The Good, The Bad And The Ugly: How The 2015 Emmys Made History
The Emmys have come and gone, and history has been made. According to Andy Samburg, both Uzo Aduba and Allison Janney have tied records held by Ed Asner.
Jokes aside, this year's Emmys may have given us all the expected winners and quite a few sweeps, but there were plenty great historic moments amongst the lazier wins of the night. Here are the good, the bad and the ugly from the 2015 Emmys.
Viola Davis has become the first African-American woman to win Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role as law professor Annalise Keating in Shonda Rhimes' "How to Get Away with Murder."
Davis, being the consummate professional who aces every speech she gives, delivered the best moment of the night with her moving words:
"And let me tell you something, the only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there."
While TV still has room to grow in showcasing diversity, we saw, at the very least, a diverse list of nominees from various shows. Movies have much to learn from Viola about presenting women of color with strong, leading roles.
With Davis' production company bringing a biopic of Harriet Tubman to fruition, and Denzel Washington directing an adaptation of "Fences," Davis is doing her part to bring diversity into the landscape.
She also made sure to thank the bevy of talented African-American actresses (including a moved Taraji P. Henson standing in the audience).
On the male side, Jeffrey Tambor was always going to win the Best Lead Actor in a Comedy for "Transparent," but the inevitability of it did not dampen the impact of his win.
Both he and winner Jill Soloway (winner of Best Director for a Comedy Series for the "Transparent" episode, "Best New Girl") dedicated their wins to the transgender community.
Soloway went a step further and talked about how her "mapa" could be legally discriminated against in 32 states:
"And something interesting about my mapa, Carrie: She could, tomorrow, go and try to find an apartment, and in 32 states it would be legal for the landlord to look her in the eye and say, 'We don't rent to trans people.'"
This was yet another example of the show representing diversity while also highlighting the fact we still have a long road ahead of us. We also saw more surprising wins from Uzo Aduba for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for "Orange is the New Black," and Regina King for Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series for "American Crime."
Jon Hamm finally has an Emmy, and it is much deserved. Literally crawling on the stage, it was about time Hamm won for his iconic role as ad man Don Draper in the last season of "Mad Men."
Nearly speechless, Hamm was incredibly gracious, and it was a true watermark moment for the night.
After 37 "Mad Men" actors had been nominated and none had won, it was fitting the show went out netting the first acting win for the man at the center of the show. Congratulations Emmy winner, Jon Hamm!
Lastly, Andy Samburg may not have been on point the entirety of the show, but overall, he kept it moving at a great pace, and his opening song was a true highlight. He knows the way to my heart is a perfectly timed "Grace of Monaco" joke.
We were not graced with a winning rendition of pinot noir. While Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series winner Tony Hale ("Veep") had a great episode submission and is frequently the best part of the show, there is no denying Tituss Burgess was the true breakout of the year for his flamboyantly enjoyable performance as struggling actor Titus Andromedon on "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt."
This was supposed to be the slam dunk of the night, but unfortunately, Burgess and "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" went home empty-handed.
While it's hard to take issue with these winners, there were a slew of past winners who beat out rising stars with pitch-perfect submissions.
One can never argue with the talent that is Allison Janney, winner last night for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for "Mom," but this denied Anna Chlumsky ("Veep"), Jane Krakowski ("Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt") and surprise nominee Niecy Nash ("Getting On") their first career Emmys.
Similarly, Julia Louis Dreyfus is the most talented person, but did she really need a fourth consecutive Emmy for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for "Veep?" Not when Amy Poehler ("Parks and Recreation") walks away without a win for her landmark performance as Leslie Knope or Lisa Kudrow submits a hilarious episode from her underrated show, "The Comeback."
Why can't the Emmys spread the love a bit?
Lazy voting was abound last night.
The Emmys changed its voting rules to no longer be small panels of judges watching all nominated episodes to popular vote, and the effect was definitely evident.
Perhaps, the best (or worst) example of this was Peter Dinklage's second win for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama for "Game of Thrones."
Don't get me wrong; Dinklage is a talented actor and has deserved the Emmy in past seasons (deservedly winning in season one). However, even for people who loved this season, one has to admit his character, Tyrion Lannister, had little to do this entire season.
The other fallout from this new voting system is that basically only four shows won awards last night. "Veep" dominated comedy, save for "Transparent" cleaning up the leftovers. "Game of Thrones" demolished the drama categories.
The only upside to "Olive Kittridge" winning everything in its path was the joy of guessing what Frances McDormand was on while accepting. For the record: McDormand is a national treasure.
"The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" continued its undisputed reign in the variety categories for yet another season. The new voting system has eliminated the Merritt Wever-like surprise wins that make the show so fun.
Popular vote turns the Emmys into a popularity contest, not a platform for rewarding merit.