The 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards will air this Sunday night on Fox, hosted by Andy Samberg. Are you excited? Do you have high hopes? No? Welcome to the Emmy's.
While TV is better, and less on actual TV, than ever (ask almost anyone), the Emmy's tend to be an ultra-staid, low-key affair where whichever network airing the broadcast takes the opportunity to trot out its stars and make them pretend that shilling for Gotham is the way you congratulate someone for Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special. It's kind of a bummer.
Plus: the dresses never live up to any other award show, no one gets visibly drunk the way they do at the Golden Globes, the winning choices are predictable and often out-of-touch (do you want to know how many awards Frasier won while it was on? No, you're too young, I'll spare you), there aren't nearly as many performances as the Grammys or the VMAs or even the Oscars, and the "In Memoriam" isn't as sad (SORRY).
But still: TV (or mid-length streaming media content, as it should probably be known) is so great these days! Did you see Transparent? Or Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt? Or Mr. Robot? It's not nominated, but that show was crazy! So let's let our hopes run wild and imagine what could be, before tempering our expectations.
Emmy Dream: Host Andy Samberg enlists his old SNL colleagues, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and — this is key — the creative team behind Documentary Now (Bill Hader, Fred Armisen, and Seth Meyers) for a subversive opening. It'll lampoon the state of network television and the already-in-progress traditional media apocalypse.
Emmy Probable Reality: A Lonely Island opening number, which may well be the highlight of the night. Just pray it isn't "I'm On TV!" in the style of "I'm On a Boat!" and we'll probably be in good shape.
Emmy Dream: The crop of badass, beautiful, older nominees like Margo Martindale, Lily Tomlin, Frances McDormand, Angela Bassett, Christine Baranski, and Jessica Lange show up in daring and inventive outfits that don't make them look like it's their youngest daughter's big day.
Emmy Probable Reality: Boring-ass fashions from some of your favorite stars... with maybe an impressive turn from Bassett.
Emmy Dream: Awards presented by classic, beloved-but-still-relevant small-screen duos like Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton, Tina and Amy, Jon Hamm and John Slattery, Lisa Kudrow and Matt LeBlanc (both nominated this year!), Key ampersand Peele, and Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul.
Emmy Probable Reality: Awards presented by untested, uncomfortable duos sucking what little life there is from their pre-written banter. At least one third of these couples will be starring in new Fox fall pilots. This WILL include Fred Savage and Rob Lowe, stars of The Grinder. Seriously, if Fred Savage and Rob Lowe don't present an award together, I will eat a gavel.
Emmy Dream: A live performance courtesy of the best thing on Fox (Empire, obviously). We're just spitballing here, so let's say it features the entire cast, composer Timbaland, past guest stars Patti LaBelle, Snoop Dogg, and Mary J. Blige, and upcoming guest stars Mariah Carey, Common, Alicia Keys, Pitbull (I guess), Mr. Splitty-Pants Lenny Kravitz, and Oprah (why not?).
Emmy Probable Reality: Some kind of Empire parody that makes everyone involved look whiter, with a lot of Taraji P. reaction shots.
Emmy Dream: Amy Poehler finally wins a well-deserved, last-chance Best Actress in a Comedy Series Emmy for her portrayal of feminist heroine/fantasy best friend Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation.
Emmy Probable Reality: Amy Poehler loses the Emmy to fellow comedy angel Julia Louis-Dreyfus. But, as she has in years past, organizes a fun joke with all the nominees (including Edie Falco, Lily Tomlin, Amy Schumer, and Lisa Kudrow).
Emmy Dream: Funny, inclusive jokes that don't feel like Bob Hope could have told them to Bing Crosby in their edgier, booze-fueled off-hours.
Emmy Probable Reality: Creaky-ass sexism passing as humor, like last year's "Sofia Vergara on a pedestal" gag (gag). Worse, someone saying something ill-advised, that we will all have to read about for weeks, about Jeffrey Tambor's amazing (and sure-to-win) portrayal of Maura Pfefferman in Transparent.
Emmy Dream: Jon Hamm, single for the first time in almost two decades, looks directly into the camera during his semi-inevitable Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series winning speech and, nervously scratching his break up beard, pledges his love for you.
Emmy Probable Reality: He's mine, back off.
Emmy Dream: Surprising, inventive winners, illustrating that the Emmy judges truly took the time to watch everything and to consider the current landscape, the future of television (ahem, mid-length streaming media content), and what bestowing an award can really mean for a show or an individual.
Emmy Probable Reality: Ty Burrell, Modern Family for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.