the Buzz for September 26th, 2008


The Buzz extends most sincere congratulations to the fabulously wicked
Jean Smart, who picked up her third career Emmy Award (and first for a regular series role) last weekend (pulling off a bit of an upset in beating out the favored likes of Amy Poehler of “Saturday Night Live” and the overdue Vanessa Williams of “Ugly Betty”) for her fearless performance as Christina Applegate’s flippant mother from hell on ABC’s freshman hit “Samantha Who?”  You have no idea how thoroughly it warms my heart to see the members of the crackerjack cast of “Designing Women” — now and forever, my vote-getter for funniest situation comedy in the history of television — earn the well-deserved kudos that they were criminally denied during that classic’s original run.  True, Delta Burke, Meshach Taylor, and Alice Ghostley all reaped Emmy nominations for their work in the series, and the show itself won a trio of Outstanding Comedy Series nods, but “Women” was barely recognized for its whipsmart writing — only one nomination for the brilliant Linda Bloodworth-Thomason in the show’s second season — and three of the estimable ensemble’s four titular members — Smart, Annie Potts, and the show’s invaluable tentpole Dixie Carter — were consistently shut out despite years of bravura work.  Thankfully, all three of these women have been subsequently recognized for their brilliance:  Potts received an Emmy nod after replacing Susan Dey in “Love and War” (as well as a pair of SAG Award nominations for terrific work in Lifetime’s breakthrough foray into dramatic series television “Any Day Now”), and the phenomenal Carter at long last snapped her own Emmy drought last year with a startling guest shot on “Desperate Housewives.”  But, by far, the most significant post-“Women” success has been enjoyed by the versatile Smart, who has excelled at both comedy (prior to her current triumph, she nabbed two Emmys for guest shots on “Frasier” and was devilishly uproarious on a couple of heartstoppingly hilarious CBS sitcoms — “High Society,” a brilliantly outrageous (and outrageously ribald) Americanized take on the Bri’ish sensation “Absolutely Fabulous,” and “Style and Substance,” a broad farce loosely based on the world of Martha Stewart — which never got fair shakes) and drama (her indelible performance as the unstable First Lady in the fifth season of “24” earned her a fourth Emmy nod).  And to those critics who are now whispering that Smart didn’t deserve this victory, I say this:  just consider it a make-good on all those years when she was unjustly ignored.  And suck it up already.