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Rubbernecking the 2020 Emmy Awards Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel

By Dustin Rowles | TV | September 20, 2020 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | September 20, 2020 |


11:00 — And — after a very bad Sterling K. Brown bit — the best drama goes to Succession, on this night when three shows basically dominated the Emmys. To their credit, they were three very deserving shows, and so far ahead of most of the other shows in their respective categories that there is very little about which to complain. Congrats Succession, Watchmen, and Schitt’s Creek, and all the other winners. Thank you all for joining me tonight. It was nice to take a break from the orange menace for a few hours.

10:52 — Hard to see Sarah Snook lose here, but if she had to, I’m glad it’s to Julia Garner, who is the best (and sometimes only) reason to watch Ozark.

10:49The Morning Show is pretty good. Billy Crudup on The Morning Show is weirdly, weirdly next level, so this win for Best Supporting Actor doesn’t surprise me. How pale Billy Crudup looks here, however, is surprising. He’s no Golden god here.

10:40: And Succession takes the award for writing, too. No complaints here (although I would have happily accepted Better Call Saul). Likewise, Succession won for directing, which I’m mostly happy about because it means Ozark isn’t honored for that color scheme.

10:36: Wow! Good for Zendaya, and who needs an Emmy audience, when she brought her own? This is the first win toward her inevitable EGOT.

10:30 — I love Succession. Jeremy Strong is a great actor. But also: He’s human Emmy bait. He’s the one Succession actor I wouldn’t have mind seeing lose, and also the one most likely to win.

10:26 — Honestly, if they can’t finish the Emmys on time during a pandemic, I’m gonna be really upset. It’s already a tough night to air the Emmys, too, against the Pats in the NFL and the NBA semi-finals (I won’t spoilt it, but that Anthony Davis shot. Wow!)

10:20 — All the respect in the world for Tyler Perry as a business person/capitalist, and that’s all I’m going to say about that.

10:11 — Last push, y’all, and we make that last push with a Friends-ish reunion, which is neat but also really bad. RuPaul also wins Outstanding Reality Competition program.

10:03 — Nice In Memoriam segment. 💔

9:57 — Best Limited Series goes to … Watchmen, as it should. Things, so far, are going as planned with Schitt’s Creek and Watchmen. We just need Succession now to bring it home.


9:50 — I’m glad that Uzo Aduba won for Mrs. America and I’m glad that Mrs. America won something, because I hear it was very good, and it seemed built for Emmy wins, but — like This Much Is True and Little Fires Everywhere — it came out at the exact wrong time, in the first weeks of the pandemic, when we were all watching comfort TV (and apparently Schitt’s Creek).

9:41 — Yahya Abdul-Mateen II wins best-supporting actor in a Limited Series for Watchmen, and there is someone off-camera crying.

9:39 — Huh. Unorthodox beating out Watchmen. Huh. Unorthodox was great. And that’s all I’m gonna say about that.

9:37 — Good of the Little Fires Everywhere folks to get a room together. I think that lame bit may be the only time we see them, though.

9:35 — Here in Maine, we get a Sara Gideon or Susan Collins ad in every single break, How about y’all?

9:32 — Hey! Commercial. Check out Mike’s Pajiba Love tonight while you wait.

9:28 — Best writing in a limited series goes to Watchmen’s Lindelof and Cord Jefferson, who totally used to be a blogger on Gawker among others, y’all.

9:22 — And Best Actor in a Limited Series or Movie goes to … Mark Ruffalo. His wife is freaking out, the sound is terrible, and this is such a lovely-but-flawed live TV moment. Good for Ruffalo. Great, powerful typica Ruffalo speech. He was great in two roles (as twins). That said, that show was way too depressing to watch in the early months of the pandemic. I had read the book, and watched two episodes but couldn’t continue. It was too hard.

9:13 — We’ve moved on to the Limited Series category now, where I’m hoping Watchmen pulls a Schitt’s Creek. Good start here, with Regina King, my all-time favorite actress, winning Best Actress, and giving a shout-out to RBG! That’s her fourth Emmy in six years, by the by. Also, her Hebrew tattoo stands for Hineini Hayom Omed: “Here today I stand.”

9:09 — Good to see Dave. Still killing it. And the best late-night talk show goes to … Schitt’s Creek. Nope, wait: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, same as it ever was. Nice of him to wear his best sweats.

9:07 — In case you missed this while you were in the restroom.

Schitt’s Creek 9:02 — Yes, yes Schitt’s Creek blah blah blah, DID YOU SEE LIN MANUEL AND THE COUNT INTRODUCE WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS?

8:58 — J.J. Watt loves Mrs Maisel? What?!

8:53 — Yup. Annie Murphy wins best-supporting actress, and Schitt’s Creek has just swept — it’s the first show that has ever won every category it was eligible for … and the backlash begins!

They would have saved a lot of money by telling the nominees who won in advance, so as to avoid running live feeds in dozens of other homes.

8:44 - Have we ever seen anything like this? Ever? Daniel Levy and Schitt’s Creek again! Why was Sterling K. Brown nominated for Mrs. Maisel as supporting actor instead of guest actor? He was barely in it.

Here’s an interesting sidenote:

8:42 — Best directing on a comedy goes to … Hahahahahahahaha! Also, I just noticed that Dan Levy is wearing a suit skirt. I know what I’m wearing to my son’s bar mitzvah now.

8:37 — What? Really? This is crazy!

8:33 — I was busy right up until the show, so I’m just now catching up and seeing that Giuliana Rancic and Vivica A. Fox — who were supposed to be hosting the pre-show for E! — both had to pull out because they tested positive for coronavirus. Man, that is so 2020. Also, what did the pre-show look like, even? (Unrelated, David Ortiz — Big Papi — is also recovering from Coronavirus).

8:31 — This is insane. Schitt’s Creek again, this time for Dan Levy and writing (also, did you know that Martin Short’s brother also wrote for Schitt’s Creek? Daniel Levy is goddamn adorable, and he gives the kind of speech that actually sounds as though he is giving it at the Emmys. It’s starting to feel … a little like The Emmys. (Also, a lovely shout-out to Issa Rae and the writing on Insecure).

8:30 — Trace Ellis Ross is a terrible presenter, but she’s great at getting out the vote, and also looks terrific in that dress.

8:25 — Best supporting actor in a comedy again goes to Schitt’s Creek, this time Eugene Levy. You think they got a heads up on the number of wins they’d get, which is why the rented the space and put the entire cast and their family together?

8:21: — So, the Emmys — while technically impressive — has taken a hard turn toward the lame. Are they really going to deliver Emmys to everyone in person?

8:13: — They have the entire cast of Schitt’s Creek together in what looks like an event hall in Canada, which is appropriate given the amount of awards they are nominated for tonight. Catherine O’Hara wins the first trophy of the night, and gives a splendid little speech, while the losers applaud from their homes. This is too goddamn weird.

8:08 — So, all the nominees are in their homes, and Kimmel has live feeds to all of them. This is insane. Also, social distancing jokes are going to get very old very quickly. Since Aniston is there, maybe she’ll just present all the awards tonight.

08:02 — The monologue cleverly gives the illusion that Kimmel is in front of an audience so that eight-year-olds who walk by the TV can say, “Oh my god, they’re not wearing masks! Why aren’t they social distancing?!” Not a bad monologue, though, from Kimmel, who had the entire summer to prepare, since he took the summer off from his show.

08:00 — I haven’t done one of these in a while, but I expect this year’s Emmy’s to be so strange and bizarre that I wanted to hang out with y’all while we watch. It doesn’t hurt that there are also a lot of great shows being recognized this year (Succession, Watchmen, among them). Let’s see how the next three hours go. Also, turning the Emmys on and finding Fall Out Boy and Weezer 15 years older than I remember them on Celebrity Family Feud may be the strangest thing I see tonight.

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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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