Jimmy Kimmel fit into his role as Emmys host as well as he fit into every situation from various shows in the opening compilation. From the Bronco chase and the ride with the Dunphys to the Carpool Karaoke session, the politically funny interaction with Jeb Bush, and the dragon ride with Daenerys, that entire bit was hilarious. Then he walked onto stage, and it was like it was an episode of his show, but with all the jokes revolving around the Emmys and the nominees. He took on his role with ease as he took charge of the evening as a true emcee.
Kimmel did have a few embarrassing moments though.
3 AWKWARD MOMENTS FOR THE HOST
1. When Kimmel dissed Mark Burnett for being responsible for Donald Trump’s rise—as creator of THE APPRENTICE that made Trump famous. It was funny, and it was even disturbingly true. However, Burnett had the last laugh, when he turned up to accept his Emmy for THE VOICE, Outstanding Competition Reality Program.
2. When Kimmel complained about nominees like Maggie Smith not bothering to show up for the Emmys and winning, going so far as to say that they would be disqualified. Obviously, he was joking, but it was sacrilegious to say that Dame Maggie Smith should get her ‘Dowager Count-ass’ down there if she wanted to win. Again, the joke was on him. She did win. Additionally, the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor – Drama also went to someone who wasn’t present—Ben Mendelsohn for BLOODLINE.
3. When Kimmel didn’t win for Outstanding Variety Talk Series, and Matt Damon showed up, casually eating an apple, to gloat over Kimmel ‘losing’. Long-time (faux) nemeses, Damon and Kimmel’s fights have been thoroughly entertaining, and it was almost like a night with Kimmel hosting the Emmys would have been incomplete without a little on-stage banter between the two. It was especially funny when Damon said it was humiliating that Kimmel had to go on hosting after his ‘loss’.
But there were also a couple of other awkward moments on-stage. One was Aziz Ansari, in his incomplete-speech moment after he and Alan Yang accepted their Emmy for Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series for MASTER OF NONE. His presentation later gave him the opportunity to complete his speech. Everyone has moved on, but at least he got to thank his parents.
Andy Samberg and Kit Harrington’s presentation was particularly awkward, as they tried to say things that would get them on ‘next year’s Emmys promos’. They said stuff like “I came here in my limo,” which fell flat. But making it worse, they said they wouldn’t and would kiss Kyle Chandler and had a fake proposal. So embarrassing.
But there were some moments that I thought were funny as hell.
3 FUNNIEST MOMENTS (aside from the whole opening bit)
1. When Rami Malek started his acceptance speech by saying, as though in character, “Please tell me you’re seeing this too!” (On winning Outstanding Lead Actor – Drama for MR ROBOT.) That was so clever, and seemed almost spontaneous. What made it even better was the immediate surprise on his face when his name was called out. If there was ever a moment to make that joke, that was it. It was just perfect.
2. When Amy Schumer was reading the note from Jimmy Kimmel’s mother (Joann), which said that Joann found ‘Amy’ really funny and thought that ‘Amy’ should be hosting. Joann had signed off the note by saying: “Please bring PARKS & RECREATION back.” And ‘Amy’ Poehler was sitting not too far away.
3. When Jimmy said, “TRANSPARENT was born a drama but identifies as a comedy.” It was just hilarious.
Of course there were some very satisfying wins, albeit many of them were really surprising.
3 MOST PLEASANT SURPRISES
1. Rami Malek and Tatiana Maslany winning Outstanding Lead Actor – Drama and Actress – Drama respectively. It’s good to see people winning for a fresh take on a dramatic performance (Malek) and for being a powerhouse of performance in the many roles Maslany dons on ORPHAN BLACK. Also, it’s almost refreshing to see young talent taking away the big prizes.
2. Regina King winning her second Emmy for AMERICAN CRIME. She’s so good on that show. Especially in its second season, to see King play a privileged person of color, dealing with the scandal and the suspicion that hits her family and taking charge of things. She commanded attention in every scene, and her restraint was admirable.
3. MASTER OF NONE winning for Outstanding Writing. It’s a good show with a lot of heart—especially the episode on ‘Parents’, which won. It’s nice that such work is rewarded amidst clear and predictable winners. That also goes for Jill Soloway’s win for directing, for TRANSPARENT.
And that brings me to the most predictable Emmy winners of the evening.
3 MOST PREDICTABLE EMMY RESULTS
1. GAME OF THRONES and VEEP winning Outstanding Series (Drama and Comedy respectively). Isaid it here before. It was among the few predictions I got right. The TV Academy loves to continue with winning streaks for some of their favorite shows. Last year, these two shows won the top prizes for the first time, and it wasn’t their first. And I highly doubt this year will be their last.
2. Jeffrey Tambor (TRANSPARENT) and Julia Louis-Dreyfus (VEEP) winning Outstanding Lead Actor and Actress – Comedy – respectively. Their winning streaks are on too. Louis-Dreyfus, of course won her fifth consecutive Emmy for this role, and maybe she’ll win more. But I’m quite sure Tambor will win at least one more.
3. THE PEOPLE V OJ SIMPSON winning a lot. Everyone knew this was the one to beat. Aside from giving FARGO a run for its money in the Outstanding Limited Series category, it grabbed three acting Emmys, one of which was Sarah Paulson’s, who deserved it the most.
3 MOST DISAPPOINTING EMMY RESULTS
1. Kirsten Dunst not winning for FARGO. Yes, Sarah Paulson was really deserving of her win. She was outstanding. However, for me, Dunst’s performance on FARGO’s second season was a total knockout turn. And I really wanted to see her win for her portrayal of the wonderfully crazy Peggy Blomquist. Of course, hearing Paulson’s excellent speech, and her warm acknowledgement of the real Marcia Clark and Ryan Murphy, made me feel a little better about this.
2. SHERLOCK: THE ABOMINABLE BRIDE winning for Outstanding TV Movie. I don’t know what the Academy members were thinking. This atrocious TV event didn’t deserve to even be near any list of award nominees.
3. Kate McKinnon winning Outstanding Supporting Actress – Comedy. I have nothing against McKinnon. She should win awards if she was good; as should a lot of other sketch and variety comedy actors and actresses. However, they miss out, because they’re squeezed in with the actors and actresses in longer-form scripted comedy, and comedy performances as a whole suffer. If (Outstanding) Sketch/Variety Comedy can get a category separate from (Outstanding) Comedy Series, then why can’t the actors and actresses?
All said and done, it was a good show. Jimmy Kimmel was refreshingly funny and he kept things moving along. The Emmys 2016 definitely didn’t disappoint.