Monday night’s 74th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards was the first major production show since 2019 with deserving wins and silly performances and dialogue from the host, Kenan Thompson. This year’s show wasn’t necessarily bad — it just lacked the exuberance an awards show is supposed to bring to the small screen.
Instead, the Emmys made the small screen seem that much smaller.
Award shows have dipped in views in the last few years. The 2022 Golden Globes weren’t even broadcasted on television. This year’s Oscars had a low view count — even with Will Smith’s slap.
Award shows have seemingly become an event you hear about after they occur. That excitement of the past dissipated, and Monday’s Emmys proved this to be true.
Usually, all award shows are hosted on a Sunday. It’s odd for an event like this to be on a Monday. NBC was stuck between a rock and a hard place due to Sunday night football. However, the season opener of Monday Night Football was also on ABC and ESPN, between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos. This dilemma added to the lack of public enthusiasm for the Emmys.
Thompson began the show within the crowd with a top hat on, calling himself the “mayor of television” and sarcastically applauding television as the best invention ever. After this, he performed an over-the-top musical number about TV shows. A lot of the shows he referenced — “Friends,” “The Brady Bunch” and “Game of Thrones” — weren’t even nominees this year. The performance was a jolting one, with a fun, joking undertone. However, it felt derivative.
A smart move on the producers’ part was having Oprah be the first presenter, because it’s Oprah. No explanation is necessary. But if you like watching the Emmys, it is probably because you want to see which actor or actress is taking home an award.
The winners this year weren’t too shocking. “Ted Lasso” won four awards, including best comedy actor. “Succession” won big with best drama series. Zendaya also scored her second Emmy award as the youngest winner for her role as a melancholic drug addict in the teenage, rollercoaster series, “Euphoria.”
Newer shows got the recognition they deserved such as ABC’s “Abbott Elementary,” winning best-supporting actress for the hilarious Sheryl Lee Ralph and best writing for the excellent Quinta Brunson. HBO’s “White Lotus” knocked it out of the park with five wins, including one for the iconic Jennifer Coolidge, best known for her roles in “Legally Blonde” and “A Cinderella Story.”
To give them the credit they deserve, I feel like NBC’s Emmy awards did their best with what they had. It is not their fault that this generation could care less about who wins which award, and for die-hard NFL fans who only want to see men tackling each other. There were a few hiccups in the show’s production and take on creativity, but the viewers are there to witness the wins, not to critique everything else.