Tag Archives: Tim Conway

Emmys on Trial: The Ageism of Guest Acting

[As part of our continued, if oft-neglected, coverage of the 60th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards next week on September 21st, Cultural Learnings brings a week of coverage designed to shed some light on the key races, the fascinating stories, and the things that are already frustrating to the point of anger even before the winners are even announced. Thus, welcome to Emmys on Trial – don’t worry, I’ll have predictions too.]

The Ageism of Guest Acting

Last night, a lot of people won Emmy Awards. Some of these people were probably not surprised: could the crew of Mad Men truly be shocked to pick up a number of Creative Emmys in categories such as Art Direction, Hairstyling, or Main Title Design? Would the special effects team behind Battlestar Galactica honestly have not prepared a speech this year (Read here for last year’s tale) considering the show’s reputation and improved work in season four? And, after “Dick in a Box” paved the way for late night comedy songs, “I’m F*cking Matt Damon” was a lock even if Silverman and Kimmel’s relationship couldn’t last until the ceremony (Damn Matt Damon).

But if there was anyone at the announcement of the winners of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards not surprised, it was Kathryn Joosten and Tim Conway. Representing two shows with multiple nominations in their respective categories, these stars of Desperate Housewives and 30 Rock respectively have two things in common: they both won Emmys that they don’t deserve, and they both are very, very old.

And yeah, I know: who’s Ageist now? Well, someone’s got to restore a little balance here.

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30 Rock – “Subway Hero”

“Subway Hero”

April 17th, 2008

When I say “Hero,” you say “Dennis.”

Okay, so that’s a bit oversimplified, but tonight’s episode of 30 Rock was certainly a return to form after last week’s funny, but off-balance, return. In retrospect, “MILF Island” had some good humour, but its central reality show parallel felt unnecessary and forced at the end of the day. Part of the show’s charm is how breezy everything is, that things fall into place and storylines weave in and out with little respect for the laws of traditional act structures. Ultimately, although it was the point of the episode, the traditional reality show arcs just don’t have the same effect.

However, with the return of Dennis the Beeper King came hope, a whirlwind of an episode that benefited greatly from a little extra polish around the edges. While it still feels as if the episode didn’t quite finish off, with Guest Star Tim Conway never quite integrating into the central storyline, it was funny, quick and smart (On a general level, as the sum of its parts) from beginning to end, something that can’t be said of last week’s episode.

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