By Francesca Burke
2020 has certainly been a year for the books, and this year’s Emmy awards were no exception. From the youngest recipient of best Lead Actress in a Drama Series to the record for most Emmy wins being broken by one hit TV comedy, this spectacular and socially-distanced awards show was unforgettable. In case you missed it, I will fill you in on all the shows that won big this year, while also offering some commentary on my opinions on the nominees who won and who should have won.
First, let’s cover some of the basic information. The Emmys were hosted by Jimmy Kimmel this year and celebrities like Jennifer Anniston, Randall Park, and Jason Sudeikis made in-person appearances as guest presenters. However, because there was no live audience this year, the show set up 130 livestreams worldwide so that all of the nominees could be there virtually. Despite the Emmys being so different from the past 71 years, the format worked quite well, and the show was just as enjoyable as ever.
The first (and, personally, most important) part of the awards show were the comedy awards. If you tuned in to the show, you know that the record for most Emmys won by a single show was broken this year, previously held by The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, winning 8 Emmys in 2018 and 2019. The hilarious comedy Schitt’s Creek won 9 out of the 15 Emmys it was nominated for. The majority of the cast was at an outdoor viewing party in Toronto, Canada, where the show was filmed to receive their awards, some of which included best leading actor, actress, and best comedy series. Schitt’s Creek is one of the best comedies I have ever watched because it is different from any other TV show I have ever seen. Catherine O’Hara’s character, Moira Rose, is one of my personal favorites because of her unidentifiable accent and her ostentatious wigs paired with her black and white formal clothing that she wears in every episode. Moira Rose is unlike any character I have ever seen and adds so much flare to the already amazing show. While many great shows were nominated in the comedy category such as The Good Place and Curb Your Enthusiasm, Schitt’s Creek deserved all the success they received that night on account of the amazing cast and fabulous writing.
Next, the variety talk show awards were given. During the hectic times of 2020, we rely on talk show hosts to offer comedic perspectives on today’s news. This year, the nominees included two amazing talk shows: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. Both of these comedians host great late night shows that I would highly recommend watching. John Oliver’s comedic satire is always amusing and his opinions on politics and the pandemic are sure to bring a smile. Trevor Noah does amazing impressions during his late night show and because he has experience in stand-up comedy, his criticisms of this crazy year are extremely accurate and also hilarious. The winner of Outstanding Variety Talk Series was Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and he definitely deserved the award because of the amazing content in all of his shows. The show also won another twenty Emmys out of the 45 they were nominated for! The Daily Show was nominated for 9 Emmys but, unfortunately, did not win any. While I am sure that Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert host great late night shows, none of them hold a candle to Trevor Noah and John Oliver.
The final part of the show was dedicated to drama. This year, some of the nominees included Killing Eve, Ozark, and Stranger Things. However, I was slightly disappointed that some of these shows did not win many of the Emmys for which they were nominated. The biggest winner was a show called Succession which, in total, was nominated for 23 Emmys and won 9, including Outstanding Drama Series. Personally, I think that Ozark did not receive enough credit. It is a chilling and jaw-dropping drama that, unfortunately, only took home 3 Emmys out of the 32 for which they were nominated. The drama category also broke a record this year for the youngest recipient of Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Zendaya, who is only 24 years old, won this Emmy for her outstanding performance in Euphoria.
This year’s Emmys were not like anything the world had ever seen, and this might become the new normal. Lots of award shows are thinking of reimagining how they will be hosted in years to come, and we’re all along for the ride. We all miss seeing celebrities’ amazing outfits on the runway and getting to witness acceptance speeches that don’t glitch over Zoom, but for now, let’s just be glad that network television is doing all they can to keep us entertained because let’s be real, there is nothing left to watch on Netflix.