It is that wonderful time that comes but once a year–that is right, award season! On September 20, the 2015-2016 award season kicked off with the Primetime Emmy Awards. Hosted by Andy Samberg, television’s biggest night was filled with emotions of shock, excitement, and disappointment, and included some history-making moments that will be remembered for award seasons to come.
The night started with a funny opening video in which Samberg showed that in preparation for his job as host, he locked himself away to watch all the television shows that were nominated. This was followed by a well-crafted monologue that took jabs at the likes of Donald Trump and Bill Cosby. Although it had the potential to be seen as controversial, it seemed to go over well not only with the live audience but also the viewers at home.
As far as awards go, however, there were two major disappointments for fans. First, Amy Poehler lost Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series to Julia Louis-Dreyfus of Veep. Poehler, who has never won an Emmy, was nominated for her role as Leslie Knope in Parks and Recreation for the sixth consecutive year. The public was pulling for her as this was her last chance to win for this particular role due to the fact the show’s series finale aired in February. She has lost to Louis-Dreyfus for the past four years, and everyone thought that this would finally be the year Poehler received the honor she has deserved since her days on Saturday Night Live.
The second major let-down was Modern Family losing to Veep for Outstanding Comedy Series. Modern Family has won in this category for the first five seasons it has been on air, and with a sixth win was set to make Emmy history. Veep, which has been airing on HBO since 2012, has been nominated alongside Modern Family every year, so for them this was a much celebrated win.
The biggest crowd-pleasing moment of the night was Jon Hamm finally winning Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. Hamm had been nominated for his role as Don Draper in Mad Men since 2009, and this was his first win. With the show ending this past year, Hamm was by far the fan favorite to win, and obviously, The Academy agreed.
The most emotional and important moments of the night came, though, when two awards were given out that made history. The first occurred when Uzo Aduba won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Crazy Eyes in the Netflix series Orange is the New Black. This may not seem like a big deal, but last year Aduba won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for the same role. The Academy switched the genre of the show due to a new Emmy rule; therefore, Aduba is the first person to ever win two Emmys in two different categories for the same role.
The second history-making award was received by Viola Davis in the category Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Annalise Keating in How to Get Away With Murder. Davis is the first African-American woman to win in this category, and she made the reasoning of why this is the case clear in her acceptance speech. She stated that “roles don’t exist” for African-American women in television and therefore they are put at a disadvantage by not even having equal opportunities as everyone else. The crowd reacted to this strong statement in agreement which was evident through their thunderous applause.
For sure, this was truly an Emmys to remember, and one we will be talking about for months to come… and this is only the beginning of the best season of the year! With so many more award shows to come, who knows what will happen?