Emmy voters are fond of great big historical epics and multipart miniseries, which they’re not seeing many of these days.
Given that, “The Pacific’s” assault on the Creative Arts portion of the Emmy Awards was certainly expected.
Although the 10-hour project received widespread acclaim (see the overall scores on Metacritic.com), I was among the few who wasn’t bowled over by it, finding the chaotic combat sequences at times confusing and more significantly the characters and parallel plot lines considerably less compelling than “Band of Brothers.” Still, I also knew this monstrous epic would be formidable Emmy bait, just as “John Adams” was before it.
“Adams” set a record for a miniseries with 13 awards two years ago, so that milestone doesn’t appear to be in jeopardy. Still, with only PBS’ “Return to Cranford” standing in its way, “The Pacific” looks virtually certain to add to its total on Aug. 29 and rank as the year’s most-honored telecast.
In one respect, that’s good news: You like to see networks rewarded for taking big bets. Yet I also wince a little at programs and performers winning as much based on subject matter and reputation as their actual merit, something Emmy voters have been legitimately accused of at times in the past.
Beyond that, I like a lot of the choices from Saturday night’s ceremony, including John Lithgow for “Dexter,” the fabulous animated special “Disney Prep & Landing,” Neil Patrick Harris’ guest shot on “Glee” and perhaps more than anything, Old Spice for best commercial.
All told, Emmy voters had a pretty good if rather predictable night. But with the main telecast to come, that’s still only half the battle.