Last night, NBC aired the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. It was, for the most part, boring and predictable, but isn’t that usually how these things go? There were some good parts: Key and Peele showed up or any time we got a glimpse of Amy Poehler. Seth Meyers told some jokes that Seth Meyers really liked. Weird Al Yankovic did a thing that killed some time. There was an icky and uncomfortable bit with Sofia Vergera. But really, the Emmys were basically a rerun: many of last year’s winners won again, Modern Family continues its baffling domination, Breaking Bad went out on top, and we were shown that women are meant to be ogled on pedestals. 2014! Anyway, here are five things everyone is talking about.
The Emmys Were A Repeat of Last Year
There were few surprises or upsets — everything was reminiscent of last year’s Emmys, right down to the best drama and comedy winners. The Emmys are like a picky child: afraid to try new things, sticking close to the bland, tasteless fodder it’s used to. Jim Parsons won, again, for best actor in a comedy. Julia Louis-Dreyfus won again. Modern Family, Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad, The Colbert Report — all won last year and all won this year. Some of these statues were deserved (Anna Gunn!) but you know, maybe it’s time to shake things up a bit.
Billy on the Street
Billy Eichner is hilariously abrasive and BIlly on the Street is such a ridiculous treasure of a TV show. His segment at the Emmys was easily one of the highlights of the night and added some much needed energy to a dreary awards show. Next year, let’s just have him run around for the whole three hours.
Cary Joji Fukunaga’s Braids
True Detective didn’t make a clean sweep as some predicted — looks like HBO’s category switch-up backfired on them — so we didn’t get a crazy, rambling speech from Matthew McConaughey, but we did get the next best thing. Fukunaga rightfully won for his beautifully haunting directing, gave a bro-ish speech, rocked the man braids, and became your new boyfriend. Also? We learned he directed the Destiny’s Child video “Survivor.”
Sofia Vergara Gets Put on a Pedestal
Julianna Margulies remarking “What a wonderful time for women in television” while accepting her award felt less optimistic and more ironic thanks to the poor timing: it came shortly after the Academy paraded around Sofia Vergara on a literal rotating pedestal to give us “something compelling to look at.” It was the lowest point of the ceremony but true to the night, it wasn’t surprising. On a night when women took home statues for Best Drama Writing and Best Comedy Directing, it’s frustrating to see the Academy still feel the need to pull stunts like this. I don’t fault Vergara (and she is apparently OK with it) because she is always game and regularly does the best with what Hollywood gives her. Unfortunately, Hollywood tends to only give her trite stereotypes or sexist bullshit.
Moira Walley-Beckett Wins Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series
The Emmys weren’t all bad to women, though. Moira Walley-Beckett won for the flawless Breaking Bad episode “Ozymandias.” It was, without a doubt, the best episode of television that was nominated last night and it’s nice to see the Emmys get something absolutely right.