It’s beyond debate that the people at home had a better time than the people who were in studio, right? Once you’re there, even if you have a gag to do (more on those later) it’s basically business as usual. But the people at home really seemed comfortable. Fun. You know, like they’d been at home and awake for 9-12 hours and then got ready for their shot about 30 minutes before air… which is almost sure to be what happened. (Sidebar: not a lot of cameras seemed to be with celebs in New York, give or take Mark Ruffalo ‘upstate’, right?)
It’s not news by now that Gabrielle Union-Wade is awesome, but you know what is notable? The way she pivots. She is both the badass who speaks out about bias and unequal treatment at America’s Got Talent and stumps for trans visibility for bonus daughter Zaya, and she gets an assignment like “you’re going to take over Issa’s rap into the mirror” and makes it seem not only fun and not-that-scripted, but like she’s been dying to do it all her life. She really embraces her inner 12-year-old on ‘they show the boy’s booty’, which – that’s exactly what Insecure would want, right?
In fact, her level of utter delight here (as opposed to Dwyane Wade’s perfectly serviceable but clearly doing-what-he-has-to-do straight man performance) kind of makes me wonder if she was the one to pitch this bit? “So Gab, we want to hear about your favourite show, 30 seconds or so…” “Can I rap like Issa? And talk about the naked butts? Can you please show the butts? What do you mean, no?!”
Along the same lines, and in fact in the same segment, I 100% believe Lin-Manuel Miranda loves What We Do In The Shadows, and that when asked to present, he wanted to do something associated with that show (who are we kidding, the Emmys would let him do whatever he wanted). But I also 100,000% believe that he was the one who said “What if I present with The Count? You know, because vampires, capes… no, it’s gonna be great!”
Now, this is precisely the kind of thing that my friends (when they’re sick of me) or one ornery person on Twitter would roll their eyes at, all “Did you never think that he HAS YOUNG CHILDREN? Duhhh.” But honestly, while it’s sometimes cute (…ish – there Lainey, I did it for you) for celebrity parents to talk about how their lives now revolve around Paw Patrol or whatever, you know that LMM is into Sesame Street on his own behalf and probably annoys his kids trying to get them to care. Look at it another way, if it were some big creative idea from ABC or etc to wrap in Sesame Street, do you really think anyone would choose THE COUNT as the big draw?
In short, and I cannot believe I’m saying this, people shooting at home allows for a much less homogeneous show that makes the people in it slightly less like a collection of Barbies, and more like real people.