Televised awards ceremonies are something of a bizarre creature. The average American could care less about seeing celebrities drool over one another. Yet the country tunes in anyway, year after year, to see who’s wearing which Gucci dress and who will say the craziest thing during an acceptance speech. The Primetime Emmy Awards are especially weird, because they’re sort of a throwback to another time. 66 years of this mutual admiration society? Really?
Ask most true TV fans these days, and they’ll tell you that we’re experiencing a new “Golden Age of Television,” ushered in by cable dramas like The Sopranos and Breaking Bad, which share much more in common with cinema than they do with classic TV. Because of that, the lines between film and television have been blurred. It’s almost as if The Emmys and The Oscars should join forces, as there is no longer a stigma attached to Hollywood actors appearing on the small screen. In a lot of ways, long-form series are absolutely killing the standard two-hour movie when it comes to creativity and innovation.
With that as a backdrop, it was a pleasant surprise to see Seth Meyers, whom I have always been fairly ambivalent about, deliver a monologue that proves he really does understand how much the medium of television has changed over the past decade. Watch above, as Seth worked his way through jokes about Netflix, DVR’s, cable competition, piracy, and the brutal network fall premiere season. Here’s a guy who works one of the most difficult jobs in broadcast network TV, and he’s not-so-subtly acknowledging the need for the “Big Three” networks to change how they do business, before they’re eaten up by HBO, FX, AMC, and the rest.
And then, moments later, ABC’s Modern Family won its billionth Emmy Award.
Well, no one ever said change comes quickly.
Watch the uncut version of the monologue here:
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