While some aspects of the Emmy Awards noted a changing of the guard in terms of which shows take home trophies, other categories saw former titans like Game of Thrones return to prominence, stomping on newer shows that were scrapping for TV supremacy. Here are the major takeaways of the night:
We Should All Be Watching Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Amazon’s period comedy from Amy Sherman-Palladino dominated the comedy proceedings, taking home Best Comedy Series, Best Comedy Directing, Best Comedy Writing, and Best Lead Actress and Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for stars Rachel Brosnahan and Alex Borstein, respectively. That’s a ton of hardware. The takeaway for you: Boot up Prime and give this a run. It’s arrived.
HBO’s Next Flagship Might Be … Barry?
The half-hour comedy saw intense critical praise when it premiered in the spring, but it faced a tough battle last night against titans like Atlanta and Maisel. Nevertheless, the Academy gave HBO’s dark hitman show a couple nods with Best Actor for Bill Hader and Best Supporting Actor for Henry Winkler. Both awards, in our minds, are well deserved, but this positions the show opposite Atlanta as a major rival in these categories. Donald Glover and Brian Tyree Henry are still hungry, no doubt. With Maisel, we now have a triple threat of bonafide comedy winners.
But Don’t Forget About Thrones
Strange to call it an upset, but Game of Thrones’ win for Best Drama Series was a major surprise of the ceremony. The show’s long been out of people’s minds while defending champ Handmaid’s Tale went for the jugular in its second season this year a groundswell built around The Americans’ swan song. Plus, fending off The Crown and This Is Us is no easy task. Elsewhere, Peter Dinklage won Best Supporting Actor for his turn as Tyrion Lannister on Thrones, a well-deserved honor, and his third for the role.
Handmaid’s Tale and Atlanta Fall to Earth
After last year’s awards were dolled out, these two shows looked positioned to dominate their respective Drama and Comedy categories for years to come. Handmaid’s had a Best Drama win to go with one of the best TV actresses of her generation in Elisabeth Moss and one of the most politically relevant narratives across the cultural landscape. Meanwhile, Atlanta had one of the most stacked comedy rosters on TV and was widely seen as television’s best show. Last night, both shows left empty-handed. Maybe Handmaid’s dip in quality last year hurt it, or maybe the ambiguity surrounding Atlanta’s peerless “Teddy Perkins” episode was inaccessible to voters? We’ll be scratching out heads over these for a while.
Finally, The Americans
We applaud this show enough, but wow was it gratifying to see Matthew Rhys win Best Actor in a Drama Series and The Americans take home Best Writing, too. Tough to see Keri Russell lose out to Claire Foy and The Crown in Best Actress, but hey, these shows were never all-the-way fair. For a swan song, you take what you can.
Tyler Daswick is a senior writer at Relevant. Follow him on Twitter @tylerdaswick.