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September 21 2003

Buffy Unrecognised - Greatest Emmy Travesties. With the Primetime Emmy Awards happening tonight, lets have a look at some of the low points in recent Emmy history.

So this is television's biggest night, eh? *yawn* Why are the big four so adamant about seeing the little two fade away? Because at one time, it was The Big Three, but Fox got X-Files and The Simpsons, and the world just could ignore Fox no longer.

Both UPN and the WB are seen as the little networks. The other four would very much like to see the little guys just go away, and there are admittedly more people who work for the big four than the little two, so the big four have a bit more weight to throw around in the industry. This inevitably is reflected in the Emmy voting.

I've wracked my brain trying to understand how a great tv series like Buffy could consistently be so ignored. I think it boils down to snobbery. It's not that the voters think the show is bad. They never gave the show a chance because they think the networks it has been on shouldn't exist. Acknowledging Buffy would acknowledge the WB (and later UPN). There's still suits in Hollywood saying those two networks won't last a year. They've been saying that for over a decade.
But does that explanation take into account that it has been nominated. Joss Whedon for the writing of 'Hush' I mean. They did recognize it once...
The explanation also fails to account for why HBO shows had the most nominations of any network as well as why basic cable channels won awards (e.g., The Daily Show).
Well a talented guy had to die for it to happen, but Buffy showed up on the Emmys broadcast: a snippet of "Ted" was shown during the John Ritter montage. But it was so bland & didn't illustrate his "versatility" which Fonzie had praised. I don't think the curled-up-lip-sparking-circuits Ted would have worked without context, but couldn't they have found a more interesting clip?
"West Wing" won for best drama. Again. Yeah, the Emmys are officially irrelevant.
"They did recognize [BtVS] once [for Hush]..."

That is astute to say. At the time one might have assumed that meant a trend in the right direction. However, with a few years since that time under our belts, we can now safely assume it was a fluke. A momentary lapse of reason.

"The explanation also fails to account for why HBO..."

Cable's a separate love/hate story with Hollywood. The money's channelled through it differently. It too suffered it's own runt time, when the big networks laughed at its struggling attempts to stand on its own feet. Cable is over fifty years old, and in 1975 the world heavyweight fight between Ali & Frazier put HBO on the map. Still, it hasn't been until recent years that cable's been considered a respectable competitor. Shows like Sex and the City, South Park, The Sopranos, and now The Daily Show are impossible to ignore.

However, Cable's still not considered a part of The Big Four, and will forever be an outcast in its own right. David Letterman still occasionally laughs at guests for being on cable. He doesn't laugh as much as he used to. That's a big difference. And there's also the financial reality that cable television is treading water successfully in our sluggish economy, but The Big Four are not faring quite as well. Quality talent in writing, acting, and other areas is leaking from free broadcast television to cable. It's harder to get advertisers for free tv because it's harder to prove people actually watch commercials, much less buy products on their favorite shows. This is also why free broadcast tv is catering more to the lowest common denominator - people who watch Jerry Springer are also more likely to fall for sales pitches. However, people who invest money in their television time more directly, in return get better quality programming.

So a time may come when The Big Four (ABC, CBS, NBC & FOX) are retitled The Little Eight (add WB, UPN, PAX, PBS), and cable will once and for all be the undisputed king. There are some who argue that time has already come.
So, basically another big award show (that has rich, pretty people smiling each other into oblivion on the red carpet and slap each other artificially on the back), that is mainly a matter of power, money and politics than actual art or achievement. Big surprise.

And really, one of the main reasons I think that 'Buffy' was snubbed all this time (apart from 'Hush', which I agree was a fluke) is because of the simple fact that the title 'Buffy' sounds silly to people.
Joss made a daring move with the name and title, which he fought to preserve since it underlined everything he was trying to do with it, but it really has cost him I think. I know many people just can't past the very name of the show.

But the Emmys.....really, if possible, even less credible than the Oscars by now. I actually tried to watch but by the 23rd time Debra Messing cackled maniacally at her own stupid banter on the red carpet I was already bleeding from the ears.

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