Emmys 2014: Best and worst moments

Emmys 2014

There is no shortage of snubs with which to fault the Emmys and Television Academy every year, but at the end of the night, all that matters is whether the telecast was entertaining. This 66th edition, hosted by Seth Meyers, had its moments: some great, some not-so, some cringe-worthy.

It was a history-making night, though … I wrote my 6,000th Tweet some time around 9 p.m. tonight.

For a complete list of winners, visit IMDb.

You can also look at my ballot here, which is not at all an attempt at predicting the winners, just me picking my favs from the nominees. (You can also read about the Emmy snubs, back when the nominations were first announced, which seems like years ago, but was just in July)

BEST

– Billy Eichner; Lord. To get acquainted with Billy Eichner’s antics, please spend an hour or two on his YouTube page. Eichner and Meyers took to the streets of New York to play “For a Dollar.” See the clip here.

– Julia Louis-Dreyfus, winning and presenting; The funniest woman alive. Full stop.

– Ricky Gervais presenting; He came out to present writing for a variety special and decided he would also give the speech he wrote for his supposed win for best actor in a comedy series, which he lost to Jim Parsons.

– In Memoriam; Sara Bareilles’ voice is great and after her performance, Billy Crystal memorialized his friend Robin Williams. It was sweet and understated and funny. This was followed by a montage of Williams being funny everywhere, every way. It stung. Hard.

– Moira Walley-Beckett winning the writing award, drama, for the outstanding Breaking Bad episode, “Ozymandias.”

– Bryan Cranston winning the best actor, drama, Emmy. Walter White is an iconic character because of Cranston and the show would not have been nearly as addictive without his magnetic work. And he beat the over-lauded Matthew McConaughey.

– Breaking Bad, for being one of the best drama series ever, having one of the best final seasons ever, for being the best drama of the year.

GOOD

– Seth Meyers’s opening monologue; I found him more comfortable and funny than he usually is during his monologue on Late Night. He started off slow, but finished very strongly, celebrating television as the booty call who is always up, unlike the movies, who makes you put on pants and buy $40 worth of soda.

– Sherlock winning everything: I loved Sherlock, a fun and funny puzzle of a series with outstanding performances by Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, winners tonight. But I am surprised at how well it did. On top of two acting Emmys for Cumberbatch and Freeman, Steven Moffat won for writing. All categories in which Sherlock was up against The Normal Heart and/or FargoThe Normal Heart and Fargo won best television movie and best miniseries, though.

– Weird Al Yankovic; Adding words to instrumental theme songs, the man with the most emotive face in show business jolted the Emmys back to life, with a little help from Andy Samberg.

– “The only person from ER to ever amount to anything, Julianna Margulies.” – Seth Meyers introducing The Good Wife star.

– Yay to Sarah Silverman winning the writing for a variety special Emmy for her outstanding special, We Are Miracles.

– Julianna Margulies, for the very well-deserved Good Wife win.

BAD

– Jim Parsons winning best actor in a comedy, again; His speech was sweet and Parsons is likeable, but I find Big Bang Theory grating at best.

– The Q&A; I liked the bathroom key bit with Josh Charles and Andre Braugher, but the rest fell flat.

– Stephen Colbert; I know, I know. It hurts to even think about Colbert even being in a “bad’ list, but his bit tonight about his imaginary friend Roscoe was odd at best.

WORST

– Ty Burrell winning best supporting actor in a comedy; Over Andre Braugher, over Fred Armisen, and Burrell’s Modern Family co-star Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Burrell’s work isn’t bad, just not as good as the other nominees.

– That Julia Roberts montage; Before a commercial break, the Emmys decided to highlight the Oscar winner’s work in The Normal Heart, a juicy scene in which she throws a lot of folders around and screams. She didn’t win, but the Emmy’s stalker-obsession with movie stars during a night when it claims to celebrate television comes off as pathetic.

– I love Key and Peele and Key & Peele, but why, why, why were they only enlisted to present the accountants tonight? Their Comedy Central series was a nominee, writing for a variety show.

– Ughhhh, using the great and funny Sofia Vergara as a prop for the Television Academy’s president’s speech.

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