Emmys 2016 – a bit of old, a bit of “new”

Emmy AwardsLast Sunday, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences presented their 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, considered the most prestigious television awards, a television equivalent of the Oscars. What surprises did the ceremony bring and what do these surprises mean? Let’s have a quick look over.

And the winner is…

First, to have a basis for the argument, here’s the list of the winners in every major category (along of co-nominees), in the same order that they were presented.

SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY

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  • Winner: Louie Anderson, Baskets
  • Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  • Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  • Ty Burrell, Modern Family
  • Tony Hale, Veep
  • Keegan-Michael Key, Key and Peele
  • Matt Walsh, Veep

WRITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES

  • Catastrophe, “Episode 1”
  • Winner: Master of None, “Parents”
  • Silicon Valley, “Founder Friendly”
  • Silicon Valley, “The Uptick”
  • Veep, “Morning After”
  • Veep, “Mother”

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY

  • Anna Chlumsky, Veep
  • Gaby Hoffmann, Transparent
  • Allison Janney, Mom
  • Judith Light, Transparent
  • Winner: Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
  • Niecy Nash, Getting On

DIRECTING FOR A COMEDY

  • Master of None, “Parents”
  • Silicon Valley, “Daily Active Users”
  • Silicon Valley, “Founder Friendly”
  • Winner: Transparent, “Man on the Land”
  • Veep, “Kissing Your Sister”
  • Veep, “Morning After”
  • Veep, “Mother”

LEAD ACTRESS, COMEDY

  • Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  • Winner: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
  • LaurieMetcalf, Getting On
  • Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish
  • Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer
  • Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie

LEAD ACTOR, COMEDY

  • Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
  • Aziz Ansari, Master of None
  • Will Forte, The Last Man on Earth
  • William H. Macy, Shameless
  • Thomas Middleditch, Silicon Valley
  • Winner: Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

REALITY COMPETITION PROGRAM

  • The Amazing Race
  • American Ninja Warrior
  • Dancing with the Stars
  • Project Runway
  • Top Chef
  • Winner: The Voice

WRITING FOR A TV MOVIE/LIMITED SERIES

  • Fargo, “Loplop”
  • Fargo, “Palindrome”
  • The Night Manager
  • The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, “From the Ashes of Tragedy”
  • Winner: The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia”
  • The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, “The Race Card”

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, TV MOVIE/LIMITED SERIES

  • Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Hotel
  • Olivia Colman, The Night Manager
  • Winner: Regina King, American Crime
  • Melissa Leo, All the Way
  • Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Hotel
  • Jean Smart, Fargo

DIRECTING FOR A TV MOVIE/LIMITED SERIES

  • All the Way
  • Fargo, “Before the Law”
  • Winner: The Night Manager
  • The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, “Manna From Heaven”
  • The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, “From The Ashes of Tragedy”
  • The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, “The Race Card”

SUPPORTING ACTOR, TV MOVIE/LIMITED SERIES

  • Winner: Sterling K. Brown, The People v. O.J. Simpson:American Crime Story
  • Hugh Laurie, The Night Manager
  • Jesse Plemons, Fargo
  • David Schwimmer, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
  • John Travolta, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
  • Bokeem Woodbine, Fargo

LEAD ACTRESS, TV MOVIE/LIMITED SERIES

  • Kirsten Dunst, Fargo
  • Felicity Huffman, American Crime
  • Audra McDonald, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill
  • Lili Taylor, American Crime
  • Winner: Sarah Paulson, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
  • Kerry Washington, Confirmation

LEAD ACTOR, TV MOVIE/LIMITED SERIES

  • Bryan Cranston, All the Way
  • Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: The Abominable Bride
  • Idris Elba, Luther
  • Cuba Gooding Jr., The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
  • Tom Hiddleston, The Night Manager
  • Winner: Courtney B. Vance, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

TV MOVIE

  • A Very Murray Christmas
  • All the Way
  • Confirmation
  • Luther
  • Winner: Sherlock: The Abominable Bride

LIMITED SERIES

  • American Crime
  • Fargo
  • The Night Manager
  • Winner: The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
  • Roots

WRITING FOR A VARIETY SPECIAL

  • Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo
  • John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid
  • Winner: Patton Oswalt: Talking for Clapping
  • Tig Notaro: Boyish Girl Interrupted
  • Triumph’s Election Special 2016

VARIETY TALK SERIES

  • Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
  • The Late Late Show with James Corden
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live!
  • Winner: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
  • Real Time with Bill Maher
  • The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

DIRECTING FOR A VARIETY SPECIAL

  • 58th Grammy Awards
  • Lemonade
  • Winner: Grease: Live!
  • Adele Live in New York City
  • Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo
  • The Kennedy Center Honors

VARIETY SKETCH SERIES

  • Documentary Now
  • Drunk History
  • Inside Amy Schumer
  • Winner: Key & Peele
  • Portlandia
  • Saturday Night Live

WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES

  • The Americans, “Persona Non Grata”
  • Downton Abbey, “Episode 8”
  • Winner: Game of Thrones, “Battle of the Bastards”
  • The Good Wife, “End”
  • Mr. Robot, “eps1.0_hellofriend.mov”
  • UnReal, “Return”

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA

  • Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
  • Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
  • Winner: Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
  • Maura Tierney, The Affair
  • Maisie Williams, Game of Thrones
  • Constance Zimmer, UnReal

DIRECTING FOR A DRAMA

  • Downton Abbey, “Episode 9”
  • Winner: Game of Thrones, “Battle of the Bastards”
  • Game of Thrones, “The Door”
  • Homeland, “The Tradition of Hospitality”
  • The Knick, “This Is All We Are”
  • Ray Donovan, “Exsuscito”

SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA

  • Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
  • Winner: Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline
  • Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
  • Kit Harrington, Game of Thrones
  • Michael Kelly, House of Cards
  • Jon Voight, Ray Donovan

LEAD ACTOR, DRAMA

  • Matthew Rhys, The Americans
  • Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
  • Kyle Chandler, Bloodline
  • Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
  • Winner: Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
  • Liev Shreiber, Ray Donovan

LEAD ACTRESS, DRAMA

  • Keri Russel, The Americans
  • Taraji P. Henson, Empire
  • Claire Danes, Homeland
  • Robin Wright, House of Cards
  • Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder
  • Winner: Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black

COMEDY SERIES

  • Black-ish
  • Master of None
  • Modern Family
  • Silicon Valley
  • Transparent
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  • Winner: Veep

DRAMA SERIES

  • The Americans
  • Better Call Saul
  • Downton Abbey
  • Winner: Game of Thrones
  • Homeland
  • House of Cards
  • Mr. Robot

Made it through? Great. Let’s go on.

…the one who should have won long ago and the one who has been winning ever since?

As you can probably see, the Academy has two major problems. The first one is that it seems to exist in an alternate time-space continuum. It’s almost as if they are not up-to-date with modern television and notice things after they’re long overdue: they’re either coming to final season or had already made their place before but something batter came. It’s perfectly visible with the awards for Tatiana Maslany, Ben Medelsohn or Sherlock. 4

Maslany is wonderful in her multiple roles of the clones in Orphan Black, but has been snubbed from Emmys for years, receiving her first nomination as late as last year, after the third season aired, but ultimately losing to Viola Davis (however brilliant in her role). Only now, when Orphan Black is coming to an end, the Academy, almost as if woken up from a long dream, thought: “Well, yeah, we should watch Orphan Black and mend our mistakes. Let Tatiana have the statuette”.

Ben Mendelsohn is brilliantly creepy and ambiguous in Bloodline, but in its first season. In the second season, for which he received the award, his character is not that important, and Mendelsohn appears only occasionally, in flashback sequences and main characters’ delusions. His performance is still exceptional, but not as ground-breaking as last year, when he lost with… Peter Dinklage. I imagine the Academy must have thought: “Well, we didn’t award him last year, and the series is going to have its third and last season soon, so let’s act fast, when we still actually can give him the Emmy”.

Similarly, Sherlock, the fantastic re-imagining of sir Arthur Conan Doyle, had to wait for Emmy recognition until 2014. This year the series got its award again, though it’s special episode, The Abominable Bride, wasn’t the series high (though it was quite innovative and interesting nonetheless) and had some great co-nominees, with HBO’s All the Way. But hey, Academy has heard Sherlock have a huge fanbase, so it wanted to stay “up-to-date”.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying the people who got their awards didn’t deserve them. By no means. They have well deserved them. But the thing is that television is changing very dynamically and the body behind such prestigious awards as Emmys should be changing accordingly. Instead, you’ll see they work like a bad Internet connection with enormous lag. And to underline this, here’s the second problem: the Academy loves to fixate over things. They find themselves these little pets like Veep and throw awards at them every year. And although Veep and its lead actress, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, definitely deserve all the love they get (it’s a brilliant show with a talented actress), isn’t it time for some change? Isn’t it time to notice the new things?

A potential for change

Ironically enough, there were categories where the Academy was up-to-date. Rami Malek got his award for Mr. Robot, an innovative and quite a recent show. American Crime Story, Ryan Murphy’s important drama on the infamous O.J. Simpson case could bathe in all the awards it got. And with little touches like these I think there is a potential for the Academy to finally open for new possibilities the modern television is bringing. To notice the new, innovative shows, whose creators discover new possibilities of the medium. And so, I’m waiting for the next year’s Emmy to see, if those little tidbits can turn into something big. And despite all the negativity, I’m hopeful. Because hey, hope might be the mother of the stupid ones, as we say in Poland, but well, you only have one mother.

But OK, there’s one thing I’m furious about – how could you not nominate Eva Green for Penny Dreadful, Academy?!

As usual, we’re very curious of your opinion, so feel free to use our comment section below (it might take a while for it to load, so be patient) or our Facebook and Twitter!

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