My thoughts on the 2017 Emmy Awards
This is my third year to cover TV’s version of high school prom. As I look at my previous Emmy Awards posts, I realize that my thoughts from 2015 and 2016 are very similar to the thoughts I had as last night’s three-hour salute to Big Little Lies and The Handmaid’s Tale.
Most of my notes have question marks behind sentences or a parenthetical reminder for me to “Google this.” In short, not only do I not watch many of the shows that were showcased at the Emmys, but there were a handful of times when I scratched my head in bewilderment because I had zero idea that the show even existed.
I blame HULU, Netflix, and HBO.
This happens every…single…year. Do you know how long I’ve had “must binge Veep” on my to-do list? The answer is a very, very long time. How many times have I reminded myself to figure out exactly what qualifies as a “limited series.”
So this year, I decided to embrace the fact that most Emmy-nominated shows are not on my DVR. Since my line-up mainly consists of programs involving dance, romance, Our Host Chris Harrison, wacky situations on thirty-minute sitcoms, and anything that airs on the CW channel, I should feel the freedom to not care who wins what since I don’t have any emotional connection to the nominees.
Unless you are a cast member for This is Us. All bets are off if one of the Pearsons is up for a golden statue.
Here are my thoughts from the 2017 Emmy Awards:
I Love a Good Opener
Stephen Colbert did a nice job entertaining the crowd. His opening number was great, but again, most of the jokes were lost on me. I laughed hard when Anthony Anderson of ABC’s Black-ish and Allison Janney walked into Stephen’s dressing room and they started talking about how they were going to cancel their HBO subscriptions, but not until after Game of Thrones was off the air. They all began speaking at the same time, excited about the drama, and the conversation wound down with Allison Janney landing the punch line, “And Jon Snow’s butt…”
I’m not a complete moron. Although I’ve never seen an episode of Game of Thrones, I do know who Jon Snow is and that it’s a big deal that he was once dead, and now isn’t dead, or maybe he’s pretending to be dead? He might be a ghost. When your show has dragons, I think a ghost storyline is totally plausible. Also, if you mention the phrases “Hodor” and “Red Wedding,” I can totally hang because I know just enough GoT references to keep me working at Entertainment Weekly. After that, I’m out.
DJ Jazzy Jermaine
For the first time in memory, the Emmy Awards had a deejay announcing the presenters instead of a guy or gal off somewhere in a sound booth. His name is Jermaine Fowler and Twitter had a lot to say about his role. Although I appreciated the fun facts Jermaine provided while winners made their way to the stage, he delivered the information by shouting. I’m not sure if that was a schtick or if he couldn’t hear over the cheering audience. Needless to say, either Jermaine or one of the Emmy interns must have trolled social media, because he definitely calmed down by the end of the night.
Colbert’s Best Lines
“The Emmy Awards are all about us celebrating us. Tonight, we binge ourselves.”
“Netflix has 92 Emmy nominations this year. May I remind you that five years ago their hottest show was a scratched DVD of Finding Nemo.”
Lady in Red
Many of the ladies wore crimson, or some version of red. Gina Rodriguez looked amazing, but my favorite red ball gown goes to Nicole Kidman.
He Who Can Do No Wrong
His name is Shemar Moore. That dude has been on TV for years and never seems to age.
Best Shout Out
David Chappelle when having to read the teleprompter: “Here we go (eyes squint). Shout out to DC Public Schools.”
Most Dapper Suit
I’m typically not one to love a nontraditional tuxedo, but I thought Donald Glover definitely pulled off his perfectly tailored purple number with jaunty yellow pocket square. We saw it twice since he won for both directing and acting in the show Atlanta.
Thank You, Mr. President
There were a lot of political jokes swirling the ballroom all night long. Colbert spent a good chunk of his opening monologue poking fun at President Trump for not winning a an award when he was show runner and host of The Apprentice. Several other presenters and winners leaned political during their time on the stage, but it was Alec Baldwin who took the cake when he won for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.
“Finally, Mr. President. Here’s your Emmy.”
And the crowd went wild.
9 to 5
Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dolly Parton together again! I don’t even remember what they presented, but I applauded (with the rest of the crowd) at the reunion. I’m also too much of a prude to even repeat Dolly Parton’s regarding something being included in the swag bag. Enter couch cushion and me hiding/blushing behind it.
I laughed. A lot.
When’s This Guy Going to Host?
It seems all the late night guys have hosted one award show or another. When is John Oliver going to get his shot? Not only did he win for writing in a variety series (Last Week Tonight), but he also won for best variety series. This makes two years in a row! Don’t even get me started on how he begged the viewing audience to make #DCPublicSchools an official hashtag for the Emmys. Hilarious. And a well-timed joke. He also thanked Oprah, who was sitting there in front of him on the front row, because “it seems appropriate.”
At least fellow nominees Stephen and Jimmy Kimmel were cool about their loss to John.
Lena Waithe and Aziz Ansari won for Best Writing in a Comedy for Masters of None. Props to Aziz for giving Lena the mic. She was, after all, the first African-American female writer for a comedy to win an Emmy.
How does Viola Davis pull off a pumpkin-colored dress? She’s Viola Davis, that’s how. Deal with it.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus won her SIXTH Emmy for playing Selina Meyer in Veep. Did I mention it’s her SIXTH EMMY IN A ROW? According to our loud friend Jermaine, Julia now holds the record for the most Emmys won for the same role in the same series.
It’s official. I’m binging Veep. Do I have to procure an official HBO login or something? Someone smarter than me, please advise.
Respect Your Elders
Kudos to the entire audience for standing and giving Norman Lear, Carol Burnett, and Cicely Tyson the long ovations they deserve. And to the woman who tugged at your ear and pointed to Carol, I salute you.
Jessica Biel, who looked very 70s in her ballgown, gives me pause every time I see her. I follow Jess on Instagram and she hasn’t mentioned Justin Timberlake in a while. Should I be worried?
Aside: Let the record show that I am officially worried about Channing and Jenna. I’ve landed in this place based on social media stalking and this gut-feeling hunch.
Sarah Paulson, please do not ask your seamstress to repurpose Jiffy Pop popcorn tin foil for your Emmy dress ever again. Also, you’re literally wearing the opposite of a cold-shoulder dress.
Reese and Nicole
I sort of watched Big Little Lies, therefore, I wasn’t totally left in the dark when the show won Supporting Actor (Alexander Skarsgard), Directing (Jean-Marc Vallee), Supporting Actress (Laura Dern), Leading Actress (Nicole Kidman), and Limited Series. Maybe you’ll get your shot at gold next time, every other nominee in the limited series category.
Let’s talk about Reese’s dress for a minute. Do we like the fact that it looks like a royal blue shorty trench coat? She looked off standing next to Nicole Kidman. And it had nothing to do with the ten-inch height difference and more to do with Nicole’s dreamy ball gown.
Lizzy (a.k.a. Peggy Olsen)
The Handmaid’s Tale pretty much swept the drama department. I bet Big Little Lies is glad it’s considered a limited series. These folks won Drama Series, Outstanding Writing (Bruce Miller), Lead Actress (Elizabeth “Lizzy” Moss), Directing (Reed Morano), and Supporting Actress (Ann Dowd). HULU must be going nuts right now.
Will I watch it? Probably not. I’ve heard it’s dark. If I have to throw my binging hat into the ring with any of the shows mentioned that I do not watch, it will probably be Veep at this point.
YOU’RE MY BOY RANDALL!
Sterling K. Brown is my favorite of all favorites right now. He owns his character on This is Us. He’s smart, charming, debonaire, and had the best line of the night when he won Lead Actor in a Drama Series:
“Thank you to Mandy, Milo, Chrissy, and Kevin. Y’all are the best white family a brother could ever have. Better than Mr. Drummond and those white folks who raised Webster.”