2017 Emmy Awards Recap

"I'd like to thank Oprah, because she's sitting there and it seems inappropriate not to."

A politically charged Emmy Awards featured some surprises (hello The Handmaid Tale’s sweep!) as well as the Emmy’s venerable tradition of always giving the same award to the same people (Hi SNL and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss). While the broadcast itself felt staid and as back-pattingly masturbatory as any award show feels, there is always cause for celebration when so many members of diverse communities end up winning awards and therefore recognition that can lead to more opportunities for members of those communities in the future of popular culture.

Stephen Colbert hosted last night’s awards, and opened the show with a mixed bag of a song and monologue that oscillated between great moments, like having Chance the Rapper rap a verse about how TV is great, but it’s important to not let that get in the way of protesting and taking action, and then concluding in possibly the most wrong-headed fashion possible with former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer joining Colbert on stage to make a joke.

That dichotomy set the tone for the rest of the evening. Despite the many exciting wins for creators of color and women (Donald Glover is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with, even beyond how he was already measured), and the many self-effacing jokes about how the TV industry and award shows in general are all about self-congratulations, it was frustrating to see those who had previously encouraged his behavior for their own ends now rallying against Donald Trump (from Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, and others). This was never more present in my mind than when Lorne Michaels’ accepted the Emmy Award for Best Variety Show for SNL (over the likes of Billy on the Street, one of the funniest programs I have ever seen) and made a crack about how chaotic the year had been.

Colbert was sort of a non-presence for much of the remaining broadcast, emerging for a handful of bits like a prerecorded Westworld gag with Jeffrey Wright (man doesn’t that show feel like it came out ages ago?).

Far more present was the announcer (and DJ) this year, Jermaine Fowler. Fowler ended up introducing many of the guests of the night, and for each winner he would describe how many Emmy nominations and wins they had, while also providing a fun-fact about their career (“Ann Dowd is a first-time Emmy winner. She has made appearances in all four of the Law and Order franchises!”). He was a welcome addition to the proceedings.

Other standout moments include Rachel Bloom (from the exceptional Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) doing a great little song and dance number to introduce the accountants for that year. There’s always two ways to go about this segment, underplay it with a joke from the host, or make a big, silly deal about it. I prefer the big, silly deal, and Ms. Bloom delivers:

Christopher Jackson (who you’ll be familiar with from the Hamilton cast recording where he plays George Washington) sang a version of Stevie Wonder’s I’ll Be Loving You Always during a lengthy In Memoriam section. Mr. Jackson sang as beautifully as he always does, and it was frankly nice to have a song that is celebratory in its appreciation for life and love rather than a downer of a power ballad about sadness. The montage was an unhappy reminder of how many giants were lost in the industry this past year.

Some wins and speech highlights include:

Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe winning Best Writing for a Comedy for Master of None, Riz Ahmed winning Outstanding Actor in a Television Miniseries or Movie, and the creator of Black Mirror encouraging everyone to have sex with one another.

The rest of the evening was mostly taken up with either The Handmaid’s Tale or Big Little Lies winning awards. And VEEP, obviously (and deservedly). It ended up being sort of an exhausting Emmy Awards, despite the great amount of well-deserved wins.

Without further ado, here is the list of Winners and Nominees from last night:

Outstanding Drama Series:
Better Call Saul
House of Cards
The Handmaid’s Tale
The Crown
This Is Us
Stranger Things
Westworld

Outstanding Comedy Series:
Modern Family
Silicon Valley
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Veep
Master of None
Black-ish
Atlanta

Outstanding Limited Series:
Big Little Lies
Fargo
Feud: Bette & Joan
The Night Of
Genius

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series:
Claire Foy, The Crown
Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder
Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale
Keri Russell, The Americans
Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld
Robin Wright, House of Cards

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series:
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Matthew Rhys, The Americans
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us
Anthony Hopkins, Westworld

Outstanding Actress in a Limited Series or Movie:
Carrie Coon, Fargo
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies
Reese Witherspoon, Big Little Lies
Jessica Lange, Feud: Bette and Joan
Susan Sarandon, Feud: Bette and Joan

Outstanding Actor in a Limited Series or Movie:
Riz Ahmed, The Night Of
Robert De Niro, The Wizard of Lies
Ewan McGregor, Fargo
Geoffrey Rush, Genius
John Turturro, The Night Of
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series:
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie
Jane Fonda, Grace and Frankie
Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish
Allison Janney, Mom
Pamela Adlon, Better Things

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series:
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
William H. Macy, Shameless
Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Aziz Ansari, Master of None
Donald Glover, Atlanta
Zach Galifianakis, Baskets

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series:
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Matt Walsh, Veep
Tony Hale, Veep
Louie Anderson, Baskets
Alec Baldwin, Saturday Night Live
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series:
Leslie Jones, Saturday Night Live
Vanessa Bayer, Saturday Night Live
Judith Light, Transparent
Kathryn Hahn, Transparent
Anna Chlumsky, Veep
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series:
Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
Ed Harris, Westworld
Michael Kelly, House of Cards
Ron Cephas Jones, This Is Us
John Lithgow, The Crown
Jeffrey Wright, Westworld

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series:
Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things
Chrissy Metz, This Is Us
Thandie Newton, Westworld
Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black
Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale
Samira Wiley, The Handmaid’s Tale

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie:
Bill Camp, The Night Of
Michael Kenneth Williams, The Night Of
Alfred Molina, Feud: Bette and Joan
Alexander Skarsgard, Big Little Lies
David Thewlis, Fargo
Stanley Tucci, Feud: Bette and Joan

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie:
Judy Davis, Feud: Bette and Joan
Laura Dern, Big Little Lies
Regina King, American Crime
Shailene Woodley, Big Little Lies
Michelle Pfeiffer, The Wizard of Lies
Jackie Hoffman, Feud: Bette and Joan

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series:
Gerald McRaney, This Is Us
Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline
BD Wong, Mr. Robot
Denis O’Hare, This Is Us
Brian Tyree Henry, This Is Us
Hank Azaria, Ray Donovan

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series:
Alexis Bledel, The Handmaid’s Tale
Shannon Purser, Stranger Things
Laverne Cox, Orange Is the New Black
Ann Dowd, The Leftovers
Cicely Tyson, How to Get Away With Murder
Alison Wright, The Americans

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series:
Matthew Rhys, Girls
Riz Ahmed, Girls
Dave Chappelle, Saturday Night Live
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Saturday Night Live
Tom Hanks, Saturday Night Live
Hugh Laurie, Veep

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series:
Wanda Sykes, Black-ish
Carrie Fisher, Catastrophe
Becky Ann Baker, Girls
Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Angela Bassett, Master of None

Outstanding TV Movie:
Black Mirror: San Junipero
Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Sherlock: The Lying Detective
The Wizard of Lies

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series:
Billy on the Street
Documentary Now!
Drunk History
Portlandia
Saturday Night Live
Tracey Ullman’s Show

Outstanding Variety Talk Series:
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
The Late, Late Show With James Corden
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
Real Time With Bill Maher

Outstanding Reality Competition Program:
The Voice
Top Chef
The Amazing Race
Project Runway
American Ninja Warrior
RuPaul’s Drag Race

Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series:
Donald Glover, Atlanta
Jamie Babbit, Silicon Valley
Mike Judge, Silicon Valley
Morgan Sackett, Veep
David Mandel, Veep
Dale Stern, Veep

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series:
Donald Glover, Atlanta, “B.A.N.”
Stephen Glover, Atlanta, “Streets on Lock”
Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe, Master of None, “Thanksgiving”
Alec Berg, Silicon Valley, “Success Failure”
Billy Kimball, Veep, “Georgia”
David Mandel, Veep, “Groundbreaking”

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series:
Vince Gilligan, Better Call Saul
Reed Morano, The Handmaid’s Tale
Stephen Daldry, The Crown
Kate Dennis, The Handmaid’s Tale
Lesli Linka Glatter, Homeland
The Duffer Brothers, Stranger Things
Jonathan Nolan, Westworld

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series:
Joel Fields and Joel Weisberg, The Americans, “The Soviet Division”
Gordon Smith, Better Call Saul, “Chicanery”
Peter Morgan, The Crown, “Assassins”
Bruce Miller, The Handmaid’s Tale, “Offred”
Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer, Stranger Things, “Chapter One: The Vanishing of Will Byers”
Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan, Westworld, “The Bicameral Mind”

Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or a Dramatic Special:
Jean-Marc Vallée, Big Little Lies
Noah Hawley, Fargo
Ryan Murphy, Feud: Bette and Joan
Ron Howard, Genius
James Marsh, The Night Of
Steven Zaillian, The Night Of

Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or a Dramatic Special:
David E. Kelly, Big Little Lies
Charlie Brooker, Black Mirror: San Junipero
Noah Hawley, Fargo, “The Law of Vacant Places”
Ryan Murphy, Feud: Bette and Joan, “And the Winner Is…”
Jaffe Cohen, Michael Zam, Ryan Murphy, Feud: Bette and Joan, “Pilot”
Richard Price and Steve Zaillian, The Night Of, “The Call of the Wild”

Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series:
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee 
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver 
Late Night With Seth Meyers 
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
Saturday Night Live 

Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series:
Derek Waters & Jeremy Konner, Drunk History
Andy Fisher, Jimmy Kimmel Live
Paul Pennolino, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Jim Hoskinson, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Don Roy King, Saturday Night Live

Let us know what you thought of last night’s broadcast below in the comments! Did you favorite win? Did they get snubbed? How was Stephen Colbert? Why wasn’t Game of Thrones eligible this year? Who knows! But lets talk about it.

  • Greg Ramirez

    So glad John Lithgow one for The Crown. He is fantastic in that role.