Was the VMAs' Robin Williams Tribute Undercooked?

Robin Williams in 2007
Scott Wintrow/Getty Images

Robin Williams attends "Cool Comedy - Hot Cuisine" presented by the New York Comedy Festival at Carolines on Broadway on October 06, 2007 in New York City. 

At least one outlet is calling the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards’ tribute to Robin Williams “touching.”

But in the eyes of most who chronicled the evening on social media or recapped it afterwards, the VMAs' 20-second tribute to the late comedian came off as awkward, undercooked, or just plain forced. Tweets like this once seemed to encapsulate the general consensus:

After Fifth Harmony paraded offstage with their Artist to Watch Moonman in hand, the Williams tribute came on the big screen in the Inglewood, CA, Forum with absolutely no introduction or context. Watch the clip below, featuring six images of Williams soundtracked by Coldplay’s "A Sky Full of Stars."

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Segueing immediately into a cycle of typical VMA commercials didn’t give the sequence much closure, either.

While Williams’ celebrity didn’t exist in the music world first and foremost, he certainly had his musical moments, and reached a level of adoration that transcended acting and comedy. In other words, if a brand like MTV -- which is so obviously linked to show business outside the music sphere -- is going to hold an awards show following Williams death, it’s going to have to do him justice. They made the right move in including a devotional, but was such a half-baked presentation even worth it?

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The Williams tribute wasn’t the only somber moment in the Aug. 24 telecast. Earlier in the evening, Common took the stage and called attention to the death of Michael Brown and the ongoing protests and violence in Ferguson, Mo. with a few moments of silence. Perhaps a presenter introducing the Williams tribute would have eased the cut-and-paste feel of his segment.

At any rate, Monday night's Primetime Emmy Awards will provide another national stage for a Robin Williams tribute.



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