The TV Critics Association, which consists of over 200 journalists from the US and Canada, gathered at the International Ballroom at the Beverly Hilton Hotel to honor this year’s recipients of the TCA awards for the 2009-2010 season. Hosted by Dax Shepherd, who is currently starring on TV’s Parenthood, the actor/comedian joked that the only reason he got this gig was because “Dog the Bounty Hunter turned it down.”
[pullquote]The Award for Outstanding New Program when to the phenomenally successful series Glee[/pullquote] The Award for Outstanding New Program when to the phenomenally successful series Glee; its creators/producers Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan, were there to pick up the plaque. Brennan acknowledged, ‘Our show is mostly about funding for the arts in public schools, and if our show makes it a little bit hard for districts to cut those programs than we’re doing our job.’
Tom Hanks was on hand to pick up the award for his World War II mini-series. The Pacific, remarking, “The Pacific was a very serious cause that we all took on for the better part of seven years – (the whole) time we worked to get down on film and on television as accurate an examination of the theme as possible.
The Pacific is not about World War II, it’s about today. There are men and women coming back from hell on earth, and trying to figure out how to pick up their lives and continue on. How do these people do it after they’ve been to places like Pelelu, Guadalcanal, Iraq and Afghanistan? That’s what The Pacific is about.”
[pullquote]The award for Outstanding Drama was a tie, going to Breaking Bad and Lost[/pullquote] The award for Outstanding Drama was a tie, going to AMC’s Breaking Bad and ABC’s Lost. Vince Gilligan, the creator of Breaking Bad was grateful for the honor, adding with amusement, “This is a wonderful award and it means a lot to all of us, but it’s not lost on me (the series is about) a guy dying of cancer who cooks crystal meth, and the fact that it’s been on for three seasons now is no small part to you, who have been championing us from the beginning. None of us would be here without you guys writing about us and saying good things – God bless you all. “
The most entertaining acceptance speech of the evening went to Damon Lindelof, the producer of Lost, as he expounded on the last season of his cult classic. “This is a genuine honor, and it’s particularly sweet because, as some of you may or may not be aware, there are people out there who actually did not like the way we ended the show. Here are a few choice selections from my Twitter feed. ‘Hey douche bag, give me six years of my life back.’ And ‘Has anyone accused you of being an emotional terrorist yet? Research these words, ‘closure’ and ‘actual explanations,’ both of those could be handy in future works.’ And finally, taking it and projecting it forward, ‘Please don’t ruin Star Trek by ending it in Klingon purgatory!’”
Jane Lynch won the award for Individual Achievement in Comedy for her role as Sue Sylvester in Glee. Because of a terrible case of laryngitis, she was unable to attend, so Ian Brennan picked up the award for her. As he is the one who writes her caustic dialogue, he gave us a sneak preview of something Sue will say this season. “I secretly hope you’re in the middle of a midlife crisis William, because that means you’re halfway to an early death, affording me a blissful demented convalescence peeing on your grave!”
The standing ovation for the evening went to the classic TV series M*A*S*H. which won the Heritage Award. The show’s producer, Gene Reynolds, reflected, “We approached the show with great seriousness, and we all felt blessed to (be a part of it). The night before we were going to start filming M*A*S*H, Alan Alda met with Larry Gelbart and me. We sat down with him, and Alan asked for reassurance, saying, ‘I’m very concerned we don’t make M*A*S*H into McHale’s Navy. That we don’t make fun and games of war.’ And we reassured him. And tonight the TCA honors us with an award that says that M*A*S*H had social and cultural impact on television, and that’s a heavy compliment. I hope it gives Alan Alda the reassurance he asked for.”
Another star of the show, Mike Farrell, added, “Alan said it quite recently, we had the good fortune to be a part of something that was larger than all of us. It was a show about human life, it was a show about dignity, it was a show about caring; it was a show about the fact that blood is not spilled without cost. And it was the greatest experience of my life.”
Other awards were given to Julianna Margulies for her role in The Good Wife for Individual Achievement in Drama. Margulies couldn’t attend because she was working in New York. Outstanding Achievement for Comedy went to Modern Family, Outstanding Achievement in News & Information for Discovery Channel’s Life, Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming for Yo Gabba Gabba and Career Achievement for James Garner who, because of ill health, was unable to attend.
[pullquote]The final award of the evening for Program of the Year went to – yes – Glee [/pullquote] The final award of the evening for Program of the Year went to – yes – Glee. The entire cast poured on stage as creator/producer Ryan Murphy exclaimed, “I feel very humbled and honored that you liked us and that you wrote about us. There had never been a musical that has worked on television since Fame in 1982, and the best part of my day is the fact that you did write nice things about us and gave our program a chance. I get letters from music teachers who say, ‘Thanks to your show they can’t cut my program anymore, because I’ve gone from seven members to forty.’ And that is the best award of all for us.”
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