Just as the telecast opened with a tepid show tune-style number poking fun about how the most-diverse body of Emmy nominees ever had fixed racism and prejudice in the television business, we were then made witness to white person after white person winning the first several categories—yes, we clearly have a long way to go. It says one thing when diversity can be recognized, but it says something more when a voting body is still afraid to actually vote for those voices and negates the nominations in the first place. We get it, Academy—you love Jeff Daniels! It wasn’t until Regina King won—deservedly so—as we got into the Limited Series portion of the night that a person of color received an award. And after that only RuPaul and Thandie Newton went home with statues. I don’t say this to take away from those who did win tonight (Yay, Henry Winkler!), and there was indeed more diversity in the winners at the Creative Emmys last week (including Tiffany Haddish and the cast of Queer Eye) and tonight there was some LGBTQ representation and a woman (Amy Sherman-Palladino) won for writing and directing in comedy. However, the opening song ended up being way too accurate in its satire. And this just set the course for a weird vibe all night. Let’s go through the lows and few highs that were able to cut through the “NBC legacy”-laden ceremony.
Hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che
Michael Che’s prerecorded “Reparations Emmys,” which gave some familiar faces of African-American TV history recognition and credit for their contributions to pop culture.
The opening monologue was the equivalent of a shrug. Not terrible, but nothing exceptional.
Their bit with Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen. I adore both, and here we had a major SNL mash-up, but it fell flat from the beginning. Fred saying “we good?” made me chuckle at first, but it wore on. I like the idea on paper, but not in execution.
Will Ferrell walking. He committed to the bit and it worked.
Hannah Gadsby made me laugh more than anyone else in this entire show and I think she was on stage for maybe thirty seconds. Gotta love an awkward exit!
I don’t know why Ben Stiller, Patricia Arquette, and Benicio del Toro presented together, but Benicio’s line delivery and I-don’t-give-a-fuck-I’m-just-here-for-the-gift-basket vibe was oddly funny. We are all Benicio in that moment.
Blink and you miss it: Mozart played as Sarah Paulson strutted to the microphone and her dress billowed in the wind and it was three seconds of perfection.
Did not expect Aidy Bryant and Bob Odenkirk to present together, nor did I expect the tongue-and-cheek banter to be that funny.
Henry Winkler wins his first primetime Emmy for what I think is the best part of the entire season of Barry.
The Americans’ Matthew Rhys finally wins for playing quite possibly the saddest man to ever exist in a television show or real life.
Thandie Newton being real and admitting she doesn’t believe in god (but if she did god is a she), plus just the fact that she won. I don’t watch Westworld but love Thandie Newton and she looked genuinely shocked to win. Legend.
Atlanta not winning anything. Two words: Florida man. Two more words: Teddy Perkins.
How do you not give this an Emmy? I’m starting my #JusticeForKeri campaign now.
A mediocre season of Game of Thrones won over the stellar last season of The Americans. People love them some dragons, I guess. I’ll just count my blessings that This Is Us didn’t win instead.
That this was on a Monday night (or late afternoon if, like me, you’re on the West Coast). Thanks a lot, NBC. I hope I don’t get fired when work finds out I was live streaming the red carpet from my desk!
This tweet is a real mood. And yes, I’m still not over Keri Russell not winning.