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The Problem with the 2022 Emmy Winners

By Dustin Rowles | TV | September 13, 2022 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | September 13, 2022 |


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The thing about the Emmy Awards, which I think is in stark contrast to the Oscars in recent years, is not that they get it wrong. It’s that it’s impossible to get right. Back when the best dramas on television were West Wing and E.R., you could pick the five best nominees in any particular category because there were only five or six shows that even belonged in that company.

Now? It’s not just that there is too much content; it’s that there is too much good content. You cannot reasonably choose the Best Drama or the Best Comedy, because there are so many worthy of that title. It basically comes down to a popularity contest or the personal taste of the voters, and if you’ve seen any of those anonymous ballots, you know that the people voting on these awards aren’t always the brightest bulbs. But if you’re choosing between Abbott Elementary, Ted Lasso, What We Do in the Shadows, Hacks, and Barry, there is no wrong answer. But also, there is no right answer. Likewise, in the drama category, between Yellowjackets, Succession, Better Call Saul, Severance and Squid Game, I’d probably choose a different winner each day depending on my mood.

That is not an indictment of the Emmys. It’s just that the awards themselves don’t really mean that much when so many are worthy of them. If all else is equal, voters should consider voting on the best narrative, and you know what is not the best story? JULIA GARNER OVER RHEA SEEHORN WHAT WERE YOU THINKING JESUS CHRIST GIVE RHEA AN EMMY ALREADY. Ahem.

There were some fun moments during the show. Sheryl Lee Ralph’s speech for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy, for instance, is one of the best awards speeches in recent memory.

Likewise, Jennnifer Coolidge — a comedic actress — used her comedic skills to give a memorable speech after winning for Supporting Actress in a Limited Series.

Lizzo gave a hell of a speech, too, in a category otherwise dominated by Amazing Race and RuPaul for the last 15 years.

… and that’s about it for really great speeches. There was one sour note, at least on social media, where a Jimmy Kimmel gag ran too long and left Jimmy Kimmel “passed out” on stage during Quinta Brunson’s speech for best writing. It was poorly thought out, and a little on the thunder-stealing side. It is worth noting that Kimmel himself has been championing Abbot Elementary since the beginning, which might have also been a reason to get the hell up off the stage and let Brunson have her moment. She’ll be back on Kimmel tomorrow night, and I’m sure she’ll give him the business.

As for the rest of the show? Eh. The opening dance number to various TV theme songs was fine and Kenan told some milquetoast jokes that no one will remember, which is probably what he was going for. Otherwise, if you didn’t watch, you didn’t miss much, although it was better than the Broncos/Seahawks game.

Here were the winners:

Drama Series
“Better Call Saul” (AMC)
“Euphoria” (HBO)
“Ozark” (Netflix)
“Severance” (Apple TV+)
“Squid Game” (Netflix)
“Stranger Things” (Netflix)
“Succession” (HBO)
“Yellowjackets” (Showtime)

Comedy Series
“Abbott Elementary” (ABC)
“Barry” (HBO)
“Curb Your Enthusiasm” (HBO)
“Hacks” (HBO)
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon Prime Video)
“Only Murders in the Building” (Hulu)
“Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+)
“What We Do in the Shadows” (FX)

Limited Series
“Dopesick” (Hulu)
“The Dropout” (Hulu)
“Inventing Anna” (Netflix)
“Pam and Tommy” (Hulu)
“The White Lotus” (HBO)

Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Jason Bateman (“Ozark”)
Brian Cox (“Succession”)
Lee Jung-jae (“Squid Game”)
Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”)
Adam Scott (“Severance”)
Jeremy Strong (“Succession”)

Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Jodie Comer (“Killing Eve”)
Laura Linney (“Ozark”)
Melanie Lynskey (“Yellowjackets”)
Sandra Oh (“Killing Eve”)
Reese Witherspoon (“The Morning Show”)
Zendaya (“Euphoria”)

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Patricia Arquette (“Severance”)
Julia Garner (“Ozark”)
Jung Ho-yeon (“Squid Game”)
Christina Ricci (“Yellowjackets”)
Rhea Seehorn (“Better Call Saul”)
J. Smith-Cameron (“Succession”)
Sarah Snook (“Succession”)
Sydney Sweeney (“Euphoria”)

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Nicholas Braun (“Succession”)
Billy Crudup (“The Morning Show”)
Kieran Culkin (“Succession”)
Park Hae-soo (“Squid Game”)
Matthew Macfadyen (“Succession”)
John Turturro (“Severance”)
Christopher Walken (“Severance”)
Oh Yeong-su (“Squid Game”)

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Donald Glover (“Atlanta”)
Bill Hader (“Barry”)
Nicholas Hoult (“The Great”)
Steve Martin (“Only Murders in the Building”)
Martin Short (“Only Murders in the Building”)
Jason Sudeikis (“Ted Lasso”)

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Rachel Brosnahan (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”)
Quinta Brunson (“Abbott Elementary”)
Kaley Cuoco (“The Flight Attendant”)
Elle Fanning (“The Great”)
Issa Rae (“Insecure”)
Jean Smart (“Hacks”)

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Alex Borstein (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”)
Hannah Einbinder (“Hacks”)
Janelle James (“Abbott Elementary”)
Kate McKinnon (“Saturday Night Live”)
Sarah Niles (“Ted Lasso”)
Sheryl Lee Ralph (“Abbott Elementary”)
Juno Temple (“Ted Lasso”)
Hannah Waddingham (“Ted Lasso”)

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Carrigan (“Barry”)
Brett Goldstein (“Ted Lasso”)
Toheeb Jimoh (“Ted Lasso”)
Nick Mohammed (“Ted Lasso”)
Tony Shalhoub (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”)
Tyler James Williams (“Abbott Elementary”)
Henry Winkler (“Barry”)
Bowen Yang (“Saturday Night Live”)

Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Colin Firth (“The Staircase”)
Andrew Garfield (“Under the Banner of Heaven”)
Oscar Isaac (“Scenes From a Marriage”)
Michael Keaton (“Dopesick”)
Himesh Patel (“Station Eleven”)
Sebastian Stan (“Pam and Tommy”)

Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Toni Collette (“The Staircase”)
Julia Garner (“Inventing Anna”)
Lily James (“Pam and Tommy”)
Sarah Paulson (“Impeachment: American Crime Story”)
Margaret Qualley (“Maid”)
Amanda Seyfried (“The Dropout”)

Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Connie Britton (“The White Lotus”)
Jennifer Coolidge (“The White Lotus”)
Alexandra Daddario (“The White Lotus”)
Kaitlyn Dever (“Dopesick”)
Natasha Rothwell (“The White Lotus”)
Sydney Sweeney (“The White Lotus”)
Mare Winningham (“Dopesick”)

Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Murray Bartlett (“The White Lotus”)
Jake Lacy (“The White Lotus”)
Will Poulter (“Dopesick”)
Seth Rogen (“Pam & Tommy”)
Peter Sarsgaard (“Dopesick”)
Michael Stuhlbarg (“Dopesick”)
Steve Zahn (“The White Lotus”)

Variety Talk Series
“The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” (Comedy Central)
“Jimmy Kimmel Live!” (ABC)
“Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” (HBO)
“Late Night With Seth Meyers” (NBC)
“The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” (CBS)

Competition Program
“The Amazing Race” (CBS)
“Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls” (Amazon Prime Video)
“Nailed It!” (Netflix)
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” (VH1)
“Top Chef” (Bravo)
“The Voice” (NBC)



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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