Remember all that hoopla from earlier this year about how the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences made the bold move of nominating the online-only Netflix series ‘House of Cards’ and ‘Arrested Development’ for several major Emmy awards? Well, that all came to naught last night when both shows were shut out of the big prizes, and most of the ceremony was dedicated to reaffirming the importance of traditional broadcast and cable television in the face of this internet fad that the kids today seem to be into.
To be fair, ‘House of Cards’ did win an individual-episode directing trophy for David Fincher. Also, I don’t mean to suggest that the awards show held no surprises. The evening started with an unexpected (but deserved) win for Merritt Wever as Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for ‘Nurse Jackie’. Wever had by far the best acceptance speech of the night, if not of all time.
Wow, thank you so much. I gotta go. Bye.
That was awesome.
Later, Claire Danes shocked many with a second consecutive win as Lead Actress in a Drama Series for ‘Homeland’, upsetting predicted front-runner Kerry Washington (‘Scandal’). In fact, during an earlier trophy presentation, Diahann Carroll (the first African American woman ever nominated for a Primetime Emmy back in 1969) basically suggested that anyone who didn’t vote for Washington was a racist.
Also an upset was Jeff Daniels (‘The Newsroom’), who took Lead Actor in a Drama Series away from both Kevin Spacey (‘House of Cards’) and Bryan Cranston (‘Breaking Bad’). I’m sure Cranston will have no trouble consoling himself with his three previous trophies for the role, and Spacey with his two Oscars.
Ultimately, the much-celebrated ‘Breaking Bad’ walked away with the big prize of Outstanding Drama Series, its first win after three previous nominations. With the show’s grand finale coming up shortly, it seems like a top contender to repeat that win next year.
Meanwhile, Outstanding Comedy Series went to ‘Modern Family’ for the fourth time in a row. Jim Parsons also claimed his third Lead Actor in a Comedy Series award for ‘The Big Bang Theory’. Apparently, the Emmy organization has decided to pretend that no other comedies matter so long as these two remain on the air.
Host Neil Patrick Harris tried to keep the proceedings light and running smoothly despite a seemingly endless preponderance of eulogies for past TV stars and producers who died over the last year. However, even though Harris has a lot of experience with this sort of thing, most of the jokes felt tame and the big production set-pieces fell flat. A musical number poking fun at bloated awards show musical numbers could not itself escape the curse of feeling like pointless bloat. Worse, some of the presentations seemed confused and unfocused, especially Don Cheadle’s reminiscence of the Kennedy assassination and the Beatles on the ‘Ed Sullivan Show’ (see, TV is important – or, well, it used to be, anyway), all to set up Carrie Underwood performing the Beatles’ “Yesterday” and plugging her upcoming ‘Sound of Music’ remake.
Why is it that, of the countless congratulatory awards shows that air every year, only the producers of the Golden Globes ceremony understand that viewers don’t care about these stupid skits and performances and other crap, and just want to get on with the business of finding out the winners? I wish every awards show could run as efficiently as that one.
Winner: ‘Breaking Bad’ (AMC)
- ‘Downton Abbey’ (PBS)
- ‘Game of Thrones’ (HBO)
- ‘Homeland’ (Showtime)
- ‘House of Cards’ (Netflix)
- ‘Mad Men’ (AMC)
Winner: ‘Modern Family’ (ABC)
- ’30 Rock’ (NBC)
- ‘The Big Bang Theory’ (CBS)
- ‘Girls’ (HBO)
- ‘Louie’ (FX)
- ‘Veep’ (HBO)
Miniseries or Movie
Winner: ‘Behind the Candelabra’ (HBO)
- ‘American Horror Story: Asylum’ (FX)
- ‘The Bible’ (History)
- ‘Phil Spector’ (HBO)
- ‘Political Animals’ (USA)
- ‘Top of the Lake’ (Sundance Channel)
Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Winner: Jeff Daniels, ‘The Newsroom’
- Hugh Bonneville, ‘Downton Abbey’
- Bryan Cranston, ‘Breaking Bad’
- Jon Hamm, ‘Mad Men’
- Damian Lewis, ‘Homeland’
- Kevin Spacey, ‘House of Cards’
Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Winner: Claire Danes, ‘Homeland’
- Connie Britton, ‘Nashville’
- Michelle Dockery, ‘Downton Abbey’
- Vera Farmiga, ‘Bates Motel’
- Elisabeth Moss, ‘Mad Men’
- Kerry Washington, ‘Scandal’
- Robin Wright, ‘House of Cards’
Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Winner: Jim Parsons, ‘The Big Bang Theory’
- Alec Baldwin, ’30 Rock’
- Jason Bateman, ‘Arrested Development’
- Louis C.K., ‘Louie’
- Don Cheadle, ‘House of Lies’
- Matt LeBlanc, ‘Episodes’
Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Winner: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, ‘Veep’
- Laura Dern, ‘Enlightened’
- Lena Dunham, ‘Girls’
- Edie Falco, ‘Nurse Jackie’
- Tina Fey, ’30 Rock’
- Amy Poehler, ‘Parks and Recreation’
The full list of winners can be found on the official Emmys web site.