Screw the Emmys. By now, it should be obvious to even the CBS geniuses who green-lighted a depressing Friday-night “comedy” about a single dad in midlife crisis working at a rundown community center (that would be Danny, your first cancellation of 2001—quiet down, Emeril, you’re next) that no one believes the cursed awards show should go on.
“I just want to go out and puke right now,” CBS president Les Moonves said upon the last-minute cancellation of the Oct. 7 Emmy Awards, twice rescheduled due to the annoying buzz-kill of bombs dropping on Afghanistan. “We’re all sick to our stomachs. This is one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever been involved with. It’s a no-win situation.” Yes, well, the Los Angeles homeless shelters that were subsequently treated to leftover gourmet Emmy grub would probably disagree, Les.
So the Emmys have been canceled altogether, and the precious little statuettes will be handed out to our Important Hollywood Celebrities in a subdued taped ceremony held in a Radisson off the Interstate or something—big freakin’ deal. If an oh-so-important Hollywood awards show can be slapped together this easily, what’s to stop anyone from doing it?
For the five of you who didn’t see it coming, The Only TV Column That Matters™ is proud to present The Only TV Awards Show That Matters®, the Tubeys®! Golden Couch Potato® trophies (actually, real spuds spray-painted gold and glued to ashtrays) will be given in recognition of outstanding performances in specialized categories that people (actually, just me) truly care about! Now, following a very special patriotic opening duet by Paul Simon and Lil’ Kim—relax, just kidding—on with the awards:
Outstanding Stillborn Promotion: Wonder why generally forgotten comic Ellen DeGeneres was originally tapped to host the 53rd Annual Emmy Awards on CBS? It was timed to hype DeGeneres’ new CBS sitcom, The Ellen Show, a laugh-free lump of a lead-in to aforementioned cancellation casualty Danny. Had the Emmys gone on as originally planned, potentially millions of people would have tuned into the debut of The Ellen Show … for exactly 30 seconds, before flipping elsewhere while muttering, “I just want to go out and puke right now.” (A make-good gig as hostess of CBS’ Country Music Awards in November has yet to be confirmed.)
Outstanding Battle of Who Could Care Less: The 2001 Emmys were set to be another (yawn) showdown between HBO’s The Sopranos (1,022 nominations) and NBC’s The West Wing (1,018). Meanwhile, the clueless geezers on the National Academy of Arts & Sciences (NATAS) couldn’t be bothered to throw a single bone to The WB’s (now UPN’s) Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a long-overlooked show of equal dramatic worth. Are demon killers somehow less important than mobsters and politicians?
Outstanding Acronym: It should come as no surprise as to what NATAS spells when reversed, Buffy.
Outstanding Prolonged Death: While we’re on the subject of supernatural programming, it should be noted that The WB’s witchy Charmed is now deep in the throes of Syndication Sickness, a condition last seen in this obnoxiously virulent form with Profiler in 1999. What is SS? The practice of extending a decent three-season drama into a badly diluted fourth, guaranteeing enough episodes to sell into big bucks rerun syndication.
NBC pulled this off clumsily with Profiler, replacing the lead actress and character with polar opposite Jaime Luner, hoping no one would notice. With Charmed, we now have Rose McGowan uncomfortably shoehorned into Shannen Doherty’s halter top, and the stink of TV Death is on this show like formaldehyde on producer/pimp Aaron Spelling. Watch for it on your favorite local station sometime next year, between repeats of Profiler and ER.
Outstanding Performance by Food Products as Superheroes: The Powerpuff Girls may finally be up for an Animated Program award this year (against usual suspects The Simpsons and King of the Hill), but their late-night Cartoon Network brethren of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force are far more deserving of a prestigious Tubey®. Few shows can challenge the classic Space Ghost: Coast to Coast when it comes to mondo-bizarro cartoon dadaism, but Aqua Teen Hunger Force makes SG look as linear as Bob the Builder.
Master Shake (a scheming milkshake), Frylock (a laser-eyed order of french fries) and Meatwad (a shape-shifting meatball) live in a New Jersey duplex and solve crimes committed by creatures unleashed from evil Dr. Weird’s South Jersey castle laboratory. When not chilling in their neighbor Carl’s aboveground swimming pool, which is most of the time. As outré as all that sounds, it ain’t even the half of it. No wonder Cartoon Network only allows a 10-minute ATHF episode to sneak into the after-hours Adult Swim block once every few weeks: any more could result in mass dementia. Cool.