Analyzing the Primetime Emmy Awards

Special to the Star

The 67th annual Primetime Emmy Awards took place Sept. 20 and celebrated achievements in modern television and the beginning of this year’s award season

The night began with an opening sketch that was delightfully reminiscent of host Andy Samberg’s Saturday Night Live days. Then, it was on to each category.

Here are some of the night’s highs and lows:

Outstanding Drama Series

Nominees: Better Call Saul, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, Homeland, House of Cards, Mad Men, Orange Is the New Black

Winner: Game of Thrones

My thoughts: Game of Thrones knows how to keep a plot with either a serious blood bath or graphic sexual encounter—and some pretty outstanding characters. It has managed to maintain pretty serious popularity since the premiere in 2011. I’m a big Peter Dinklage and Emilia Clarke fan. However, my exposure to the show is limited to bits I’ve seen my dad watching, heard from my friends or the South Park and Bob’s Burgers parodies—which I highly recommend to all fans of the show. Bravo for that. Otherwise, I saw the win going to Mad Men, as it is in the last season after a long run, or Orange is the New Black, though the show is definitely more of a comedy than drama. Better Call Saul is too new next to many of these veteran shows, like Downton Abbey and Homeland. House of Cards doesn’t seem to really need the win.

Outstanding Comedy Series

Nominees: Louie, Modern Family, Parks & Recreation, Silicon Valley, Transparent, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Veep

Winner: Veep

My thoughts: I’ve never watched Veep, but I typically enjoy HBO programming, and the cast is amazing. However, I have heard mixed things about this show. Regardless, I’m extremely disappointed Parks & Recreation didn’t get the win. It has never failed to be topical, relevant, and one of the best-written shows of the past 10 years. The writers knew the cast was genuine and America fell in love with each of them. It’s one of the most well-done finales ever. The show really was a cut above the rest and the last pillar in the NBC Thursday night dynasty, leaving some enormous shoes to fill.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Nominees: Taraji P. Henson, Empire; Claire Danes, Homeland; Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder; Robin Wright, House of Cards; Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men; Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black

Winner: Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder

My thoughts: Viola Davis became the first African-American woman to win an Emmy for lead actress in a drama series Sunday night. Her category featured a lot of popular names and shows. Davis brings her A-game to every role and was a surprising win due to the show’s newness. Davis gave a speech that brought the house down, bringing everyone at home and in the live audience to tears. She discussed the hardships actors of color face in Hollywood. Her speech and win will be one to remember for years to come.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Nominees: Jon Hamm, Mad Men; Kevin Spacey, House of Cards; Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul; Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom; Kyle Chandler, Bloodline; Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan

Winner: Jon Hamm, Mad Men

My thoughts: It was Jon Hamm’s turn for a win this time, earning an Emmy for his performance during the final season of Mad Men. Tina Fey presented his award, adding a special touch to his well-deserved recognition. After all, who could forget his stint as the steamy but totally dumb Doctor Drew on 30 Rock, or, most recently, the Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. This man needed an Emmy, like, yesterday. Not only is Hamm an outstanding dramatic actor, but he has mastered the art of comedy.

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Nominees: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep; Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie; Lisa Kudrow, The Comeback; Amy PoehlerParks and Recreation; Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer; Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie

Winner: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep

My thoughts: Julia Louis-Dreyfus has been an undisputed queen of comedy since the ‘80s, and continues to keep it fresh and dominate the modern world of comedy. Based on the little bit I’ve seen of this show, I would gladly live in a world where Dreyfus is president. Apparently, I’m not alone. Dreyfus is great, but Poehler definitely deserved the win for the final season of Parks and Recreation. Poehler completely transformed into her character whose positive energy had people laughing right along with her.  

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Nominees: Anthony Anderson; black-ish, Louis C.K., Louie; Don Cheadle, House of Lies; Will Forte, The Last Man on Earth; Matt LeBlanc, Episodes; William H. Macy, Shameless; Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

Winner: Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

My thoughts: Transparent is a great show. It’s very real, comfortable and well-written, with a wonderful cast lead fearlessly by Tambor. He is a Hollywood favorite, arguably near legend, as a master of both comedy and drama. This show is absolutely not a comedy and should not be categorized as such. It’s light-hearted and has some witty lines, but I would argue it is definitely more of a drama. As far as performance, this is definitely a well-deserved win for Tambor, who is a fantastic, gracious actor and deserves every award in my book.

Follow Juliana Adame on Twitter at @Kate_monster04.