The Emmys were last night! Did you watch? The Emmys are really hoping you watched and this year the award show celebrating television made some changes.
Lorne Michaels ran the telecast, moving the show from Sunday night — so it wouldn’t compete against Sunday night football — to a Monday night to only compete with … Monday night football.
“Saturday Night Live” lead writers Michael Che and Colin Jost played hosts, but it was Che who ran the show. For the most part, he played it safe.
“People like opening numbers?” the two must have thought. “Well, we can’t do that, so let’s get Kenan Thompson and Kate McKinnon to do a cheap version of it!”
“We need a recurring segment throughout the show?” they continued. “Let’s copy an old but popular SNL Weekend Update bit but replace Kristen Wiig with Maya Rudolf!”
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As an end result, it all turned out fine. Like the opening monologue, nothing particularly killed, but nothing was memorably awful. In their defense, the Emmys is a difficult show to host. There were so many awards to grant, the show had to keep a strong pace and doesn’t allow for time to construct well-thought-out bits. Were the Emmy’s able to get a pump up in the ratings? Nope. But at least they weren’t as bad as the Oscars.
Winner because the Emmys kept telling you this was a winner: Diversity
The Emmys continually want to let everyone know the current slate of awards boasts the most diverse group of nominees ever.
That claim to fame was immediately addressed by Thompson and McKinnon to begin their opening number and we were constantly reminded about it throughout the night. At least during the opening number, they admitted there is still much work to be done. Later in the show, however, the president of the Television Academy arrived and told everyone they should give themselves a pat on the back. The Emmys are not #OscarsSoWhite, he claimed. But, highlighting how diverse TV is only made it more uncomfortable that it took an hour and fifteen minutes for a person of color to win. But hey, at least we had the Reparation Emmys.
Watching all the white people walk up to accept comedy awards meant it was a tough night for FX series “Atlanta” even when the comedy that isn’t really a comedy arrived as a favorite for multiple categories last night.
Missing out on writing and directing awards was tough, but Bill Hader upsetting Donald Glover for Best Lead Actor in a Comedy was a real shocker. With “Veep” taking a year off from their usual dominance, this was “Atlanta’s” time to grab a slew of awards. Donald Glover has had some incredible highs in 2018 (“This is America” music video) but this will mark with one of the misses (along with “Solo”).
Though it was a rough evening for “Atlanta,” their network, FX, had a huge night. While most critics agree “The Assassination of Gianni Versace” was a step down from the OJ Simpson season of “American Crime Story,” it dominated the Limited Series category. Along with “Versace’s” many wins, “The Americans” took home multiple awards in their final season, including Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series and Best Lead Actor.
Best Speech: Glenn Weiss
Glenn Weiss won for directing the Oscars, the least interesting award of the night. At the end of his speech he told his girlfriend that he would rather call her his wife. A proposal at an award show! How fun! Weiss must have been really confident to bring the ring to propose after winning. Second place goes to Jeff Daniels, a seasoned pro. Daniels’ speech was great because he took his time, something the Emmys should pay attention to. Stop rushing the speeches, please.
Most Unfair Win: ‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’
“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” is a great show, don’t get me wrong. I just think it’s impossible to compare a show like “Last Week Tonight” to one of the late night shows Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel run. Oliver and his team are given an entire week to write, research and plan a show. Colbert and Kimmel are given just a few hours. I’m sure they could give a lot more insight if they were given the time that Oliver is afforded. Also, remember when Jimmy Fallon was the top late night host? He didn’t even get a nomination.