Without question, the greatest moment of the show was the first seven minutes. The opening sketch (which can be seen here) features Jimmy Fallon (the host), the cast of Glee, and an exciting assortment of other TV stars (and Kate Gosselin) doing a hilarious, Glee-inspired rendition of one of my all-time favorite songs, "Born To Run," by the legendary Bruce Springsteen. It starts out with Jimmy Fallon and the Glee kids, who then recruit Tina Fey (my idol) before finding Jon Hamm dirty dancing with Betty White in a dressing room. (By the way, between his stripper dance moves and his Emmy-nominated stint on 30 Rock, I'm starting to think Jon Hamm might be the funniest dramatic actor on TV.) Once they start singing, familiar faces start popping up everywhere, including Jorge Garcia (Lost), and Joel McHale (star of the hilarious-but-underappreciated Community), all giving their best impressions of the Boss. The best part has to be Tim Gunn, who (literally) rips off Fallon's shirt and stuffs a red baseball cap in his back pocket, imitating Springsteen's famous Born in the U.S.A. album cover. Once they storm the stage, clad in matching Glee costumes (except for Fallon, still in full Bruce garb), Randy Jackson joins Fallon center stage, Tina Fey and Jon Hamm dance like they're extras in Grease, and finally Glee's Amber Riley belts out the last note. And THAT is how you open an awards show.
Of course, I might be saying that because they happened to choose an intro that included several of my favorite things on this earth. Let's recap: Glee + Tina Fey + Betty White + Lost + Joel McHale + mockery of Kate Gosselin + Tim Gunn + a Bruce Springsteen song = one of the greatest moments of television I have ever witnessed.
Aaaand the night just went downhill from there. Not in a disappointing way, but in a how-can-you-possibly-top-that? kind of way. Although, some would argue that George Clooney's Modern Family skit (watch it here) was even better. But I'm running out of space, and you're running out of attention span, so let's get to it. Here are the night's highs and lows...
HIGH: Eric Stonestreet wins Outstanding Supporting Actor for a Comedy Series for his role on Modern Family. And he begins his acceptance speech by saying, "All I wanted to be was a clown in the circus." And, on a related note...
HIGH: Jon Cryer does NOT win Outstanding Supporting Actor for a Comedy Series for his role on Two and a Half Men. I've never understood why that show has been on the air as long as it has, or what the thrill is in watching Charlie Sheen play Charlie Sheen. Note to Two and a Half Men: No one cares. Sincerely, The World.
LOW: What was up with the ridiculous Tron-meets-The Matrix video game theme of the giant screens onstage last night? Come on, NBC. I expect that from Fox, but not from you.
HIGH: Jane Lynch wins Supporting Actress for Glee. She had this one in the bag, and her acceptance speech was humble and wonderful, thanking her parents, showrunner Ryan Murphy, and her wife.
LOW: Why does Chris Meloni looks so angry all the time? Is it because Law & Order: SVU didn't get nominated for Outstanding Drama? Honestly, at this point there are enough Law & Orders on TV that they could have their own awards show.
HIGH: Jeff Probst's dimples.
LOW: Jim Parsons and Sofia Vergara present together onstage. One plays a theoretical physicist on Big Bang Theory, and the other one is Sofia Vergara. There's no scenario in which these two people should be standing next to each other. It's just unnatural. And they knew it, because there's no way the awkwardness of that presentation was faked.
HIGH: Modern Family creators spoof Old Spice commercials: "We're on a horse."
LOW: Bryan Cranston wins Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series for the THIRD YEAR IN A ROW. Seriously, Bryan, give someone else a chance for once. I'm sure your work is great and all, but like I told my mother, getting an Emmy for playing a meth dealer with cancer is like getting an Oscar for playing a disabled concentration camp survivor. It's just not fair to the other nominees. Plus, I really felt it was Hugh Laurie's year to win for House.
HIGH: Archie Panjabi wins Outstanding Supporting Actress for a Drama Series for her role on The Good Wife. I've only just started watching this show, but I'm already blown away by Archie Panjabi's performance as the hardened in-house private investigator.
LOW: "And the Emmy goes to...Kyra Sedgwick?" (And she makes Tina Fey hold her Emmy statue while she gives her speech!) Apparently in the Emmy business, you either win every year (like the aforementioned Cranston and fellow AMC darling and three-peat Mad Men), or you can win once for every fifth nomination, like Sedgwick. I guess her win for The Closer was overdue, but I really thought Julianna Margulies would win for her first season of The Good Wife. Maybe in four years...
HIGH: Julianna Margulies presents the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award to former ER costar and onscreen love George Clooney. Did anyone not get all nostalgic watching those two reunite onstage?
LOW: Sorry, miniseries and made-for-TV movies, but no one really cares. (Although, I have been meaning to watch The Pacific.)
HIGH: The fact that people are still willing to risk letting Ricky Gervais perform on live television.
LOW: Lost gets no Emmy love for its final stellar season. I guess it was just too complex for Emmy voters to understand its genius.
HIGH: The realization that George Clooney should a) guest star on Modern Family for real, and b) marry Sofia Vergara.
That's a wrap! If you haven't seen at least two of the shows I mentioned throughout this list, you have some homework to do before the Golden Globes.