The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards roundup

Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey as presenters at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards
Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey bantering on stage at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards

The Primetime Emmys were held yesterday, and it went pretty much as expected, save for a few surprises (Sherlock actually won stuff! An occurrence so surprising — because The Normal Heart was the frontrunner in those categories, and also because the Emmys rarely award non-American dramas, even if they nominate them — that Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman weren’t there to collect their awards, and showrunner Steven Moffat didn’t write a speech).

Breaking Bad took home the top honours, including Outstanding Drama Series as well as in the acting categories, which is no surprise, since the drama was so critically acclaimed and ended on a high note. (I haven’t watched it myself, but I’m willing to buy the hype because the show sounds fantastic and I love Bryan Cranston.) There had been a big hoo-ha over HBO submitting True Detective as a drama instead of a miniseries because it was *that* good, and they were hoping it could upset the race, but loyalty won the day. If Breaking Bad didn’t end this year, I believe True Detective and Matthew McConaughey could have won, since Breaking Bad and Bryan Cranston have already been lauded multiple times. At least True Detective won Outstanding Directing for the episode with the phenomenal six-minute long tracking shot.

Modern Family won Outstanding Comedy Series again, which is getting really stale. I suppose it’s good — the humorous anecdotes that showrunner Steve Levitan tells in his acceptance speeches every year is proof that the show is in great hands — but I’ve never been attracted to it at all.

The Colbert Report won for Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Series again! It’s their last year to win it, as Stephen is moving on to Late Night next year, so I’m super happy he won it. Though I also think that contributed to why he won. But no matter, because it is well-deserved, since there will never be as audacious a character as his conservative idiot fake pundit ever again, or a person who plays it so well and broke character as seldom as he did. Plus I think they submitted for consideration the fan-favourite episode with Daft Punk — or rather more accurately, without Daft Punk — where he spent the entire show lambasting MTV for not letting them come on his show before the MTV VMAs, and ended it with a star-studded dance-off to “Get Lucky”.

My only regret is that like last year, Jon Stewart wasn’t there to celebrate his best friend’s triumph. But at least Jimmy Fallon was! Him delivering Stephen’s speech by proxy was frankly adorable, and he was so genuinely delighted for Stephen.

Some highlights of the show:

Seth Meyers’ monologue was adequate, but I did like these two zingers especially.

  “This will also be the final season for shows like Glee, Two and a Half Men, and Sons of Anarchy, as well as almost every new show to premiere this fall.”

 “Congratulations to HBO. They have 99 nominations tonight, the most of any network. Not to be outdone, NBC is also a network.”

The Billy on the Street segment was so funny! I don’t know who Billy Eichner is, but his manic enthusiasm catching all the passersby unawares made me laugh like crazy.

The kiss between Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Bryan Cranston, which was a continuation of a gag earlier in the show when she “forgot” that Bryan Cranston guest-starred as her boyfriend in an episode of Seinfeld, was absolutely hilarious! It reminded me of the Adrien Brody/Halle Berry kiss, except in reverse positions, and much funnier. Especially with Bryan Cranston’s Clark Gable moustache.

Weird Al Yankovic’s lyrics to the theme songs wasn’t super successful in my opinion, but the gag of giving George R. R. Martin a typewriter in the middle of the Game of Thrones song definitely was. So was Andy Samberg’s sudden and unexpected intrusion into Lena Headey’s presenter’s speech (whilst dressed as Joffrey) and asking “Mother! Why don’t you love me like you love Uncle Jaime!” Double incestuous inside joke!

I’m not a fan of Chris Hardwick, who through Internet fame, got his own cable show and now gets to present an award at the Emmys. I think it’s ridiculous, but I’m probably just jealous. But his calling out of internet trolls on the proper usage of “you’re” and “your”, on a live show broadcasted all over the world, is fabulous.

The tribute to Robin Williams was so moving. The editors clearly couldn’t resist and *had* to end the clip with him walking away. Way to punch us in our guts, thanks.

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