The Primetime Emmy Awards came and went without much flare but with plenty of heart. Funnyman Neil Patrick Harris hosted the most prestigious television award show and did so admirably. As television has become a larger medium for high quality and artistic programming, the Emmy Awards have improved significantly.
By the end of the night there were no unprecedented sweeps or shocking surprises other than maybe the biggest winner, “Behind the Candelabra,” which took home 11 statues that night. Neil Patrick Harris was charming and showed off his underrated singing and dancing ability, which was more than engaging.
On the comedy front, Merrit Wever won her first Emmy for her supporting role in the Showtime series “Nurse Jackie.” The unrelenting wit of “30 Rock” saw writers Tina Fey and Tracey Wigfield nab an Emmy, although, acting-wise, Tony Hale and Julia Louis-Dreyfus of the dry HBO series “Veep” were praised for their performances. Beloved Jim Parsons also managed to win an Emmy for his role as America’s favorite nerd, Sheldon Cooper in “The Big Bang Theory.” Unsurprisingly, the critically acclaimed “Modern Family” won gold for both directing and overall best comedy series for the fourth year in a row. Not to mention Stephen Colbert’s namesake “Colbert Report” won both Best Variety Series and Best Writing for a Variety Series.
During his acceptance speech; “Modern Family” creator Steve Levitan said, “Thanks to the bullies, to the popular kids, to the gym teachers who taunted us, who rejected us and made fun of the way we ran. Without you, we would never have gone into comedy.”
The most sought after and hotly contested part of the award show is, of course, the brilliant television dramas. The heavily nominated “Breaking Bad” took home two well-deserved statues; one for Anna Gun in her supporting role as Skyler White and one for best drama series, capping off what many would say to be the best show ever to air on television as its last episode nears.
However, plenty of other dramas had their share of Emmys “Homeland,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “The Newsroom” and “House of Cards” were all winners. “Homeland” was first in writing and acting (Claire Danes) while the Netflix original series “House of Cards” gained director David Fincher a nod for best directing. Boardwalk Empire’s Bobby Cannavale won an Emmy for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and Jeff Daniels of “The Newsroom” took home the coveted Emmy gold for Best Actor in a Drama Series.
The powerhouse of the show was easily “Behind the Candelabra,” the TV movie that followed the life of Liberace (Michael Douglas) and his young lover Scott Thorson (Matt Damon). It took home prizes for Best Director (Steven Soderbergh), Best Actor (Michael Douglas), as well as Best Overall Miniseries or TV Movie. The accolades did not stop there as the film stunningly won eight other Creative Arts Emmys.
While the awards are the most important part of the show, the tributes for television’s fallen angels were heartfelt and meaningful. James Gandolfini, Cory Monteith, Gary David Goldberg, Jonathan Winters and Jean Stapleton received special notice by close friends giving teary-eyed memorials.
“You all knew James Gandolfini the actor, I was lucky enough to know Jim the man. It’s Jim the man I will miss most of all” said former co-star Edie Falco.
The 65th Primetime Emmys has left television enthusiasts wanting and expecting more out of the relatively young art with all of its potential. More than ever, the award show like this proves that there is a glowing future for television both as entertainment and as fine art.