On Sunday, the 69th Emmy Awards took place in Los Angeles with first-time host, comedian Stephen Colbert, holding the reins.
As with numerous past awards shows, the show began with a lengthy monologue that was freckled with jokes about current events and this year’s hottest actors and actresses. The opening was spearheaded with a musical number sung by Colbert along with appearances by Anthony Anderson from ABCs “Black-ish,” Julia Louis- Dreyfus from HBO’s Veep and many more.
This year, the Emmy’s saw their most diverse group of nominations for the third year running, and the winners of the categories reflected that as well. Donald Glover, known in musical circles as Childish Gambino, was nominated four times for his show “Atlanta,” which airs on FX, in which he directs and acts. He left the ceremony with two awards: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, and Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series.
Additionally, Aziz Ansari, former star of “Parks and Recreation” and the mastermind behind the Netflix series “Master of None” took home the trophy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy series with writer and actress Lena Waithe. Her episode “Thanksgiving,” a black lesbian coming-out story, placed her in history for being the first black woman to win the category.
A Hulu rookie based off of the 1985 book by Margaret Atwood, “The Handmaid’s Tale” went home with eight awards, sweeping the Drama category for both actresses and writing. “The Handmaid’s Tale” also won Outstanding Art Direction For A Contemporary Or Fantasy Series Single Camera, and Outstanding Cinematography For A Single Camera Series.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus made history on Sunday by taking home the win for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for the 6th year in a row. Her show “Veep” also won the category of Outstanding Comedy Series, beating out the likes of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Modern Family” and others.
This year, the online streaming service Netflix received 92 Emmy nominations in eleven different categories, and won 4 categories outright. Stephen Colbert was quick to keep them humble, saying “just remember, their hottest movie five years ago was a scratched DVD of ‘Finding Nemo.’” HBO stole the night, though, with wins in 10 categories, of which the hit show “Big Little Lies” scored eight.
NBC’s long-running “Saturday Night Live” saw success this year, no doubt because of their spot-on skits parodying the 2016 presidential election. On top of season 42 taking the trophy for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series, Kate McKinnon and Alec Baldwin both received the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Roles in a Comedy Series; McKinnon for her impersonations of various characters, and Baldwin for his impersonation of Donald Trump.
Competition with Sunday Night NFL games lowered the ratings of this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards, but the significance of the awards this year is not to be understated. Cable television series’ are feeling the heat from the competition of streaming services, but those networks that are able to keep up with the young and new platforms saw great success.