Judging from reactions around the Internet, viewers and reviewers were much more pleased with the Emmy Awards on Sunday night than they were with the Academy Awards back in February. "This Emmy broadcast gave some lovely recognition to people who truly deserved it, and Jane Lynch wasn't a bad host, either," wrote AOL TV critic Maureen Ryan. "All in all, what's usually a three-hour slogfest passed by relatively quickly and mostly painlessly this time around." With the exception of the In Memoriam segment, as Ryan points out -- as well as a whole bunch of other stuff. Were the Emmys really better than the most recent edition of the Oscars? Moviefone investigates ahead.
As Ryan states, Jane Lynch was a very game MC for the Emmy proceedings, even if she wasn't given a lot of good material to work with. Her best joke was in introducing the cast of 'Entourage': "A lot people are very curious as to why I'm a lesbian -- ladies and gentleman, the cast of 'Entourage.'" Lolz. Of course, if Lynch stood motionless on stage for three hours, she would have still done a better job than James Franco and Anne Hathaway.
The Emmys were loaded with pre-taped segments, notably an opening sequence that was edited by Fox after Alec Baldwin made a joke about the NewsCorp phone-tapping scandal. (Baldwin was replaced in the taped segment by Leonard Nimoy.) Lynch was active, and the opener featured all the stars from your favorite series, but it also lasted about 95 minutes. OK, it was actually only 10, but still: too long! Meanwhile, Franco and Hathaway's Oscars opener was their high-point.
The 2011 Academy Awards were basically a fait accompli: 'The King's Speech,' Colin Firth, Natalie Portman, Melissa Leo and Christian Bale were frontrunners for weeks, and their collective wins were met with mostly shrugs. The Emmys, however, were loaded with surprises: Melissa McCarthy! Kyle Chandler! (KYLE CHANDLER!) 'Friday Night Lights' for series writing! Sure, 'Modern Family,' 'Mad Men' and 'The Daily Show' were all assumed winners, but the tone set by early upsets made the categories feel suspenseful. (Maybe not 'Modern Family'; that show was a lock for Best Comedy Series even before Julie Bowen won her Emmy for Best Supporting Actress.)
Despite the overblown introduction and lengthy bits -- plus the ill-advised EmmyTones, a possible career-killer singing group made up of actual stars like Joel McHale, Zachary Levi, Cobie Smulders and Wilmer Valderrama -- the Emmys ended promptly after three hours. The 2011 Oscars? They still might be going on. Note to Brett Ratner: try to make the 2012 version as stream-lined as the Emmys; even if the show is bad, at least it can be short.
In Memoriam Segments
During the 2011 Academy Awards, Celine Dion sang a tasteful rendition of "Smile" over photos of deceased members of the Hollywood family. At the Emmys, the Canadian Tenors sang a cover of the Leonard Cohen-written song "Hallelujah" while dry-ice created a smoke-y effect in the auditorium. It was as bad as that sounds.
Winner: In a much closer race than you thought, the Emmys emerge victorious! Congratulations to all participants and winners. Your move, Oscars.
Photos: Mark J. Terrill/AP (Jane Lynch), Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Imges (James Franco, Anne Hathaway)