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The Emmys: You’ve Seen This Show Before

The 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards were last night! That means they’ve had 73 years to get this right. Instead they did the same show they always do. There was fashion! There were overlong speeches. There were bad presenter jokes. There was Rita Wilson rapping. There was Aidy Bryant dressed like Heidi. There was Angela Bassett wearing a giant question mark, and she was right, because why? Why can’t they ever get an award show right?

Cedric the Entertainer started things off with some energy. RIP Biz Markie.

Then came the Ted Lasso awards. Hannah Waddingham won for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy and looked like a Greek goddess. Hold up, is Hannah Waddingham actually a Greek goddess? It would explain so much.

Everyone’s favorite curmudgeon, Roy Kent, took home the Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy. I mean, it was Brett Goldstein, and his accent was wrong and he seemed happy. But he swore like Roy Kent, so I’m sticking with calling him Roy and imagining that Roy Fucking Kent was forced to give an Emmy acceptance speech.

Julianne Nicholson is a treasure and she won her first Emmy for Mare of Easttown.

I don’t watch The Neighborhood, but now I extra don’t watch The Neighborhood thanks to the obnoxious commercial-disguised-as-a-skit in the middle of the Emmys broadcast.

Stephen Colbert did an elaborate–and honestly not that funny–joke conflating the California recall election and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. But then he awarded the Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama to Gillian Anderson, so I forgive him.

Kerry Washington offered a heartfelt tribute to Michael K. Williams. And then she had to present the award he was nominated for to somebody else. Look, who doesn’t love Tobias Menzies? But still. It was awkward and painful. Maybe they should’ve done the tribute at a different point in the show?

Writer Chrissy Shackelford from John Oliver’s show said “hottest writers” is an oxymoron and speaking for every writer in America…yes.

Kaley Cuoco’s dress hurt my eyes.

Ken Jeong was introduced and then did not appear. Later he showed up outside in a skit about ivermectin and vaccine cards, and that’s where he announced SNL’s win for Best Sketch show. This bit did not land, so instead let’s look at Kenan Thompson’s pink suit.

And also Bowen Yang’s amazing shoes!

The cast of Schitt’s Creek came out to present and Dan Levy said there was nothing on the teleprompter. They’re all such good actors that this bit almost works!

The Best Comedy Writing award went to Hacks and not Ted Lasso. These writers are cute, but… what? I thought Ted Lasso was supposed to win everything.

Then Lucia Aniello, my new best friend, gave a great acceptance speech–and followed it up with a second win, this one for directing Hacks! I have literally never heard of this show and was ready to be all “Ted Lasso was robbed!” But I really like her, and her speech was about lifting up women, and her dress was so pretty, and she just got married last weekend, so… sorry, Ted Lasso writers! I’ve moved on.

The No Emmy Support Group skit was mildly amusing. It’s always nice to see Scott Bakula. Jason Alexander reminded us all that he was nominated eight times and never won. The best part of the sketch was when Fred Savage interrupted the conversation from behind the camera as the director. The worst was when Dr. Phil appeared.

Jean Smart, nominated for both drama and comedy, won for comedy with Hacks, and obviously I need to watch this show immediately because it’s winning everything. She paid tribute to her late husband, Richard Gilliland, and she is just an icon.

Speaking of icons, Jennifer Coolidge! She made fun of men in general, and then gave the Best Actor in a Comedy award to Jason Sudeikis, as we all expected. But he deserved it, and his digs at Lorne Michaels made Kenan Thompson guffaw.

Conan O’Brien made a scene by overcheering for the Academy president, and given the poor guy’s trouble getting through his earnest speech without laughing, we can assume Conan’s antics continued throughout. He also showed up onstage to help accept the Emmy for Colbert’s show, which he is not a writer on. Oh, Conan. Never change.

Debbie Allen got the Governor’s Award and it’s about damn time.

The cast of Reservation Dogs looked gorgeous and said important things about representation and everyone should be watching this show.

Michaela Coel won for writing and spoke to writers and dedicated her award to sexual abuse survivors and she’s incredible in every way but her dress also hurt my eyes.

Is it wrong that I’m getting sick of Kate Winslet’s acceptance speeches?

Olivia Colman, though, never gets old. Her acceptance speech for Best Actress managed to be both funny and touching.

Presenter Amy Poehler spoke for us all when she asked “What time is it? And how do we get out of here?”

Well, we can’t, not until they do the In Memoriam section. I have some kind of weird love for in memoriams. There are always people I forgot we lost, and then I get to remember and feel sad all over again, and it kind of seems like a tribute to those people to feel a second wave of sadness. Anyway, when did you start crying? Alex Trebek is what did it for me.

There’s not much more to say. This show was pretty bad, even by Emmy standards. Let’s just look at more men playing with fashion.

Seth Rogan

Dan Levy

Jason Sudeikis

Billy Porter

Anthony Anderson

Coach Beard (like Roy Kent, I’m leaving Brendan Hunt in character and imagining Beard at the Emmys)

Carl Clemons-Hopkins*

Better luck next year, Emmy Awards! 74th time is the charm!

*Identifies as queer/non-binary and their pronouns are they/he.

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Written By

Laura J. Burns writes books, writes for TV, and sometimes writes TV based on books and books based on TV. She's the managing editor of The Gist.

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