74th Emmy Awards Celebrated TV with Fun

A lot has changed during the 74 years that the Emmys have been presented. Originally created for awarding and celebrating the world of television, the yearly special grew to included cable TV channels and more recently, streaming services. As the world of television gets bigger, traditional programming has gotten smaller. However, don’t count ABC, NBC and CBS out just yet. All three networks had nominations and won six awards.

Kenan Thompson during the 74th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. (Chris Haston/NBC)

This year’s host was the (fairly) non-offensive Kenan Thompson, who in my opinion, should always host the show. However, the program began with a rough start having Thompson dance with a large number of dancers to remixed TV tunes including Friends, Law & Order, Stranger Things, King of Thrones and the Brady Bunch. (The “kids” from the old sitcom also stood for applause which was nice but confusing and seemed out of place.) Thompson clearly can dance and can hold his own, but the overall effect was weird. Somebody thought this was a great idea.

Compared to the Oscars, the Emmy Awards show is a little more playful and less serious while also celebrating the art of TV with numerous (albeit short) clips of many shows from the various platforms available today. Like the Oscars, the Emmy’s are clearing trying to make the award show more “hip” by changing up the music and trying out a few new camera angles. (The pacing back and forth showing the large screen on the back of the stage were odd.) They also featured a bar in the back for some reason.

On the plus side, there were little to no political agendas and this years’ list of nominees included a wide range of people compared to earlier years. With the exception of a few stars who were a little too self-indulgent and a few bleeped out swears, nobody really got out of hand and the Emmy’s were a pleasure to watch this year.

Top Row: Steve Martin, Selen Gomez and Martin Short, Mike White, Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni. Bottom Row: Sheryl Lee Ralph and Jason Sudeikis (Chris Haston/NBC)

Highlights from the night included:

  • Steve Martin, Selena Gomez and Martin Short, who all star in Only Murders in the Building, giving each other a hard time before presenting an award.
  • Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni from NBC’s Law & Order franchise rushing out of the Microsoft Theater to catch an Emmy Award thief.
  • Will Arnett literally dragging Jimmy Kimmel on stage to announce an award after having a few too many.
  • Sheryl Lee Ralph belting out a song before giving her acceptance speech for Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for Abbott Elementary.
  • Mike White’s numerous awards for Limited or Anthology Series or Movie award for The White Lotus.

The big winners of the night were Succession (winning three Emmys), Ted Lasso (winning four) and the limited series The White Lotus (winning five). The ABC sitcom Abbott Elementary and NBC’s Saturday Night Live both won two.

Here is the complete list of winners:

  • Best Comedy: Ted Lasso
  • Best Drama: Succession
  • Best Limited Series: The White Lotus
  • Best Actress, Comedy: Jean Smart, Hacks
  • Best Actor, Comedy: Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso
  • Best Actress, Drama: Zendaya, Euphoria
  • Best Actor, Drama: Lee Jung-jae, Squid Game
  • Best Actress, Limited Series or TV Movie: Amanda Seyfried, The Dropout
  • Best Actor, Limited Series or TV Movie: Michael Keaton, Dopesick
  • Supporting Actress, Comedy: Sheryl Lee Ralph, Abbott Elementary
  • Supporting Actor, Comedy: Brett Goldstein, Ted Lasso
  • Supporting Actress, Drama: Julia Garner, Ozark
  • Supporting Actor, Drama: Matthew Macfadyen, Succession
  • Supporting Actress, Limited Series or a Movie: Jennifer Coolidge, The White Lotus
  • Supporting Actor, Limited Series or Movie: Murray Bartlett, The White Lotus
  • Variety Talk Series: Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
  • Variety Sketch Series: Saturday Night Live
  • Reality Competition Program: Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls
  • Writing for a Comedy Series: Quinta Brunson, Abbott Elementary
  • Writing for a Drama Series: Jesse Armstrong, Succession
  • Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Drama Special: Mike White, The White Lotus
  • Directing for a Comedy Series: MJ Delaney, Ted Lasso
  • Directing for a Drama Series: Hwang Dong-hyuk, Squid Game
  • Directing for a Limited Series or Movie: Mike White, The White Lotus
  • Documentary Or Nonfiction Series: The Beatles: Get Back
  • Documentary Or Nonfiction Special: George Carlin’s American Dream
  • Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series: Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
  • Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special: Jerrod Carmichael: Rothaniel
  • Outstanding Variety Special, Pre-Recorded: Adele One Night Only
  • Outstanding Variety Special (Live): The Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show

Main Image: The cast of Ted Lasso (Evans Vestal Ward/NBC)

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