When ‘Bad’ Is Good: Ten Thoughts On The 2014 Emmys

You’ve read the live chat, seen the winners, and now we have Emmy Awards THOUGHTS.

1. Breaking Bad had to win. As great as the existential pulp of True Detective was, there was no way it was going to beat one of the five greatest TV shows of all-time (it goes AfterMASH, Have You Watched The Wire, The Big Bazinga Theory, Dog with a Blog, then Breaking Bad) in its widely-acclaimed final season, no less. It was, however, a mini-surprise that Walter White beat Rust Cohle. Matthew McConaughey’s can-cutting performance elevated True Detective from something good to something special, and with all due respect to Alexandra Daddario, he was the show’s obvious MVP. Plus, he’s a movie star who just won an Academy Award. Any other year, he would’ve won it.

2. Speaking of Daddario:

She is a very pretty human. As is Cary Joji Fukunaga.

3. Mad Men hasn’t won a single Emmy in three years. They’re 1 for their last 32, with their last award coming in 2011 for Outstanding Drama Series. AMC’s now-only chance at Emmys relevance has been competing against the juggernaut that is Breaking Bad, but I doubt Matthew Weiner cares — he must feel the way Crying Don Draper looks, except not nearly as handsome.

4. They key to winning an Emmy: you need to already have an Emmy. Modern Family, Breaking Bad, The Colbert Report, and The Amazing Race were all repeat winners, with the first three having won last year. Jim Parsons now has multiple Emmys for the same role, as does Julia Louis-Dreyfus. And Bryan Cranston. And Julianna Margulies. And Jessica Lange (different characters, same show). And Ty Burrell. And Aaron Paul. And Anna Gunn. Many of them deserved to win, but for a ceremony that supposedly celebrated how much TV has shifted and evolved over the last couple of years, maybe one, just one, of those Modern Family trophies could have gone to Orange Is the New Black.

5. But seriously, what does Steven Levitan have on Stephen Colbert’s fictional President of Television that allows Modern Family to win every year? It’s beyond ridiculous, and I don’t even feel the same burning-hot hatred for the damn show that some people do. The last time Modern Family didn’t win was in 2009, when 30 Rock beat Entourage, How I Met Your Mother, The Office, Weeds, Family Guy, and that year’s Silicon Valley, Flight of the Conchords. Since then, it’s become the Michael Jordan of overpraised sitcoms, having won five years in a row. I salute the Emmys for turning a blind eye on Julie Bowen in favor of Allison Janney (I guess), but Modern Family needs to stop being the Snowpiercer of sitcoms, he says, not realizing that The Big Bang Theory would probably win instead.

6. Sherlock took home more awards than any other show with seven, despite series three being its weakest yet. HBO cannot be happy that not only did The Normal Heart only win Outstanding Television Movie, with Sherlock, Fargo, and American Horror Story cleaning up elsewhere, but their gamble to stick True Detective in the Drama category didn’t pay off. Cary Joji Fukunaga got his trophy, and that’s it.

7. “But there’s no HBO! GOD!”

8. This was weird and shouldn’t have made it past the “should we call Bruce Vilanch?” stage.

9. Quick hits: the world could use more Sarah Silverman; I’m not a huge fan of Jimmy Fallon, but he had one of the best bits of the night when he accepted Stephen Colbert’s award; we still love you, Molly Solverson; NBC hosted the Emmys, but the Peacock went 0-for-8; and go Louis C.K.

10. That’s it for Breaking Bad. The show’s been done for awhile, obviously, but now it’s OFFICIALLY over: there are no awards for it to gobble up like Walt, Jr. does waffles. It won 12 Emmys over a five-season span, including Outstanding Drama twice. Looking ahead to next year, which I realize is a stupid thing to do while Bryan Cranston is still wiping JLD’s lipstick off his mouth, but it’s hard to imagine a scenario where the Emmys don’t shower Mad Men with trophies. Except Jon Hamm.

He and Amy Poehler will never win.