With “Game of Thrones” debuting too late to be eligible for this year’s Emmys, plenty of fresh names were in the running for best drama series. But ultimately, Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” — based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel about a futuristic, totalitarian patriarchal theocracy that prizes fertile women above all else — scored the top honor.
Creator Bruce Miller had no trouble answering what he hopes audiences will take away from the show: “a desire to watch the second season," he replied quickly. "No, if we’ve done our job well, it’ll be different for everyone who watches it.”
On Hulu being the first streaming service to win one of the Emmy’s top two prizes,” Miller added: “The way Hulu handled our show, they were bold and behind us and committed to making something different. If streaming services continue to do that, I don’t see a limit to what they [can do].”
In a backstage reveal at the Emmys, Brooker explained that the episode — starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Mackenzie Davis — about technologically star-crossed lovers, was originally written for a heterosexual couple. It wasn't until Brooker decided to make them a queer couple that things started to fall into place.
“It became more fun, more interesting,” he said. “It was sort of easiest to write in a way. We felt we captured something special, and the reaction has been quite overwhelming — the way people have taken it to heart. I’m genuinely a cynic, as you can tell from the series, so the fact that this happened blows up my worldview.”
Among the biggest winners at the 2017 Emmy Awards: LGBTQ stories and storytellers.
Kate McKinnon was one of the early winners of the evening Sunday, beating a field that included some of her “Saturday Night Live” colleagues to take home the award for supporting actress in a comedy series. The first openly lesbian cast member of the sketch comedy show, McKinnon made her mark this season with portrayals of Hillary Clinton, Jeff Sessions, Kellyanne Conway, Betsy DeVos and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Lena Waithe of “Master of None” made history as the first black woman to win the Emmy for writing in a comedy series. Waithe, who also plays Denise on the Netflix series, co-wrote the “Thanksgiving” episode with the show’s co-creator, Aziz Ansari. The intensely personal story was based on Waithe’s own coming out story.
Making it from the Emmys broadcast home at the Microsoft Theater to the convention center across the street, where the Governors Ball is held, is no easy feat for those in heels. But even with screaming toes and ankles betraying our age, the select few with ball tickets make the trek.
"We're all teetering at this point of the night," actress Yvette Nicole Brown said. "But I'm not above taking these off... I don't care if it's downtown. They can talk."
Her friend, actress Anika Noni Rose, laughed and mused about what could make the walk easier in the future.
For its 69th festival of self-benediction, broadcast Sunday on CBS, the Television Academy brought on Stephen Colbert as its master of ceremonies. Already on the CBS payroll, already schooled in hosting — it is two years almost to the day that, having abandoned his ironic “Colbert Report” persona, he took over “The Late Show” — he was an obvious choice for this job. It was a choice made even easier, to be sure, as his numbers improved and the narrative surrounding “The Late Show” turned from disappointment to delight.
As a comedian, it’s Colbert’s job to take things apart, but he is temperamentally a thoughtful, philosophical, gracious, happy sort of humorist. Like “The Late Show,” where Colbert shows himself more interested in philosophy than celebrity self-promotion, Colbert’s Emmys show was, not surprisingly, genial, pointed, exuberant, just a little bit outrageous and marked by a kind of bemused patience with the vanities of Hollywood that did not exempt the host. When he led the audience in “the traditional Hollywood prayer: Lord, thank you for giving us talent and beauty and the gaping hole inside of each of us that craves love and will never be filled,” that was not meant just in fun. . . .
. . .The monologue began as a mix of good and bad jokes, like any late-night monologue, mostly on lightweight topics. There was the usual engaging with selected stars in the front row seats. But it was the Donald Trump jokes — the current administration being the source of much of “The Late Show’s” invigorated focus — that one awaited.
Why didn’t you give him an Emmy? If he had won an Emmy, I bet he wouldn’t have run for president. This is all your fault.
Here it is, the obligatory roundup of Emmy favs kissing on their Atom lady. But what sparks this trophy love between recipient and award? Is this genuine joy from an ecstatic winner, or was it prompted by the red carpet photographers angling for a quality photo-op?
Truly this is the chicken and the egg conundrum of award season. We may never know the answer, but also who cares Lena Waithe looks great holding gold.
Riz Ahmed, Emmy winner for best actor in a limited series for playing the role of “Naz” in the bleak HBO drama “The Night Of” fielded questions about the importance of diversity onscreen.
“I don’t know if any one person’s win of an award, or one person’s snagging one role, or one person doing really well, changes anything when it comes to a systemic lack of inclusion,” he said. “I think what we’re starting to see is more awareness around how beneficial it can be to tell a diverse range of stories in a way that is authentic.”
Still, he was very pleased to be standing right where he was.
When “Big Little Lies” director Jean-Marc Vallee and the star-studded cast of HBO’s “Big Little Lies” appeared backstage after winning the Emmy for best limited series, everyone wanted to know one thing: Just how “limited” did the show’s creators intend to keep it? Would there be a Season 2?
“I’m just like the audience, and like these girls and everyone else,” Vallee said, gesturing to two of his leading ladies, Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, who stood smiling beside him. “It would be great to reunite the team. Are we gonna be able to do it? I wish. We’ll see what the future holds.”
Witherspoon giddily interjected, “You already know we’re liars, I don’t think you should trust anything we say.”
Sean Spicer's cameo during the Emmy Awards generated a mixture of emotions.
There was surprise, of course, when Spicer made an appearance during Stephen Colbert's opening monologue. But inside the Microsoft Theater on Sunday evening there also appeared to be a bit of consternation. Cameras, for instance, caught Melissa McCarthy, who impersonated the embattled former White House press secretary on "Saturday Night Live," appearing less than amused.
Colbert wheeled out Spicer at the end of his monologue for a gag that recalled Spicer's presser about President Trump's inauguration attendance.
NBC’s “This Is Us,” which follows the story of a family at different stages in their lives, is nothing if not a tearjerker. So it was appropriate that when Sterling K. Brown took the podium in the press room on Sunday, his eyes were seemingly bloodshot, as if he had been crying.
When asked if he had more to say after his acceptance speech was cut off, he quickly brightened.
“I wouldn’t mind finishing, thank you for the invitation. I want to thank our writers,” said Brown, who won the Emmy for lead actor in a drama series. “You guys are our life supply.” He then went on to thank the show’s producers and directors and his family members.