No red carpet, no crowd (except one), no problem. The Pandemmys created finely orchestrated chaos while also managing to honor their nominees.
Primetime Emmys – Sunday
As in the silence before the disaster, there was an odd moment of clarity about a third of the way through the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday night. Host Jimmy Kimmel had just announced Last Week Tonight as the winner of the Outstanding Variety Talk Series, and John Oliver was waiting to receive his trophy. Crates were sent to each nominee for this particular piece, with only the victorious candidate's shiny black vessel actually holding the coveted trophy. The rest was empty, which made Oliver's acceptance an odd level of tension and concern.
There he was – a winner in the category for the fifth time in a row, a veteran of awards shows of all kinds – and not quite crouched expectantly, wondering if the box would actually open and if there would actually be an Emmy statue inside.
When I went to the "Pandemmys" nobody really knew what to expect. Yes, there were early reports that cameras with laptops were being sent to each candidate so they could give a live acceptance speech (if they were lucky). Yes, we knew Kimmel was hosting and some of his friends had to show up. We even knew there would be people in hazmat suits handing out Emmys, although it wasn't clear whether the world's most protective tuxedos (sorry James Bond) were real or part of a gag.
In other words, the 2020 Emmy Show could have been a disaster (much like previous creative arts ceremonies). It could be a mystery box with nothing inside, or worse, that didn't open properly, if at all. But just like Oliver seemed to feel when the invention finally came up, it was surprising, enjoyable, and hellishly chaotic to see the 2020 Emmys. What wasn't pure chaos could have been improved – a number of bombings and lots of jokes had to be worked on – but this was a memorable, fun, and technically flawless awards show.
So I say good job.
If you had told me that this would be my ultimate reaction after just the first five minutes, I would have laughed in your face – which is a much stronger reaction than Kimmel's first deep fake. Going to a crowded theater was a bit obviously, but it took way too long and the best joke that all of these cutaways have garnered for the crowd over the past few years was, "This is not a MAGA rally, this is the Emmys ! " All of Kimmel's previous jokes were overshadowed by questions about the wrong amount, and in retrospect they weren't great anyway: They paid tribute to prolific Norman Lear with, "The only thing I'll be producing when I'm 98 is slime." Calling Quibi the "stupidest thing that ever cost a billion dollars"? Eh, that's good for Kimmel's nightly shows, but far from the quality an Emmys opening monologue demands.
Then things got into gear. Kimmel's collaboration with Jason Bateman was pretty fun, mostly because of their laid back, quippy banter, but it should have been better integrated into the general reveal. (Also, it has to be said that Bateman is such a natural actor, I never thought I'd compare him to a wooden board, but he made those cardboard cutouts proud!) Even better was the Emmy Station Kimmel hand sanitizer that used when walking became Backstage, its main hosting locale, surrounded by dozens of live streaming nominees. When Jennifer Aniston showed up, there was enough movement, surprise, and wit to pique our curiosity.
And then they set the stage on fire.
To be honest, I'm not sure the Emmys have ever gotten any better than they are at this moment. I'm not sure if TV will ever get any better than this moment, and believe me, I freaked out when there was an impromptu "Friends" half-reunion later. Kimmel lights the envelope – a real fire! – was exciting enough. Then he dropped it into a container filled with … paper? You wanted to keep the fire going? What? Why? That Aniston couldn't put it out immediately was not surprising, but her diligence and precision with the fire extinguisher created a spectacle that could never be repeated. Friends star Jennifer Aniston, Emmy nominee for The Morning Show, wore a sleek black dress … sprayed white foam down a literal garbage fire while Kimmel continued with the scripted dialogue! (What absolute professionals, the two of them.)
At one point the fire was still raging, and Kimmel turned to Camera B to continue talking while Aniston sprayed the flames. For a second it felt like they couldn't erase it. That they would have to limit themselves to the nominees while experts dealt with a minor emergency behind the scenes. This is exactly the kind of mess the Emmys wanted, and it pissed them off for a while.
The "Schitt & # 39; s Creek" sweeper served as a soft blanket in the flames as the madness in front of the Canadian winner was crushed by inevitability after the Canadian winner went to the microphone of their bubble room. It may have been necessary to group the night's presentations by Comedy, Limited Series, and finally Drama categories to get the stars' attention at home. If you know your genre is competing for the next hour, you know the show is the time to keep yourself occupied with the show. (And later going to the bathroom, having a drink, etc.) But Vibe producers Reggie Hudlin and Ian Stewart also backfired a bit. The old saying goes, "Producers can't pick the winners," which means that part of the allure of an awards show is not knowing who is going to win. So if you know who's going to win, it gets old pretty quickly (unless you just watch that sweep happen).
Kimmel & Co. tried to break it up a little when Tracee Ellis Ross gave a long intro and "Barry's" Anthony Corrigan showed up as NoHo Derek, the postman. (“Everything's OK at USSPS” was a solid line.) It was also a wise way of celebrating the awkward award ceremony moment when key drivers, doctors, and teachers were asked to announce the winners in the midst of a pandemic. (It actually worked a bit better than Kimmel's explanation above, if only because we heard the argument that "we still have fun!".)
However, the decision to do as much of this show live as possible was a huge one. The speeches were far better than most of the pre-recorded speeches during the creative arts ceremonies (probably because these people didn't know if they actually won when they recorded). The insights into different homes and hotels made each group of winners more exciting as we as an audience studied their attitudes while everyone waited to hear who won. (Props to Betty Gilpin for her sign "Protect the court, defend the union", which I count as the first official mention of the RBG by the broadcast, as none of the "Schitt" winners said anything.)
Then came the winners of the “guardians”, who all raised the bar linguistically. Regina King remains a beacon of perfection in the award ceremony; Yahya Abdul-Mateen II seemed seriously surprised by his victory (which is always lovely) before recovering well to dedicate his trophy to "all black women in my life". Damon Lindelof and Cord Jefferson both made great speeches, and even the non-Guardian winners used their time wisely, like Uzo Aduba (of "Mrs America"), who also drew attention to Breonna Taylor with her ensemble (King too). before leaving the frame with a sweet cry for her mother. The speeches that brought in Zendaya's cheering spread later and Jeremy Strong's embarrassed giggles and bam did their part to keep the night alive.
In all fairness, everything that has even made it onto our screens is thanks to ABC and the TV Academy's tech team. It seemed almost impossible to present this type of show under such restrictions, and since they insisted on speaking live over pre-recorded segments, they often felt that the producers were deceivingly clinging to the old model of awards shows. In a way, they were – but they also made it. Sure, there were jokes that could have been sharper. Some parts could have been cut, others could have been improved. There was room for more surprises and bigger ambitions. There could have been more fires and more puzzle boxes. But just like John Oliver learned live in front of the world, the 2020 Primetime Emmys show delivered everything it promised, plus a touch of mayhem. What fun.
Grade: B +
The 2020 Primetime Emmy Awards aired on ABC on Sunday, September 20.
ABC / picture group LA
Creative Arts Ceremony, Saturday – Different categories
I blame myself.
After the Creative Arts Awards web broadcast on Thursday evening – the last hour-long weekday awards show – I dared to dream that the two-hour FXX show wouldn't follow the format of the previous YouTube live streams. "It's longer," I argued. "There is advertising!" "It's on an actual network!" "It's the weekend!"
But no, of course none of it mattered. The format was firmly entrenched for the final Creative Arts ceremony on Saturday night as the producers took advantage of whatever segments they'd already aired, hired the same hosts, and relied on commercials to broadcast a two-hour television show rather than trying out something original, experimental or live.
And somehow last night, although everything was recorded and everything except the speeches that had been broadcast before, there were more glaring technical glitches than on all previous nights combined.
It also went on for a long time.
The most obvious mistake was probably the most forgivable. When the show revealed the winner of Best Guest Actor in a Drama Series, the on-screen graphics were correct. This Is Us veteran Ron Cephas Jones was named the winner. But the wrong audio was playing and a sudden cut in Jason Bateman's voice led to questions about who really won the award. The TV Academy soon tweeted the response (and briefed reporters in the virtual media room), but I imagine if Jones and / or Bateman were watching there was a little bit of dismay at the honor.
This is a plausible mistake that can occur when those who run the show don't know the winners in advance and need to quickly insert the right graphics package with the right language – but it's still not a good omen for Sunday. Not in a world after “La La Land”, um, “Moonlight”.
Worse, that wasn't the first ugly mistake on the show. That shame goes to the title card for "Hollywood's" Emmy-winning hairstyling team. Instead of including the names of the winners in their acceptance speech, the screen simply showed "Need Names" – an obvious oversight. (By the way, these winners are Michelle Ceglia, Barry Lee Moe, George Guzman, Michele Arvizo and Maria Elena Pantoja – congratulations!)
Soon after, the wrong graphics card was running for Maya Rudolph's second Emmy win of the year. When she was announced as the guest actress winner for "SNL," the show cut off a template that featured Eddie Murphy as the host of the show – which is also the title of the episode – and Rudolph's name was in the lower left corner barely visible. It looked like Eddie Murphy won, but at least his award (luckily) was announced earlier that evening.
Combine those mistakes with at least eight iterations of Bits, Segments, and Mondays each done earlier (this week!) This week – as well as the return of troubled presenters like Chris Hardwick and Gina Carano, whose previous #MeToo allegations and recent hate speech should be making them undesirable at any celebration – and the last night of the Creative Arts Awards turned out to be the worst of them all; A repetitive, flawed exercise that couldn't even do its main job properly: announcing the winners.
As I discovered earlier in the week, I now realize that the Creative Arts Emmys don't normally air in full. I also recognize that the pandemic makes organizing any type of entertainment broadcast a lot more difficult, especially when trying to argue with hundreds of nominees, winners and presenters. This was no easy task and that 90 percent of the television shows were technically flawless should be commended.
The problem is with the intention. By broadcasting the same introduction five times, the same In Memoriam segment five times, the same fake COVID award three times, and even more reruns that I can't recap, it means that those doing the show didn't Expect That someone sees his shows – not every night, not every other night, and not even more than once. But people did, and not just reporters like you. Many nominated series producers, showrunners, craft teams and executives had a vested interest in seeing if their peers, spread across multiple offices and honored over multiple nights, would win Emmys. This is the highest honor the industry can bestow on its TV artisans, and there has been no suggestion that the TV Academy cared so much about making its nominees, colleagues, or viewers in general feel that way. The assumption that nobody should care to see more than one night of the Creative Arts Emmys is in active contrast to the spirit of the awards themselves.
And that last night also lasted 10 minutes. That's probably up to me. Earlier in the week, I said the ceremonies needed more breathing space. They felt rushed, which felt disrespectful. I didn't know what was coming and now I live in fear of Sunday evening. Good luck with Jimmy Kimmel and executive producers Reggie Hudlin and Ian Stewart. At least the bar has been set pretty low.
Creative Arts Ceremony, Thursday – Screenplay, night two
The Emmys are far from over. After four consecutive nights of ceremonies, we only made it through four of the nine hours of Emmy distribution. Another program from Creative Arts awaits you on Saturday evening – this one two-hour affair on FXX – as well as the Primetime Emmy celebration on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. The latter has a new host, concept, and talent so we know the show will at least be different.
But Saturday has to change too. Be it leaning more on Nicole Byer's comic book potential as a host, giving presenters more (and better) instructions on how to spice up their pre-recorded introductions, or developing more innovative media to highlight their hard work who are honored, a longer ceremony cannot simply mean a longer version of what has happened so far at the Creative Arts Awards.
They were very difficult to observe for all of the reasons listed below and others.
Thursday had the same ups and downs as the previous nights. So scroll down for more information. While that's frustrating enough for anyone who went through those first four nights (mostly reporters and nominees), the real concern remains with the last two ceremonies. After Monday's event, I mentioned that these super-fast, super-repetitive, super-shallow webcasts felt like test runs for the real thing (aka Primetime Emmys). That's his own problem, considering how disrespectful such a perception feels to those who are being honored, but in retrospect I'm not even sure that these ceremonies have served as good practice.
Sunday's television broadcast will rely heavily on being live – there will be live monologues, live bits, live introductions, and live acceptance speeches. From a technical point of view, the hardest elements of Sunday broadcast must be guarding all of these live feeds and managing the changes, rhythm and general feel of a live virtual event.
None of these items were featured on the Creative Arts television shows. The feeling evoked here is unlikely to be felt this coming Sunday as so many of the building blocks have changed. So what was it about? What was the goal? What did the TV Academy hope to achieve on these four very fast and very long evenings? Yes, they announced the winners. That very important function was done, but I doubt anyone who didn't grab a trophy will remember anything positive about these ceremonies. And the TV academy is still starting from scratch this weekend.
So congratulations to Quibi. Congratulations to Forky. Congratulations to "Schitt & # 39; s Creek" (although I suspect PopTV won't be overly happy if this is the biggest win). We look forward to everyone else. At least we don't know what's coming.
Creative Arts Ceremony, Wednesday – Screenplay, Night One
Hmm … I wonder if this "Succession" victory means anything.
About midway through the third night in a row of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, the HBO drama for a drama series won Outstanding Single Cut Photo Editor – the first category to have a winner with all three of the top dramas in the competition. It's also the only category we've seen so far in which “Succession” (18 nominations in total), “Ozark” (also 18 nominations) and “The Mandalorian” (15 nominations) competed together. A lucky "Mandalorian" (he took home five trophies on Wednesday) or even the victorious "Ozark" (his best bets are pending) could have caused trouble for the alleged favorite HBO's "Succession".
Instead, the Emmy went to Bill Henry and Venya Bruk, who initially kept going in favor of "Succession". Now the category isn't exactly a blow for the Best Drama Series. In the past 10 years, winners have only overlapped six times (and three of them were courtesy of Game of Thrones, a juggernaut). "The Mandalorian" could still cause a stir if other craft categories go for the Disney + blockbuster (like "Game of Thrones"), but … none of that matters. I mean, it matters – to me, an Emmy forecaster, and it will be important to future winners and losers, but it certainly shouldn't be what people think of when they see individuals enjoy the highest honor Win television. Let this be your moment, your time in the sun, your time to be recognized.
However, that's pretty much all that came to mind on Wednesday night, when another creative arts ceremony was online, the same intro played, and the same high-speed pace made another night of honor seem like another empty gesture.
From the mandatory Baby Yoda joke that Nicole Byer dropped at the start of the ceremony, to the dancing stormtroopers and masked Mandalorian accepting a visual effects Emmy through Zoom, Wednesday night's Creative Arts ceremony was exactly the same as in the previous nights, only this time with "Star Wars"! Reruns plagued another shortened run time when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar reappeared to roll out the same ad for BLDPWR that aired Monday. Byer's Kia-sponsored piece in the COVID-19 Emmy categories didn't play as well as it did the first time, and the In Memoriam Scroll received a very small but critical update – Wilford Brimley's name was spelled correctly this time as we requested it last night had. (Thanks to Steve Greene of IndieWire for the initial identification.)
The only significant changes were seen in the moderators and winners, and calling them "significant" is a real stretch. Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Hilarie Burton Morgan tried to pair their chilled AMC talk show with a chilled untried joke, but the fact that they don't use visual effects on their show to introduce the best visual effects awards only accentuated theirs Shamelessness Pocket the real honor of the academy. Laverne Cox stumbled on the same way later on on the show (albeit for a much more selfless program in the Netflix documentary "Disclosure"), but there were way too many readings like the overly laid back video of the Morgans over three nights – after all, it just seems as if the only reason the presenters are there is to join their shows instead of wanting to use their profile to draw attention to artisans on the bottom line. (And overall, these virtual ceremonies have felt similarly uninterested in doing homage to the craft.)
That tonal shutdown was only heightened by one other couple who had nothing to plug in: Bobby Cannavale and Rose Byrne kept things very casual, but turned their jumbled lines into a cute montage and stayed so cheery that the awards never felt secondary . If the whole show could follow suit – by providing (obvious) direct references to the art being honored while being cheered and innovating – then these nightly ceremonies might be worth watching. Instead, they remain pretty useless, hence my wandering mind.
Again, I realize (now) that no one should watch it every night, so those who tune in for the first time may have had a pleasant experience. But I suspect those who tuned in for the first time were nominees (or industry professionals associated with those nominees), and their experience depended more on whether Emmy voters presented them with a trophy than Emmy producers delivered a quality program. People from "Watchmen" and "The Mandalorian" are probably pretty happy right now, as are Bill Henry and Venya Bruk from "Succession". I just wish more people knew they would be happy for them.
And if you're really interested in reading the tea leaves, check out Libby Hill's article. That is where these thoughts belong.
Courtesy of the television academy
Creative Arts Ceremony, Tuesday – Diversity
The official theme of the Creative Arts Emmys on Tuesday evening was "Variety". Unofficially, it was the opposite.
There was repetition on the second night as the previous night's repetitions plagued another uninspired virtual ceremony. First, the opening video montage of the 2019-2020 television shows was the same as the one that opened on Monday evening. OK, well, using the same intro can serve to formalize and unite those five nights of awards. Hostess Nicole Byer even leaned on the similarities during her brief opening monologue and quipped, "I'm the same host, that's the same dress." But then the same clip of Jimmy Kimmel joking about the toilet paper leak was played twice – once when the show was slated for an award and then again during a montage of a late-night series that occurred during the pandemic Production resumed.
Jeremy Pope later rhymed "light" and "writing" while standing in the same spot where Byer rhymed the same two words two minutes earlier. Then the same clip played of Ernst & Young pollers in yellow Breaking Bad Hazmat suits. Then the same advertisement ran for the Television Academy Foundation. At the beginning of the In Memoriam segment, you didn't have to go to last night's video to know it was the same segment as before, highlighting the same random names from the same long scroll. (To remove a bit of confusion, these names aren't random. They are all artisans who passed away last year, and the other names not highlighted are actors and industry members who are likely due during the Primetime Tribute.)
Recognizing these repeated segments, lines, and clips signaled two things:
- Nobody should see the Creative Arts Emmy Awards every night.
- These ceremonies are for the winners only – and not even for all winners.
With so much repetition during an even shorter show (47 minutes), a very small audience (Tuesday it was less than 1,000 viewers), and another big winner who couldn't even record an acceptance speech (Lorne Michaels didn't submit an acceptance speech for the fourth Variety Sketch win in a row from "SNL" hammered the ceremony home on Tuesday, who is the target audience of the TV academy for these first ceremonies: the winners. Everyone else is better off looking up the results elsewhere – You can definitely get better responses on social media – because even looking through the shortest awards show in history isn't worth it when so little effort is put into making the night special.
So let's hear it for Robert Barnhart, the lighting designer who won for his work on the Super Bowl Halftime Show. His pre-recorded acceptance speech was a quick, pointy parody of the virtual Emmys when Barnhart jogged into the frame late, stood in front of a fake curtain and said, "Even at home they gave me back row seats!" Then he thanked his colleagues before the music overwhelmed the rest of his speech, and Barnhart joked, “Are you really playing me off now? How did you get in here "before the next award came.
Kudos to Ryan Barger of “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” for winning the outstanding photo editing – and for his extremely colorful backdrop of flowers, a not-so-hidden past from Emmy and an excellent miniature skeleton. Props to Eric Becker, Technical Director of Live in a Studio Audience, for telling everyone to "wear a bloody mask" after a few notes from his piano. And respect to Jason Sherwood, a production design winner for The Oscars, who used his speech to embarrass his best friend with serious admiration.
Along with the more familiar faces of "Live in Front of a Studio Audience" like Will Ferrell, Jimmy Kimmel, Justin Theroux and Norman Lear, all of whom came out for a funny acceptance of the Best Variety Special (Live) award, there were winners like This Remember Understand what an honor it must be to win the most prestigious award your colleagues can offer. Winners like these are worth watching, and all winners are worth acknowledging. It's just a shame the show, designed precisely to do this, isn't interested in attracting repeat viewers, and it hardly seems interested in entertaining the nightly.
One more note: Before the primetime ceremony on Sunday, someone should pick Wilford Brimley's name. The In Memoriam Scrolls misspelled it and has – you guessed it – two nights in a row.
IndieWire / Ben Travers
Creative Arts Ceremony, Monday – Reality and Nonfiction
If you've ever wondered what an awards show would be like without all the frivolous time fillers, ask yourself no more. The 2020 Emmys kicked off their first of six virtual ceremonies on Monday night, and that initial tweaked affair – with pre-recorded intros, speeches, and other segments – included no red carpet, long walks to the stage, and no nervous wandering, "Oh, I did vergessen zu danken …" Reden.
Es war auch nicht großartig.
Um fair zu sein, sind die Creative Arts Emmys normalerweise nicht damit beauftragt, eine Show zu veranstalten. Bei so vielen Kategorien konzentrieren sich diese Zeremonien in erster Linie darauf, alle Auszeichnungen zu erhalten, und das war's auch schon. Es war also schwierig, einen geeigneten Weg zu finden, um die diesjährigen TV-Handwerksleistungen ohne zwei Nächte mit kostenlosem Abendessen und kleinen Partys zu würdigen. Die TV-Akademie hätte die Gewinner nur über eine Pressemitteilung, a la Nominierungen, veröffentlichen können, und sie hätten außerhalb der Branche wahrscheinlich nicht viel Gegenreaktion gehabt. Es gibt einfach keinen großen Appetit, sechs Nächte TV-Auszeichnungen zu sehen. Die Entscheidung, virtuelle, vorab aufgezeichnete Live-Streaming-Zeremonien zusammenzustellen, war eine nachdenkliche Geste und eine bedeutende Investition (in Bezug auf Zeit, Produktionsressourcen und Talent) des Fernsehens Akademie. Sie bieten auch den zusätzlichen Bonus, als Probeläufe für die größeren Feierlichkeiten am Wochenende zu dienen, bei denen mehr Menschen zuschauen (man hofft) und berühmtere Leute geehrt werden (sicher).
Das heißt aber nicht, dass es sich wie ein Probelauf anfühlen sollte. Der Bereich Reality und Non-Fiction der Creative Arts Emmy Awards war in weniger als einer Stunde abgeschlossen – eine undenkbare Leistung für jede frühere Preisverleihung -, als die liebenswürdige Moderatorin Nicole Byer um 17:55 Uhr ihre Abmeldung gab. PT. Die schnelle Anzahl von Ankündigungen in Kombination mit den geschmacklosen vorab aufgezeichneten Segmenten betonte jedoch nur die Idee, dass die Techniker der TV-Akademie nur sicherstellen wollten, dass diese ganze virtuelle Zeremonie funktioniert, mehr als es sich als Gelegenheit für die Gewinner herausstellte, herausgegriffen zu werden. gehört und geschätzt.
Bedeutet das, dass die nächsten fünf Nächte zum Scheitern verurteilt sind? Überhaupt nicht! Könnte es ehrgeizigere, organischere oder auf andere Weise überzeugende Momente geben? Sie wetten! Kommen die Zuschauer also morgen Abend wieder (und was noch wichtiger ist, schalten Sie die längere FXX-Ausstrahlung am Samstag und die große Primetime-Show am Sonntag ein)? Nun, wir werden sehen. Hier sind ein paar erste Eindrücke des seltsamen Debüts – für diejenigen, die es verpasst haben und für diejenigen, die darüber nachdenken, es später anzusehen.
Eine schnelle Zeremonie zum Guten oder Schlechten
Wer sich entschlossen hat, diese Creative Arts-Shows zu einer Stunde pro Stück zu beenden, verdient eine Medaille für Mut… wenn nicht Voraussicht. Das Lesen von Vorschauen, in denen behauptet wurde, dass jede dieser ersten vier Zeremonien in weniger als 60 Minuten beendet sein würde, ließ mir den Kiefer fallen, und nur wenige meiner Mitzuschauer glaubten, dass dies möglich war, bis wir in 45 Minuten drei Viertel der Kategorien durchmäht hatten .
Und doch wirkte die Geschwindigkeit dem besonderen Gefühl entgegen, das diese prestigeträchtigen Auszeichnungen hervorrufen sollen. Versteh mich nicht falsch: Eine lange Preisverleihung ist schwer zu überstehen, und eine kurze Preisverleihung ist normalerweise ein Zeichen für exquisite Planung (und ein paar glückliche Pausen). Die perfekte Länge für alle Zuschauer zu finden, ist eine Angelegenheit, daher sollten dumme Kritiker daran gehindert werden, sich über die Laufzeiten von Preisverleihungen zu beschweren.
Trotzdem ist es dieses Jahr ein großer Faktor. Die virtuelle Welt ist immer noch nicht mit der bemerkenswerten Natur von Live-Events zu vergleichen. Daher kämpfen virtuelle Zeremonien einen harten Kampf, wenn es darum geht, dass sich diese Ehrungen so bedeutend anfühlen wie in den Vorjahren. Als ich Gewinner für Gewinner vorbeifliegen sah und die Reden begannen, sobald der Ankündigungsbildschirm verschwand, musste ich an vergangene Emmy-Partys denken, als jemand Unbekanntes als Gewinner bekannt gegeben wurde, die Kamera ins Gesicht geschnitten wurde und die Menschen Das Anschauen hörte auf zu plaudern oder zu essen oder machte einen Cocktail, um zu fragen: "Warte, wer hat gerade gewonnen?" Dieser kurze Austausch fand normalerweise statt, wenn der Empfänger die Bühne betrat, und die Leute hörten sich den Beginn ihrer Rede an, sobald sie verstanden hatten, wer sie waren oder was sie wahrscheinlich arbeiteten.
Das Tempo dieser ersten virtuellen Zeremonie ließ mich vergessen, wer einige Sekunden nach dem Verlassen des Bildschirms gewonnen hatte. There was barely any time to process winners, let alone ask a friend who was just onscreen or what show they’d won for — and people working behind the scenes typically need a little extra time to be recognized because they’re not famous. I don’t know what the solution is; this could just be an adjustment required for virtual ceremonies, or an attention deficit issue on my end. Bringing in Byer more often could help, especially if she offered a fun fact on the previous winner or their show. Maybe producers could show an extra clip of the winner’s work? (I stand alone on an island whose population loves awards shows that show clips of the nominees.) But Night One went by too fast — longer awards shows are good, actually!
Nicole Byer Nails It
Big surprise, eh? The Emmy-nominated “Nailed It” host wasn’t onscreen that often during the first night (she’ll get more to do on Saturday’s FXX broadcast), but she clearly and concisely explained what was happening, threw in a few affable lines (“Honestly, if you don’t like me now, you won’t like me for the next four days”), and even made a sponsored segment from Kia about fake COVID awards feel more like a reminder of what matters right now than a misguided idea stretched way too thin. (Calling the “Stranger Things” kids “super-spreaders” for participating in “Carpool Karaoke” is always a good joke, though.) Looking forward to more!
In Memoriam Creates More Problems
With only 10 minutes left in the show, just when you thought you might escape an awards show without an awkward “In Memoriam” segment, bam — there it was. A long list of names scrolled down the screen, in no discernible order, as random craft artists were singled out with a picture and a credit for one of their shows. Some got the golden flash over their name that preceded a photo highlight, and some did not. Why? I honestly don’t know, but the segment managed to create the same controversy of so many past, in-person awards shows by choosing which deceased filmmakers got special treatment and which didn’t (much like when guests would applaud for one name more than another during past tributes). Here’s hoping this isn’t a recurring segment.
Some Things Never Change…
Despite acknowledgements that this year’s ceremony was going to be different, as well as promises that producers would lean into the shift to create more exciting changes, the bulk of entertainment from Night No. 1 came from the presenters’ introductions and the recipients’ speeches, and both were largely lacking in originality.
Jim Gaffigan kicked things off with a lengthy plug for his show. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar led into a video package on BLDPWR, an organization trying to support Black artists in the Entertainment industry — during a night when very few Black nominees actually won. The “American Factory” directors fell into the 4% of nominees who didn’t participate in pre-taping an acceptance speech, so of course they won.
Does all this sound familiar? It should. Awkward awards banter, talk-heavy video packages, and absent winners are all awards show staples, as are quickly recited “thank you” speeches and stilted “reading off a teleprompter” intros. Very few honorees tried to stand out, many looked tired or even annoyed to be recording themselves, and it led to a rather flat ceremony, since these people were its main building blocks.
The one reliable factor of entertainment? Mistakes. Despite six months to learn FaceTime, “Holy Moley” host Rob Riggle still left his hand on his phone’s camera when recording an introduction. When Eric Milano won back-to-back sound awards for “Apollo 11,” they aired the same pre-recorded acceptance speech twice, which meant hearing “Consider going vegan, and let’s get money out of politics!” two times in a row (which, fine — at least he said something unique). There were a few awkward pauses here, and a few obvious edits there, but that only goes to show how polished the whole endeavor felt — a stark contrast to the electricity of a live show. Here’s hoping the coming nights give producers better material to work with.
Viewership and Purpose
The Creative Arts Emmy Awards have never been designed as a mainstream draw, and this year’s ceremonies are no different. Yes, these are the first to air in their entirety, but they’re only available through the Emmys’ website (via a YouTube livestream). That should make them easily accessible for whoever wants to watch (namely, publicists, reporters, and nominees), but Night No. 1 didn’t even seem to attract those key audience demographics. At the 15-minute mark, 1,330 people were watching; at the 45-minute mark, viewers held steady at 1,341. To say those are far from gangbuster numbers misses the point, but it’s worth asking whether or not this version of a virtual ceremony is the best way to honor each winner. Sending out a press release, sharing the news on social media, relying on word of mouth from networks, colleagues, and friends — all of that still happened after the virtual ceremony aired, so it’s hard to say watching it live was anything but a bonus. Maybe it was. New Emmy winner Laura Karpman sure seems happy. But there’s still room for improvement. Bring on tomorrow night.
The Creative Arts Emmy Awards will be given out the week of September 14. The virtual ceremonies airing Monday – Thursday will be streaming via the Emmys livestream. Saturday’s last Creative Arts ceremony will air on FXX. The 72nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards will take place virtually on Sunday, September 20. (See our awards calendar for a more detailed breakdown of important dates.) ABC is broadcasting the ceremony.