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After Lively Controversy, the Primetime Emmy for Best Inanimate Object Is Awarded

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | August 22, 2013 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | August 22, 2013 |

Last week, the Creative Arts Emmys were handed out for technical achievements in television, and among the new categories this year was the Primetime Emmy for best inanimate object in a television series. It was a fierce competition between the five contenders, and the losers displayed their disappointment with their signature expressionlessness. Among them, the Iron Throne in Game of Thrones, the wigs in Orphan Black, and double nominee, Mad Men, for Pete Campbell’s rifle, as well as the oranges, both which would lose badly after it was revealed that neither had any huge foreshadowing or symbolic implications in the series but were, simply, a rifle and some oranges.

In the end, it was revealed that the Best Inanimate Object award went to “The Killing” for the “rain.” The award was not without some controversy, as several on the awards committee argued that rain — by virtue of falling from the sky — failed to qualify as “inanimate.” An arbiter, however, was brought in to settle the dispute, and eventually concluded that — for purposes of the Emmy award — “inanimate” only means something that is not alive. “But what about a corpse,” one voter asked? The arbiter ruled it out because a corpse is typically played by a living, breathing individual, who is only pretending to to be dead. “Exceptions can be made on a case by case basis, however, where corpses are played by actual corpses or plastic models.”


Once the dispute was settled, the rain in “The Killing” won handily, as voters recognized its crucial role in the series, which was poorly received in its second season but is saw renewed interest in its third season with Peter Saarsgard, who often managed to overshadow even the rain. Still, the rain played an important part of the series, recently cancelled by AMC. “It single-handedly sets the mood, the tone for the entire show,” one voter praised. “Without the rain,” another argued, “there would be nothing to fill the empty space that took up so much of the second season.”

In fact, another voter argued that — put into an acting category against Mireille Enos — the rain might actually have an edge. “The rain is more expressive: It can come straight down, sideways, or at an angle, and at differing levels of speed. Enos, on the other hand, has only one expression: Somber.”

Due to the fact that the ceremony was held indoors, the rain was unable to accept its award in person. However, it showered its thanks on the Emmy voters via satellite from a rain machine in Seattle.

“It was a close call with the oranges,” another voter asserted, “until we realized that the oranges didn’t mean jack sh*t” in “Mad Men,” despite the long association oranges have had with foreshadowing death. “Jack ass move, Weiner. Next time you feature an inanimate object so prominently, try to ensure it has some goddamn meaning.”

The Pink Teddy Bear in “Breaking Bad” was also considered for a Lifetime Achievement Award in the category, but Emmy voters ultimately ruled it out, citing the newness of the category.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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