Oscars lite? Surprises on Emmy night
Wise-cracking host Neil Patrick Harris’s tap-dancing and arch quips felt familiar, but the roster of winners on the night raised some eyebrows
Little joy for Netflix
For all the good it is doing in multi-platform TV consumption, Netflix had a decidedly underwhelming night. Its flagship show, House of Cards, picked up one win (David Fincher, for Outstanding Direction for a Drama Series) from 14 nominations. It makes Emmy history, though, as the first win for a web-only series.
Jason Bateman – a fine comic actor on another Netflix show, Arrested Development – is burdened with a part in a series whose return has been underwhelming. Bateman lost out to Jim Parsons of The Big Bang Theory for best supporting actor in a comedy series, but his Arrested Development castmate Tony Hale walked off with the award for his role in Veep. If it was an upset, no one seemed to mind.
Her standout competition, however, was Elizabeth Moss, who was exceptional (and overlooked) for her role in Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake. The seven-part series ran in a regular BBC slot dedicated to longer drama, something the BBC does well. It also gave us The Girl, about the life of Alfred Hitchcock, whose star Toby Jones got an Emmy nomination.
This same drama slot fostered much quality, including The Hour. The 1950s broadcasting drama had loyal fans but its nicheness was a factor in it being axed earlier this year. It was a bad move by the Beeb, which watched the show’s writer, Abi Morgan, collect an Emmy for Best Writing in a Mini-Series. Morgan was the only British winner, despite a slew of nominations across various categories.
Downton Abbey went home empty-handed, but after last Sunday’s dreary fourth series opener, it’s not difficult to understand why.
Worthy winners? The good, the bad and the sparkly
Cannavale, winner of Best Supporting Actor for his role in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, is a decent actor, albeit one with limited range. He was up against Aaron Paul of show du jour Breaking Bad, and the brilliant Peter Dinklage of Game of Thrones, which makes his win all the more surprising.
This Marmite show divides people. Some like the slick writing, others think it is too obvious and knowingly clever. It was nominated in the same category as Lena Dunham’s Girls (which faltered in series two) but Louis CK’s self-titled show about a single dad and stand-up comedian is an exceptional piece of work and would have been a worthier winner.
Behind the Candelabra
Upon first hearing about this production, I tried to imagine the pitch. “Let’s get Mikey – you know, Michael Douglas – to play Liberace in the style of Lady Gaga, but with Matt Damon as his boy toy. Gay sex! Diamante sailor outfits! Rob Lowe as the Bride of Wildenstein! It’s gold. ”