I have to admit that I did not watch the Emmy Awards last night. After all, they aired against both Leverage and Mad Men. From what I read in the news today, however, it seems to me there were a few upsets last night (and not I am not talking about Top Chef, whatever that it is...).
No, what I am talking about is the Emmy Award for Best Comedy Series. For the past three years 30 Rock has deservedly had a lock on the category. To me it seemed a sure thing that 30 Rock would win the Emmy for Best Comedy Award again this year. It turns out, however, that Modern Family won the award instead. Now that is a real upset. As to whether it bothers me that 30 Rock, my favourite comedy currently on the air, lost, it really does not. Okay, I do not believe that Modern Family is as well written or as well acted or as funny as 30 Rock. But then I must confess I do not watch Modern Family. From the clips I have seen, it does seem like it is a very funny, well written, and well acted show. It is not as if 30 Rock had lost to Three and a Half Men instead....
I was also surprised that Alec Baldwin did not win Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his role in 30 Rock again this year. He lost to Jim Parsons, who plays Sheldon Cooper on Big Bang Theory. I must confess I like Big Bang Theory and Sheldon is easily my favourite character on the show. That having been said, I must question if he should be in this category. After all, in my mind the main character is Leonard, hence the show's lead actor is Johnny Galecki. I suppose that may be nitpicking and I must confess, it is good to see Mr. Parsons get recognised for his work.
Another upset in my mind was The Daily Show with Jon Stewart taking the Outstanding Music, Variety, or Comedy Series category. This might seem odd to some, given it has won the past six years in a row. That having been said, I thought this year The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien was a sure thing. After all, Conan O'Brien did a fantastic job on The Tonight Show, bring the show to a level of quality it had not been in, well, seventeen years. And it seemed to me that Academy of Television Arts and Sciences members would vote for Conan just as a means of sending a message to both NBC and Jay Leno. It turns out I was wrong. Of course, here I must again bring up the fact that The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson was snubbed. Not only should it have been nominated in this category. It should have won.
In my mind, the only set of categories in which there were no real surprises and no real upsets this year were the drama categories. Mad Men won Outstanding Drama Series, as expected. Bryan Cranston won the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for Breaking Bad, as expected. Erin Levy and Matt Weiner won Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series, as expected. To me there were only a few categories in which one could quibble about the winners. Personally, I cannot understand how Archie Panjabi of The Good Wife best Elizabeth Moss, Peggy Olson of Mad Men, in the Outstanding Supporting Actress category. To me, Miss Moss is one of the best actors in a cast full of great actors. There's no other supporting actress quite as impressive in her talent as she is.
In the end I think last night's Emmy Awards was no different than most. In fact, it seems to me that every Emmy Awards is nearly a microcosm of the whole history of the awards. There are a few surprises, where starkly original series win. There are times when the awards are predictable. And there are times when those who do not deserve to win somehow do win. This was true of last night and it has been true of the whole history of the awards.