If your Emmy drinking game required you to take a shot every time Schitt’s Creek won, you were passing out after the first hour. The show distributed the awards like networks program primetime: Comedy from 8-9, a mixed bag of stuff from 9-10, then the adult, serious fare to close out the show. Not bad. Not the most original rundown, but it was fine.
This Is Fine
Actually, the whole show was fine. Jimmy Kimmel hosted and pointed out that you can’t have virus without a host. The opening monologue featured cutaways to the audience a few times, file footage manipulated to look like The Staples Center was full. Then he took a shot of what was actually there, a lot of empty seats in a mostly dark theater, a momentarily depressing reminder that nothing is what it was, and may never be again. There were some cardboard cutouts, which included Jason Bateman actually there trying to blend in. After what happened to him the night before, I say let him stay!
Simply The Best
From there it was on to the awards. Schitt’s Creek won every prize called in the first hour, all four comedy acting categories plus writing and directing, and Best Comedy. The cast and crew held a party. You can tell it was set up to maintain social distancing, but that didn’t last long because there were too many hugs to be shared.
From there we had the limited series categories, which spread the wealth around a lot more. A lot of A-List presenters were recorded or did it from home. My two favorites were David Letterman, who read jokes from the year he hosted the Emmys in 1986, and when the ladies from “Friends” showed up in the same place. This may have to count as the long touted (and long delayed) Friends Reunion.
Hey, in the Age of Covid, we take what we can get.
Success of Succession
From there things went back on script. Succession won, and won, and won. If you had that show in your drinking game, you passed out at 11, which is fine, because the show ended five minutes later.
Actor in a drama went to Jeremy Strong, who is easily the most interesting character on the show. Succession went on to win writing, directing, and best drama.
Voters weren’t totally wearing blinders, as Billy Crudup won supporting actor in a drama for his role in The Morning Show, and Zendaya won actress in a drama for her amazing performance in Euphoria. Personally, I think HBO’s Euphoria is the best drama at the moment. But Succession was what HBO chose to push and push and push. The weeks leading up to the Emmys, Variety posted an article seemingly every day. There were interviews with the cast, their makeup and hair stylists, the catering assistant. What I’m saying is: it was an obvious campaign and it paid off.
Missing Their Moment
I think producers and Kimmel did the best with what they had. But honestly, it’s not fair to the nominees or the winners. They didn’t get to take their walk down the red carpet and answer goofy questions from people like me. How can I go on not knowing who they’re wearing?!?!
And the winners were cheated too. Yes, they were able to accept from anywhere in the world, and the lack of an orchestra made sure they didn’t get cut off. But no after parties to go to, no networking to be had. You’re never more marketable to a studio exec than when you’re at a post party, scotch in one hand and a shiny new Emmy in the other.
They deserve to have as big a night as possible, because there’s no guarantee you ever get invited back.
The Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation
I had Schitt’s Creek in my Emmy’s pool. I’m taking two Advil and chasing them with a shot of Deep Eddy’s Iced Tea Vodka.