‘Mad Men’ falls, ‘Homeland’ reigns supreme at the 2012 Emmy Awards
Note: For my Emmy live-blog, click here.
Well, the good news is that it’s a good thing I didn’t go into any office pools as my Emmy predictions were way, way off this year. The bad news is, in a surprising twist of Emmy fate, ‘Mad Men’ won no awards, Mandy Patinkin was described as “lovable,” and Jon Cryer won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy (yes, that really did happen, you might as well stop asking yourself if you fell asleep and woke up in hell).
But before I dub this the “Worst Emmy Awards Ever,” let’s touch on the few (and I mean few) gems of the evening…
In an upset less shocking than Damian Lewis beating out three-time winner Bryan Cranston for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama, Aaron Paul won his second Emmy – the first actor to repeat in that category in 16 years – for his performance as former meth addict and cook Jesse Pinkman in AMC’s ‘Breaking Bad.”
Most critics thought the award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama was sure to go to Paul’s one-time co-star, Giancarlo Esposito, for his performance as drug lord kingpin Gus Fring, whose shocking end is one of television’s greatest death scenes to date.
But as great as Esposito was, I’ve been cutting hearts out of construction paper and writing Mrs. Jesse Pinkman on my Trapper Keeper for years. There was no other winner in my mind. So when I heard his name announced, I let out an embarrassing squeal that hasn’t been heard since last year’s Emmys when Kyle Chandler took home the Emmy for ‘Friday Night Lights’ (clear eyes, full hearts).
Paul previously won the Emmy in 2010 and his performance in the series’ fourth season was equal to, if not better than, years previous. If you don’t believe me, please Google the episode “Problem Dog” and watch the scene in which Jesse attends a narcotics anonymous meeting and confesses, in a way, to killing Gale and the all-consuming guilt he feels. There has never been a more powerful or raw confession in the history of television and there is not a doubt in my mind that that’s the scene that won him his second Emmy.
As mentioned above, in a surprising upset, British actor Damian Lewis beat out Emmy favorite Bryan Cranston for his portrayal as a POW turned terrorist in Showtime’s ‘Homeland.’ His co-star, the equally talented Claire Danes, took home the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama. The show itself is responsible for breaking ‘Mad Men”s winning streak – thus leaving it forever tied at four with ‘The West Wing,’ ‘Hill Street Blues,’ and ‘L.A. Law’ as the series with the most consecutive Emmy wins – as it took home the award for Outstanding Drama Series. The show also took home the award for Outstanding Writing for a Drama.
Rounding out the drama awards is Dame Maggie Smith for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama for her portrayal of the Dowager Countess on Masterpiece Classic’s ‘Downton Abbey’ and ‘Boardwalk Empire’ for Outstanding Directing for a Drama.
In a move that shocked absolutely no one anywhere, ‘Modern Family’ swept the comedy awards with wins for Julie Bowen (Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy), Eric Stonestreet (Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy) – Max Greenfield was robbed! -, Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series and the top prize itself, Outstanding Comedy Series.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, a two-time Emmy winner, beat out the likes of Amy Poehler (‘Parks and Recreation’) and Tina Fey (’30 Rock’) to win the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy. Poehler proved, yet again, that she’s the rightful winner by concocting a bit where she and Louis-Dreyfus accidentally mix up acceptance speeches. If you remember, in years past, Poehler planned gags that included the nominees all wearing funny glasses and rushing the stage as if they were in a beauty pageant.
And though the Brits were heavily favored to take home the prizes in the miniseries and movie category, ‘Game Change’ swept those categories, taking home Outstanding Lead Actress (Julianne Moore), Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries or Movie (Danny Strong – you go, Johnathan!), Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries or Movie (Jay Roach) and Outstanding Miniseries or Movie.
Taking home the awards for supporting actor and actress were Tom Berenger (‘Hatfields & McCoys’) and Jessica Lange (‘American Horror Story’) respectively. Rounding out that category was Kevin Costner, who took home the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie.
Call me crazy, but I really thought ‘Sherlock’ and its actors had this category all wrapped up. But it just goes to show that we Americans aren’t all that smart. It’s either that or we don’t understand what those Brits are saying half the time (closed captioning, folks, learn to use it). But whatever, series star Benedict Cumberbatch is in the new ‘Star Trek’ and Martin ‘Fuck you, I won a BAFTA’ Freeman is still Bilbo Baggins, so I have no doubt we’ll be seeing a lot more of them as time goes on.
For the rest of the award winners (reality and variety), click here.
Note: Photo courtesy of Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images.