Dystopias Are In, Robot Cowboys Are Out: Winners And Losers From The 2017 Emmys

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The 69th Primetime Emmys are in the books. The trophies have all been handed out and the speeches have all been given. Now, with all of that out of the way, we can get to the important business: Subjectively declaring the winners and losers from the evening as though it was all objective fact. Truly our fine country’s greatest tradition.

WINNER: Dystopias

The big winner of the night was The Handmaid’s Tale, which won for Outstanding Drama, Outstanding Lead Actress (Elisabeth Moss), Outstanding Supporting Actress (Ann Dowd), and Outstanding Directing (Reed Morano). Also, Black Mirror won two awards, for Outstanding Television Movie (“San Junipero”) and Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special (Charlie Brooker, “San Junipero”), the latter of which was kind of a big deal because Brooker was up against names like David E. Kelly, Noah Hawley, and Ryan Murphy.

The takeaways here are as follows:

  • Elisabeth Moss winning was good, because she was good in The Handmaid’s Tale and probably should have won for playing Peggy on Mad Men at least once
  • It was a good year for horrifying futuristic dystopias
  • Just once I want someone to make a show about the future where everything is basically fine and cool, like a live-action Jetsons or something, but with a $100 million per season budget

Moving on.

LOSER: Futuristic robot amusement parks

Westworld tied SNL for the most nominations at this year’s Emmys with 22, and while the show picked up a few wins at the non-televised Creative Arts ceremony last week, it got straight-up shut out during the main event, 0-for-7. And, like, good? It’s not that Westworld was bad or anything, although it hasn’t aged all that well compared to some of the other contenders (show me one person who says Westworld is their favorite show), it’s just… I don’t think I could make a great argument for any of its nominees over the people/shows they lost to. Maybe Jeffrey Wright over John Lithgow. Maybe. But for the most part its legacy will be “placeholder big expensive HBO show that got a lot of nominations in a year when Game of Thrones wasn’t eligible,” which feels just about right, all in all.

WINNER: Donald Glover

Donald Glover won two awards (Outstanding Lead Actor for a Comedy and Outstanding Directing). That was pretty great. Especially the Lead Actor one. That was one I was hoping for, although I also would have been happy if Aziz Ansari won it. But Ansari and Lena Waithe did pick up the win for writing for the Thanksgiving episode of Master of None, so hey, all the cool people got a trophy. I can work with this.

WINNER: Sterling K. Brown

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Sterling K. Brown:

  • Won for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama for This Is Us
  • Shouted out Andre Braugher, which everyone should do — like, everyone, not just actors who win prestigious television awards –because Andre Braugher is the greatest
  • Went with a deep-cut “Dick Whitman” Mad Men reference over a Don Draper one

Very nice. I’m still steamed they cut off his speech, though. Nicole Kidman was up there for the better part of an hour (I think). They should open next year’s ceremony by letting Sterling list more actors he likes. We can budget a solid 10 minutes for this.