Television and OTT’s biggest awards night happened less than a week back at the Microsoft Theater in downtown LA when the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards were given out in a star-studded ceremony. The Emmy winners’ list is way less predictable than the Oscars because it truly tries to honour the best rather than taking into account other external factors. While this year too, they got much of it right, some of the envelopes spelt out the wrong names. Or so we think.
What the Emmys 2019 got right
The show won all the four trophies in the Comedy section – Best Writing, Best Directing, Best Actress and Outstanding Comedy Series – and Phoebe Waller-Bridge walked up on stage three times validating once and for all that she is indeed what the doctor ordered for a reboot of the overall TV game. There must have been a temptation to award Julia Louis-Dreyfus because it was the last season of Veep and she was as usual spectacularly funny but this needed to be Waller-Bridge’s year because the second season, starting with that incredible first episode, was pure gold.
Barry back to back
Bill Hader won the Emmy for Best Actor in a Comedy Series two years in a row for the two seasons of Barry. It was a tough category – other nominees included Michael Douglas for The Kominsky Method, Ted Danson for The Good Place and Don Cheadle for Black Monday – but Hader’s performance as Barry in the second season was so human and so delicate besides being funny, that it was almost unbeatable.
The time has Comer
She didn’t bring her parents to the awards show because she thought her time hadn’t come yet. After all Emilia Clarke and Robin Wright were nominated in the same category and it was the last season of both their long-running shows, Game of Thrones and House of Cards. Plus there were veterans like Laura Linney and Viola Davis amongst the nominees. Plus Sandra Oh for the same show. So, when the lady from Liverpool won the Best Actress Drama for playing a psychopathic Russian assassin, she was justifiably surprised. But Jodie Comer in the second season of Killing Eve was so special that no other factors were allowed to play any part.
What the Emmys 2019 got wrong
Shame of Thrones
Every other nominee in the Outstanding Drama category would have been a better winner than that apology of a last season of Game of Thrones. Yes, yes you got the entire cast together on stage and it was one helluva moment but you didn’t need to give them a consolation prize. You didn’t give one to Veep for their final season, which was infinitely better than the final season of GoT. If you were brave enough to award the Best Writing Drama to Succession, maybe, you should have given the Best Drama trophy to Succession too.
How can you award the Best TV movie to an episode of Black Mirror which is not even the best Black Mirror episode of the year? At the end of the day, Bandersnatch was just a neverending gimmick show which chose audience interactivity over good storytelling. Come on, San Junipero and USS Callister have won in the same category in the last two years. This year Deadwood: The Movie would have easily been a more deserving winner.
Patricia denied the double
Patricia Arquette did win Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her role of an overprotective mother in The Act but she should have also won the Best Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her astonishing act as a disgraced prison worker in Escape at Dannemora. Michelle Williams won the trophy for her dazzling song-and-dance show in Fosse/Verdon but Arquette’s performance, replete with a physical transformation adding 40 pounds of weight, was so much more brave and brilliant. In fact, she won the Golden Globe and Screen Actor’s Guild Award for the role. But here she was denied the double.