Last night, the recipients of the Primetime Emmys were announced in a live telecast and, like many people, I tuned in to see what surprises were in store. Most awards shows are generally a mix of the expected and the unexpected, and this year’s Emmys were no different. Although the big winners of the night (Modern Family, Breaking Bad and Behind the Candelabra) were no surprise, the acting awards seemed to break every expectation. Even the winning actors often seemed surprised when their names were read! (Case in point: Merritt Wever’s four-word speech after her shocking, but deserved, win for her work in Nurse Jackie.)
Unlike most awards shows, last nights Emmys also had a more solemn tone than usual. In addition to the In Memoriam segment, the Emmys featured extended, more personal tributes to five industry greats who passed away this year. These, along with a somber tribute to Liberace and a segment on the upcoming 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy contributed to the reflective feel of the Emmys. Fortunately, host Neil Patrick Harris was always there to lighten the mood with a witty aside or glitzy song and dance number. Overall, the Emmys may have verged on the depressing, but the excitement of the winners made it fun to watch.
If you missed the Emmys last night, check out a partial list of winners below and a complete list at the official Emmys website.