Harris Makes Emmys Watchable

Neil Patrick Harris' show 'should serve as a playbook for all award shows to come'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2009 9:03 AM CDT

(Newser) – Thanks to Neil Patrick Harris, TV critic Mary McNamara “might wind up looking forward to award season again,” she writes in the Los Angeles Times. Emcee Harris, along with the writers and producers, reminded “us that an award show does not have to be a drag.” A “smartly refurbished format” helped, “but it was Harris who set and sustained the smart but lighthearted and convivial tone of the evening.”

“From the moment he walked onstage, itself a richer and more evocative setting than last year's bleak theater-in-the-round, you knew you were in good hands,” McNamara continues. He “effortlessly managed to keep the humor sharp but never insulting” and “created a palpable comfort level among the audience that continued, with a few exceptions, throughout the evening.” And—perhaps most importantly—he sang.