Phil McCarten/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images
The 67th annual Emmy Awards are here!Hollywood’s first step into awards season started tonight with the highly anticipated night dedicated to all things television, with the help of our host for the evening, Andy Samberg.
So between the jokes, the booze, the awards and the surprising moments, it can become quite the task to keep up with what’s going on.
Don’t you fret, friend. That’s what we’re here for! Here are some of the best and worst moments from the 2015 Emmy Awards:
Binge Truth: Anyone who has ever decided to binge-watch a TV series felt deeply connected to Samberg’s opening skit. Locking himself away for a year, without any connection to the outside world, to catch up on all of the series out there is real life for many of us.
Serving the LOLs: Samberg continued a strong opening with a successful monologue. There were laughs, there were successful punch lines, and, of course, the zingers (hey Bill Cosby and Kim Davis!).
Amy-Squared: The geniuses behind the Emmys opted to pair Amy Poehler and Amy Schumer together to present the first award of the night, and obvs, it was the best decision.”And what an exciting two to four hours for women in comedy,” Poehler quipped.
“And let’s not forget what night is really about, celebrating hilarious women and letting the Internet weigh in on who looks the worst,” Schumer added. THE AMY’S FOR PRESIDENT! Or at least, host the Oscars?
Problem Solved: RickyGervais may or may not win tonight, so he had a plan. Why not play it safe and just hold an Emmy while presenting so pictures make it seem like he won? Boom. Problem solved.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Bow Chicka Bow Wow: John Stamos and Gina Rodriguez joined together on stage and did some flirting back and forth, and we can’t blame ’em.This Just Happened: Oh, Andy.
Rebel With a Cause: Jimmy Kimmel wants the power. He has the power. He has the card. And he decided to cut out the winner from the card (and eat it ) so he could give the award to whoever he wants. Congrats, Jeffrey Tambor!
Positive Message: Following a heartfelt speech from director Jill Soloway, who urged people to vote for trans rights, Transparent‘s Jeffrey Tambor dedicated his award to the transgender community. “Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for your stories. Thank you for your inspiration. Thank you for letting us be part of the change. God bless you.”
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Hooray, Accountants: James Corden made history tonight by getting the crowd to do a standing ovation when recognizing the accountants Ernest & Young. Hey, they deserve some solid cheers, too! Awkward Alert: Terrence Howard went in for the kiss on the cheek while presenting with Empire co-star Taraji P. Henson, and she just rubbed it off and made a face, LOL!
Smokey Eye for the Win: While tearfully accepting her award, Schumer made sure to mention someone very important—her makeup artist. “Thanks everybody who has helped me and my…the girl who gave me sort of this smoky eye. I really love it.” LOL!
Sweet Mommy Moment: When accepting her award, Regina King concluded her speech with a sweet mention to a very important young man in her life. “My son, Ian. The fact that I get to share this night with you, the best date in the house. Oh, man. You make being a mother my greatest accomplishment. I love you.”
So Many Feelings: That montage of series finales from this year was too much. Seriously. The emotions are everywhere. WE WEREN’T READY.
Phil McCarten/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images
Aw, Jon Stewart: The former Daily Show host seems to miss the spotlight. When accepting yet another award tonight, he candidly told the crowd, “To everybody on television, I just want to tell you, cling to it, as long as you can, like death…I have been off of television for six weeks, seven weeks, whatever it is. This is the first applause I’ve heard. It is a barren wasteland out there.” We miss you, too, Jon.
Bleep Award:..goes to Game of Thrones‘ D.B. Weiss who said, “When people say they didn’t plan things, I always thought they were full of s–t.”
All Together Now: FINALLY! Jon Hamm has taken home an Emmy for his role in Mad Men. About damn time.
Breaking Barriers: Viola Davis gave a powerful speech upon winning the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, the first woman of color to ever win this category.
“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.”
Tracy’s Back: Making a surprise appearance, TracyMorgan, who made his return to the stage to present the final award of the night. “Thanks to my amazing doctors and the support of my family, my beautiful new wife, I’m here.”
And the jokes were back, too. “Only recently, I’ve started to feel like myself again, so, which means a whole lot of y’all women gonna get pregnant at the after-party.It’s going down.”
At a time when streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and HBO Now are rapidly changing the landscape of television, and programming is getting more racially diverse than ever,the Emmys, the medium’s biggest awards ceremony, can seem woefully out of date.
The Emmys are notorious for awarding the same shows with trophies year after year. For instance, only two shows, Modern Family and 30 Rock, have won outstanding comedy in the last eight years.
However, there are signs that the Emmys are finally catching up with TV’s new world. Due to a number of rule changes, and viewers’ increasing appetites for shows that reflect the racial and cultural diversity of America, this year’s ceremony, which takes place in Los Angeles on Sunday and will be hosted by Andy Samberg, has the potential to be groundbreaking.
To date, no woman of colour has ever won the outstanding lead actress in a drama award. Yet this year, both How to Get Away with Murder’s Viola Davis and Empire’sTaraji P Henson stand a strong chance of taking home the award over fellow nominees Claire Danes (for Homeland), Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), Mad Men (Elizabeth Moss) and Robin Wright (House of Cards).
Henson, who plays Cookie, a soap villainess in the tradition of Dynasty’s Alexis Colby, has “a very good shot” at the prize, says Daniel Montgomery, a senior editor at awards prognostication website GoldDerby.
Davis, meanwhile, will be hoping the Emmy will provide company for the Screen Actors Guild award she won in January for female actor in a drama series. During her speech, she thanked How to Get Away With Murder’s production team “for thinking that a sexualised, messy, mysterious woman could be a 49-year-old, dark-skinned African American woman who looks like me”.
Transparent, Amazon’s show about a transgender woman played by Jeffrey Tambor, may also break new ground. If it wins the Emmy for outstanding comedy, it will be the first show on a streaming service to take one of the two major awards. The same will be true if Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt wins – though both face stiff competition from perpetual winner Modern Family, expected to take the prize for the sixth time.
House of Cards or Orange Is the New Black could also provide Netflix with its first major awards triumph if they can best Better Call Saul, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, Homeland and Mad Men in the race for outstanding drama.
At last week’s Creative Arts Emmys, which honour technical achievements in television, Transparent won awards for costumes, main title music, and Bradley Whitford’s guest performance. “I love to be in a show that is a voice of understanding, compassion and radical inclusion,” Whitford said in his acceptance speech. “We’re not there yet, but non-judgment day is coming.”
Meanwhile, the offscreen awards categories are also becoming marginally less male, though women are still woefully under-represented. On Thursday, the Women’s Media Centre analysed the writing, editing, producing and directing categories and found that this year this year 25% of the nominees are female – slightly up from the 22% average over the previous 10 years.
“The bottom line: if more women were hired as writers, directors, editors, producers, and especially as creators and executive producers, the talent pool for nominations would be more reflective of the overall population and audience – more than half of which are women,” Julie Burton, the WMC president said.
It’s not just political and social changes threatening to drag the Emmys into the modern day, but the rules behind the awards themselves. Earlier this year the Academy ofTelevision Arts and Sciences, which runs the show, made some alterations to reflect changing viewing habits and to prevent shows from “category shopping”, or bending the rules to insert their shows into the categories they were most likely to win.
Under this new rubric, all 30-minute shows are considered comedies and all hour-long programmes go into the drama categories. Appeals can still be made – Glee successfully lobbied to compete as a comedy for its final season – but Orange is the New Black failed and will be competing in the drama category for the first time.
“Emmy judging is generally preferential, so in order to have the voters rank the nominations one against the other, apples need to compete against apples,” John Leverence, senior vice-president of awards for the academy, told the Guardian. “If category shopping results in apples mixed in with oranges, there can be no true preferential voting.”
Under the new rules, they have both been shuttled to a category called “limited series” defined as “programmes of two or more episodes with a total running time of at least 150 minutes that tell a complete, non-recurring story, and do not have an ongoing storyline and/or main characters in subsequent seasons”.
British hopes at the awards are represented by eight nominations apiece for Wolf Halland Downton Abbey, with UK actors up Emmys including Ricky Gervais (outstanding lead actor in a limited series or a movie for the Derek special), David Oyelowo (for HBO’s Nightingale, in which he plays a man descending into insanity) and Alan Cumming (for The Good Wife.)
While some are having their first shots, there are many final chances for Emmy favorites. The Colbert Report, which went off the air at the end of 2014 so that Stephen Colbert could take the reins of CBS’s Late Show, and the iteration of The Daily Show fronted by Jon Stewart, will square off for the last time in the Variety categories.
Hamm, who plays dissipated adman Don Draper, is frontrunner in the outstanding lead actor category against Bob Odenkirk (for Better Call Saul), Kyle Chandler (Bloodline), Kevin Spacey (House of Cards), Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom) and Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan).
Game of Thrones also has a chance to enter the record books on Sunday night. This year, it is the most nominated show – with 24 nods in all – and it swept the board at the Creative Arts Emmys, winning eight trophies. Just two more wins on the main stage will beat the nine trophies won by The West Wing in 2000, currently the record holder.
Will a fantasy show set in a fictional medieval kingdom be the main winner on the year the Emmys finally face the future?