The 71st Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards were held over two nights this weekend. This is the awards ceremony for all the awards not deemed fit for the main Emmy Awards show, which will be held next Sunday night. There are a lot of technical awards, but there are also some awards that are fun. There were some winners worthy of celebration and others worthy of only side-eye.
Take, for instance, the fact that James Corden won for Outstanding Variety Special for his Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney Live From Liverpool, which might not sound so bad (after all, he made himself useful by taking on Bill Maher last week), except that Emmy voters deemed it more worthy than Hannah Gadsby: Nanette and Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé. Carpool Karaoke: The Series also beat out Billy on the Street and Honest Trailers in the Outstanding Short Form Variety Series category.
On the other hand, Queer Eye beat out Antiques Roadshow and Guy Fieri for Outstanding Structured Reality Show, the weekend before Karamo Brown appears on Dancing with the Stars alongside Sean Spicer (please refer to the above Beyoncé GIF).
Anthony Bourdain received a posthumous award for Parts Unknown in the Outstanding Informational Series or Special, beating out Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman , among others (I’m not sure why Comedians in Cars qualifies as “informational,” but bygones). In the Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special, Leaving Neverland took the award over both Netflix’s FYRE festival documentary and HBO’s Elizabeth Holmes documentary (as well as the Gilda Radner doc, Love, Gilda).
I actually haven’t seen The Simpsons in years, although my son assures me that it’s still very good. However, neither my son nor apparently the Emmy voters have seen Big Mouth or Bojack Horseman, because both of those series lost out to The Simpsons in the Outstanding Animated Program (Bob’s Burgers and Adventure Time were also-rans, as well).
The Guest Actor categories are always my favorite of the Creative Arts Emmys. In the Outstanding Comedies Guest categories, both Luke Kirby and Jane Lynch from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel beat out mostly a bunch of SNL hosts, although I would’ve given the awards to Peter MacNicol — who stole all five minutes he was in of the final season of Veep — and Maya Rudolph for her guest appearances on The Good Place. On the drama side, Bradley Whitford nabbed the Emmy for his role in The Handmaid’s Tale (deserving), and Cherry Jones beat out — among others, Carice van Houten in Game of Thrones — for her role in The Handmaid’s Tale. (Cherry Jones may very well be up for another guest Emmy for her work on Succession next year).
It makes sense that someone would get an Emmy for Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance, although it makes less sense that the award went to Seth MacFarlane for his voice-over work on Family Guy (this category has been around since 2014, and MacFarlane has won 3 times, although Hank Azaria and Alex Borstein — also nominated — have won in previous years). Meanwhile, no offense to the other nominees, but I suspect Emmy voters didn’t even bother to listen before voting for Sir David Attenborough for his work on Our Planet as Best Narrator.
Casting awards went to Fleabag, Game of Thrones, When They See Us and Queer Eye in their respective categories (and I never really thought about “casting” in reality shows, but if anyone deserves it, it is Queer Eye, which does phenomenal work finding the right people to make-over (given their success rate, I often assumed there are 2-3 episodes each season sitting on a cutting room floor that just didn’t work)).
There’s also an award given to the Best commercial. Nike won for this one. It’s terrific.
In the costumes category, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Game of Thrones, Russian Doll and RuPaul’s Drag Race won in their respective categories (it’s RuPaul’s third win in row in that category). RuPaul also won for Outstanding Host on a Reality or Competition Program, which is fair, although I might have given it to Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman who made me care about crafting in Making It.
Succession may be the best show on TV right now, and its theme song is one of my all-time favorites. Nicholas Britell won outstanding Title Theme Music for the drama. Meanwhile, GLOW and Game of Thrones won in the comedy and drama categories for Stunt Coordination. Finally, Hannah Gadsby did at least win one Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special.
In the end, HBO won the most Creative Emmy Awards with 25 (most of which went to Game of Thrones), followed by Netflix, which amassed a lot for Queer Eye and Russian Doll.
Header Image Source: Netflix