The 2012 Daytime Emmys Live-Blogging Extravaganza
The biggest night in daytime television is here and I'm not quite sure how to feel about it. I feel dread, obviously, because I've been doing this long enough to know that the following two hours will be filled with random winners, celebrities of yesteryear and song and dance numbers so oddly staged and weirdly placed that we'll all feel like a fever dream. But I also feel excitement (I actually cheerfully answered a "Any weekend plans?" question with "The Daytime Emmys are on tomorrow night!" I...don't think that person will be talking to me anymore) because it could be fabulous. Or at least fabulously bad. Probably fabulously bad. But at any rate, it's here and I am here to liveblog it with you (Louise is off doing something fabulous and sends her regrets. I even think she was genuine when she said she's sorry she's missing it!).
8:00: And we're off! At the site of a murder-suicide, which I hope is not an omen of things to come. We open on the highest of high notes with the ever-charming Anderson Cooper and the iconic, amazing, perfect Oscar the Grouch (the Muppets are flaw-free and I will hear no arguments on the contrary). Anderson is excited to honor the best that daytime has to offer, which upsets Oscar, who is only there because Elmo had a prior engagement. Here's the first song of the night and while I'd normally be huffing and puffing, it's OSCAR THE GROUCH. Oscar asks Anderson to tell him anything good that's ever happened on Daytime; examples include Luke and Laura's wedding and Tom Cruise's couch jump o'crazy.
8:03: Really, though, Anderson Cooper is too adorable for words. He introduces the lads up for Outstanding Younger Actor who are here to hand out the Emmy for Lead Actor. They do the annoying thing where they all take turns talking about the perils of being a lead actor. I have to say that Nathan Parsons has never annoyed me less than he did just now.
8:06: And the first Emmy of the night goes to Anthony Geary. Sigh. Darnell Williams was ROBBED. ROBBED.
8:07: It takes him forever and a day to make it to the stage. The GH cast gives a standing ovation and the rest of the audience seems to be completely over it. He gives a really long speech that I didn't entirely pay attention to (I'm sorry! I am already falling down on the live-blogging job), but I did hear the shout outs to Bob Guza and Jill Farren Phelps and I gagged a little bit. Or a lot. But he ends with a really nice thank you to Jonathan Jackson, Julie Marie Berman, Nathan Parsons and Jane Elliott, which was sweet because three of them are stellar and deserving of all of the awards themselves.
8:12: The cast of The Talk is here, all dressed in black except for the personality-free Julie Chen who is in a sparkly green sack. Do you think they hate her for being married to the network boss? I would. I guess I do, kind of. They do some shtick about how similar their show is to The View that gets a lot of laughs from a very easy audience and present the award for Outstanding Game Show Host. As soon as Ben Bailey is even mentioned as a nominee, the crowd goes crazy. What are they drinking? Todd Newton, host of something called Family Game Night on something else called The Hub. I am learning all of these new channels tonight. I feel so sheltered. He is very appreciative and thanks the great television hosts who came before him.
8:16: The Talkers are back to introduce Outstanding Game/Audience Participation show. Their shtick is hurting me in the soul area. Nominees include Brain Surge, Cash Cab and Jeopardy. The winner is Jeopardy and for the love of, I am against any and all things that give Alex Trebek reason to be smug. It's not that I don't love Jeopardy--I do, because I love trivia and I love being better at trivia than people I am playing against, but he is the WORST. The condescending way he chuckles before he corrects people's pronunciation fills me with rage.
8:18: How far away is the stage from everyone's tables? Because it is taking sixteen minutes for the winners to make it to the stage, and I am pretty sure one of them is so out of breath that she just took out an inhaler.
8:22: Eric Braeden is here, all serious, to present the award for Outstanding Legal/Courtroom Show. I can't tell if it's the glasses or the cold tone of his voice, but his introduction seems like a lecture. I'm expecting him to wag his finger at anybody talking during his speech.
8:24: I have literally heard of NONE of these shows and the frenzied screams of the audience are making me wonder if I am living in a completely different world than everybody else. Have I completely lost track of what's popular? How uncool have I gotten and how did it happen without me knowing? The winner is something called Last Shot with Judge Gunn and I am just going to pretend that I was rooting for it from the beginning. Judge Gunn says her thank-yous, the music plays and then some random member of the production staff interrupts to say some more thank-yous. Then the entire entourage shuffles off of the stage and, seventeen minutes later (the show is going to go way over time just because everybody is either moving slowly or this show is taking place in a vast cavern), Professor Braeden is back to present the award for Outstanding Drama Series Writing Team. There is no rhyme or reason to the order of these awards, is there?
8:28: Will I ever not sniffle at the sight of All My Children?
8:29: And the winner is Days of Our Lives. Holy cannoli! As the educational announcer reminds us, Days has not won this award since 1976! The Days writing staff is flummoxed.
8:30: Is there anything better than Bob Guza not winning this award? There is a lovely shoutout to NBC for "keeping the sands in the hourglass".
8:31: Peter Bergman is here to present and he is literally the dreamiest person to ever present an award, ever. He is here to, dapperly, present the award for Outstanding Supporting Actor and I would love a tie between Jason Thompson, Jonathan Jackson and Sean Blakemore, because the former two deserve it and the latter...well, I have to imagine Blakemore's acceptance speech would include a sentiment similar to "I don't even know how the fuck I got a nomination with eight minutes of screentime for the year, let alone a win" and that would be hilarious. Because really? How?
8:32: And the Emmy goes to Jonathan Jackson, which I think we all knew would happen, because he is a stellar actor and was given all sorts of Emmy-baiting opportunities last year. My heart sort of exploded a little bit at Peter Bergman giving Jonathan Jackson his fifth (!!!) Emmy. So many crushes!
8:33: His speech is very religious, as per usual, and he unfortunately thanks Guza and Phelps, so my gagging begins again. But my ears perked up at the mention of his son Titus who is just the cutest ever, so I am going to hold onto that for my moment of zen.
8:36: It will never not be weird that Sandra Lee is basically the First Lady of New York.
8:37: Rachael Ray is here, looking...does she have no friends or family or mirrors? Her wardrobe is so historically, horrendously bad. She is either a hermit or being slowly sabotaged by everyone she knows, because she once again is wearing a dress that adds about fifty pounds to her and, even more problematically, looks flammable. She's here to present the award for Outstanding Lifestyle Host and the winner is Ms. Sandra Lee, who could not be there. Rachael presents the award on her behalf and assumes that Sandra would be grateful; the "She'd also be knocking back some shots" was implied there.
8:38: Now it's time for Outstanding Culinary Program and between her bizarre hand movements and her woefully dorky turns of phrase, I basically had to mute Rachael Ray.
8:39: If Guy Fieri wins, I will rage.
8:40: Ugh, quite nearly as bad is Bobby Flay winning. The sound of his voice irks. He starts by thanking his wife Stephanie March, who is watching from home (scandal?) and when a lone audience member claps and lets out a half-hearted "woo" (It didn't even use an exclamation point), he says, "Yeah, Law & Order" and it was so incredibly awkward.
8:41: I didn't know that Flay dropped out of high school in 10th grade! I don't know much about him except that he's married to Alex Cabot, is smug, and has that voice.
8:42: Don Diamont is here, looking super handsome, and gets huge cheers from the crowd. He's here to present the award for Outstanding Younger Actor. The winner is...Chandler Massey!
8:43: I was really expecting a win for Chad Duell, so I am pleasantly surprised by this. He is so adorably overwhelmed! The camera cuts to Deirdre Hall clapping, looking like she's frozen in stone before she smiles very, very slowly. It was like an episode's ending cliffhanger; if she really lives like that, that's true soap commitment.
8:46: A very sparkly Barbara Walters is here wearing a belt that I'm not entirely sold on. She talks about The View and what a hard sell it was way back in 1997, claiming that it was a hard sell and controversial. She is here to introduce the Lifetime Achievement Award, which is being given this year to her producer Bill Geddie and zzz....
8:49: He started his career working with Maria Shriver, which I did not know because I know absolutely nothing about him. I was pleased to hear Maria Shriver use the phrase "Holy moly", because I enjoy seeing kindred, dorky spirits, in the wild. I also didn't know that he wrote the movie Unforgettable.
8:50: The brief glimpse of Ray Liotta makes me want to watch Goodfellas.
8:51: Oh, man, hearing Barbara claim that The View is the most influential program in daytime is just...grossness. I mean, technically it IS influential because it has a carbon copy rip-off in The Talk and people DO talk about it constantly, but...grossness.
8:52: I am going to be honest with all of you and just say upfront that I am not going to pay full, or probably any, attention to any of Geddie's acceptance speech.
8:55: Ugh, here comes Dr. Drew to tool it up.
8:56: There is a person in this world named Malachy Wienges and suddenly, everything is okay.
8:57: The category is Outstanding Morning Program and the winner is...The Today Show. It's the show's fourth Emmy and the producer, wearing something I can only describe as Dress Barn Business Casual, hikes in from the Appalachian Trail to accept the award in a speech that was short and sweet, but honestly, smart black slacks, a tight tank top, and a shimmery, open button down? I'm assuming she knew she'd be sitting a mile away from the stage and dressed for comfort, but REALLY. I bet she was wearing Crocs, too.
9:01: The lovely ladies nominated for Outstanding Younger Actress are here to present Outstanding Lead Actress and Jacqueline MacInnes Wood looks like Charlotte Rousse vomited all over her. Her hair also looks synthetic. The whole package is transfixing.
9:02: Please let Debbi Morgan win or at least tie with Erika Slezak, please let Debbi Morgan win or at least tie with Erika Slezak, please let Debbi Morgan win or at least tie with Erika Slezak...
9:03: And the winner is Heather Tom, proving that the members of the academy are devoid of heart, soul and sentimentality. I MEAN, COME ON! Louise's soap mom always deserves something and Debbi Morgan was so epically stellar and amazing and phenomenal, and...COME ON.
9:04: Not that Heather Tom isn't talented, because she is very, clearly, but you'd think that voters would take a stand and maybe award two legends who will not have another chance to win for their iconic roles again! Why do I get so invested and angry? Am I a hidden soap crazy? Because I am crazying in a public forum, am I not so much a hidden one?
9:05: Kim Coles has a show called Are You Normal, America? She is full of pep and here to present the award for Outstanding Talk Show-Informative and I missed most of her intro because of the above soap rage, but I could tell from the tone of her voice that she was all sass and energy. The Emmy goes to--after a rough second where she couldn't open the envelope--The Dr. Oz Show.
9:08: 94 people go onstage to accept for The Dr. Oz Show. The twinkly fill-in music plays for a good minute as they all shuffle offstage. Now it's time for Outstanding Talk Show--Entertainment.
9:10: And the Emmy goes to Live! With Regis and Kelly. Oh, it's okay NOW for a sentimental winner? Not that it's not a deserving winner on its own (it's prime gym television), but REALLY, this was a goodbye to Regis, and a goodbye that Debbi Morgan and Erika Slezak also deserved.
9:11: "Bethenny Frankel will be here to present a special award". That sounds like a threat, HLN Announcer.
9:16: Jack Hanna and Debbie Gibson are here with a collection of animals. I...may end the liveblog here, because what can I possibly say after that?
9:17: Jack Hanna talks about animals and Debbie does this weird thing where she gazes at him and then smolders, throwing a sexy-face at the camera. Weird. Like...weirder than the fact that a marmoset is on her shoulder. She admits that their introduction is completely ridiculous. They are here to present the award for Outstanding Children's Animated Program. And the Emmy goes to...Penguins of Madagascar.
9:19: I hate when winners try to make earnest, dorky jokes in their acceptance speeches and the jokes fall completely flat, to the point where the audience is completely silence. The half-hearted "woo" lady couldn't even throw out a pity woo?
9:20: Debbie's dress has a dust ruffle. It LITERALLY looks like a five inch ruffle of dust and debris. Also, there is an alligator slithering across the stage. As you do.
9:21: The Emmy for Outstanding Performer In a Children's Series is...(OH! And hold up, there is an R.L. Stine show?! Holy elementary school flashback!)...Kevin Clash as Elmo. He wasn't there to pick up his award. Then the alligator slithers over to it and the crowd roars with laughter and excitement. THAT gets a huge laugh? There must be drugs in the gazpacho.
9:23: Bethenny Frankel is here and makes an alligator/dry skin joke and my eyes roll so severely that I'll have a headache for days. She's all frenzied and nervous, and says things like "keep it real" and ohmigod, the cringe. The cringe! She's presenting a Viral Video award, which is a statement on our culture, I guess. There is no winner on the screen and it's incredibly awkward. Bethenny gets humorously hostile before Kids React is announced as the winner. This is, like, the twentieth show tonight that I've just heard about for the first time. So woefully out of touch. A nerd accepts the award.
9:26: 37 kids are onstage and given the chance to individually react to the award in one word. Think about how terrible you are imagining such a thing to be and multiply it by a hundred.
9:27: Grab your tissues, y'all, because a tribute to All My Children and One Life to Live is coming. I just teared up when the announcer said it.
9:31: The Sudden Change Firming Serum commercials are amazing, if only because the actress seems to feel that "feeling suddenly younger" is best conveyed with dead googly eyes.
9:32: The cast of The Doctors is here. The female doctor, whose name I do not know, is wearing a tight and shiny red dress that has a mullet--I'm sorry, hi-lo--hem and a rosette tumor on the abdomen. Terrible. They are here to present the award for Outstanding New Approaches in Daytime Entertainment, which sounds like total nonsense.
9:34: The winner is Take This Lollipop. WHAT ARE THESE SHOWS? Am I the one that's high? Is this entire night a massive hallucination?
9:36: Finola Hughes, in animal print and perfect hair (it's always so bouncy and cute!), is here to present Outstanding Supporting Actress, smirking in an oh-so-soapy fashion at the idea that it's an honor just to be nominated. The crowd goes crazy when Genie Francis and Nancy Lee Grahn are mentioned, but go positively NUTS when Elizabeth Hendrickson is named. Huh. Does Rebecca Herbst have a shot? I hope so.
9:37: And the winner is Nancy Lee Grahn. AWESOME! But she's not there to accept the award. BOO! I have a feeling that her acceptance speech would have been beyond stellar because she's so smart and funny.
9:38: AGNES NIXON, I LOVE YOU.
9:38: Ricky Paull Goldin bows to his majesty, Susan Lucci, who is here in a red slip dress with the biggest head of hair I've ever seen. I've missed that backcombing! She thanks Agnes Nixon for her incredible career and giving her the part of a lifetime in Erica, Erica Kane. I love the way she pauses and urges the audience to cheer. She tells a story about a man approaching her and telling her that All My Children, not cotton, is the fabric of our lives. The audience doesn't react, even a little bit. Oh, no, wait, I heard a faint smattering of applause.
9:40: Aww, she misses Erica Kane. SO DO I, LA LUCCI.
9:40: Oh. Now she shares a platitude that I'm pretty sure I saw my teenaged cousin post as a Facebook status.
9:42: NOW the audience does a proper cheer when she thanks them. Rude.
9:43: She invites Cameron Mathison and Erika Slezak to join her onstage and present the tribute to their late shows. Erika Slezak is so cute and sparkly! And you know AMC has been off the air for a while because my first thought upon seeing Cam Mathison was "aww!". There was no automatic hiss or "Ugh, Lavery!" groan. Erika Slezak says that soap history is still being made with the remaining soaps, and Susan Lucci announces their intent to honor everybody involved in the daytime dramas that we've lost and Cam and Erika thank the fans. Then, in unison, they thank the supporters of the show in unison with "We love you and we miss you" and I cry.
9:45: Wait...was THAT the tribute? I thought it was the introduction to the tribute! I demand a recount.
9:46: Granted, I'd have been a weeping mess if there was a full, flashback-filled tribute since those few sentences had me weepy enough, but I'd at least have liked the opportunity to drown in a puddle of my own tears!
9:49: Thanks for the close up shot of a random person leafing through a program, producers.
9:50: Hold up, what? Lisa Rinna has been nominated for four Emmy awards?! WHAT? She blows kisses and thanks everybody for...I don't know, sitting there? She's here to present the award for Outstanding Talk Show host and is all awkward titters, awkward lips, and awkward references to her Depends commercials. She pauses after the names of all of the nominees in case the audience feels the need to cheer. They don't.
9:51: The winners are Regis and Kelly. AGAIN with the sentimental and pro-extreme adorability votes.
9:52: Ohmigod, Lisa Rinna just let out a half-hearted woo of her own.
9:53: Deidre Hall is here to present Outstanding Direction in a teal dress and a strange wrap that makes it seem like she's in a straight jacket.
9:54: AND the Emmy goes to General Hospital, for the eighth time. It's totally going to win Best Show, isn't it? Why wouldn't it, you know? It's terrible, this show is terrible. It would be sort of fitting. I'm trying to talk myself into expecting it so that I'm not devastated when it does wind up happening.
9:55: OH, thank goodness: I was reeling from the Lisa Rinna bombshell and had to go IMDB her to see the dates of these alleged Emmy nominations, because that would make a mockery out of...life. It would make a mockery out of life itself. But it turns out that she was nominated as co-host of Soap Talk which is marginally less insane and horrific.
9:57: Now it's time for the tragic In Memoriam segment, with the gruesome applause for some and loud silence for others. The crowd goes nuts for Dick Clark and then there's some uncomfortable quiet before more cheers for Richard Dawson, Kathryn Joosten and Ray Bradbury.
10:00: This commercial break was absurdly long, no? Not like there's a show to finish, or anything.
10:02: The elevator music is killing me.
10:03: Kristian Alfonso is here, in yellow and an updo, to present the award for Outstanding Younger Actress (I can't even deal with the random awards order). And the winner is...Christel Khalil.
10:04: She looks very cute and her acceptance speech is about eight seconds long.
10:05: La Lucci is back to present the moment we've all been waiting for. Which is totally a REAL tribute to AMC and OLTL, right? But she means Outstanding Drama Series.
10:06: EFF IT ALL.
10:08: Oh, god, Jill Farren Phelps is so dour and horrible and her dress is terrible, with it's sheer bell sleeves. She's taking as long as Sonny Corinthos to spit out a few simple words.
10:09: And on that depressing note, Susan Lucci bids us all adieu and I find myself seething. I don't know what I expected; I'm not a total idiot (I can see why you'd think I am, but I have my moments of sense!), so I knew the tributes to the cancelled shows would be lame and that an undeserving soap would wind up winning, but I didn't think it would happen in such an embarrassing, terribly produced way!
10:11: Not that I know anything about producing a major awards show, exactly, but I do know about things being rushed and shoddy and THAT was rushed and shoddy.
10:12: What did you lovelies think? Vent your rage, celebrate your faves and feel free to post your own tributes to All My Children and One Life to Live since HLN clearly couldn't be bothered. Thank you all for spending the evening with me and raging about the show the way that only true soap fans can.