Five takeaways from the 2022 Emmys: NPR

Sheryl Lee Ralph sings as she accepts the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for “Abbott Elementary” onstage during the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California on November 12. September 2022.

Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

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Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Sheryl Lee Ralph sings as she accepts the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for “Abbott Elementary” onstage during the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California on November 12. September 2022.

Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Emmy night was big for a lot of different shows: squid game, Succession, ted lasso, the white lotus. There were some very strange musical choices (why did Jesse Armstrong get an Emmy for writing Succession and walking onstage to “Shake Your Booty”?) and parts that went on too long (especially Jimmy Kimmel’s play-dead routine that lasted until Quinta Brunson’s win for comedy writing for Abbott Elementary). But there were also great speeches and heartening victories, and we’re here to look at five takeaways from the ceremony as a whole. (Here it is a full list of winners.)

1. The great Sheryl Lee Ralph won the night.

There are years when you have to try to find out what was the best moment of the ceremony; this was not one of those years.

When Sheryl Lee Ralph accepted the award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for Abbott Elementaryhis speech was not only the best moment of the night, it’s right up there with the best moment of the Emmys…maybe ever?

Ralph took the stage and sang Dianne Reeves’ “Endangered Species” a cappella, something few people could do effectively. He then spoke in a moving, beautiful and uplifting way about the importance of never giving up on your dreams and how you should value all the people who care for you. The entire speech is worth downloading to her phone so you can replay it yourself the next time you’re feeling down, but really, it belongs solely to her and to the power of her talent and her story. Her television career dates back to the 1980s, but with this award she became only the second black woman to win in the category (after Jack√©e Harry for 227). Even though he was late, it was great to see him.

2. The show still needs more time for speeches and less time for montages and scripted jokes.

This particular Emmy Awards ceremony, with a couple of notable exceptions, seemed to be turning people away quickly, though some of them, like Jennifer Coolidge, were highly entertaining. Coolidge won Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series for her work on The White Lotus; after trying and trying to make the show allow him to say a few more things, Coolidge listened to “Hit The Road, Jack” and, instead of running off stage, danced, to the roar of the crowd.

At the same time, the winners fought for free seconds, boring montages that were little more than “here’s some TV shows” were allowed to linger, as were bits of script that seemed less satisfying than cut speeches, even when those sketches were made. by skilled comedians like host Kenan Thompson and the hilarious Bowen Yang. Awards show producers seem to be convinced that people want everything in between the awards more than the awards; Going for the charm of a speech over another montage will rarely be the wrong decision.

3. There weren’t many big surprises.

ted lasso Y Succession Both were expected to win their respective Comedy Series and Drama Series categories…and they did. the white lotus he cleared out the limited series awards with wins for Coolidge and Murray Bartlett in the supporting categories and for Mike White in directing and writing.

However, neither of those shows swept the awards. Amanda Seyfried took on the lead actress for abandonment and Michael Keaton won for Leading Actor in fool. Lee Jung-jae won the award for Leading Actor in a Drama Series for squid Game, the first Asian man to be so honored. This might come as a surprise, as it’s the first time someone has won for a performance where they don’t speak English, but the phenomenon of the show and its large number of nominations suggested that it had a good chance of doing well.

Perhaps the most pleasant surprise was that of Lizzo. Watch out for the big Grrrls, that broke RuPaul’s Drag Race four win streak in the reality competition category. That win led (of course) to a powerful and light-hearted speech from Lizzo about the importance of representation, a recurring theme over the course of the night.

4. There are still many repetitions.

Even with great competition in almost every category and a lack of shows dominating the awards the way sitcoms like. Fraser Y Modern Family once it did, there were plenty of repeat winners.

saturday night live won again in the variety sketch category (his only rival was A black lady sketch show); it was his sixth win in a row, a pretty boring result. Succession repeated its 2020 win in the Outstanding Drama Series category, and ted lasso it won Outstanding Comedy Series after it also won last year. Plus, ted lasso actors Jason Sudeikis and Brett Goldstein again won in the main and supporting categories.

That was not all. Zendaya, who won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for Euphoria Two years ago, he won again. Jean Smart won by tricks for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for the second year in a row. Perhaps most impressive of all, Last week tonight with John Oliver won his seventh consecutive award for Outstanding Variety Interview Series, and continues to top the daily program as well as the entire network late at night.

5. People want to see new winners get a real shot.

It’s more an observation of audience reaction than the show itself, but the standards seem to have changed when a show has earned “too much.” Back in the days when there were far fewer shows to choose from, it wasn’t until something racked up five or six wins, that the pressure started to mount to get something else, anything else, on stage with a win.

But now, with so much out there and so much that’s good, even two wins to ted lasso seems repetitive, particularly when there’s a show that feels as fresh as Abbott Elementary.

The Emmys are starting to have an enviable problem: Even when people disagree with a contest’s outcome, it can be less that a show doesn’t deserve it and more that there’s simply something else worthy of a shot at a stacked category. Even the great Jean Smart, loved by so many throughout such a tremendous and absolutely wonderful career in tricks, might not have been the first choice of many people. That’s not because of his ability; is because this was a year where she was up against opponents like Brunson, who is a new face, and Issa Rae, who has been nominated for Insecure several times but has never won. This is one of the reasons why the squid game win it feels exhilarating: the show is new.

It’s one thing for a win to feel deserved; is another to make you feel exciting. Even a second or third win can feel routine now, so bring in the new contenders, and we’ll be happy to see them.

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