One of the biggest nights of the TV and film calendar is the Primetime Emmy Awards and this year was no exception. Despite the large scale in-person event being cancelled due to ongoing coronavirus restrictions, many of the world’s biggest stars donned their finery for the 72nd Annual celebration and took part in the replacement digital ceremony, christened ‘The Pandemmys’. Even though it was far from the traditional evening, the event celebrated the best in TV and film, crowning some of the most exciting talents alongside some of the most recognizable celebs.
Whilst the vast majority of the guests and nominees tuned in from their homes to participate and deliver their acceptance speeches, the ceremony was presented from The Staples Center by Jimmy Kimmel in Los Angeles where instead of an eager audience the only other people in the venue were a few guest presenters and celebrity cardboard cut-outs that filled the empty seats. Despite this, it remained an exciting evening. Alongside the awards successes, fans were surprised and delighted to see an unexpected mini Friends reunion as Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox and Lisa Kudrow were all together at home.
Some of the most anticipated categories at the Primetime Emmy Awards each year are Outstanding Comedy Series, Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series and Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series and this year Canadian television series Schitt’s Creek swept all 5 of these categories. This is alongside winning the Writing for Comedy Series and Director for a Comedy Series among other categories, totaling a very impressive 9 prizes for the show. This was in fact a new record for most wins in a single season for a comedy. As described on IMDB, “when rich video-store magnate Johnny Rose and his family suddenly find themselves broke, they are forced to leave their pampered lives to regroup in Schitt’s Creek.” and it’s sixth and final season was actually broadcast this year. Winners included Eugene Levy in the Lead Actor category, Catherine O’Hara in the Lead Actress category and Daniel Levy in the Writing category all for comedy series’.
Another series that swept the awards, this time in the drama categories, was Succession. Succession was a winner in the categories of Outstanding Drama Series, Lead Actor in a Drama Series, Writing for a Drama Series and Directing for a Drama Series. “Succession follows a dysfunctional American global-media family” as described by IMDB. The winner in the writing category was the show’s British creator Jesse Armstrong commented “This is such a very nice moment,” and added “But it’s sad not to be with the cast and crew to share it.” as reported by the BBC. Furthermore, he also added a list of what he called “un-thank you’s” as part of his acceptance speech that mentioned both the US President Donald Trump and the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and was critical of their handling of the coronavirus pandemic, reported The Guardian.
Other winners on the night included Watchmen for Outstanding Limited Series, Billy Crudup in the Supporting Actor in a Drama Series category for his appearance in The Morning Show, Julia Garner in the Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Category for her appearance in Ozark, Regina King in the Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Category for her appearance in Watchman and Uzo Aduba in the Supporting actress in a limited series or movie category for her appearance in Mrs. America.
It was also a brilliant night for 24 year old actress Zendaya, who scooped up the award for Lead Actress in a Drama Story for her portrayal of Rue Bennett in Euphoria. Euphoria is “A look at life for a group of high school students as they grapple with issues of drugs, sex and violence” as described by IMDB. In the year of the first digital awards ceremony, Zendaya’s win was another first as she is the youngest actress to ever win in this category. Within her category, Zendaya fought off intense competition from seasoned award winners including Jennifer Aniston for The Morning Show, both Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh for Killing Eve, Olivia Coleman for The Crown and Laura Linney for Ozark. “I know this feels like a really weird time to be celebrating,” Zendaya remarked; “But I just want to say there is hope in the young people out there – I know that our TV show doesn’t always feel like a great example of that – but there is hope in our young people and I just want to say to all my peers out there doing the work in the streets, ‘I see you, I admire you, I thank you.'” she added.
In spite of the circumstances, this year’s Primetime Emmys did not disappoint and provided many memorable moments while celebrating the prowess of the TV and film industry.