The 2013 Emmys: Just Let Tina and Amy Host Already (and Maybe Pick the Winners, Too)
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The 2013 Emmys: Just Let Tina and Amy Host Already (and Maybe Pick the Winners, Too)

By Sarah Carlson | TV Reviews | September 23, 2013 | Comments ()


During the 75 minutes I (and tons of others) tuned away from the 65th Emmy Awards on Sunday to watch the penultimate episode of the brilliant Breaking Bad, that series’ stars and award favorites Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul both lost their categories (although Anna Gunn won and looked fabulous doing it — suck it, haters). We tuned back to the broadcast to see this:


Yes, that’s dancers dressed as meth cookers in a tribute to choreography. The segue was … jarring. (Vulture has the full video). The entire show was confusing, really. About 2/3 of the way through the show, host Neil Patrick Harris joked that everyone watching had already lost their office Emmy pools. Although the comment was a bit funnier when everyone made it on Twitter an hour earlier, it was accurate. This wasn’t just the year of upsets. This was the year of WTF-just-happened-sets. Some of the surprises were welcome, such as Stephen Colbert finally getting his due in the Variety categories. Others, well … That’s why the Emmys exist: For people to bitch about.

The choreography number referenced above, which featured impressive dancing and a good effort at making us not like Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” was one of two song and dance numbers inexplicably saved until the back half of the show. Because sure, when Neil Patrick Harris hosts, we all tune in to see an boring, unfunny opening number featuring TV clips that doesn’t feature song and dance. At least with “The Number in the Middle of the Show,” we (somewhat) got what we came for. We expected more from you, Harris.


The uneven show was packed with memorials to lost TV talent, all of which were beautiful but spread out, they routinely brought down a mood that was struggling to stay upbeat as it was, not to mention relevant. Right before Breaking Bad viewers changed channels, Elton John sang a tribute to Liberace. Later, Don Cheadle talked about the importance of the television coverage of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, which came not long before the Beatles arrived on our shores and TV sets and kept things a’changin’. Then Carrie Underwood butchered “Yesterday.” Yikes. “Well, this may be the saddest Emmys of all time, but we could not be happier,” Modern Family creator Steven Levitan said as he accepted the show’s Best Comedy award, proving that although the series lost most of the acting categories it had previously dominated, its Reign of Terror is not yet complete.

It was up to various award winners and presenters to try to save the show, and thankfully, some were up for it, notably: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, heckling Harris during the opening; everything Kevin Spacey did; and Will Ferrell, dragging his kids on stage to stand by as he presented the final awards of the night (he couldn’t find a sitter).

Merritt Wever was one of the night’s surprises, taking home a statue for Supporting Actress in a Comedy for Nurse Jackie, and she gave one of the night’s better acceptance speeches:


This may have been an upset, but it was deserved: She is excellent in Nurse Jackie, a show that makes me believe the Emmys need Dramedy categories. I can’t find fault in her win, just as I can’t gripe too much about Bobby Cannavale beating Aaron Paul. The former was spectacular in Boardwalk Empire. (I wouldn’t have been upset to see him win for Nurse Jackie, either. Seriously, it’s a good show.) I can wonder how Jeff Daniels beat Bryan Cranston (or who I was pulling for, Jon Hamm). But remember this, Breaking Bad fans: The show still has next year to sweep the awards. It’ll look something like this:


And we can only hope that Tina and Amy will host. They wouldn’t have let any of this happen. They probably watched the excellent Top of the Lake, unlike the rest of the Emmy voters, apparently. Oh well.

Other highlights:

Julia Louis-Dreyfus accepting her Best Actress in a Comedy award for Veep mostly in character, with Tony Hale (her character’s bag man) holding her clutch and feeding her names of people to thank. Perfection, and his win for the same show was much-deserved as well.


This. Forever.


I think Lohan had the best night of any of us, though:

The winners (in bold):


Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey, PBS
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad, AMC
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom, HBO
Jon Hamm, Mad Men, AMC
Damian Lewis, Homeland, Showtime
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards, Netflix


Connie Britton, Nashville, ABC
Claire Danes, Homeland, Showtime
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey, PBS
Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel, A&E
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men, AMC
Kerry Washington, Scandal, ABC
Robin Wright, House of Cards, Netflix


The Big Bang Theory, CBS
Girls, HBO
Louie, FX
Modern Family, ABC
30 Rock, NBC
Veep, HBO


Jason Bateman, Arrested Development, Netflix
Louis C.K., Louie, FX
Don Cheadle, House of Lies, Showtime
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes, Showtime
Jim Parsons, Big Bang Theory, CBS
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock, NBC


Lena Dunham, Girls, HBO
Laura Dern, Enlightened, HBO
Tiny Fey, 30 Rock, NBC
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation, NBC
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep, HBO
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie, Showtime


Adam Driver, Girls, HBO
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family, ABC
Ed O’Neill, Modern Family, ABC
Ty Burrell, Modern Family, ABC
Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live, NBC
Tony Hale, Veep, HBO


Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory, CBS
Jane Lynch, Glee, Fox
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family, ABC
Julie Bowen, Modern Family, ABC
Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie, Showtime
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock, NBC
Anna Chlumsky, Veep, HBO


Breaking Bad, AMC
Downton Abbey, PBS
Homeland, Showtime
Game of Thrones, HBO
House of Cards, Netflix
Mad Men, AMC


Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire, HBO
Jonathan Banks, Breaking Bad, AMC
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad, AMC
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey, PBS
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones, HBO
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland, Showtime


Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad, AMC
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey, PBS
Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones, HBO
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife, CBS
Morena Baccarin, Homeland, Showtime
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men, AMC


Michael Douglas, Behind The Candelabra, HBO
Matt Damon, Behind The Candelabra, HBO
Toby Jones, The Girl, HBO
Benedict Cumberbatch, Parade’s End, HBO
Al Pacino, Phil Spector, HBO


Jessica Lange, American Horror Story, FX
Laura Linney, The Big C: Hereafter, Showtime
Helen Mirren, Phil Spector, HBO
Sigourney Weaver, Political Animals, USA
Elisabeth Moss, Top of the Lake, Sundance Channel


American Horror Story: Asylum, FX
Behind the Candelabra, HBO
Phil Spector, HBO
Political Animals, USA
The Bible, History
Top of the Lake, Sundance Channel


The Colbert Report, Comedy Central
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, Comedy Central
Jimmy Kimmel Live, ABC
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, NBC
Real Time With Bill Maher, HBO
Saturday Night Live, NBC


The Colbert Report, Comedy Central
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, Comedy Central
Jimmy Kimmel Live, ABC
Portlandia, IFC
Real Time With Bill Maher, HBO
Saturday Night Live, NBC


Breaking Bad (“Dead Freight”), AMC
Breaking Bad (“Say My Name”), AMC
Downton Abbey (“Episode 4”), PBS
Game of Thrones (“The Rains of Castamere”), HBO
Homeland (“Q&A”), Showtime


Tim Van Patten, Boardwalk Empire, “Margate Sands”
Michelle MacLaren, Breaking Bad, “Gliding Over All”
Jeremy Webb, Downton Abbey, “Episode 4”
Lesli Linka Glatter, Homeland, “Q&A”
David Fincher, House Of Cards, “Chapter 1”


David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik, Episodes, “Episode 209”
Louis C.K. and Pamela Adlon, Louie, “Daddy’s Girlfriend (Part 1)”
Greg Daniels, The Office, “Finale”
Jack Burditt and Robert Carlock, 30 Rock, “Hogcock!”
Tina Fey and Tracey Wigfield, 30 Rock, “Last Lunch”


Lena Dunham, Girls, “On All Fours”
Paris Barclay, Glee, “Diva”
Louis C.K., Louie, “New Year’s Eve”
Gail Mancuso, Modern Family, “Arrested”
Beth McCarthy-Miller, 30 Rock, “Hogcock! / Last Lunch”


Molly Shannon, Enlightened
Dot-Marie Jones, Glee
Melissa Leo, Louie
Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Elaine Stritch, 30 Rock


Bob Newhart, The Big Bang Theory
Nathan Lane, Modern Family
Bobby Cannavale, Nurse Jackie
Louis C.K., Saturday Night Live
Justin Timberlake, Saturday Night Live
Will Forte, 30 Rock


Steven Soderbergh, Behind The Candelbra
Julian Jarrold, The Girl
David Mamet, Phil Spector
Allison Anders, Ring of Fire
Jane Campion and Garth Davis, Top of the Lake


James Cromwell, American Horror Story: Asylum, FX
Zachary Quinto, American Horror Story: Asylum, FX
Scott Bakula, Behind The Candelabra, HBO
John Benjamin Hickey, The Big C: Hereafter, Showtime
Peter Mullan, Top of the Lake, Sundance Channel


Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Asylum, FX
Imelda Staunton, The Girl, HBO
Charlotte Rampling, Restless, Sundance Channel
Ellen Burstyn, Political Animals, USA
Alfre Woodard, Steel Magnolias, Lifetime


The Amazing Race
Dancing With the Stars
Project Runway
So You Think You Can Dance
Top Chef
The Voice


Derek Hough and Allison Holker, Dancing With the Stars
Derek Hough, Dancing With the Stars
Warren Carlyle, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel (Live From Lincoln Center)
Mandy Jo Moore, So You Think You Can Dance
Napoleon and Tabitha, So You Think You Can Dance
Travis Wall, So You Think You Can Dance
Sonya Tayeh, So You Think You Can Dance

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Have to vent once more in closing: I don't care what you have to cut, Emmy producers, but find a way to MAKE TIME FOR SPEECHES. Awards Night is for the winners. Unless they're on Modern Family, they may never win again. If an actor wants two minutes to talk about how his Meemaw always believed in him, LET HIM. If a director wants to thank the whole crew down to the car-parking dude who made jamba-juice runs... LET HER (cuz that guy's probably never going to get mentioned again, either - let his parents DVR it, for crissakes). True, not every winner is so sympathetic up there, but to echo an old maxim: "Better a thousand douchebags wax douchetastic, than one poor nervously babbling first-time winner be played off to make time for interpretive dance."

  • And this is why I will always appreciate Jon Stewart as an Oscars host. He brought Marketa Irglova back out because the orchestra started to play as soon as she started to speak after Glen Hansard was done. It was the best.

  • Wigamer

    Jon Hamm better damn well win an Emmy at some point. Dammit.

  • stella

    So..... Breaking Bad is going to sweep next year, right?

  • dizzylucy

    High point for me was Buster Bluth holding an Emmy.

    Low point was when they announce The Voice had 5 nominations, and I remembered that Justified had NONE.

  • John W

    I was surprised Anna Gunn didn't end her speech with "Suck Hit haters!"

    Of course I would have also accepted "Say my Name!"

  • Mrs. Julien

    So... The Daily Show didn't win? How about that.

  • I am super excited to see the shows come back tomorrow because Jon Stewart is probably going to be really happy that Colbert finally won.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    those bastards were in reruns last night. Grr.

  • They had to fly back from LA

  • Sara_Tonin00

    It was worth the wait (though I haven't seen last night's DS yet)

  • Sara_Tonin00

    so is Colbert.

  • XiuFetish

    Finally Colbert's genius and that of his writing staff are acknowledged.

    The king is dead. Long live the king.

  • Parker Jammstein

    Parsons beating CK for Actor in A Comedy Series makes zero sense. Like at heart I'm a pacifist but that fills me with Viking-beserker rage.

  • ed newman

    I can't honestly say that CK is a great actor. He is a great writer, performer, and artist. This wasn't a travesty. Boring and predictable, maybe.

  • Parker Jammstein

    I'm willing to revise and say that Parsons just winning in general makes me stabby.

  • e jerry powell

    Merritt Wever, bitches!

  • kirbyjay

    I thought the funniest bits were Amy and Tina, and Julia LD, but how can that be? Women aren't funny. I will fornever mourn Christopher Hutchins and John Belushi for saying that.

  • JQ

    Fair play, but Hitchens' point was that women don't need to be funny in a way that men do. Anna Goldsworthy made a similar assessment as you in the most recent Quarterly Essay, but was apparently unable to read his article through the rage of her initial reaction to its title.

  • Conor

    Who is the goddamn gelatinous mass of sheer horror and cruelty that keeps voting for the likes of Jim Parsons and Modern Family over the likes of Louie, 30 Rock etc.

    Whoever they are, laughter is a foreign concept to them. They are bad, and should feel bad.

  • e jerry powell

    Well, here's my two cents: Ellyn Burstyn, not to suggest that she's an untalented actress, won her category. Now, her category was not the most loaded on the evening (two largely under-viewed nominations for Staunton and Rampling and a mulligan for Alfre Woodard for being in an otherwise crap Lifetime project), but she was "better" than Sarah Paulson on "AHS: Asylum." Some people took serious umbrage at that, but the truth of the matter is that Ellyn Burstyn is likely better known throughout the acting wing of the TV academy. It's difficult to say that voters weren't necessarily watching AHS, because Cromwell got an Emmy for it, but again, that could have been a matter of going with a known (and Oscar-winning) quantity and making everyone else wait their turn.

    I'm speculating my tits off here, but since this is one more Hollywood Prom Night...

  • kirbyjay

    It's Candace Bergen all over again.

  • koko temur

    We can bitch about the emmys, but hey! They remembered that "Q&A" was the best written episode of last season, and boy does it deserve it.

  • Artemis

    Disagree! I feel like the world has forgotten that episode contained things other than the interrogation scene. Namely, Dana and friend's hit-and-run hijinks. No amount of ugly crying makes up for that.

  • Wrestling Fan

    I kept waiting for a live blog, but it never happened.

  • Tinkerville

    The entire awards ceremony felt awkward, weird, and really poorly paced. And what in the hell was up with dragging out the In Memoriam so that it took up the entire ceremony? Not only did it make the whole thing depressing but those segments took up so much time that could have gone to letting the winners get more than five seconds to thank their families.

  • kimk

    While I thought the individual testimonials on their own were well done, I agree that having so much time devoted to it did add a subdued, sad feeling to the whole affair. It also set up for a lot of the "who was more deserving of a tribute?" discussion, which IMO ultimately ends up being disrespectful/insulting to someone who died, and their family, no matter which way you cut it.

  • It smacked of terrible decision-making. You had a tribute to Cory Monteith (who, while a nice guy, I'm sure, was a relative newcomer) but not one to Larry Hagman, who'd been on TV for decades? And a tribute to Liberace, for some reason? Then you just lump in the rest of them together with the tacky-ass clapping? It was terrible.

  • e jerry powell

    I'm all for cellists getting airtime, but that was just strange. First they put her behind a scrim for Carrie Underwood, then they put her out front but completely off-camera until the end of the In Memoriam segment. I'd have been stabbing bitches in the feet with my end pin.

  • e jerry powell

    True. And it was seriously favoring certain people over others without a lot of rationale. It kind of chapped my ass while I was watching.

  • phofascinating

    I'd be incredibly interested in seeing the vote tallies because I'm like 90% sure that Hamm/Cranston and Banks/Paul split the vote in their categories.

  • Ruthie O

    I was thinking the same thing about Best Comedy. With TV as amazing as it is this era, the Academy should consider Instant RunOff Voting because I should never be sad about Jeff Daniels winning an award, but I was. I really was.

  • kimk

    I didn't think it was awful, but just had an odd and rather subdued vibe. Maybe this is just me projecting, though - it was the first Emmys without my dad, who was a voting member of the academy and always enjoyed watching to see if what he voted for won....

    I can't really argue with many of the winners (other than "Modern Family" - I will never get the academy's hard on for this show?), but was not really excited about most of them either. My favorite comedy (P & R) and drama (Rectify) of the year were pretty much shut out, so there wasn't a lot for me to root strongly for. There were a few nice moments - in particular it was very sweet to see Bob Newhart moved to tears by the standing ovation for him (and equally cringe-y to see him interviewed by Shemar Moore - what was up with that guy?). Other thoughts:

    -Bobby Canavale has a college aged son? I am OLD OLD OLD

    -The tributes and death montage were particularly moving (although may have been influenced by my own issues - see above). Thankfully, no cringe-worthy singing over the tributes

    -Speaking of cringe-worthy singing, I hate Carrie Underwood

    -But, singing Fillion makes everything right, if even for a short while

    -A three way with Bryan Cranston, Claire Danes, and NPH sounds kind of hot (don't judge me)

    -A dance montage of nominated shows is never a good idea in any awards show other than the Tonys. It will always look silly. Such an approach has crashed and burned many a time at the Oscars

    -I want the puppet version of The Daily Show to be real

    So, I guess on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being Franco and 10 Amy and Tina) I'd give it a 7.

  • e jerry powell

    And not only does Bobby Cannavale have a college-aged son (who played his son on "Nurse Jackie"), he went from Sutton Foster to Rose Byrne as his arm candy. I'm not sure what that says about Rose Byrne, really.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Oh, I didn't know he and Sutton had broken up. They were a neat, improbable theater couple to me.

  • e jerry powell

    Particularly that season; he was doing The Motherfucker with the Hat and she was doing the revival of Anything Goes. Talk about opposites.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    apparently he referred to her as "the motherfucker with the taps" during that stretch of time. too cute. (and she's now engaged to some unknown someone)

  • e jerry powell

    In the months following the 2011 Tony awards, if memory serves.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    GAH. And I didn't know Paulson & Cherry Jones were no longer a thing.

  • e jerry powell

    I remember reading it a while back, but apparently I forgot about it when I replaced it with some other information.

  • Kala

    It's an unexpected pairing, for sure, but I listened to him on a radio interview (promotion for Blue Jasmine, I believe) and he sounds like a pretty cool guy who is very passionate about his work. I imagine she could do worse.

  • Orleanas

    I seriously can't stand Jim Parsons and don't understand why he keeps winning. The dude is one note, if I remember him correctly from 200 Cigarettes. Same with Modern Family. I stream the show online but admit that for the most part, it is not that funny. Only a couple of the characters are consistently funny (Phil and Cam). Top of the Lake was a drag, so I'm OK with it not getting any awards. I'm disappointed that Hough won for best choreography rather than one of the folks from So You Think You Can Dance . I actually liked that particular routine from the choreographers before the winner from their category was announced.

    Since I was flipping between football and this show, had I not known any better, I would have thought I was watching the Tony Awards since it seems like there was some type of musical number involved with NPH whenever I flipped back to watch.

  • Siyabonga Africa

    I agree with you. I don't get the appeal of Jim Parsons. The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family do not represent comedy at its best on TV. Louie should've won, if not Girls. But besides those two shows what about It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia? The League? There are so many shows outside of network TV that are funnier than the shlock that Modern Family and TBBT present each night.

  • e jerry powell

    Perhaps many of the members of the choreography wing have some serious hate on for Nigel Lythgoe. It wouldn't surprise me in the least, and it would also explain why Cat Deeley keeps getting screwed out of Reality Host awards.

  • melissa82

    Haha, what is going on in that last gif? (I can't handle awards shows but thank you for putting up the best - and worst! - parts for me!)

  • e jerry powell

    It was a bumper in the middle of a commercial break and a dude got caught on camera unexpectedly. Kind of a cool accidental photobomb.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    At first, I thought it was John Barrowman.

  • BWeaves

    I thought it was Rob Lowe.

  • Well, I for one felt like I was the winner of the night, because I got to bask in the magnificent glory that was Jon Hamm's epic beard.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Hamm's sea captain beard floats my boat.

  • Uriah_Creep

    To me, he looks like Captain Haddock from Tintin.

  • e jerry powell

    WOOF. I like it SO MUCH. I couldn't tell who I wanted to take a bite of first, though. Alpha-male aggressor and shithead Baldwin, or just a nice slice of furry Hamm.

  • I want to live in that beard.

  • e jerry powell

    You can live in mine in the meantime.

  • Allijo

    I fully expected Douglas' "It's a two-hand job" speech to Matt Damon to be on here. It was more perfect than Damon's speedo in the movie.

  • buell

    And we found out Matt Damon is a top.

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