Not only did I watch the Emmy Awards last night, on purpose, but I tuned in early for the red carpet show. I listened for gossip. How did the girl who didn't watch movies or TV, and couldn't recognize actors, turn into a woman who watches award shows and even has opinions on the dresses? (I do know how, but it still seems odd.)
I still don't watch that much prime time TV (usually just CSI and House), so I didn't have favorites for most of the awards. That's just as well, since almost none of my choices won anyway. Desperate Housewives was clearly the big favorite of the evening, although it didn't win in every nominated category.
Speaking of House, Hugh Laurie was a presenter as well as a nominee. It was a bit odd. I've been watching him in BBC productions of various things since I was a kid, and I know perfectly well that he's British. Dr. Greg House, however, hasn't a trace of a British accent; his may not be a stereotyped New Jersey accent, but then, neither is mine. He does sound like an American from somewhere in the northeast, though. Thus, I found it a bit disconcerting to suddenly hear his own accent. They played on that for the presentation.
Now, bear with me a moment while I tell a story that everyone's heard before. I promise I have a point.
When I was nine years old, one day I came home to find my mother sitting on the sofa watching TV and crying. I didn't know what to do, because aside from sad scenes in movies, I'd never seen my mother crying before, and I only remember once since then. Eventually she told me why she was so upset: Danny Kaye had died. I made sympathetic noises, but while I liked Danny Kaye too, I didn't really understand why my mom was so upset about the death of someone she didn't even know.
My point? Alan Alda is looking old. Last night it struck me that while I have soft spots in my heart for a number of older actors (Julie Andrews and the gentlemen of Space Cowboys come to mind), Alan Alda is the only one I might well cry for. He's been visible enough in the last few years that I don't think of him as the boyish Hawkeye Pierce any more, but last night he looked like he'd aged five years since the last commercial I saw for West Wing. He's 69. Danny Kaye died at 74. Suddenly I have a great deal of retroactive sympathy for my mom, because I can imagine myself in five or six years feeling a great sorrow for the loss of a wonderful person I didn't know.
Meanwhile, William Shatner, who is five years older than Alda, looks about fifteen years younger now than he did five years ago. (Yes, that's a tangled statement.) Whatever he's doing, it's good for him. He's still got to be the last person I expected to see win an Emmy last night, though.