The Emmy telecast was the dependable, stultifying display of second-tier Hollywood autoeroticism that we've come to know and tolerate for three or so hours each Fall. We're going to take a pass on commenting on Elaine Strich's is-she-or-isn't-she-in-the-early-stages-of-Alzheimers acceptance speech because Chris Rock said it best in the night's one big laugh—"Who the hell is Elaine Stitch?" Furthermore, we'll let you tease out the complex, self-loathing motivations behind that evil move The West Wing's Allison Janney pulled, where (after robbing The Sopranos' Edie Falco yet again) she demanded that fellow Best Actress in a Drama Series nominee Mariska Hargitay join her on stage, which seemed to scream, "Look, bitch, not only did I win, but I'm going to humiliate you for wearing the same shade of green dress by pretending I'm sharing this award, which I'm not. If you show up at my place to visit your fake half-award, my Rottweilers will devour you while I pretend to call an ambulance."
The only real attraction of the night was fascinating host Garry Shandling, who seemed to have built up incredible bile reserves during his thawing from cryogenic celebrity-storage to emcee the awards. Shandling appeared restless and vaguely angry to us throughout the show, taking digs at the nominees (an entire segment about how Kelsey Grammer stole his rightful kudos for Larry Sanders?) or the frustrating success of reality television, but maybe we were misinterpreting him. In fairness to Shandling, it's exceedingly difficult to communicate the subtle physical cues of intention when everything from the neck up has been completely paralyzed by Botox. Perhaps next year they can scare up a host who doesn't seem depressed to be there.