There was a marriage proposal, some well deserved newcomer wins & a Betty White cameo but that wasn’t enough to save this year’s Emmys from looking like a bloated episode of Saturday Night Live. Lorne Michaels was tasked with this year’s telecast and instead of feeling like an ep from the golden years of SNL it was rather hit & miss, much like the current climate of the show.
They started off not with hosts Colin Jost & Michael Che, but an SNL ensemble of Kenan Thompson, Kate McKinnon & others singing an opening number about diversity in Hollywood called “We Solved It”. Jost & Che had a “Weekend Update” type monologue and Maya Rudolph & Fred Armisen had a running gag as “Emmy experts”, all of which missed the mark in my opinion. Lots of forced awkwardness and jokes that didn’t land. There were many presenting pairings throughout the night that I thought could have done a better job at the hosting gig, in particular Sandra Oh & Andy Samberg.
There were however some memorable moments that stuck with me. Here are my top 3 moments:
- The marriage proposal to end all marriage proposals.
Glenn Weiss, who won an Emmy for best directing of a variety special for The Oscars, decided to take the opportunity during his speech to propose to his girlfriend in what was probably the most heart-warming moment of the night. Everyone stood up & applauded. His girlfriend, Jan Svendsen, came on stage and accepted his mother’s ring with joy & tears. It was definitely the pick me up the evening needed.
2. Betty White is our eternal Golden Girl.
After Alec Baldwin & Kate McKinnon talked about the very first Emmys that took place in 1949, they remarked that there are very few people that were around then that are still working in television today. Segueing into Betty White coming out to a well deserved standing ovation. This woman is 96 years old and still as sharp and funny as ever. She directed some of her quick wit towards Baldwin and the audience and left everyone with a smile on their faces. Please live forever Betty.
3. A Marvelous Moment for Maisel
The Amazon series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel was one of the biggest winners of the night, taking home a total of 8 Emmys including best director, best comedy writing and best actress & supporting actress. Showrunner & head writer Amy Sherman-Palladino gave two very witty & delightful speeches and Rachel Brosnahan & Alex Borstein were very funny and gracious in their speeches as well. With the absence of Veep this year, the comedy category was left wide open for a new contender to claim the throne and Maisel seems to have done just that. Everyone’s favorite 1950’s stand up comic housewife is set to return sometime this year. Can we get a date already Amazon?!
Here’s the rundown on all the televised winners:
Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series:
Winner: Henry Winkler (Barry)
Louie Anderson (Baskets)
Alec Baldwin (SNL)
Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)
Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta)
Tony Shalhoub (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
Kenan Thompson (SNL)
Winkler finally won his first Emmy after initially being nominated for his iconic role of The Fonz in Happy Days. He joked when he pulled out his speech that, “I wrote this 43 years ago.” He had a very heartfelt speech and got a standing ovation from the appreciative crowd.
Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series:
Winner: Alex Borstein (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
Zazie Beetz (Atlanta)
Aidy Bryant (SNL)
Betty Gilpin (GLOW)
Leslie Jones (SNL)
Kate McKinnon (SNL)
Laurie Metcalf (Roseanne)
Megan Mullally (Will & Grace)
Borstein appeared genuinely surprised she won, even letting out an expletive but then she transitioned to her very funny self and sashayed up to the stage while seductively taking off her jacket and giving the crowd a shimmy. She started off with some funny quips but ended her speech with a heartfelt dedication to her kids.
Writing in a Comedy Series:
Winner: Amy Sherman-Palladino
This was the second Emmy of the night for Maisel and the first of several for Palladino throughout the course of the evening. She made a witty comment about the carpet & ripping her tights and effusively thanked the cast. She walked off stage but didn’t have to go too far because she won the next category as well.
Directing in a Comedy Series:
Winner: Amy Sherman-Palladino
Palladino gave credit to the crew who makes sure that “Maisel goes out on the streets of New York and takes your parking spaces away from you.” She went on to thank her husband and other members of the crew as well as the cast. The Maisel love would continue with the next category.
Lead Actress in a Comedy Series:
Winner-Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
Pamela Adlon (Better Things)
Allison Janney (Mom)
Issa Rae (Insecure)
Tracee Ellis Ross (Black-ish)
Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie)
Brosnahan had a fun push and pull with presenter Tiffany Haddish when she wouldn’t let go of the Emmy. She thanked the creators for trusting her with “their Midge.” She also explained that her show is about a woman who is finding her voice anew and that one of the most important ways to use our voices is to vote. She ended her speech by encouraging people to register to vote and bring a friend to the polls.
Lead Actor in a Comedy Series:
Winner-Bill Hader (Barry)
Anthony Anderson (Black-ish)
Ted Danson (The Good Place)
Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm)
Donald Glover (Atlanta)
William H. Macy (Shameless)
Hader was shocked by his win but gave credit to his cast saying, “you should always make the other people look good so what I did was I hired a bunch of really great actors that made me look really good.”
Supporting Actress in a Limited Series/Movie:
Winner: Merritt Wever (Godless)
Sara Bareilles (Jesus Christ Superstar)
Penelope Cruz (The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story)
Judith Light (The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story)
Adina Porter (American Horror Story:Cult)
Letitia Wright (Black Museum-Black Mirror)
Wever continued her trend of having the most genuine & awkwardly sweet acceptance speechs by saying she was sorry and that she was trying to be an adult about this. She said thanks on behalf of herself and the character and thanked all the nominees. All I gotta say is The Walking Dead messed up by letting this gem of an actor go.
Supporting Actor in a Limited Series/Movie:
Winner-Jeff Daniels (Godless)
Brandon Victor Dixon (Jesus Christ Superstar)
John Leguizamo (Waco)
Ricky Martin (The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story)
Edgar Ramirez (The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story)
Michael Stuhlbarg (The Looming Tower)
Finn Wittrock (The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story)
Daniels thanked a number of people but he wanted to give special attention to his horse Apollo, who was Jeff Bridges’ horse on True Grit. He joked that he felt the horse was making unfair comparisons. He said he broke his left wrist when he was thrown off the horse but as he raised the Emmy up high, he said it was now officially healed.
Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special:
Winner-USS Callister (Black Mirror) Written by William Bridges and Charlie Brooker
Black Mirror continued it’s trend of creating award winning episodes with this win. Brooker lead with the thank you’s as well as stating his wife had gone “to take a wee” but had returned just in time. He started to thank his children but said he didn’t know why because they were very young and didn’t even like Black Mirror. He also acknowledged the creative debt this episode owed to US titans of scifi, Star Trek & The Twilight Zone.
Directing for a Limited Series/Movie:
Winner-Ryan Murphy for The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, “The Man Who Would Be Vogue”
Murphy had a very touching speech where he thanked all the cast & crew but he wanted to especially highlight all the women in his life who supported him, name dropping a few: Julia, Gwyneth, Sarah Paulson, Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates.
Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie:
Winner-Regina King (Seven Seconds)
Jessica Biel (The Sinner)
Laura Dern (The Tale)
Michelle Dockery (Godless)
Edie Falco (Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders)
Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story:Cult)
King was completely shocked that she won that she was at a loss for words at first. She thanked the cast & crew and resisted the urge to curse and thanked Jesus instead, giving a shoutout to host Michael Che who earlier in the evening said that his mother lamented that white people didn’t thank God enough at award shows.
Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie:
Winner-Darren Criss (The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story)
Antonio Banderas (Genius: Picasso)
Benedict Cumberbatch (Patrick Melrose)
Jeff Daniels (The Looming Tower)
John Legend (Jesus Christ Superstar)
Jesse Plemons (Black Mirror: USS Callister)
It was so great to see Criss get this recognition. Having followed his career from his viral hit A Very Potter Musical on Youtube to Glee and now Gianni Versace, it was nice to see him get his due.
Writing for Variety Special:
Winner-John Mulaney (John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous at Radio City)
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee
Michelle Wolf (Michelle Wolf: Nice Lady)
Patton Oswalt (Patton Oswalt: Annihilation)
Steve Martin & Martin Short (An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life)
Mulaney gave credit to all the nominees for inspiring him making him laugh. He then thanked his wife who didn’t come to the ceremony because she was busy. She said, “I just can’t fly across the country to watch you lose.” He joked that she still made the right decision.
Directing for a Variety Special:
Winner-Glenn Weiss (The Oscars)
Stan Lathan (Dave Chappelle: Equanimity)
Michael Bonfiglio (Jerry Seinfeld: Jerry Before Seinfeld)
Marcus Raboy (Steve Martin & Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life)
Hamish Hamilton (Super Bowl LII Halftime Show Starring Justin Timberlake)
The most talked about moment of the night! You know all about this winner if you read my top 3 moments of the night at the beginning of this article. I still can’t believe that a director for The Oscars ended up stealing the show at The Emmys. Every man out there needs to aspire to this level of proposal game.
Supporting Actor in a Drama Series:
Winner-Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)
David Harbour (Stranger Things)
Joseph Fiennes (The Handmaid’s Tale)
Mandy Patinkin (Homeland)
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones)
Matt Smith (The Crown)
Dinklage won yet again. He is definitely one of the best actors on that show and the rest of the nominees will be darn happy when Game of Thrones has its final season next year. He thanked his “brother from another mother” Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and George Martin for “creating this darn thing.”
Supporting Actress in a Drama Series:
Winner-Thandie Newton (Westworld)
Vanessa Kirby (The Crown)
Lena Headey (Game of Thrones)
Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things)
Yvonne Strahovski (The Handmaid’s Tale)
Alexis Bledel (The Handmaid’s Tale)
Ann Dowd (The Handmaid’s Tale)
Thandie thanked God even though she didn’t believe in her and let lose a few expletives. Her turn as Maeve on this latest season of Westworld was a joy to watch and probably the performance of the season for me. I do however, hope Lena Headey gets her due next year because her performance as Cersei deserves all the awards. (Even if we all secretly long for the character’s death.)
Writing for a Drama Series:
It’s nice in it’s last season, The Americans is finally getting some much deserved recognition.
Directing for a Drama Series:
Stephen Daldry won for best directing for The Crown but unfortunately was not there to accept his award. Fortunately for us, the hilarious comedian Hannah Gadsby happened to be presenting and was there to provide some levity and accept on his behalf.
Lead Actor in a Drama Series:
Winner-Matthew Rhys (The Americans)
Jason Bateman (Ozark)
Milo Ventimiglia (This Is Us)
Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us)
Jeffrey Wright (Westworld)
Ed Harris (Westworld)
Matthew Rhys thanked the cast & crew but saved his greatest thanks for his costar Keri Russell. “And finally to the woman who truly got me this award and who just stands in front of me everyday and puts up with me. She said if you propose to me I will punch you clean in the mouth.”
Bonus Gif of Keri Russell responding to Matthew Rhys as only she can:
Lead Actress in a Drama Series:
Winner-Claire Foy (The Crown)
Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black)
Sandra Oh (Killing Eve)
Keri Russell (The Americans)
Evan Rachel Wood (Westworld)
Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale)
Claire Foy gets the win for her last turn as Queen Elizabeth II before they have an older actress play her in the remaining seasons. She exclaimed, “This wasn’t supposed to happen!” as she got on stage. She gave credit to the other actresses and I for one agree with her that this category is going to be neck and neck going forward because the talent of all these women is astronomical. Anyone could have gotten the win. Foy dedicated her win to the next cast continuing on the show without her and Matt Smith.
Outstanding Reality Competition Program:
Winner-RuPaul’s Drag Race
Rick & Morty (in all their cartoon glory) presented best reality show to RuPaul’s Drag Race. RuPaul thanked the 140 drag queens “they released into the wild” and exclaimed, “if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?!”
Outstanding Variety Sketch Series:
Winner-Saturday Night Live
As I stated earlier, I wasn’t a fan of the SNL-esque skits throughout the 3+ hour show, however you can’t deny SNL’s longevity. With Kate McKinnon at the forefront, I feel SNL will still be a contender for many more years to come.
Outstanding Variety Talk Series:
Winner- Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
John Oliver took home the Emmy once again. He acknowledged his staff who were cheering from the balcony section. He said his son hates his show but loves Paw Patrol and “if our show is anything, it’s the precise opposite of Paw Patrol.”
Outstanding Limited Series:
Winner-The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story won for Limited Series and my hand is currently cramping typing this. This is the longest title ever. Hey Ryan Murphy, can you start making shorter titles for your series please? Jokes aside, he gave a nice speech dedicating their win to the LGBTQ youth and greater awareness as well as stricter hate crime laws.
Outstanding Comedy Series:
Winner-The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Daniel Palladino accepted this award on behalf of the cast & crew. Maisel scored 8 Emmys on the night and if it keeps up the quality in season 2 I don’t see why this show won’t become the new powerhouse in the comedy category.
Outstanding Drama Series:
Winner- Game of Thrones
This Is Us
The Handmaid’s Tale
Yes. Game of Thrones won the last prize of the night. Even though it lost out in the writing and directing categories, this HBO juggernaut would not be denied. Going into the last season in 2019, the rest of these nominees have to be breathing a sigh of relief at their changing fortunes. I, for one, am not ready to say goodbye to this amazing show. However, we all know, everything must come to an end. Valar morghulis.
*All gifs courtesy of giphy.com/netflix & giphy.com/emmys