The Emmys are virtual this year, thanks to a certain little pandemic, and planning it has been tricky, to say the least. Only a handful of people, chiefly host Jimmy Kimmel, are actually present at a large auditorium. Everyone else, including the many nominees, are at home, each having had to set up one of the 137 equipment care packages mailed all over the globe. There are a million moving parts, and therefore a million things that can go wrong. It didn’t take long for something unexpected to happen.
By “not long,” we mean about 12 minutes. Following our host’s surreal opening monologue, which spliced in what looks like last year’s audience to give the illusion of a packed crowd, Jennifer Aniston swung by to hand out the night’s first award. She and Kimmel did a labored bit about sanitizing the awards envelope, which involved Kimmel burning it in a trash can while Aniston waited with a fire extinguisher. And, well, things got a bit out of hand.
— Dan Linden (@DanLinden) September 21, 2020
Not too out-of-hand, mind you. The fire raged but briefly before Aniston snuffed it out, and they declared Catherine O’Hara Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for Schitt’s Creek. But though things, as of this writing, have mostly gone as good as they could have, it’s hard not to imagine a literal garbage fire as a metaphor, or some grim omen of things to come. Buckle up, we’re in for a bumpy ride.