This is the big one, the last award of the night,” says Kimmel. “In my experience this is where things sometimes go askew.” (He was hosting the Oscars in 2017 when La La Land was mistakenly read out as best picture.)
Sterling K. Brown comes on stage and appears to think he’s there to accept the award for This Is Us. Turns out he’s just there to introduce it. It’s meant to be funny, but isn’t. “That was embarrassing,” he says. Yes it was. But in fairness, it’s not helped by the fact they didn’t have the canned laughter there to help us realise it was meant to be a comedic bit.
The award actually goes to Succession.
Cut to a hotel room somewhere, where creator and showrunner Jesse Armstrong begins by saying “this is a very nice moment…” And then the phone starts ringing. It’s room service. Seriously.
He gets back to it.
“For being robbed of the opportunity to spend time with our peers and the cast and crew I think maybe I’d like to do a couple of unthank yous,” he says.
“Unthank you to the virus for keeping us all apart this year. Unthank you to President Trump for his crummy and uncoordinated response. Unthank you to Boris Johnson and his gobvernment for doing the same in my country. Unthank you to all the nationalists and sort of quasi-nationalist governments in the world, who are exactly the opposite of what we need right now.
“And unthank you to the media moguls who do so much to keep them in power. So, unthank you.”
And with that, it’s over.
Not perfect, but far from a disaster. Well done, Television Academy. In spite of – or perhaps because of –everything, you’ve given us an Emmys to remember.
Australia mounted its biggest Emmy campaign on record in 2020, with nominations spanning 14 categories, but only winning in one: Greig Fraser took home the cinematography single-camera (half-hour) Emmy.
But those who say that the nomination in itself is an honour are right. Congratulations to Australia’s Emmy class of 2020.
- Greig Fraser, cinematography for a single-camera series (half-hour) for The Mandalorian (Disney+)
- Antonio Gambale, music composition for a limited series, movie or special and original main title theme music for Unorthodox (Netflix)
- Martyn Zub, sound editing for non-fiction programming and sound mixing for non-fiction programming for Beastie Boys Story (Apple TV+)
- Patrick Clair and Raoul Marks, main title design for Westworld (HB0)
- Paul Mitchell, main title design for Watchmen (HB0)
- Hannah Gadsby, variety special and writing for a variety special for Douglas (Netflix)
- Justine Seymour, contemporary costumes for Unorthodox (Netflix)
- Tony McNamara, writing for a comedy series for The Great (Hulu)
- Cate Blanchett, lead actress in a limited series or movie for Mrs America (FX)
- Hugh Jackman, lead actor in a limited series or movie for Bad Education (HBO)
- Toni Collette, supporting actress in a limited series or movie for Unorthodox (Netflix)
- Sarah Snook, supporting actress in a drama series for Succession (HBO)
Better Call Saul
The Handmaid’s Tale
In its first season, the magnificent series about a media family in which the mogul (Brian Fox) pits his three kids against each other to see which one is best suited to take the reins flew a little under the radar (though it did still manage two Emmy wins from five nominations). In its second, the slow-build word-of-mouth grew to a roar, and its audience of admirers swelled to an army.
Going into this ceremony, it was considered one of the favourites, with 18 nominations. So, has it been a successful Emmys for Succession? Yes and no.
Jeremy Strong as elder son Kendall Roy is a deserving winner in the lead actor category. The always-wonderful Cherry Jones won earlier in the multi-day awards for guest actress, and the show also picked up awards for casting and editing. Now there are awards for writing (for series creator Jesse Armstrong, who also won last year) and directing (for Andrij Parekh, who dedicates his award to all the kids out there with names that people struggle to pronounce).
But then there are the misses.
Maybe suffering from the split-vote syndrome that hit Watchmen earlier, the three men nominated as best supporting actor from the show – Nicholas Braun (who plays the doofus nephew Greg), Kieran Culkin (as younger son Roman) and Matthew Macfadyen (the superbly pathetic Tom) – cancelled each other out, and the award went to Billy Crudup for The Morning Show.
But the biggest disappointment is in the best supporting actress category, where Australia’s Sarah Snook, who plays Logan’s daughter Siobhan (Shiv) Roy, was hotly fancied. But the award goes to Julia Garner for Ozark.
She’s a worthy winner, but still. Snook-dog is so damned good in Succession. Her time will surely come.
One of the good things about a virtual telecast? The tech trickery. Here we’ve got Ozark‘s Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) hanging out with Phoebe, Rachel and Monica from Friends (Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston and Courtney Cox) despite none of them actually being in the same room.
Laura Dern, Big Little Lies
Meryl Streep, Big Little Lies
Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown
Samira Wiley, The Handmaid’s Tale
Fiona Shaw, Killing Eve
Julia Garner, Ozark
Sarah Snook, Succession
Thandie Newton, Westworld
Winner: Julia Garner, Ozark
Giancarlo Esposito, Better Call Saul
Bradley Whitford, The Handmaid’s Tale
Billy Crudup, The Morning Show
Mark Duplass, The Morning Show
Nicholas Braun, Succession
Kieran Culkin, Succession
Matthew Macfadyen, Succession
Jeffrey Wright, Westworld
Winner: Billy Crudup, The Morning Show
Benjamin Caron, The Crown – Aberfan
Jessica Hobbs, The Crown – Cri de Coeur
Lesli Linka Glatter, Homeland – Prisoners of War
Mimi Leder, The Morning Show – The Interview
Alik Sakharov, Ozark – Fire Pink
Ben Semanoff, Ozark – Su Casa Es Mi Casa
Andrij Parekh, Succession – Hunting
Mark Mylod, Succession – This Is Not For Tears
Winner: Andrij Parekh, Succession – Hunting
Thomas Schnauz, Better Call Saul – Bad Choice Road
Gordon Smith, Better Call Saul – Bagman
Peter Morgan, The Crown – Aberfan
Chris Mundy, Ozark – All In
John Shiban, Ozark – Boss Fight
Miki Johnson, Ozark – Fire Pink
Jesse Armstrong, Succession – This Is Not For Tears
Winner: Jesse Armstrong, Succession – This Is Not For Tears
Olivia Colman, The Crown
Jodie Comer, Killing Eve
Sandra Oh, Killing Eve
Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Show
Laura Linney, Ozark
Winner: Zendaya, Euphoria