Jeff Daniels summed it up nicely: “Well, crap!”
That was the Newsroom star’s opening line when he accepted his Emmy for Outstanding Actor in a Drama. But he might as well have been speaking for the rest of us. Last night’s winners list was so baffling, I half-expected seven different Tatiana Maslanys to jump up on stage and claim their trophies, even though the Orphan Black actress was snubbed.
True, there were a few wonderful upsets. As an avowed fan of Nurse Jackie‘s Merritt Wever, I actually said “Yes!” out loud when she won for Supporting Actress in a Comedy — and that was before she delivered the best anti-speech speech of the night. (“Thank you so very much. Um, I gotta go. Bye!”) When Tony Hale stepped on stage to claim his Supporting Actor award for Veep, it started to feel like we were watching some sort of Bizarro Emmys, where the people who deserved to win actually did. Then things got weird. Jonathan Banks and Mandy Patinkin got passed over in favor of Bobby Cannavale, though in his defense, Cannavale worked insanely hard for that victory, right down to his final rubber-hose beat-down. (As my colleague Darren Franich pointed out, “No other nominee could say, ‘I filmed a gunfight where I was completely naked and covered in blood.’”) And Daniels’ win made the internet angry. When he beat Bryan Cranston and Jon Hamm for a season of The Newsroom that at least one critic compared to the crash-and-burn spectacularity of NASA’s Vanguard rocket explosion, you’d think it was an American tragedy so solemn that Will McEvoy will surely deliver a self-important monologue about it next season, to the strains of some sad Coldplay song.
And yet, watching this, something struck me: you can’t really be outraged if you don’t already have a pretty good idea of who’s expected to win. Never in history have viewers had access to more information about who to vote for in their Emmys office pools — simple Googling can get you critics’ picks, industry insiders’ picks, even gamblers’ betting odds — and maybe that’s why these upsets felt like such a shock. At a time when TV viewing habits are getting more and more niche, the Emmy picks for who will win (as opposed to who should) are the one thing that many experts and fans agree upon. READ FULL STORY