Monday, September 21, 2015

EMMYS 2015 HIGHLIGHTS – ‘GAME OF THRONES’, ‘VEEP’ WIN BIG, AND MORE

The highlights and not-so-bright moments at the 67th annual Primetime Emmy Awards


Jon Hamm finally winning for MAD MEN was the biggest highlight, for me
If there was one thing I was hoping for, with Andy Samberg as the host of this year’s Emmys, was a good, entertaining show. And when the Emmys began, I was excited. The opening was fantastic. From the production value of the audio-visual presentation, to the writing of the song performed, I enjoyed how they made it relevant to shows such as THE UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT and THE LAST MAN ON EARTH, to some extent. It was really funny to see Jon Hamm, Kerry Washington and others in the mix. Taking it forward was the joke about the number of shows that are about a wife or wives. I’ve always been fascinated by our fascination for the stories of ‘wives’ (but I’m not talking about the reality show wives), so it was good to see that there have been other observations about that.


And then the act went off a little, with the Les Misérables act, which made no sense at all, and just as Will Forte’s Inspector Javert fell off the bridge, things began to fall apart as well. Andy Samberg didn’t have much to go on with after that. A few highlights of him as host did include when he joked about how TRUE DETECTIVE ‘was over’ even though it was still on the air. And later, his inappropriate ‘tribute’ to the last season of GIRLS (going down on the large Emmy on stage) was kind of funny, if you got the reference. Another fun moment was when he and Seth Meyers joked about giving an award to the ‘World’s Best Boss’ indicating that it would be their ex-boss, Lorne Michaels, the creator of SNL. What followed was the prize, a lame mug, which was hilarious, especially when they opened the envelope and declared that the winner was actually Shonda Rhimes!
Beyond those moments, there was nothing else that kept the show interesting. In fact, showing Tatianna Maslany and Tony Hale looking for metal on the red carpet, and finding cans of beans, fell completely flat.


GERVAIS’ AND KIMMEL’S PRESENTATIONS TOOK THE CAKE
The presentations were also rather dull. Ricky Gervais was one of only two of the most memorable and entertaining presenters. Him coming up and talking about how people might think that he’s won an Emmy, even though he hasn’t, and how posing with a statuette might perpetuate that even, was hilarious. It was fresh and different from the usual. Also fresh was Jimmy Kimmel, talking about how he could just mention any of the nominees on opening the envelope and no one would know who actually won. That is something I have wondered. And when an event is aired live, if someone were to actually do that, it could really mess things up. Kimmel’s chewing up the envelope bit to keep the true winner of lead actor—comedy a secret was interesting. So even if later Will Forte joked about making out with Kimmel, and then ‘found the chewed envelope bit in his mouth’ to confirm that that Jeffrey Tambor had indeed won, it was still funny.
            Apart from these, there really weren’t any noteworthy presentations, except for maybe Tracy Morgan’s, when he talked about his recovery from the accident he was in. However, when you’re about to announce the big, final award of the evening, I’d really prefer if you’d pick someone who won’t lose focus. Yes, it was good to see Morgan talking about things positively, but I’m sure it would have been just as endearing and nice to hear, earlier in the show—when presenting an award for variety series, perhaps.


THE AWARDS WERE POINTING AT THE HBO SWEEP
Finally, the awards. If there’s one thing the Academy did this year, it was mix things up completely. Well, not completely. Julia Louis-Dreyfus did win again, as expected. Jeffrey Tambor’s win was expected as well. Maybe even Allison Janney’s was predictable (but well deserved). However, MODERN FAMILY didn’t win, and while that was disappointing for me (I really wanted to see them breaking a record), I was happy to see VEEP win. It’s a brilliant show and deserves the victory. Although, with the Emmy for writing, and two acting awards, one should’ve seen outstanding comedy series going to VEEP.
Likewise with GAME OF THRONES. After the writing and directing Emmys and Peter Dinklage’s second Emmy for his role on …THRONES, it wasn’t such a huge surprise that it won outstanding drama series. Viola Davis winning HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER was good. I loved her acceptance speech the most, I think, especially with the mentioning of black actresses who have helped pave the way for others like her. Hers and Jeffrey Tambor’s speeches were the best in my opinion.

I’m just glad that none of the AMY SCHUMERs and KEY & PEELEs won. It’s bad enough that the Academy gives them spots in mainstream acting categories, which I don’t understand, since there is a separate set for variety and talk categories. The Academy should really include a couple of performance categories in that set itself, which would also help in recognizing others who are deserving as well.


JON HAMM FINALLY WON!
But the best thing was to see Jon Hamm winning. It was a win that’s been long overdue. Even though I was convinced that the Television Academy wouldn’t let the leading man of their once loved and cherished series go unrecognized for a role he’s excelled at for eight years, and has been nominated for eight times. He looked great and his going up to accept, by dragging himself onto the stage, was heartwarming. It was like he could finally take a sigh of relief. Whatever it actually was, it kind of felt like it signified the end of a long wait.





And here are all the major awards.

Outstanding Drama Series
BETTER CALL SAUL
DOWNTON ABBEY
GAME OF THRONES
HOMELAND
HOUSE OF CARDS
MAD MEN
ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK

Outstanding Comedy Series
LOUIE
MODERN FAMILY
PARKS AND RECREATION
SILICON VALLEY
TRANSPARENT
UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT
VEEP

Lead Actor, Drama
Bob Odenkirk, BETTER CALL SAUL
Kyle Chandler, BLOODLINE
Kevin Spacey, HOUSE OF CARDS
Jon Hamm, MAD MEN
Jeff Daniels, THE NEWSROOM
Liev Schreiber, RAY DONOVAN

Lead Actress, Drama
Taraji P. Henson, EMPIRE
Claire Danes, HOMELAND
Viola Davis, HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER
Tatiana Maslany, ORPHAN BLACK
Elisabeth Moss, MAD MEN
Robin Wright, HOUSE OF CARDS

Lead Actor, Comedy
Anthony Anderson, BLACK-ISH
Matt LeBlanc, EPISODES
Don Cheadle, HOUSE OF LIES
Will Forte, THE LAST MAN ON EARTH
Louis C.K., LOUIE
William H. Macy, SHAMELESS
Jeffrey Tambor, TRANSPARENT

Lead Actress, Comedy
Lisa Kudrow, THE COMEBACK
Lily Tomlin, GRACE AND FRANKIE
Amy Schumer, INSIDE AMY SCHUMER
Edie Falco, NURSE JACKIE
Amy Poehler, PARKS AND RECREATION
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, VEEP

Supporting Actor, Drama
Jonathan Banks, BETTER CALL SAUL
Ben Mendelsohn, BLOODLINE
Jim Carter, DOWNTON ABBEY
Peter Dinklage, GAME OF THRONES
Alan Cumming, THE GOOD WIFE
Michael Kelly, HOUSE OF CARDS

Supporting Actress, Drama
Joanne Froggatt, DOWNTON ABBEY
Lena Headey, GAME OF THRONES
Emilia Clarke, GAME OF THRONES
Christine Baranski, THE GOOD WIFE
Christina Hendricks, MAD MEN
Uzo Aduba, ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK

Supporting Actor, Comedy
Andre Braugher, BROOKLYN NINE-NINE
Adam Driver, GIRLS
Keegan-Michael Key, KEY & PEELE
Ty Burrell, MODERN FAMILY
Tituss Burgess, UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT
Tony Hale, VEEP

Supporting Actress, Comedy
Mayim Bialik, THE BIG BANG THEORY
Niecy Nash, GETTING ON
Julie Bowen, MODERN FAMILY
Allison Janney, MOM
Kate McKinnon, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Gaby Hoffmann, TRANSPARENT
Jane Krakowski, UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT
Anna Chlumsky, VEEP

Writing For A Drama Series
Joshua Brand for THE AMERICANS, ‘Do Mail Robots Dream Of Electric Sheep?’
Gordon Smith for BETTER CALL SAUL, ‘Five-O’
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for GAME OF THRONES, ‘Mother’s Mercy’
Semi Chellas and Matthew Weiner for MAD MEN, ‘Lost Horizon’
Matthew Weiner for MAD MEN, ‘Person To Person’

Directing For A Drama Series
Tim Van Patten for BOARDWALK EMPIRE, ‘Eldorado’
David Nutter for GAME OF THRONES, ‘Mother’s Mercy’
Jeremy Podeswa for GAME OF THRONES, ‘Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken’
Lesli Linka Glatter for HOMELAND, ‘From A To B And Back Again’
Steven Soderbergh for THE KNICK, ‘Method And Madness’

Writing For A Comedy Series
David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik for EPISODES, ‘Episode 409’
Will Forte for THE LAST MAN ON EARTH, ‘Alive In Tucson’
Louis C.K. for LOUIE, ‘Bobby’s House’
Alec Berg for SILICON VALLEY, ‘Two Days Of The Condor’
Jill Soloway for TRANSPARENT, ‘Pilot’
Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci and Tony Roche for VEEP, ‘Election Night’ from HBO

Directing For A Comedy Series
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller for THE LAST MAN ON EARTH, ‘Alive In Tucson’
Louis C.K. for LOUIE, ‘Sleepover’
Mike Judge for SILICON VALLEY, ‘Sand Hill Shuffle’
Jill Soloway for TRANSPARENT, ‘Best New Girl’
Armando Iannucci for VEEP, ‘Testimony’

Guest Actor, Drama (announced the week before at the Creative Arts Emmys)
Alan Alda, THE BLACKLIST
Michael J. Fox, THE GOOD WIFE
F. Murray Abraham, HOMELAND
Reg E. Cathey, HOUSE OF CARDS
Beau Bridges, MASTERS OF SEX
Pablo Schreiber, ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK

Guest Actress, Drama (announced the week before at the Creative Arts Emmys)
Margo Martindale, THE AMERICANS
Diana Rigg, GAME OF THRONES
Rachel Brosnahan, HOUSE OF CARDS
Cicely Tyson, HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER
Allison Janney, MASTERS OF SEX
Khandi Alexander, SCANDAL

Guest Actor, Comedy (announced the week before at the Creative Arts Emmys)
Mel Brooks, THE COMEDIANS
Paul Giamatti, INSIDE AMY SCHUMER
Bill Hader, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Louis C.K., SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Bradley Whitford, TRANSPARENT
Jon Hamm, UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT

Guest Actress, Comedy (announced the week before at the Creative Arts Emmys)
Christine Baranski, THE BIG BANG THEORY
Gaby Hoffmann, GIRLS
Pamela Adlon, LOUIE
Elizabeth Banks, MODERN FAMILY
Joan Cusack, SHAMELESS

Tina Fey, UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT

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