The Emmy’s: Highlights

The stage of the 2016 Emmy Awards

The stage of the 2016 Emmy Awards

Vivian Rousseau

Sunday, September 18th, 2016 marked the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, so for Netflix binge-watchers across the nation, it was an exciting event filled with surprises, laughter, and even a little bit of drama outside of the television screen.

The evening kicked off with nominees preaching their emotional acceptance speeches to a rather anticipating audience. Winners included Louie Anderson claiming the title for best supporting actor in Baskets, hit comedy show Master of None earning outstanding comedy series, and five-time nominee Kate McKinnon from Saturday Night Live graciously accepting the award for supporting actress in a comedy speech. One of many political jokes was cracked as Julia Louis-Dreyfus won best lead actress in her comedy Veep, apologizing for the fact that her hit TV series had “torn down the wall between comedy and politics.”

Later on, applause erupted from supporters of the LGBT community as host Jimmy Kimmel awarded Jeffrey Tambor an Emmy for best actor in a comedy called Transgender, who then indirectly begged the television industry to “give transgender talent a chance.” Not long afterwards came a second straight win for The Voice as best reality-competition series as Mark Burnett reminded the crowd that the new season aired the next day. This announcement immediately sparked a new wave of enthusiasm from the viewers both in the auditorium and those watching from their comfy seats in their living rooms at home.

The show took a brief break from the seriousness of the speeches as Kimmel encouraged the young cast of new hit TV show Stranger Things to pass out peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to the audience. Supposedly, his mom had made the sandwiches as a laughable tribute to the Girl Scout cookies handed out at this year’s Oscars and last year’s pizza. Maybe the distribution of snacks at award shows will be something to expect for the next couple of years.

Evidently, The People VS O.J. Simpson collected a rather repetitive number of awards. Hard work and dedication doesn’t seem to go to waste as the new series is rewarded for best writing in a limited series, best supporting actor in a limited series for grateful nominee Sterling K. Brown, and best lead actress in a limited series for Sarah Paulson who dedicated the majority of her acceptance speech to the depth of her character in the show- not to go unnoticed by Ellen DeGeneres, who quickly tweeted, “@MsSarahPaulson you look wonderful, your performance was wonderful, you are wonderful.” It seems there’s never a dull moment when watching celebrities “fangirl” over other celebrities!

Slight controversy occurred the moment Beyonce’s new album Lemonade lost best directing in a variety special to Grease: Live!- nevertheless, extreme talent and expertise was noted in both pieces.

Key and Peele, a comical sketch series well-known for its “Substitute Teacher” video, was presented best variety sketch series. Keegan-Michael Key, co-contributor to the comedy, accepted the title not long before Game of Thrones’ creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss won for best writing in a drama series. Later on, the same show was awarded an Emmy for best drama series two years in a row, a predictable but well-earned win, especially considering the growing popularity of the program over the past few seasons.

Tori Kelly performed a moving performance of “Hallelujah” in the midst of the show’s memoriam segment. A montage that was presented dedicated tribute to talented stars who died since the 2015 Emmy’s, specifically Alan Rickman, Anton Yelchin, Doris Roberts and Morley Safer. The audience and crew recognized the marks they left in the film industry as well as the impact of their deaths on TV stars who looked up to them.

This year’s Emmy’s was one to remember- not just to the actors and actresses who won awards, but to the anxious watchers who rooted on their favorite shows, friends and families of those successful that night, and to the film industry as a whole.