We live in an era with a seemingly endless diversity of choices for quality television programming. Yet judging by the results of last night’s Emmy Awards, it would appear that most voting members of the Television Academy only watched one show over the past year.
Sweep mentality was in full effect at the Emmys this year, as voters bowed down to worship at the throne of ‘Breaking Bad’. Nominated in eight categories, the series took home five trophies, including most of the big ones: Outstanding Drama Series, Lead Actor, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress (all of which the show had also won previously). Of the three nominations that didn’t win, one was lost to another nominee from the same show, so that doesn’t count. The other two (Directing for a Drama Series and Casting for a Drama Series) both went to HBO’s ‘True Detective’, which despite waves of hype turned out to mostly be an also-ran in Emmy’s eyes.
Also shut out from any of the major artistic categories were hot properties ‘Game of Thrones’, ‘House of Cards’ and ‘Orange Is the New Black’.
Ceremony host Seth Meyers was annoyingly smarmy as usual, and delivered his jokes with all the overly-rehearsed awkwardness of an amateur stand-up at Open Mic Night. Highlights of the evening included Bryan Cranston making out with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and a very touching tribute to Robin Williams. I may have given Billy Crystal grief for doing a terrible job hosting the Oscars a couple years ago, but he gave a hell of a eulogy for his friend.
Outstanding Drama Series
- ‘Breaking Bad’
- ‘Downton Abbey’
- ‘Game of Thrones’
- ‘House of Cards’
- ‘Mad Men’
- ‘True Detective’
Josh’s day-before prediction: While ‘True Detective’ has tons of buzz, I expect that the Academy won’t be able to resist rewarding the final season of ‘Breaking Bad’ for ending in a fairly satisfying manner.
Actual winner: ‘Breaking Bad’
Outstanding Lead Actor – Drama
- Bryan Cranston, ‘Breaking Bad’
- Jeff Daniels, ‘The Newsroom’
- Jon Hamm, ‘Mad Men’
- Woody Harrelson, ‘True Detective’
- Matthew McConaughey, ‘True Detective’
- Kevin Spacey, ‘House of Cards’
Josh’s prediction: 2014 is the year of Matthew McConaughey.
Actual winner: Bryan Cranston
Outstanding Lead Actress – Drama
- Lizzy Caplan, ‘Masters of Sex’
- Claire Danes, ‘Homeland’
- Michelle Dockery, ‘Downton Abbey’
- Julianna Marguiles, ‘The Good Wife’
- Kerry Washington, ‘Scandal’
- Robin Wright, ‘House of Cards’
Josh’s prediction: I’d love to see this go to Lizzy Caplan, but doubt that will happen. After Diahann Carroll made a spectacle at the ceremony last year by suggesting that anyone who didn’t vote for Kerry Washington was a racist, it wouldn’t surprise me if the voters attempted to make up for that this year. On the other hand, they may just play it safe and give the trophy to Claire Danes yet again.
Actual winner: Julianna Marguiles
Outstanding Comedy Series
- ‘The Big Bang Theory’
- ‘Modern Family’
- ‘Orange Is the New Black’
- ‘Silicon Valley’
Josh’s prediction: ‘Modern Family’ has won this award four times in a row. Why would the voters break with tradition now?
Actual winner: ‘Modern Family’
Outstanding Lead Actor – Comedy
- Louis C.K., ‘Louis’
- Don Cheadle, ‘House of Lies’
- Ricky Gervais, ‘Derek’
- Matt LeBlanc, ‘Episodes’
- William H. Macy, ‘House of Lies’
- Jim Parsons, ‘The Big Bang Theory’
Josh’s prediction: This is a really weak selection of nominees. Honestly, the only one who actually deserves to be in the running here is Louis C.K., and I don’t see him winning. As little as I want to see Jim Parsons claim this prize for the fourth damn time, that’s probably what will happen.
Actual winner: Jim Parsons
Outstanding Lead Actress – Comedy
- Lena Dunham, ‘Girls’
- Edie Falco, ‘Nurse Jackie’
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus, ‘Veep’
- Melissa McCarthy, ‘Mike & Molly’
- Amy Poehler, ‘Parks and Recreation’
- Taylor Schilling, ‘Orange Is the New Black’
Josh’s prediction: Julia Louis-Dreyfus is most deserving, but she’s already won twice before for ‘Veep’, as well as two more times before that (for ‘Seinfeld’ and ‘The New Adventures of Old Christine’ respectively). Emmy obviously loves her. I think it’s time for Amy Poehler (who has astoundingly never won an Emmy) to share the glory.
Actual winner: Julia Louis-Dreyfus
- ‘American Horror Story: Coven’
- ‘Bonnie & Clyde’
- ‘The White Queen’
Josh’s prediction: I would really like to see ‘Fargo’ take this. Although I was a little ambivalent on the show at first, it developed into something really special.
Actual winner: ‘Fargo’
The full list of winners can be found on the official Emmys web site.