Last year, the Emmy Awards made headlines for choosing to go hostless, a stunt after the Oscars had done the same thing. This year, the award show welcomed Jimmy Kimmel back to serve as host, but this time, there was no audience. The results of the show were mixed. Overall, it was was better to have this type of award show rather than no award show at all, which many thought would be the case during this pandemic.
I love Jimmy Kimmel and I think he does make a great host under normal circumstances, but this award show was a hodgepodge of ideas with some bits that worked and others just fell flat. Though the main presentation was shot from Staples Center, it could have been done anywhere. There was no orchestra, but there was a DJ.
The opening looked familiar with Kimmel doing a monologue in front of a packed room of stars – footage from previous year of stars laughing at his jokes. It was funny at first, but the joke was run into the ground pretty quick. The next bit featuring Jennifer Aniston was fun though. She was the first presenter of the night, but before she could read the winner, Kimmel had to first disinfect and then burn the envelope while Aniston had to use a fire extinguisher in order to read the winner.
Overall, star presenters were limited and instead, real people were featured to share about how COVID-19 affected them. It was both a nice touch and element that really had very little to do with the world of TV. Every nominee was set up with special camera gear in their homes. If they won, they were presented with a statuette often delivered by a person in a hazmat suit.
Some comedy bits should have been funnier than they were. Some of the problems came from technical difficulties which caused timing to be off. One bit featured Aniston and her “roommates” Courtney Cox and Lisa Kudrow, who apparently never stopped living together even after Friends went off the air. But the banter between Kimmel and the women was stilted. No one seemed to know what to say and the “jokes” fell flat.
I am sure that ABC did the best job that they could do under the circumstances, but this year’s show was more boring than exciting. Part of that had to do with the fact that the comedy series Schitt’s Creek won every award with many repeated speaches by Daniel Levy. The other had to do with all of the extra well-intentioned bits that felt disjointed with the rest of the show. Instead of talking about TV, these segments would over explain topics unrelated to television that only served to stretch the show’s running time for no good reason. Even so, I’m sure that a lot was learned about what worked and what didn’t which could help for future broadcasts.
This year’s winners include:
- Comedy Series: “Schitt’s Creek”
- Lead Actor In A Comedy Series: Eugene Levy (“Schitt’s Creek”)
- Lead Actress In A Comedy Series: Catherine O’Hara (“Schitt’s Creek”)
- Actor In A Comedy Series: Daniel Levy (“Schitt’s Creek”)
- Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series: Annie Murphy (“Schitt’s Creek”)
- Guest Actor In A Comedy Series: Eddie Murphy (“Saturday Night Live”)
- Guest Actress In A Comedy Series: Maya Rudolph (“The Good Place”)
- Directing For A Comedy Series: Andrew Cividino and Daniel Levy (“Schitt’s Creek”)
- Writing For A Comedy Series: Daniel Levy (“Schitt’s Creek”)
- Drama Series: “Succession”
- Lead Actor In A Drama Series: Jeremy Strong (“Succession”)
- Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Zendaya (“Euphoria”)
- Supporting Actor In A Drama Series: Billy Crudup (“The Morning Show”)
- Supporting Actress In A Drama Series: Julia Garner (“Ozark”)
- Guest Actor In A Drama Series: Ron Cephas Jones (“This Is Us”)
- Guest Actress In A Drama Series: Cherry Jones (“Succession”)
- Directing For A Drama Series: Andrij Parekh (“Succession”)
- Limited Series: “Watchmen”
- TV Movie: “Bad Education”
- Directing For A Limited Series, Movie Or Dramatic Special: Maria Schrader (“Unorthodox”)
- Lead Actor In A Limited Series Or Movie: Mark Ruffalo (“I Know This Much Is True”)
- Lead Actress In A Limited Series Or Movie: Kerry Washington (“Little Fires Everywhere”)
- Lead Actress in A Limited Series/TV Movie: Regina King (“Watchmen”)
- Supporting Actor In A Limited Series Or Movie: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (“Watchmen”)
- Supporting Actress In A Limited Series Or Movie: Uzo Aduba (“Mrs. America”)
- Directing For A Reality Program: Greg Whiteley (“Cheer”)
- Directing For A Variety Series: Don Roy King (“Saturday Night Live”)
- Variety Talk Series: “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver”
- Variety Sketch Series: “Saturday Night Live”
- Competition Program: “RuPaul’s Drag Race”
- Host for Reality of Competition Program: RuPaul Charles, “RuPaul’s Drag Race”
I write about arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.