The Good, the Bad and the WTF of the 2013 Emmys

From Bob Newhart to Shemar Moore to Melissa Leo's lion tamer outfit, there was a lot to gawk during last night's broadcast.

What was that? Somehow, the 65th Annual Emmy Awards, which had the incomparable host Neil Patrick Harris and a night filled with genuine surprises—Tony Hale for Veep—was boring, sad and really, really weird. Some additions were welcome: the inclusion of the Best Choreography category and the giant dance number. Some were heartbreaking: the tributes to TV legends that passed away last year. But then there were the random musical performances, the inconsistent pacing and poor Bob Newhart being used as a random, comedic prop.

Here are some of the other highlights and lowlights from the night.

The Good

  • Amy Poehler and Tina Fey catcalling at Neil Patrick Harris: “Twerk it.”
  • The charmingly overwhelmed Merritt Wever, after winning Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for Nurse Jackie: “Thank you so much. Thank you so much. I’ve got to go. Bye.”
  • Before walking on stage to accept her award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series for Veep, Julia Louis-Dreyfus waits for Tony Hale to carry her bag. Perfectly delivered comedy made all the better when he starts giving her cues during her speech.
  • Jim Parsons’ gracious, eloquent and lovely acceptance speech.
  • “If you or a loved one suffers from [Excessive Hosting Disorder], there is hope: At the Ryan Seacrest Center for Excessive Hosting in Malibu, California.”
  • Diane Carroll: “The men are much more beautiful than when I was doing television.”
  • Standing ovation for Bob Newhart who won his first—FIRST!!!!—Emmy last week as Guest Actor on The Big Bang Theory.
  • Best Actor winner Michael Douglas telling his Behind the Candelabra co-star Matt Damon that he deserved half of the trophy: “Do you want the bottom or the top?”

The Bad

  • Neil Patrick Harris’ didn’t want to repeat his aerobic opening to the 2013 Tony Awards (saving the musical numbers for later in the show). Yet this opening, where he sits in a room and tries to watch the entire TV season at once, was lackluster, tepid and devoid of energy.
  • Can we please retire the phrase “shout out”?
  • The factoids about the Emmy winners was weird. We don’t care that Jeff Daniels “was raised in Chelsea, Michigan” or that Claire Danes is an “accomplished dancer.”

The What the Frak?

  • Melissa Leo. The bedazzled lion tamer (right).
  • As Edie Falco talks about the late James Gandolfini, she beings to tear up. So of course, the camera starts panning in. Classy.
  • Emmy Producers: “Well, Elton John is releasing a new album. He’s gay and likes glitzy things. Let’s make some association with Liberace and have him perform.”
  • The streaks continue: no actor, including Jon Hamm, has ever won an Emmy for Mad Men, and Parks and Recreation has yet to win a single Emmy.
  • Emmy Producers: “Who can we get that will best capture the spirit of the civil rights movement, the JFK assassination and the Beatles in the ’60s? Eh, never mind. Just get Carrie Underwood.”
  • Moments after Carl Reiner’s tearful tribute to the late Jean Stapleton, the camera went backstage to Shemar Moore: “I’m backstage, like I said… this is a party like you wouldn’t believe.” He’s so pretty.