Last night was TV’s kudo fest to honor the best in TV otherwise known as the Emmy Awards! While there were plenty of groans when the nominations came out (Where was Outlander? Where did the network shows go? Why are the same people getting the recognition?), the final awards give reason for hope.
Break out of the genre mold
Game of Thrones broke the number for number of Emmy wins by a show in a single season. That’s right — a fantasy show complete with dragons and magic and zombies (sort of)! Usually science-fiction/fantasy/paranormal shows win in the technical awards, but Game of Thrones took the awards for supporting actor (the second time for Peter Dinklage), directing (for David Nutter who’s probably directed the pilot for every show you’ve ever loved), writing (for showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss) and the big daddy prize, best drama. I don’t think the show expected the outpouring of love as they were quite off guard. For once the critical fave is the same as the popular favorite so perhaps the door opens for recognizing more genre shows in the future.
Viola Davis made history as the first black actress to win for best lead actress in a drama. Uzo Abuda is the first person since Ed Asner to win best supporting actor in comedy and drama for the same character. Regina King (American Crime) broke up the Olive Kitteridge winning streak to win supporting actress in a limited series/movie. All three talented women gave emotional speeches that were the highlight of the night.
While people complain that it’s about time that the Emmys recognized more people of color, it really goes back to what Viola said in her speech: “You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.” Perhaps another door is open now that ratings and critics are slowly (slowly!) starting to mix it up.
Women also got a boost with the dominance of Olive Kitteridge, written and directed by women. They won so many awards, they ran out of things to say when they won the big prize. Strangely, all the Olive winners were very uncomfortable on stage and just seemed ready to bolt.
Transparent also represented for the transgender community with wins for best actor (Jeffrey Tambor) and best direction. Both spoke eloquently and provided some real emotion to the start of the broadcast.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Allison Janney must be running out of room to display all their Emmys. Both ladies can do no wrong in the eyes of Emmy voters. But they both came off of strong seasons so these awards were earned.
Jon Stewart’s reign on The Daily Show ended in Emmy glory. It’ll be interesting to see how things fare with Trevor Noah in the big chair. (I’m pulling for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver for next year.)
This year, a few winning streaks were snapped. Modern Family ended its phenomenal run as best comedy and passed on the title to Veep. Comedy It-girl Amy Schumer’s Inside Amy Schumer broke up Saturday Night Live’s dominance of the Variety Sketch category. The Voice ended The Amazing Race’s era as best reality program.
Jon Hamm broke his losing streak to win best actor for Mad Men. Strangely enough, this was the only win for Mad Men’s final year. Also strange, Jon’s rather stoic speech. Awkward.
The ceremony itself
The ratings this year were down vs last year, possibly because the Emmy winner for previous years were almost like a re-run. This year’s ceremony was a blah affair despite the affable Andy Samberg. Some of the skits didn’t quite click though I enjoyed seeing Tatiana Maslany get a little extra screen time in a (bizarre) scene with a metal detector on the red carpet.
The memorable moments came from Jeffrey Tambor, Regina King, Viola Davis and Tracy Morgan’s first appearance since his accident. And, while Taraji Henson didn’t win for best actress for Empire, she did manage to do a little scene stealing again with her heartfelt, raucous cheering for Regina King and Viola Davis. Also, I totally want to hang with her, Kerry Washington and Mary J Blidge after seeing the Apple music commercials.
Emmy score card
With Game of Thrones (12 Emmys), Olive Kitteridge (8) and Veep (5), HBO took home an astonishing 43 Emmys which is more than NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, FX and Comedy Central combined.
NBC won among the networks (12 wins) and Amazon edged out Netflix (5 vs. 4 wins).
List of winners
Outstanding Drama Series: Game of Thrones
Outstanding Comedy Series: Veep
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama: Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama: Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy: Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy: Allison Janney, Mom
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy: Tony Hale, Veep
Outstanding Actress in a Mini-series or Movie: Frances McDormand, Olive Kitteridge
Outstanding Actor in a Mini-series or Movie: Richard Jenkins, Olive Kitteridge
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie: Bill Murray, Olive Kitteridge
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie: Regina King, American Crime
Outstanding Reality Program: The Voice
Outstanding Television Movie: Bessie
Outstanding Variety Series: The Daily Show
Outstanding Limited Series: Olive Kitteridge
Outstanding Variety Sketch Series: Inside Amy Schumer, Comedy Central
Let’s hope we continue to see more genre and diversity on TV and in the Emmy nominations next year!!
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