It was certainly one of the most surprising Emmy ceremonies in recent history. The awards were all over the place, but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. Bryan Cranston, Mad Men, and The Daily Show's streaks remained unbroken, while Glenn Close, The Amazing Race, and 30 Rock were finally dethroned. Several newcomers came out on top despite competing against Emmy veterans. Jim Parsons and Aaron Paul became Emmy winners after being robbed last year. Emmy Queen Edie Falco took home her fourth trophy, and the four-time loser Kyra Sedgwick finally won. As always, it was a night full of ups and downs, and that made it an entertaining three hours of television.
Jimmy Fallon & the Opening Sequence
Jimmy Fallon started off on the right foot last night. The show took advantage of the Glee hype and delivered an exciting musical number featuring the likes of Tina Fey, Jorge Garcia, and the hilarious Jon Hamm. Throughout the night, Fallon continued to liven up the awards (though with so many surprises, they didn't necessarily need it) with some clever jokes and a musical tribute to the shows we lost this year. He's no Neil Patrick Harris, but he proved that he can host the show almost as well.
Glee/Modern Family Awards Split
It was nice to see both freshman comedies earn the awards exactly where they deserved them. Modern Family, the more consistently written show, won Outstanding Writing for its pilot, while Glee's pilot, which was more of a visual spectacle, won Outstanding Directing. Then both shows' standout performers, Eric Stonestreet (Family) and Jane Lynch (Glee), won in their respective supporting categories. And in the end the better show, Modern Family, took home the trophy for Outstanding Comedy Series. Well done, Emmys.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Though I could easily argue that Terry O'Quinn deserved the award this year, he's already won for his role on Lost, and it's nice to see someone new win their first Emmy. I haven't seen season three of Breaking Bad yet, but Paul is excellent in the first two seasons, and it is so satisfying to see such a deserving actor accept his reward.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
It was great to see Jim Parsons take home the Emmy over his significantly weaker competition. He's developed an iconic character and single-handedly made The Big Bang Theory a success.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
For once, the Emmys rewarded a subtle performance instead of an over-the-top dramatic hissy fit. Very few people saw this coming, but it was a welcomed upset! I couldn't have been more excited when it happened. Panjabi's win was definitely the highlight of my night because she has created such a complex and memorable character on The Good Wife that I hope to enjoy for many years to come.
Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
I'm not going to say that any particular series was more deserving than any other (though The Colbert Report is my favorite). I'm just upset that we all missed the opportunity to hear Conan O'Brien's acceptance speech, which most likely would have been full of clever quips made at NBC's expense.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Bryan Cranston is amazing and deserves every single Emmy his has, including the one he won last night. It's just a little disheartening to see him win his third in a row, when everyone else in the category is Emmy-less. This category was the most competitive of the night, and the other nominees are probably happy to know that Breaking Bad will be sitting the awards out next year.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
I've never seen an episode of The Closer, so I'm not going to criticize Kyra Sedgwick's victory (plus, I've heard her episode submission was fantastic). Instead, I'm going to lament the losses of Juliana Margulies, Connie Britton, January Jones, and Glenn Close. All of these women are amazing, and it's hard to understand how any one of them didn't win. Margulies's snub was especially baffling, considering her track record, the buzz for The Good Wife, and her costar's victory. Just as I started rooting for her, she leaves an awards show empty-handed.
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series: Steve Shill, Dexter, "The Getaway"
Lost left last night's ceremony without a single award. Its final season was definitely not its best, but the show's finale was robbed of this award, which it deserved more than anything else. Unanswered questions aside, the two and a half hour episode was an emotional masterpiece that was expertly directed by Jack Bender.
And now it's time to move on to the 2011 Emmys!
Dexter Season 2
Episode 1 - It's Alive!