Emmys: What the voters got right (and wrong)

From a surprise marriage proposal to an emotional speech by Betty White, these are the highlights from this year's Emmy Awards.

The Emmy Awards featured their share of surprises -- putting prognosticators on their heels, and spreading the wealth among a number of networks

Posted: Sep 18, 2018 8:36 AM
Updated: Sep 18, 2018 1:59 PM

(CNN) -- The Emmy Awards featured their share of surprises -- putting prognosticators on their heels, and spreading the wealth among a number of networks. There was also a welcome mix of old and new, which is one of the unique challenges that TV faces, from recognizing that much-talked-about new series to paying homage to a long-running show in its final year.

That process creates a degree of difficulty for TV awards that, in some respects, goes beyond what movies, music or theater face. So kudos to the Television Academy for what its members got right, and better luck next time on a few areas where, arguably, they got it wrong.

In the plus column:

Although you couldn't really go wrong with "Game of Thrones" or "The Handmaid's Tale," the academy seemed to send a message that at least for now, when it comes to the best-drama throne, anything else is going to have to wait its turn. And given the scope of the HBO series -- heading into its eagerly anticipated final season -- that's perhaps as it should be.

"The Americans" was never a huge hit ratings-wise, but it enjoyed a fiercely devoted following, and ended its run on an especially satisfying note -- never easy with a show this complicated. As a result, the twin victories for star Matthew Rhys and in drama writing felt especially well deserved.

"Godless." One could argue that "Godless" should have edged out "The Assassination of Gianni Versace" in the limited series category, but the supporting wins for Merritt Wever and Jeff Daniels were a solid consolation prize.

Credit voters, too, with looking past movie-star appeal -- always a factor at the Emmys when actors with those credentials are involved -- and choosing Darren Criss for "Versace," despite Benedict Cumberbatch's sizable shadow. Ditto, too, for honoring Regina King, who was easily the best thing about Netflix's "Seven Seconds."

Henry Winkler. Occasionally, a sentimental and popular choice can be the right one, and Winkler's first win -- after six nominations dating back to the 1970s -- for HBO's "Barry," coupled with his ebullient speech, were a terrific way to kick off the night.

In the "wish they'd gone in a different direction" dept....

"The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" is a fine show, but its five-Emmy, near-sweep of the top comedy categories felt excessive, even with "Atlanta's" second season falling short of the first. Then again, with the benefit of hindsight chalk that up, in part, to the void left by perennial comedy champ "Veep," which sat out this year's festivities.

"Last Week Tonight" remains a splendid half-hour, but John Oliver's third consecutive Emmy came at the expense of fellow "The Daily Show" alum Stephen Colbert, whose "Late Show," both commercially and creatively, enjoyed a breakthrough year, becoming a vital nightly voice of satire since Donald Trump's inauguration. Beyond that, there's the simple difference between doing one half-hour show a week and churning out five episodes, which also merits more consideration, seemingly, then voters applied.

The Emmy-bashing Emmys. Finally, a word about the telecast itself, separate from the voting. Beyond its other drawbacks, hosts Michael Che and Colin Jost joked about the Emmys' low ratings, their lack of coolness (Jost gave a shout out to viewers at the "Silver Lining Senior Center"), and generally sniped at the entire awards process.

A degree of self-deprecating humor is always welcome, and it plays well in the room. But that's easier to laugh off when delivered from a position of strength, not the weakness of a show searching for its identity, coming off ratings lows the past two years.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Terre Haute
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 39°
Robinson
Partly Cloudy
33° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 33°
Indianapolis
Partly Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 36°
Rockville
Clear
38° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 38°
Casey
Partly Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 37°
Brazil
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 39°
Marshall
Partly Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 39°
Chilly, Fog & Some Frost
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

Wednesday: Sunny, cool and breezy. High: 61

Image

All You Need to Know for Wednesday

Image

The Fight For Raises

Image

Gas prices are up; Here's how you can save

Image

Rose-Hulman AD

Image

Bloomfield volleyball

Image

Linton football

Image

Back On Track Clinic

Image

ISU HOMECOMING BUSINESS FOLLOW UP

Image

Olney Park Trail

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1688261

Reported Deaths: 28115
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook63888311249
DuPage1091671385
Will919701133
Lake806751092
Kane68883880
Winnebago41507561
Madison40309602
St. Clair36434602
McHenry35095334
Champaign27178198
Peoria27067370
Sangamon25919287
McLean23203220
Tazewell20751333
Rock Island18988364
Kankakee18036251
Kendall16359115
Macon15402252
LaSalle15119287
Vermilion14564202
Adams13244153
DeKalb12252134
Williamson12126176
Whiteside8351184
Jackson812695
Boone799183
Coles7973128
Ogle763290
Grundy744186
Knox7362169
Franklin7356115
Clinton7149102
Macoupin7035107
Marion6966144
Henry668077
Effingham6678100
Jefferson6604143
Livingston601298
Stephenson592394
Woodford581592
Randolph5578101
Christian538382
Fulton530377
Monroe5278104
Morgan5115100
Logan497375
Montgomery495783
Lee481062
Bureau446291
Saline438169
Perry435975
Fayette434664
Iroquois425577
McDonough378461
Shelby352549
Jersey338553
Lawrence336833
Crawford335330
Douglas330437
Union309448
Wayne307863
White281433
Richland281357
Hancock275135
Clark268040
Cass266931
Pike266458
Edgar261849
Clay261154
Bond258125
Ford247459
Warren245866
Moultrie238733
Carroll237638
Johnson231732
Jo Daviess218429
Massac218151
Wabash217919
Mason214753
Washington213528
De Witt208130
Mercer206437
Greene206040
Piatt204114
Cumberland190726
Menard172913
Jasper162121
Marshall142321
Hamilton134722
Schuyler110210
Brown107110
Pulaski105212
Edwards104218
Stark82128
Gallatin7959
Alexander74512
Scott7146
Henderson71314
Calhoun6952
Hardin61516
Putnam5684
Pope5596
Unassigned1222433
Out of IL190

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 1012606

Reported Deaths: 16567
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1360682133
Lake667261170
Allen58341804
Hamilton46545468
St. Joseph44627619
Elkhart36101512
Vanderburgh32358482
Tippecanoe28053261
Johnson25224447
Hendricks23977362
Porter23018367
Madison18848412
Clark18640254
Vigo17562304
Monroe15340199
LaPorte15249252
Delaware15135264
Howard14839292
Kosciusko12433149
Hancock11788177
Bartholomew11712180
Warrick11314188
Floyd11149216
Wayne11036254
Grant10159220
Morgan9512178
Boone8976116
Dubois8291132
Henry8265155
Dearborn824793
Noble8075106
Marshall7995135
Cass7569123
Lawrence7494172
Shelby7236117
Jackson701990
Gibson6621115
Harrison653293
Huntington6456100
Knox6429107
DeKalb6375102
Montgomery6304112
Miami596298
Putnam584879
Clinton579772
Whitley569756
Steuben568677
Jasper537681
Wabash5372104
Jefferson513997
Ripley502587
Adams484876
Daviess4692115
Scott440576
Greene428496
Clay427760
Wells426388
White421365
Decatur4182105
Fayette407587
Jennings390763
Posey377944
LaGrange362779
Washington360551
Randolph348199
Spencer341243
Fountain337060
Sullivan331252
Starke319871
Owen316271
Fulton315868
Orange295564
Jay286446
Franklin266743
Perry265852
Rush264432
Carroll262534
Vermillion260554
Parke232429
Pike229744
Tipton229359
Blackford195143
Pulaski184757
Newton160448
Crawford160226
Benton151417
Brown147547
Martin139819
Switzerland135611
Warren121416
Union107316
Ohio85013
Unassigned0545