The Emmys: A Billfold Perspective

stephen colbert emmysThe Emmys were last night! So many dangling pendant earrings. So much bronzer. (Orange really is the new black, ba-dum-CHING.) So many long sleek hairless legs, representing so many costly hours at the gym and the spa, and so many skyscraper-like shoes hoisting those legs even further from the ground on which ordinary people spend their ordinary days. There are no losers at the Emmys: even people who don’t win get a $50,000 consolation prize.

Nearly all of the shows that do win these days are “premium” content, TV one has to pay to watch or else stream/download on the sly. As the NYT’s Alessandra Stanley puts it,

There is an exhilarating confluence of talent and opportunity at places like HBO and Showtime. Shows like “Breaking Bad” and “True Detective” are more inspired than movies, telling stories that are a complete vision rather than a committee-dulled compromise. But it’s increasingly obvious that the most rewarded series are also the ones that penalize audiences with costs that add up and count many viewers out. And that makes the Emmys, a ceremony that is always carried by a broadcast network, a paradox: a water-cooler event that increasingly exalts the boutique, paid-for television experience.

I don’t pay for either HBO or Showtime, though if I had unlimited money, I would buy unlimited cable. It’s high on the list, right up there with “beach/mountain house” and “Fluevogs.” Instead I settle for Netflix, which, for about $10/month, brings me a lot of the important shows, like “OITNB” and “Sherlock,” and which was basically shut out last night for being a brassy upstart. It’s funny to watch an event celebrating TV and realize how little of it an average person has access to.

Related: What’s an Emmy worth? CNN’s Brian Stelter explains and the NY Daily News weighs in.



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