So, how did your favourite show do? Chances are, not so well.
It’s one of the funny things about the Emmy Awards that because there are so many categories, shows can rack up the nominations yet go home empty (or near-empty)-handed.
Atlanta, for instance, had 16 nominations but picked up just two awards, for guest actor and cinematography (neither of them presented in this telecast).
The year’s most-nominated show, Game of Thrones, won six of 22, but it got the biggest of them all, so who’s counting?
Personally, I think The Handmaid’s Tale suffered one of the biggest snubs, winning just two of the 20 awards for which it was nominated, and missing out on all the major acting awards, which is where, perhaps, you might have expected it to shine. It won for editing and best guest actress for Samira Wiley as Moira – but as always, you do have to wonder about these categories; Wiley has been in 11 episodes of the show’s two seasons, the same as Alexis Bledel, who was nominated for best supporting actress. Guest? Go figure.
Meanwhile Westworld managed just one win from its 21 nominations, but it was good to see Thandie Newton getting a big win.
Probably the standout show this year was The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, which took home seven statuettes from 14 nominations – a staggering 50 per cent success rate. They were big wins, too: comedy series, actress in a comedy series, writing, directing, supporting actress and actor among them. If you haven’t seen it yet – and in Australia, there’s a good chance most people haven’t – it’s on Amazon Prime.
And while it didn’t go home with a swag of gold, Barry deserves mention – it brought comedy acting wins for star Bill Hader and supporting actor Henry Winkler. Forty-three years after being nominated for his role as Arthur Fonzarelli (aka The Fonz) in Happy Days, the 73-year-old actor-writer-director finally has his first win. Heeeeey!
And the award for outstanding drama series goes to Game of Thrones. That’s the last award of the night, the big one, and well worth skipping last year’s awards for, I’m guessing. George RR Martin takes the stage along with the armies of the Vale, or at least a good few members of the cast and production team. Nobody runs on stage to say there’s been a terrible mistake, the actual winner was The Handmaid’s Tale or The Crown or Stranger Things or The Americans… so it must be true.
Outstanding Drama Series
Game of Thrones¬†
The Handmaid’s Tale¬†
This Is Us¬†
We’re in the home stretch and the most notable thing at this stage is that the big drama nominees – Game of Thrones, with 22 nominations; Westworld, with 21; and The Handmaid’s Tale, with 20 – haven’t exactly stormed the trophy cabinet. Drama series is coming up, so let’s see how this shakes out.
Will Ferrell walks on stage like a geriatric robot. He’s moving so slowly that the 45 seconds allotted for whomever wins this award is probably going to be cut down to a solitary “thank you”. He’s exhausted from the “1000-yard” walk to the microphone, he says, and “these weren’t the shoes to do it in”. It’s more odd than funny, but whatever; it’s another win for Mrs Maisel, which is having a marvellous night. EP Daniel Palladino manages to snatch his full 45 seconds anyway, and then some. Here’s hoping Ferrell makes it off stage before this ad break ends, though I wouldn’t count on it.
Outstanding Comedy Series
Curb Your Enthusiasm¬†
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel¬†
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt¬†
In what must rank as the oddest presentation moment in the show, Ben Stiller, Patricia Arquette and Benicio del Toro share the stage and Benicio, seemingly channelling one of his many, many dead-eyed villain roles, says “We kill and we will kill again”. Awkward seconds of silence stretch out between them until Arquette opens the envelope. Those two are in Escape From Dannemorra together, so maybe this is a tightly scripted promotional bit. But man, it’s odd – and because of that, it’s one of the more interesting moments in the whole show.
Eric Bana and Connie Britton present the Emmy for variety talk series. Among the nominees is Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. It would be a weird little quirk, really, if it won, because Bana got his start in the business on the Australian sketch comedy show Full Frontal. But that will have to remain an un-footnoted footnote because the award in fact goes to John Oliver for, like, the millionth time (well, ninth actually. But that’s rather a lot.)
Outstanding Limited Series
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story¬†
Saturday Night Live wins, as it has done so many times before. Long-time producer Lorne Michaels gives a very short acceptance speech, probably because he’s had so many opportunities before this to say whatever it is he might have wanted to say. He has received 82 individual nominations, making him the most-nominated person in Emmy history. The show tops the list too, with 252 nominations over its 43 years on air. It has produced so many stars and spin-offs over the years it really is a remarkable factory of funny business.