On Monday, the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards celebrated television excellence – that same night the Seven Network took a massive dump on it1 & 2.
For three-and-a-half hours those parts of the Brownlow Medal telecast worth watching (the Jim Stynes’ tribute3, Brynne Edelston4 and Jobe Watson’s acceptance speech5) were profoundly outweighed by those parts that were unwatchable (everything else).
The format is clearly wrong.
So what doesn’t work?
And the winner for Best Performance in the Genre of Dancing on Your Own Dick goes to…
Whatever Channel Seven has been pumping into Hamish McLachlan to make him appear human isn’t working.
I’m sure the network sees him as a handsome addition to its stable, however, the only way I can fit Hamish McLachlan and handsome in the same sentence is this…
Hamish McLachlan is in line to receive a handsome incompetence bonus from Seven.
If it sounds like I am picking on Hamish, it’s because I am.
If the main guy can’t cut it, it’s time to send in the buffoon for comic relief.
This is also the theory behind rodeo clowns.
With all the money Swisse was throwing burning on the Brownlow Red Carpet, surely Seven could afford someone more competent that Campbell Brown to conduct the interviews.
The Red Carpet has nothing to do with football – you don’t need a footballer involved.
Despite not quite pulling off the execution, at least Fox Footy had the good sense to use mouthpieces from the fashion industry with their telecast6.
On mouthpieces, Rachel Finch is clearly attractive and inoffensive, but if you can’t shine alongside Hamish McLachlan and Campbell Brown, maybe television isn’t for you?
It’s all about us… remind me what we again what we’re celebrating?
The Brownlow Medal is an ideal format to celebrate all that is good about our game. The material for the night has practically written itself – you have a whole season’s worth of drama, brilliance and heartache to fill a little less than three-hours of television (once you take out the Red Carp… sorry again, Swisse Red Carpet).
Instead, Channel Seven used those three hours to shatter the current land-speed record for self-absorption and shit spoken.
An unwatchable ten-minute segment where Channel Seven’s commentary team interviewed themselves around the table, served no purpose other than to remind us that Brian Taylor is the biggest horse’s arse of a commentator this side of the Nullarbor and provide the empty wankery of Luke Darcy with another forum to shine.
Having familiarised ourselves with the children’s end of the pool, it is perhaps time to ask how do we make the Brownlow work?
I say we cut the whole down to its essentials: the red carpet7, the votes and one tribute.
Have some genuine television people with presenting credentials host the red carpet, maintain Bruce McAveny as the host and Cameron Ling and Richo as the around-the-table guys. Give BT, Luke Darcey the night off so as they can learn some new words.
And finally, integrate the one thing that makes the whole night watchable.
* * *
1. Prior to this, Fox Footy had thrown a burning bag of faeces at watchable television with its appalling coverage of the Red Carp… sorry, Swisse Red Carpet. The irony of Charlotte Dawson tearing strips of people’s fashion sense was lost on nobody.
2. That said Fox Footy’s coverage was responsible for one of the better lines of the night, when Peter Morrissey described one of the WAG’s dresses as a ‘Blue Mountains table-clothe’.
3. Gorgeously filmed and beautifully told – it was the only part of the telecast where the Seven talking heads shut up and let the story tell itself.
4. Refer to Warwick Green’s tweet.
5. This made up for what was perhaps the worst analogy in the history of the Brownlow… something about hanging on to the edge of a cliff, waiting to be blown away by the wind?
6. Peter Morrissey and Alex Perry – although I cannot quite bring myself to take fashion advice from men who wear loafers sans socks with a tuxedo.
7. It stays, so as to broaden the appeal to those otherwise not interested in football. Besides, we all like to gawk at the WAGs… and rip into them for their tiny flaws.