From old favorites to exciting new series, the Emmy Awards have recognized the best TV shows of the past year. Here are five talking points from the ceremony, hosted by Cedric the Entertainer.
It was a night celebrating the TV shows the world has been watching over the past year when we have been glued to our favorite programs more than ever before.
This year’s Emmy Awards turned into a great night for British talent, with stars including Kate Winslet and Ewan McGregor taking home awards, and royal drama The Crown dominating.
Here are five talking points from the ceremony.
Standing ovation for Michaela Coel
Image: Michaela Coel and the I Will Destroy You team pictured ahead of the ceremony. Pic: Dan Steinberg/Invision/ Television Academy/AP
When I May Destroy You, Michaela Coel’s hard-hitting drama about sexual assault and consent, was left out of the shortlists at the Golden Globes earlier in 2021, it was one of the biggest shocks of awards season. It had been almost universally hailed as one of the most important drama series of recent times and was expected to be duly recognized.
The series did go on to win BAFTAs and now Coel – who created and starred in the show – is an Emmy winner, too. Accepting her award for outstanding writing for a limited series, she urged other writers to “write the tale that scares you, that makes you feel uncertain, that isn’t comfortable – I dare you”.
I May Destroy You, which features Coel’s lead character Arabella being assaulted, was based on her own experience of having her drink spiked and being attacked on a night out.
In a poignant end to her speech, which received a standing ovation, Coel dedicated her prize “to every single survivor of sexual assault”.
Everyone loves Ted Lasso
Image: Jason Sudeikis plays the titular American football coach who comes to the UK to look after a Premier League team in Ted Lasso. Pic: Apple TV+
Debuting on Apple TV+ in August 2020, Ted Lasso has been something of a TV show hug at a time when the world definitely needed warmth and uplift.
Starring Jason Sudeikis in the titular role, it tells the story of an ever cheery American football coach brought to the UK to train the fictional AFC Richmond and has become hugely popular.
So it was no surprise to see the best comedy win, with recognition in the acting categories for Sudeikis, as well as British actors Hannah Waddingham and Brett Goldstein, who play club owner Rebecca Welton and captain Roy Kent, respectively.
Waddingham and Goldstein picked up the first prizes of the night – setting the tone for a great evening for British talent.
Speaking of which, The Crown didn’t do badly, either – and there’s hints about what’s to come
Image: Olivia Colman as the Queen and Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles in the fourth series of The Crown. Pic: Netflix
“I’d have put money on that not happening,” said Oscar and BAFTA winner Olivia Colman, startled after hearing her name called for the best actress in a drama award.
She’s probably the only one, as it seemed there was no beating The Crown this year.
The show’s wins included best drama series, plus four acting awards – for Gillian Anderson, Josh O’Connor, Tobias Menzies and Colman, as well as trophies for writing and directing.
Speaking at the ceremony, writer Peter Morgan said of the upcoming fifth series: “Well, I mean, it’s the ’90s. Season five is largely the time frame of John Major’s time.
“So that takes us through an extremely difficult period for the royals and a difficult time for the family and difficult time for the institution, but also some really vivid new characters, you know, like the Al-Fayeds and so on.”
A big night for Netflix – and streaming
Image: Chess drama The Queen’s Gambit was a huge hit for Netflix. Pic: Netflix
The Crown’s win for best drama is the first time the royal show has taken the prize – and also a first for Netflix, highlighting its ever-growing influence in Hollywood.
The streaming platform also took home the award for outstanding limited or anthology series for The Queen’s Gambit, which stars Anya Taylor-Joy as a chess prodigy also dealing with addiction.
Apple TV+ took the top comedy prize for its feel-good football series Ted Lasso.
But in the battle of the streamers, it was Netflix – with 10 gongs at the Primetime Emmys ceremony, combined with 34 picked up at the earlier creative arts shows – that dominated the awards, scooping more than HBO and its HBO Max service, which won 19, for the first time ever.
Disney+ came third 14, while Apple TV+ won 10.
A-listers were back after virtual 2020 ceremony
Image: Kate Winslet was named outstanding lead actress in a limited or anthology series or movie, for Mare Of Easttown
Referred to as the “Pandemmys” last year, it was a big deal to get the celebs back in their glad-rags and all under one roof. (Well, almost one roof – a separate ceremony was put on for most of The Crown cast and crew in London, for those who could not travel to LA).
So it was no surprise that the issue of COVID-19 came up once or twice, in jokes and in more poignant moments.
British stars Kate Winslet and Ewan McGregor used their speeches to thank cast and crew who had helped keep people safe and productions going throughout the pandemic, and tributes were paid to those who lost their lives.
But there were moments of humour, too. “We had to get vaxxed to come here,” host Cedric the Entertainer told the crowd, before adding, reassuringly: “I did not have a reaction like Nicki Minaj’s cousin’s friend.”
Well, that’s good to know.