'Glee' star Jane Lynch has been lauded for her hosting skills, and she kept things moving at a brisk pace on a night chock full of surprises. The Associated Press praised the high production values and said the ceremony "could have been the most satisfying in memory."
AOL TV's own Maureen Ryan called it "rather delightful," noting that "what's usually a three-hour slogfest passed by relatively quickly and mostly painlessly this time around."
'New York' magazine said that "if it wasn't as good as last year's Jimmy Fallon-hosted spectacular, it did continue a trend upheld by the recent Tonys and Grammys, of being much, much better than this past Oscars." High praise indeed!
This year's broadcast was helmed by 'Survivor' boss Mark Burnett, and some of his innovations, such as the digital stars that twinkled and descended behind presenters and Emmy winners were deemed successful. Others, such as the singing group of TV stars dubbed "The Emmytunes," were not. One critic noted that the crowd hated them from the start.
The annual 'In Memoriam' segment is always contentious, with debates over who should or should not have been included. Last year's segment even led to rumors that Fred Savage had died after some viewers mistook a photo of fellow child star Corey Haim for Savage.
Burnett had said that he wanted 'In Memoriam' to be less depressing this year, and many commenters have criticized last night's schmaltzy segment during which the Canadian Tenors walked around the auditorium singing 'Hallelujah.' Twitter was afire with commenters joking that if he had a grave, Leonard Cohen would surely have been spinning in it.
Television Without Pity tweeted "This trend of live performances during the death montages at awards shows seriously needs to stop."
Critics agreed that the show benefited from the slew of new -- and often unexpected -- winners. Awards were handed out to surprise victors 'Friday Night Lights,' Melissa McCarthy, Peter Dinklage and Margo Martindale. Like many, the 'Los Angeles Times'picked out McCarthy's hilarious acceptance as the best bit of the night.
Deadline highlighted the lack of awards going to cable networks, labelling the 2011 Emmys "Broadcast TV's Big Awards Comeback."
However, not all critics enjoyed the show. 'The Washington Post'described it as "apparently constructed from loose scraps of somebody else's Emmy shows," adding that "the year's 'biggest night in television' fell flat in writing, performance and imagination, except in the most fleeting moments."
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What did you think of last night's Emmys? Good, bad or just blah?