Last night, the Emmys’ aired on Fox and for some reason I like watching award shapes or seeing the list of winners. I think it’s because I like seeing who was the best at their art in the past year. I also like to see if there are any good new shows I missed and I need to check out.
Three main things happened at the Emmy’s, one is something that has been happening for years, the second is surprising that it took so long to happen, and the third is something that seemed like it might never happen.
The first thing was that HBO again ran away with the Emmys. It took home seven of the main awards including Best Supporting Actor in a Drama, Peter Dinklage, Best Director, and Best Drama for Game of Thrones, and Best Supporting Actor in Comedy, Tony Hale, Best Actress in a Comedy, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Best Comedy for Veep along with a number of other awards. HBO is the best in the business and it was on display again as it is almost every year. Veep has been the best comedy for the past five years and Tony and Julia have taken home a number of awards but it’s about time the entire show was recognized because it kills it ever season. While Game of Thrones is on the opposite spectrum. You could give this show the award for its size along. It has to be the largest TV production of all time and HBO spares no expense making it. That’s not surprising because it’s the most popular show in HBO history. Peter Dinklage took home the only acting award and while a number of other characters are deserving, this is Dinklage’s show. In a show without a real lead actor or actress, Dinklage steals the show in almost every scene he’s in. He’s makes this show so hopefully Martin doesn’t kill him off next season.
The second thing that happened last night was that a black actress final won the Best Actress Award in a Drama. I think Viola Davis’ acceptance speech basically sums up the moment better than I ever could.
In my mind, I see a line. And over that line, I see green fields and lovely flowers and beautiful white women with their arms stretched out to me, over that line. But I can’t seem to get there no how. I can’t seem to get over that line.
That was Harriet Tubman in the 1800s. 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. So here’s to all the writers, the awesome people that are Ben Sherwood, Paul Lee, Peter Nowalk, Shonda Rhimes, people who have redefined what it means to be beautiful, to be sexy, to be a leading woman, to be black.
And to the Taraji P. Hensons, the Kerry Washingtons, the Halle Berrys, the Nicole Beharies, the Meagan Goods, to Gabrielle Union: Thank you for taking us over that line. Thank you to the Television Academy. Thank you.
– Viola Davis
Finally the last thing to happen at the Emmys.
“This is impossible,” was the first line Jon Hamm uttered after crawling up on stage to accept his first Emmy after 16 nominations. Mad Men is a special show for me and I’ve written about it in the past. This past season was an end of an era. It was a show my wife and I watched together from before we were married. It’s also a show that changed television, at least it changed non-premium channel television. Before Mad Men, you didn’t see shows like it on regular cable TV. It paved the way for Breaking Bad, the Walking Dead, and Better Call Saul. It’s first four seasons won the Emmy for Best Drama. I don’t know how Jon Hamm didn’t win Best Actor in any of those four season but like he said it’s not like the gave the award to some bum. Don Draper, or Dick Whitman, is one of the most interesting and flawed characters to grace television, and only Jon Hamm could bring him to life. I don’t think the final season was the shows best, I did think the finale was perfect, but Jon Hamm brought the whole flawed story home. I know these awards are supposed to be judged on the episode submitted to the academy but this felt like an achievement award for not only Jon Hamm but for all the incredible actors on Mad Men. This character and this show will be missed.