By Devon Shuman, Senior Staff Writer
I hate how much I love awards shows.
Alcoholics have booze, addicts have drugs, overweight people have McDonald’s. Me, I’ve got the Oscars and the Emmy’s. And the Golden Globes. And the People’s Choice Awards. Sometimes even the Tony’s — and I’m not even a big theater guy.
I know they’re not good for me. They’re just a chance for show business’ most beautiful and successful people to dress up, pat each other on the back and decide whose work was better than everybody else’s.
But, unlike Woody Allen, I don’t have the control or self-respect to stay away. I need my fix.
Yes, I’m an awards show addict, and as far as awards shows go, last Sunday’s Emmy Awards were one of the best.
Viola Davis became the first African American actress to win outstanding lead actress in a drama series for her work in “How To Get Away With Murder.” “Game of Thrones” finally won outstanding drama series and broke the record for most Emmy wins in a year for a single show. Allison Janney won her seventh Emmy, tying Ed Asner for second-most of all time. And Jon Hamm finally won outstanding lead actor in a drama series for his portrayal of Don Draper in “Mad Men.”
Known for his goofy humor on “Saturday Night Live” and “Brooklyn Nine Nine,” Andy Samberg was an interesting choice to host the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards, and his performance certainly received a lot of backlash after the show.
Personally, I thought Samberg did as well as anyone could have expected him to. He hit all the right notes: he had a clever opening segment that poked fun at our culture of binge watching, he included jokes that were both funny and topical (“Why does Bernie Sanders always look like his flight just got delayed?”), and he found ways to both celebrate and make fun of today’s shows (“‘Orange is the New Black’ is now technically a drama, while ‘Louie’ is now jazz.”)
Samberg even worked in subtle critiques of racism and sexism in the world of show business, such as when he mentioned that this is the most diverse group of nominees in Emmy history and proceeded to congratulate Hollywood because, now, “Racism is over.”
Samberg’s problem was that he’s just not cut out to be a host.
Some people are. Take Justin Timberlake. I’m not a huge fan of his music, and his acting is atrocious, but he could host an awards show for the year’s most exhilarating chemistry textbooks and I would still tune in to see what he would do with it. Without this innate ability, Samberg just looked awkward and off his mark on the stage. He didn’t do anything wrong; he just wasn’t born to host.
As for the awards themselves, I was actually fairly pleased with the choices. As a fantasy series, “Game of Thrones” often faces additional obstacles, but it was relieving to see it finally win the outstanding drama Emmy it deserves.
I would have liked to see Bob Odenkirk take home outstanding lead actor in a drama series for his sensational work on “Better Call Saul”, but it would have been a travesty had Jon Hamm finished his “Mad Men” career without a single Emmy. Additionally I was thrilled to see Amy Schumer win for outstanding variety sketch series.
Where I took issue was in the outstanding supporting actress in a drama series category. Uzo Aduba won for her role as Crazy Eyes on “Orange is the New Black.” Personally, I’ve yet to jump on the Uzo Aduba bandwagon. I find her performance to be slightly over the top, and I think many of her fellow “OITNB” actresses, such as Laverne Cox or Kate Mulgrew, deserved a nomination over her.
I was also disappointed that there was not a single win for “American Horror Story,” a show dominated by stellar acting performances. Six people were nominated, but not a single one took home the prize.
Additionally, I felt that “True Detective” got snubbed. Sure, the second season tanked, but that was due to the writing and directing. Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams both still gave career-best performances and it was a disappointment that neither of them even earned a nomination.
All in all, however, I think the right choices were made. I’ll have to get started on “Olive Kitteridge”, an HBO show I’d never heard of that dominated the miniseries categories.
And although my awards show hunger has been satisfied for now, the Golden Globes are just a few months away.