Let’s start this review by agreeing not to actually calculate my success rate on my Emmy predictions, okay? Now that we have that out of the way, we can get to the nitty gritty of television’s big night.
The Host with the Most
The 67th Emmy awards as hosted by Andy Samberg began as only a show hosted by Andy Samberg could: with a video short including an awesome song and dance number featuring far too many celebs. With the premise that Samberg had not watched any hot television shows, he ran away to a Kimmy Schmidt-like television viewing bunker where he caught up on every show there was to catch up on. Or not quite, as he emerged from his yearlong television binge and ran into Nathan Fillion who asked, “Have you seen Castle?” Back to the bunker and a few days later, Samberg emerged as the perfect Emmy host.
The pre-taped video package was followed by the typical barrage of jokes. Though not all jokes hit home, Samberg attacked the monologue and the rest of his hosting duties with such enthusiasm that his joy was infectious. Though award shows do not often have enough time for the host to really shine, I think Samberg has proven his worth.
Of course, Samberg had some help along the way. Jane Lynch (winner of Outstanding Host for a Reality Program) made an amusing cameo as the mean nun from Game of Thrones there to shame speakers into cutting things short. I was disappointed that she didn’t reappear to actually play off someone running too long on an acceptance speech. Yes, it would have been a ruder than being played off to music that grows louder and louder, but it would have been entertaining to see the bit follow-through nonetheless.
Later Samberg did what he does best in another pre-taped segment that parodied the final scene of Mad Men. Instead of giving everyone a coke, Samberg wanted to give them an Emmy. That ended with Jim O’Heir getting an Emmy to the chest. Yes, Emmys can kill. So can Samberg’s jokes when his parodies are on point like they were tonight. I wish there could have been more of his videos, but then the show would have run significantly longer. Maybe he should just be invited back so we can see more of these gems.
The Awards Within the Awards
The most bases covered in an acceptance speech: Allison Janney. “Thank you for creating such a deeply flawed character and immediately thinking of me to play her,” she jokingly thanked Chuck Lorre. She also broke out into song and ended on a serious note about people struggling with addiction.
Most emotional: It’s a three-way tie! Anna Chlumsky was shown overjoyed at wins for Veep writers, co-stars Tony Hale and Julia Louis-Dreyfous, and of course the show’s overall win. Amy Schumer accepted the award for Outstanding Sketch Variety Show with tears in her eyes. Even when overwhelmed, she was able to thank the girl who gave her the smoky eye she was sporting. Now that is grace under pressure! Finally, Uzo Aduba won my heart. A thousand thanks to you for your amazing performance and your impassioned acceptance speech.
Saddest loss: Don’t get me wrong. I adore Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who was quite charming in her speech. But not only did I really want to see Amy Poehler FINALLY win, but also to see her accept the award in the sweatshirt she changed into. Let’s make a new award just for her: Best Comedic Audience Participation. Oh wait. Given the show Ricky Gervais put on, she might have some stiff competition if that were to be included next year.
Worst Burn: “Sorry Amazing Race; it’s our year this year.” Yes, Amazing Race has won outstanding reality competition program far too many times (10 of the last 12), but do you really need to call it out like that? It may be passé, but it is certainly much classier to show appreciation for your fellow nominees and their collective awesomeness. Poor form, Mark Burnett. Okay, I might be a little bitter because I have always been an American Idol fan over The Voice, and none of my personal favorites (Project Runway, So You Think You Can Dance, or Top Chef) took this award. But still.
Hottest Mess in Presenting: Taraji P. Henson claimed that Terence Howard was making her nervous. And I guess it was endearing how happy she was for Regina King’s win. But she could barely put two words together. I’m not even sure what they were saying up there.
Best Presenter: John Oliver. There may not be a new Last Week Tonight until next Sunday, but Jon Oliver showed up to the Emmys in fine form. If any presentation could have gone on longer, it should have been his. And it should have been a full 30 minutes. Is it next week yet?
Best acceptance speech (short): Frances McDormand. Given how Olive Kittredge practically swept the limited series and movie categories, McDormand decided to acknowledge that everything had already been said, keeping it short and delightfully sweet.
Best acceptance speech (not short): Hands down, this one goes to the incomparable Viola Davis. Samberg started out the night saying that the Academy was finally showing some diversity. Davis brought that message home in a passionate speech that had Kerry Washington in tears and Taraji P. Henson out of her seat.
Second best goes to Jon Stewart. He claims he hasn’t gotten applause since signing off his show. If I saw that man on the street, I would spontaneously break into applause. Wouldn’t you?
Random and somehow funny: The Red Carpet cam during the Emmys, where Tatiana Maslany and Tony Hale fight it out for a can of beans.
The win that had me so glad I was wrong: I didn’t enjoy the last season of Mad Men. But I didn’t enjoy it because the seasons that came before were so spectacular, and this one just fell a bit short. But Jon Hamm has been nothing but fabulous in everything I have seen him do and with Don Draper in particular, so it was extremely satisfying to see him win. Even if my already low predictions score suffered the more for it.
Most deserved standing ovation: It was heartwarming to see the standing ovation given to Tracy Morgan as he came on stage to announce the last award of the night. To see this beloved actor back on our screens cracking a joke after suffering a debilitating accident that left him in a coma was the perfect way to end the night.
All in all, the night was full of winners who clearly appreciated the recognition and presenters who actually appeared to enjoy being there. In the end, it was not an awful way to spend a Sunday night, which is high praise for a show that has to pack a lot into a timeframe that already feels long.
Full List of Winners
This was a night of runaway hits, with Olive Kitteridge, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Veep, and Game of Thrones largely dominating the main categories. That said, there were a few exceptions. Here’s the full rundown of people taking home a statuette.
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series
Mom Allison Janney as Bonnie
Outstanding Writing In A Comedy Series
Veep Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
Veep Tony Hale as Gary Walsh
Outstanding Directing In A Comedy Series
Transparent Jill Soloway
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series
Transparent Jeffrey Tambor as Maura Pfefferman
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series
Veep Julia Louis-Dreyfus as President Selina Meyer
Outstanding Reality Competition Program
Outstanding Writing in a Limited Series or Movie
Olive Kitteridge Jane Anderson
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
American Crime Regina King
Outstanding Directing in a Limited Series or Movie
Olive Kitteridge Lisa Cholodenko
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Olive Kitteridge Bill Murray
Outstanding Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Olive Kitteridge Frances McDormand
Outstanding Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Olive Kitteridge Richard Jenkins
Outstanding Limited Series or Movie
Outstanding Writing in a Variety Series
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Outstanding Variety Sketch Series
Inside Amy Schumer
Outstanding Directing in a Variety Series
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Chuck O’Neil
Outstanding Variety Talk Series
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series
Game of Thrones David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
Orange is the New Black Uzo Aduba as Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren
Outstanding Directing In A Drama Series
Game of Thrones David Nutter
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
Game of Thrones Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series
Mad Men Jon Hamm as Don Draper
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series
How To Get Away With Murder Viola Davis as Annalise Keating
Outstanding Comedy Series
Outstanding Drama Series
Game Of Thrones