of the predictable nature of the event rang true as 30 Rock and Mad Men along with a few HBO movies (Recount and John Adams) won big while critics' faves like The Wire were absent as it has been for many seasons. Although the show has gathered a huge fan base and is a critical darling, it is is consistently ignored by awards committees, a fact that creator David Simon is fine with. But, if awards aren't going to the shows viewers care about and critics rave about, what's the point? And, if the writers' strike taught us anything, it's that TV is paying close attention to what the Web is doing, and fearing, or embracing, how it affects them. So, with access to TV shows on Hulu, Netflix's Watch Instantly, is TV irrelevant? If rating go down, is it because the show is bad, or are people just accessing it in different ways? Why pay for HBO when you can catch up on all the past seasons of The Wire through Netflix? Let us know what you think...is TV all that bad or does it still offer us a lot? The pic above is Chicago area native Jeremy Piven accepting his Emmy for Entourage.
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