The ceremony for the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards was a night full of surprises! The ceremony was kicked off by some of NBC’s most familiar faces in a musical number about fixing issues with diversity. This was admittedly a fun way to showcase their more mainstream stars before jumping into the nominations. Co-host Michael Che and Colin Jost easily bantered back and forth, during their monologue, like they do on Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” and shortly after we were into the night’s awards. While some of the winners seemed somewhat predictable, there were still plenty of shocking moments and shocked recipients.
- Henry Winkler, Supporting Actor in a Comedy, Barry – Having been nominated several times since 1976 he was genuinely baffled as he accepted his award, telling his children through the mic, “you can go to bed now, Daddy won!” It was a really great moment to watch someone be so excited for his acknowledgement even though he’s been a part of the business for a longtime.
- Bill Hader, Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, Barry – No stranger to winning or being nominated at the Emmy’s, this was Bill Hader’s first nomination in this lead category. His performance was incredible as a hit man suffering from PTSD who suddenly builds an interest in becoming an actor. He definitely deserved a win for his performance but because of the quality of work from the other nominees it was hard to predict who would win.
- Regina King, Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie, Seven Seconds – This category was full of strong performances from great actresses. From everything I had read her name wasn’t mentioned as a frontrunner. Like Hader this was not her first Emmy but her first in the lead category.Regina King is a consistently great actress and hopefully she will continue to give powerful performances. You couldn’t help but smile as you saw the utter shock come across her face.
- The Handmaid’s Tale: Nominated for 20 Emmy’s, this dystopian drama only won in two categories. On top of that the awards for those categories (Guest Actress in a Drama Series, Samira Wiley, and Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series) were presented at the Creative Emmy Awards Ceremony, which took place on September 15th and did not air on television. This is really surprising. While critically the second season was met with mixed reviews, it is a steep fall from the previous year when they won multiple awards in a majority of the top categories.
- Atlanta: Atlanta walked away with only two awards out of their 16 nominations (Guest Actor in a Comedy Series, Katt Williams, and Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series). Much like The Handmaid’s Tale this comedy series experienced Emmy success for their previous season. While Donald Glover was nominated again for his performance and directing he was snubbed in those same categories this year.
- Sandra Oh, Lead Actress in a Drama Series, Killing Eve: This was Sandra Oh’s first nomination in this category and even more notable, she is the first woman of Asian decent to be nominated in this category. Her win would have been a powerful moment for a group of people that are highly underrepresented on television.
Best Acceptance Speeches
- Merrit Wever, Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie, Godless: Back in 2013, Merrit won an Emmy for Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (Nurse Jackie), during her acceptance speech she simply said “thank you, I got to go” and quickly walked off stage. This time she looked a bit more prepared as she pulled out a piece of paper but equally as caught off guard. This was one of those rare times when a recipient’s surprise comes across as truly sincere and it was charming.
- Glenn Weiss, Directing for a Variety Special, The Oscars: Typically an acceptance speech from Glenn Weiss wouldn’t be one that viewers are paying attention to. After thanking various groups of people, he went on to thank his girlfriend, Jan, who he called “the sunshine in my life”. He continued to tell to speak as if only to her and mentioned that he doesn’t like calling her his girlfriend, “because I want to call you my wife.” The crowd erupted, everyone was standing, and the two were beaming with joy as he got down on one knee and proposed with her late mother’s wedding ring. It was such a beautiful and memorable moment.
Biggest Overall Winner
- The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: To no one’s surprise, this delightful comedy series about a woman in the 50s who pursues a career as a stand comedian, took home awards in eight of the major categories. Winning the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, Writing and Directing, and lead and supporting performances. Rachel Brosnahan was awarded for her lead performance as Midge, the quirky, outspoken and one of a kind housewife. Alex Borstein also won for her excellent performance in the supporting role as Midge’s tour manager. This show is telling a unique story through its masterful writing, the performances are excellent with such delightful characters and it deserves all of its praise and recognition.
You can see a more detailed list of some of the night’s biggest winners and other nominees here