HOLLYWOOD—Television’s biggest night arrived on Sunday, September 18: yes, it’s the Primetime Emmy Awards, and with so much ‘celebrity’ in one room it was a total coin toss in terms of what TV series or actors/actresses would reign supreme for the night.
The HBO fantasy-adventure/drama “Game of Thrones” led all contenders for the night with 23 nominations, but was it strong enough to capture the prize for Outstanding Drama Series? Yep. The HBO hit walked away with victory for the second consecutive year! Is it me, or should there be a few more shows getting some love in the Drama race? In the Outstanding Comedy Series race, “Modern Family” had captured the prize for multiple years, but this year “Veep” proved to repeat taking to the stage to claim the prize for the second consecutive year.
Late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel hosted the festivities for the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards and kicked off the ceremony by spoofing the O.J. Simpson infamous freeway chase, but with Malcom Jamal Warner as the driver and Kimmel rushing to get to the big dance courtesy of the “Modern Family” cast, and then a drive with James Corden and the duo did a bit of carpool karaoke. Also joining in on the fun was Jeb Bush, the cast of “Veep” and “Game of Thrones.”
Seeing him give the Emmy to Jeffrey Tambor as a predictor that he was certain to win for Best Actor in a Comedy Series was spot on (considering he actually won as well). It looks like O.J. Simpson was the big talk of the town at the ceremony. Kimmel’s conversation on race relations in the industry was quite hilarious. He even took shots at Donald Trump and his run for presidency pinpointing Mark Burnett as being the catalyst for it. His opening monologue was fun, but it wasn’t a home run in my opinion.
The first award of the night for Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series went to Louis Anderson for “Baskets.” The Emmy for Writing in a Comedy Series went to Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang for “Masters of None.” Yang gave an inspirational speech promoting diversity in the industry for the Asian-American community that received a hilarious ovation from the crowd. A stunned Kate McKinnon from “Saturday Night Live” won the Emmy for Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series and was literally in tears as she took the stage.
Jill Soloway took home the prize for Best Directing for a Comedy Series for her work on “Transparent.” Julia Louis-Dreyfus took home the Emmy for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series for “Veep.” I will admit “Veep” is hilarious, but I think it’s long overdue for someone else to take the prize in this category. Seeing the same winner year after year becomes boring people. Now, Lead Actor in a Comedy Series was a competitive race, but it was Jeffrey Tambor who picked up his second consecutive win for “Transparent.”
And with the snap of a finger, we switch from comedy to reality TV. “The Voice” picked up the Emmy for Outstanding Reality TV Competition Program. Seeing that bit with Jimmy’s mother making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches was hilarious, especially once the sandwiches were passed out to the crowd courtesy of the kids of the horror TV series “Stranger Things.” It was a treat to see “SNL” alum Leslie Jones take the stage and voice the chaos she has experienced courtesy of social media. It was a hilarious segment people.
The Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Limited Series or TV Movie went to “The People v. O.J. Simpson” to D.V. DeVincentis. Quite the competitive race once again for Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie, but it was a win for Regina King for her work on the ABC mini-series “American Crime.” It was King’s second consecutive win in the category, and she delivers in a way that is hard to turn away from. It was a win for Sterling K. Brown for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie for his performance in “The People v. O.J. Simpson” and he received an uproarious ovation when he took to the stage.
Sarah Paulson picked up that highly coveted Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie for her work on “The People v. O.J. Simpson” as Marcia Clark. I mean she’s been nominated 6 times and this is her first win, wow, wow, wow, long overdue. The awards continue to roll in for “The People v. O.J. Simpson” as Courtney B. Vance won the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie. The Emmy for Outstanding Limited Series went to “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.”
Man that was hilarity to see Matt Damon come out and poke fun at his ‘nemesis’ Jimmy Kimmel on his Emmy loss. Finally, the big awards of the night: DRAMA! The Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series went to David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for “Game of Thrones.” Supporting Actress in a Drama Series delivered another Emmy to Maggie Smith “Downton Abbey.” Kimmel rushed to the stage for a comedy bit highlighting what he discussed at the beginning of the ceremony about nominees not being in attendance to accept their prize. Yeah, I can’t remember the last time Maggie Smith attended the Primetime Emmy awards.
Outstanding Director for a Drama Series was a win for Miguel Sapochnik for “Game of Thrones.” In the race for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series it was Ben Mendolsohn for “Bloodline” who walked a way with gold. Kind of a surprise, as I was certain either Peter Dinklage or Kit Harrington from “Game of Thrones” would take the prize. It was a battle to the finish for Lead Actor in a Drama Series which in the end was a victory for newcomer Rami Malek “Mr. Robot.” He was quite speechless while accepting his award on the main stage.
For Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series it was FINALLY a win for Tatianna Maslany for her riveting, and I mean riveting work on “Orphan Black.” We’re seeing a night of same amazing wins for talent that has gone overlooked in recent years.
Must admit, the ceremony took a bit of a nosedive/slow pull as we swapped from the Comedy Series to Reality TV. The laughs and the ‘drama’ of the ceremony seemed to drag to a point where, the level of entertainment died and I found myself doing a bit of channel surfing. I’m hoping that 2017 brings a funnier host or hostess and a bit more variety in the acting races. I mean come on, there is tons of television out there that the Academy overlooks year after year.