It was the weekend where Ruth Bader Ginsberg died, plunging the US election into further uncertainty, the cabinet decided (but are yet to reveal) our next stage of lockdown as the second wave takes hold in the UK and one of the biggest financial leaks ever occurred, proving that British banks have been literally bankrolling dictators. So obviously the only thing you want to hear about is… what happened at the Emmys?
You might be working an endless WFH shift from your windowless basement bedsit, but spare a thought for the great and the good of Hollywood. Poor things, holed up in their gated communities and mansions with, some of them with only one or two infinity pools and tennis courts to rub together. In the midst of the pandemic, this was their night. Awww…
Hosted by US talk show presenter Jimmy Kimmel (who you only know from Youtube clips given his show doesn’t air this side of the Atlantic), the 72nd Annual Emmy Awards didn’t take place in a crowded ballroom as we’re used to, but to an empty Staples Centre and on a much smaller scale, while the prizes were collected by stars from their own living rooms.
The highlights included an Emmy for US actor Zendaya, who became the youngest ever to receive the prize for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Other biggies included an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series going to Succession and Schitt’s Creek grabbing awards across comedy categories.
Cries of ‘The British are coming!’ did not turn out to be true this year, sadly, with Brits like Matthew MacFayden missing out on best support actor for his hilarious role in Succession to Billy Crudup’s Machiavellian character in The Morning Show. Similarly Olivia Coleman, and Helena Bonham Carter were passed over for their parts on The Crown while MacFayden’s co-star Brian Cox left empty handed along with Jeremy Irons and Paul Mescal.
However Jesse Armstrong, the British creator of Succession (who, weirdly, also wrote Fresh Meat and The Thick Of It) deservedly won an Emmy for Outstanding Drama and used his speech to take a swipe at Donald Trump and Boris Johnson for their handling of the pandemic (though it was perhaps noteworthy that he was at least able to accept his prize in a London hotel rather than his locked-down American counterparts).
Armstrong’s ‘un-thank you’ speech attacked the hapless pair, saying ‘Un-thank you to President Trump for his crummy and uncoordinated response. Un-thank you to Boris Johnson for the same thing in our country. Un-thank you to the nationalists and quasi-nationalists. So, un-thank you.’
All in all it was a bizarre awards, but one that symbolises 2020 quite effectively. It will be interesting to see what happens next year given many studios have halted production of big shows during lockdown, with delays signalled for future seasons of Succession and The Crown and others.
But amidst all the uncertainly, perhaps it was nice to see our celeb ‘friends’ again and for them to dazzle just a bit. Even it if was in their living rooms.