Entertainment TV The Emmys: Succession, Schitt’s Creek and Watchmen win big
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The Emmys: Succession, Schitt’s Creek and Watchmen win big

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The Annual Primetime Emmy Awards are all wrapped up for another year.

Missed it? You may have caught it by its alternate name, The Schitt’s Creek Awards Show.

The Canadian comedy show was the foul-mouthed darling of the awards, sweeping seven awards for its sixth and final season – despite never having won before.

Presenting sans orchestra and live audience, host Jimmy Kimmel was joined by guest appearances from socially distanced Jennifer Aniston, Zendaya, Laverne Cox and Jason Sudeikes.

This year’s nominees were deprived of their red carpet and stage walk experiences, and instead video conferenced in from all over the world, with each award being delivered their home or hotel.

Joining the celebrity presenters this year were a number of everyday American essential workers, including a teacher, a mailman and a truck driver, who encouraged viewers to stay home and stay safe in the pandemic.

Guest presenters and nominees didn’t dance around the elephant in the room either – the presentation was full of sanitised envelopes, Zoom gags and even a live on-air coronavirus test for Sudeikes.

And although the video conferencing took away much of the atmosphere and fervour of a live awards show, it did provide some silver linings.

This year’s comedy skits and segments were more outlandish than previous years, with Aniston and Kimmel extinguishing a fire live on-air, and a real-life alpaca presenting in place of Al Pacino with Fresh off the Boat’s Randall Park.

A sketch showing celebrities enduring life in lockdown included lots of drinking, a cry for help in the form of embroidery by comedian Mindy Kaling, and an impression of Tiger King’s Joe Exotic by David Spade.

Winners are (mask-wearing) grinners

The real comedy winner this year was Schitt’s Creek, which made up for years of Emmy snobs by going on to dominate in its final season.

Taking out every award in the comedy section, including wins for all four main and supporting cast members, Catherine O’Hara, Annie Murphy, Dan Levy and Eugene Levy, the series also snatched up a further three wins for outstanding writing, directing and outstanding comedy series.

Aptly nicknamed ‘Schitt’s Sweep’, the brainchild of the Levy father/son duo became the first comedy or drama series in Emmys history to sweep its entire category.

The series also won two awards for casting and costumes at the Creative Arts Emmys, bringing its total number of wins to nine.

But it was HBO’s Watchmen that won the most awards for the year, claiming 11 wins for its first season and ensuring HBO beat out other networks with a total of 30 wins.

In addition to eight awards at the Creative Arts Emmys last week, Watchmen picked up a further three awards in the limited series category for lead actress (Regina King), supporting actor (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) and outstanding limited series.

And the vigilante, crime-fighter series wasn’t the only HBO offshoot to win big this year.

Succession, which follows the feuding family of a filthy rich media mogul as they attempt to take over his empire, took out seven Emmys including outstanding drama series.

HBO has won the prestigious award five times in the past six years.

Reigning supreme, Succession also won for outstanding directing (Andrij Parekh), outstanding writing (Jesse Armstrong) and outstanding lead actor in a drama series (Jeremy Strong).

Meanwhile, Uzo Aduba won best outstanding supporting actress in a limited series for feminist masterpiece, Mrs America, while Zendaya won for outstanding lead actress in a drama series for teen drama Euphoria. 

Memorable moments

Despite the absurdity of green screens and face masks, television’s night of nights seemed to go off without a hitch.

Tyler Perry took home the prestigious Governor’s Award, for forging a new path for people of colour in the television industry and for challenging Hollywood’s propensity to whitewash its content.

Oprah Winfrey, who co-presented the award with Chris Rock, said Perry is a “game changer who built a successful empire while ignoring every conventional norm”.

Like many Emmy winners this year, Perry’s poignant acceptance speech touched on the prominent Black Lives Matter movement, and encouraged viewers to vote in the upcoming election.

The election itself was a hot topic among presenters and nominees alike, with a topical sketch featuring ‘Derek the Russian mailman’ poking fun at Russian interference in the 2016 election and the current postal vote controversy.

Mark Ruffalo beat out our very own Hugh Jackman for lead actor in a limited series, (I Know This Much Is True) delivered an empowering acceptance speech about the challenges of living with disability and also urged citizens to vote in the upcoming election.

Taking note from the VMA’s earlier this month, the ceremony went without the creepy addition of fake crowds and canned laughter – but we did get a daggy video chat mishap.

Jesse Armstrong’s memorable ‘un-thank you speech’ for Succession, where he called out the coronavirus, Donald Trump and Nationalist governments for their poor handling of the pandemic, was interrupted by a mobile phone going off in the background.

See? Even Tinseltown’s most talented aren’t immune to the perils of Zoom.