2014 Emmys: A predictable affair

Vince Gilligan and the "Breaking Bad" team during the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live in Los Angeles on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014. (Photo Courtesy of Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

Vince Gilligan and the “Breaking Bad” team during the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live in Los Angeles on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014. (Photo Courtesy of Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

The 66th Annual Emmy Awards were held Monday night in Los Angeles, but the annual celebration of television was a fairly boring, predictable affair.

Freshman host Seth Meyers got off to a shaky start with an opening monologue in which more jokes landed with a thud than were met with laughter. However, once Meyers, who was visibly nervous, took a deep breath and let everything go, he hit his stride and the rest of the evening became a breeze, allowing him to crack joke after joke with ease.

The show lasted almost exactly three hours and included a poignant tribute to the late Robin Williams by friend and fellow comic Billy Crystal. The tribute to television also included a bit featuring Andy Samberg and “Weird Al” Yankovic partnering to skew the theme songs of popular shows by adding their own lyrics.

Besides that, the evening was all about the awards. The big question was how AMC’s “Breaking Bad” would fare in its final Emmy appearance, especially when compared to HBO’s “True Detective” (which HBO surprisingly submitted as a drama rather than a miniseries). The show walked away from the night with five awards, including Best Drama Series. Anna Gunn won Best Supporting Actress in a drama role for her portrayal of Skyler White, her second Emmy, and in perhaps the two tightest races of the night, both Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul won for Leading Actor and Supporting Actor in a drama, respectively.

Cranston managed to top both “True Detective” stars Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey while Paul bested “Game of Thrones” star Peter Dinklage, who also could have quite easily won the award.

Unsurprisingly, “Modern Family” walked away yet again with the award for best comedy, while star Ty Burrell walked away with the award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy.

Seth Meyers during the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live in Los Angeles on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014. (Photo Courtesy of Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

Seth Meyers during the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live in Los Angeles on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014. (Photo Courtesy of Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

Jim Parsons once again walked away as the Best Actor in a Comedy for playing Sheldon on CBS’s “Big Bang Theory.” Julia Louis-Dreyfus won Best Actress in a Comedy for HBO’s “Veep,” which should have won Best Comedy over “Modern Family.” Allison Janney was the Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy for CBS’s “Mom,” a show I had honestly never heard of until tonight.

Once again, in an unsurprising turn of events, Julianna Margulies (who, in one of his best jokes of the night, Meyers quipped was “the only star from ‘E.R.’ to amount to anything) won for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance on CBS’s “The Good Wife,” beating out Kerry Washington of “Scandal” and Robin Wright of “House of Cards.”

“American Horror Story: Coven” star Jessica Lange won for Best Actress in a movie or miniseries, and creator Ryan Murphy saw his made-for-TV movie “The Normal Heart” walked away a winner as well.

FX’s “Fargo” walked away with the award for Best Miniseries. “Sherlock” stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman won for their respective roles on the show, with the former winning Actor in a Leading Role in a Miniseries and the latter winning Actor in a Supporting Role in a Miniseries.

Overall, while the night was short, sweet, and to the point, it lacked any surprises and managed to be fairly predictable, not that that’s a bad thing by any means.

“Breaking Bad” didn’t deserve to win. Although I was happy to see one of my favorite shows go out on a high note, the night could have used an upset or two.

Without a break from the norm, it just felt like the night went as expected and lacked any real memorable moments save for “Breaking Bad” ending its dynasty on top.

 

Reach the reporter at Shane.Weinstein@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @S_Weinstein95