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‘Big Little Lies’ & Other Things That Won at the 2017 Emmys

The Emmy’s are here again: the award show that represents that sort of dull, if woke, relative who will say this year at Thanksgiving: “What a nightmare this country has become!” but actually voted for Bernie in the general election because Hillary was “problematic.” (More snide political commentary to come, my friends. Strap in!)

By the comment above I mean this: the Emmy’s this year were wonderfully diverse as far as nominees and winners go, howevuh, there were some incredibly questionable things that occurred along the way, which I shall elucidate in due course.

But first, as is tradition, I shall comment on the (disappointing, per usual) fashions.

Credit: Rex/Shuttershock

I love Claire Foy so damn much on The Crown, but this is freaking awful, especially considering Evan Rachel Wood’s pants look that night as well.

Credit: Rex/Shuttershock

To quoth the prophet Shane (my delightful and hilarious friend): “Would it be the Emmys if Viola wasn’t wearing a brightly colored dress?”

Credit: Rex/Shuttershock

I just watched The Big Sick and am now obsessed with these two. 

Credit: Rex/Shuttershock

Only Diana Ross’ daughter has permission to wear this much sparkle and feathers at once. I approve whole-heartedly.

Credit: Rex/Shuttershock

I cannot believe this is what Elisabeth Moss chose to win her first (long, long overdue) Emmy. So disappointing. 

Credit: Rex/Shuttershock


Credit: Rex/Shuttershock

I hate this so much, which is insane that I do, but here we are. I don’t think the red is quite “right.” I find the darting on the bodice to be strange, and the fabric to look incredibly cheap. And most importantly, I loathe tea-length dresses on grown adult women. You look ridiculous. 

Credit: Rex/Shuttershock

The most hilarious thing in the world to me is that the cast of Stranger Things appear to be contractually obligated to only pose on the red carpet with one another.

Credit: Rex/Shuttershock

She looks flamazing and everyone else looks like sh*t. This is my only real commentary on the red carpet from this year. (I see you Jeremy Scott, and I appreciate you!)

On to the show!

Stephen Colbert, whom I love but CBS has also whittled down into a mainstream puppet on which they pull the strings, hosted and began with a song and dance. If you don’t start and awards show with a song, did it even happen? The answer is, resoundingly, no.

It was about how “everything is better on TV,” and yeah. That checks out. The real world is a heaping trash-pile of odiousness. Anyway, Chance the Rapper showed up in the middle to do a thing about the scary politics of our times. This one was for the millennials who have better things to do than sit around and watch 3-hours of the bourgeois being awarded for saying things. (This got a little bit Marxist, and I guess that’s something we’re rolling with now?)

That being said, it made me happy to see a kick-line of showgirls (and some showmen) with hats from The Handmaid’s Tale.

The opening monologue began with self-congratulatory jokes, as well as the expected political digs (which didn’t let up for most of the night). The tone of the entire evening was definitely about diverse, creative, individual voices finally getting an opportunity to be heard and an FU to the less diverse film industry who still seems to think white-washing is okay. (That comment was my own personal FU.)

More jokes about the HBO hack, Bill Mahar using the N-word, how if 45 had won an Emmy he never would’ve run for president; all very expected. One of my favourites being: “Unlike the presidency, Emmys go to the winner of the popular vote.”

*Political Gabby rant to follow* Then, the worst thing to maybe ever happen occurred: they brought out former press secretary Sean Spicer. Pardon my French, but what the f*ck was that? I am sorry, that was awful and inappropriate. You wheel out somebody who promoted and defended fascism and treat him like a compatriot. Keep it.

After that BS, the most wondrous thing happened. Stephen Colbert introduced the heroes of 2017. I define my sexuality as, “Please welcome from Big Little Lies Shailene Woodley, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, and Zoe Kravitz.”

They awarded Best Supporting Actor in a Drama to John Lithgow for is amazing work as Winston Churchill on Netflix’s The Crown. This isn’t the first time he’s been awarded for this performance, and I think it is very well deserved. I also love the hell out of this show, so any award it can swoop up brings me joy.

Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy went to Kate McKinnon (SNL). She seems like a genuinely lovely person. Apparently not to Nicole Kidman, though, as they literally showed her in the audience not clapping. I am assuming this was to avoid her becoming the talk of the internet (again) for her insane way of clapping, but still.

Moving on, Laura Dern is an Emmy winner! I have never stanned so hard for a human in my life as I do Laura Dern. She is the greatest human and she deserves everything.  She, of course, won Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series for her unnerved, flawless performance as Renata on Big Little Lies. Her character’s daughter was named (frankly, hilariously) “Amabella,” and you can sure bet that if I am ever so unfortunate to have a child of my own, they will be named just that.

Donald Glover, perfect person, won Best Directing in a Comedy for his show Atlanta. I love him so much and watching him succeed brings me such unbridled elation.

Okay, this is where I get upset. SNL beat Billy on the Street for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series, and that, to me, is unacceptable. SNL has won for a gazillion years and, frankly, it isn’t even good. Sure, Melissa McCarthy and Alec Baldwin are wonderful. But Colin Jost is legitimately a bad person, and I just can’t support that. Billy Eichner, on the other hand, is a delicious pop culture elf and he deserved this! Sad!

Then, as these things are wont to do, there was a pre-recorded joke thing. This time, it was in the form of Stephen Colbert as a Westworld “host.” Sure, fine. The best part of this was when Titus Burgess showed up. He is one of our finest talents, and he needs to be awarded for his work on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Outstanding Writing for a Drama was Bruce Miller’s for The Handmaid’s Tale. Sure, this checks out.

Supporting Actor in a Comedy went to Alec Baldwin (SNL).  Sure, this checks out.

Montréal-native and person responsible for making me bust out the accent aigu Jean Marc Vallée won for Best Directing for a Limited Series for Big Little Lies. M. Vallée, who previously said he would only do one season, had HBO dollar signs flashing in his eyes as he accepted his award. I am so upset this won so many Emmys because now I know we are getting more than one season. It is the most unnecessary thing on the plant and infuriates me to my core. I say this as someone who loved it. Last note, Vallée is so French that he is wearing a scarf as a tie; my god, do I love that man.

We then got a fun little 9 to 5 reunion, and Jane Fonda looks amazing. That is my only commentary on this part and on life in general.

They presented Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series to Alexander Skarsgård (again with the accents!) for his role as an abusive husband on Big Little Lies. So much to unpack with this one. He is fit and wonderful and eerily good at being awful and rape-y, yet somehow still human, and he looks amazing with a moustache. You have to be really attractive not to look like a pedophile with just a moustache and he is pulling it off. Also, Nicole Kidman kissed him on the mouth right in front of her husband, so I heard not a word of his speech. I was busy reeling from that.

Another joke bit: this time involving RuPaul as the Emmy statue. I approve.

Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series went to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. The research done on this show is really something, and to bring wit and humour to sometimes incredibly serious topics cannot always be easy.

Ann Dowd won Supporting Actress in a Drama for her work as Aunt Lydia on The Handmaid’s Tale. I am going to pretend that she won this for The Leftovers, but regardless, what a legend. She has been around forever and she was so truly shocked and humbled. This was one of my favourite wins of the night.

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy went, rightfully, to Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe. They got a standing ovation, as Lena was the first African American woman to ever win this award. Ansari let Lena do all the talking, knowing this was her moment. What a G.

RuPaul was robbed of Outstanding Reality Competition Series; it went to The Voice again. Nobody freaking watches that show. Kill me.

My hand is cramping so I am going to list the next several awards off:

  • Outstanding Directing Drama: Reed Morano, The Handmaid’s Tale
  • Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series: Charlie Brooke, Black Mirror: San Junipero
  • Viola Davis introducing Christopher Jackson for the In Memorium. Not an award, but anytime we are graced with Viola’s presence it feels like we are all being rewarded with her existence.
  • Outstanding Directing Variety Series: Don Roy King, SNL
  • Outstanding Variety Talk Series: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy: Donald Glover, Atlanta

JLD, of course, won for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy series. She should win an Emmy for pretending she still cares that any of this means anything to her anymore. Kevin Spacey was filming her for some reason as she went up to win, so assuming he’s going to watch that for fun whenever he’s bored.

The beautiful and talented Joseph Fiennes and human equivalent of a Saltine cracker Jessica Biel presented Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series to Riz Ahmed (The Night Of). I was mad elated; Riz is a treasure. That being said, Ewan McGregor looked so pissed he lost. 

Next up was the biggest category of the night, Outstanding Actress in a Limited Series. I never thought I would be typing that, yet here we are. Ryan Murphy’s next season of Feud should be about this category. Ultimately, it went to Claymation human and weird clapper Nicole Kidman. I kid because I love. I was overwhelmed by this category and Nicole’s immovable face. I really wanted this to go to Reese, but we can’t always get what we want.

Such a random note, but I have nowhere else to mention this: Nicole thanked producer/writer David E. Kelley in her (never-ending and rambling) speech and they flashed over to him in the audience next to his wife, Michelle freaking Pfeiffer. I always forget they’re married. Another even more random note, I saw mother! and even Pfeiffer’s campy, passive aggressive performance could not save my thoughts on that film. I low-key hated every second of it.

Matt Bomer and his patchy, grey facial hair (no, Matt, sweetie. Just no.) presented Outstanding Television Movie to Black Mirror: San Junipero. Running that episode as a standalone was the smartest thing they ever did as far as awards recognition goes. I also loved it, so yay!

Outstanding Limited Series went to Big Little Lies. Ugh. We are totally getting another season, aren’t we?

Lead Actor in a Drama went to Sterling K. Brown. I was weeping. What a classy, amazing actor. He referenced Dick Whitman, so he is clearly also a part of obligatory Jon Hamm reference club as well. (Obligatory Jon Hamm reference. © Gabrielle Lee Gabauer 2017.) I was infuriated when they played him off and cut his mic while he was still talking. This man is an Emmy-award winning actor, and the first African American man to win the award in years. Show some respect.

Lead Actress in a Drama went to Lizzy Moss for The Handmaid’s Tale. I am just going to pretend this is for Mad Men, although she is amazing in everything.

Oprah, who got a stand ovation simply because she’s Oprah, presented Outstanding Drama to The Handmaid’s Tale. I think it’s a great show. That being said, I think if Hillary had won the election, it never would’ve won or had the impact it’s had. Regardless, I was happy! Margaret Atwood showed up! The gentlemen accepting the award referenced Rory Gilmore! All is well!

It was a long night with lots of lovely surprises. Minus a few tone-deaf moments, I was pleased.

Until the Gold Globes! xx





Image: https://media.giphy.com/media/l378sFRpdAtETo9J6/giphy.gif, https://medi…

Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Gabrielle is a fourth year student at McGill University. She watches a lot (some might say too much TV) and has gotten into screaming matches over movies. In her spare time, she enjoys being utterly self-deprecating. For clever tweets, typically composed by her favorite television writers, follow her twitter. For overly-posed (but pretending not to be) photographs follow her Instagram.
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