Thrones conquers!
Hamm triumphs at last!
HBO puts Netflix in its place!
My thoughts on last night’s gongfest…

Game of Thrones slays allcomers

The HBO fantasy saga won a total of 12 awards – the most in Emmy history – sealing its status as not merely a wildly popular genre distraction but a genuine critical success too. Previously Game of Thrones has shone in the technical categories, but this year it won Outstanding Drama, Best Director, Outstanding Writing and Best Supporting Actor for Peter Dinklage. It was already the biggest TV show in the world. Now it can lay claim to being the best. Game of Thrones’ dominance however, meant no room for a fond goodbye to Mad Men, whose final series won only a single award. But at least it was…

Jon Hamm. At last

Hamm, who played the unfathomable ad-man-we-all-tried-to-fathom Don Draper in Mad Men, finally won Outstanding Lead Actor after eight nominations. So the Emmy academy members do have a heart, after all. Over seven series Hamm has delivered a prodigiously rich character study, but he has always been the first to admit his performance depends on the show’s superlative writing. So it was a surprise that Mad Men, a show that is in part about the power of the right words, did not win a writing award last night.

Andy Samberg Hits Peak TV

The Brooklyn Nine-Nine star and former Saturday Night Light host is less of a leading light over here, but he took to the hosting gig with gusto. In particular his opening skit will feel all too familiar to some. It was a musical number about a man who becomes so fed up of everyone talking about the endless unmissable TV shows he has missed that he locks himself away and binge watches every show in existence – only to emerge a year later as a stinking, square-eyed pariah.

HBO slays Netflix

Although Amazon Instant Video won two awards for its excellent transgender comedy Transparent, the night belonged to HBO: on this evidence traditional broadcasting and cable TV has not yet been superseded by the young turks at Netflix, with both Orange is the New Black and House of Cards, Netflix’s two premium drama series, losing out to Game of Thrones and The Unbreakabale Kimmy Schmidt being trumped by Veep.

The Brits are Coming

Veep, the brainchild of our own Armando Iannucci, and very much the expression of a British comic sensibility when confronted with the insanity of the US political system (which is to say a lot of swearing), swept the board in the comedy categories. This was a highly competitive field with the venerable Parks and Recreation in its final year and the previously unbeatable Modern Family rumbling on, but Veep took home Outstanding Comedy, two acting awards for Julia Louis Dreyfus and Tony Hale, as well as the coveted Outstanding Writing gong for Iannucci, Simon Blackwell and Tony Roche.

The Brits Aren’t Coming

In drama, however, the best of British was outdone. Downton Abbey was once again beaten in the best series category, while our two best mini series of the last year, Wolf Hall and The Honourable Woman, were edged out in every category by a resounding performance from Olive Kitteridge, HBO’s superb adaptation of Elizabeth Strout’s 2008 novel about a depressive retired schoolteacher.

Opportunity Knocks for Viola Davis, Uzo Aduba

First Uzo Aduba won her second straight supporting actress Emmy for Orange is the New Black, and then Viola Davis went one better, becoming the first African-American woman to win Outstanding Lead Actress in a drama for How to Get Away with Murder. In a powerful acceptance speech, Davis cut to the chase: “Let me tell you something. The only thing that separates women of colour from anyone else is opportunity,” she said. “You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.”

 


From The Telegraph

 

 

Published by Benji

Writer, Journalist, Critic

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