The 64th annual primetime Emmy Awards were presented on Sunday night. The awards celebrate achievements in television as decided by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.Â Freshman drama Homeland and popular ABC comedy Modern Family were the big winners of the night, with four awards each.
Other big winners were The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, which took home its tenth consecutive Emmy for outstanding reality series, and miniseries’ Game Change and Hatfields and McCoys.
Jimmy Kimmel was a successful first time host. The pre-taped opening, featuring Kathy Bates and other primetime female stars, was clever and unexpected after several years of song and dance numbers.
Kimmel was quick to joke about events within the theatre, but jokes like a prank involving Tracy Morgan fell flat. Kimmel succeeded in keeping the broadcast moving, wrapping the show a few minutes early as opposed to the usual habit of running over time.
The quick pace can also be attributed to the shortened presentation of nominees. Where in years past nominees for major awards such as Outstanding Comedy or Outstanding Drama were given extended previews before the award was announced, this year the presenters merely read their names. This made the show seem rushed and belittled the achievements of all the shows nominated and only truly highlighting the winner.
The acceptance speeches were the highlight of the night. When the award for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series was presented to Julia Louis-Dreyfuss for her freshman comedy Veep, she and Amy Poehler deadpanned a speech swap.
Poehler has become known for making the comedy actress category truly comical the past few years, spear-heading plans to wear funny hats and treat the award as a beauty pageant in past years. Julianne Moore also made headlines for taking a jab at Sarah Palin after winning outstanding lead actress in a mini-series or movie.
Moore played Palin in HBO’s Game Change, a movie chronicling the 2008 presidential run of John McCain. Jon Stewart paused to roughhouse with co-nominees Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon before accepting his award for outstanding reality series.
Ron Howard provided the show with its most somber moment, coming on stage to memorialize his TV father Andy Griffith, who died earlier this year. The following montage of silver-screen names who passed this year thankfully strayed from using Sarah McLaughlin’s “Angel” and opting for “The Way We Were”, a song by late composer Marvin Hamlisch.
This year’s Emmy Awards had very few surprises, but the show ran well and was entertaining. They gave the audience what they wanted and celebrated the achievements of the silver screen.