Is it just me or were the Emmys just … OK? Don’t get me wrong, I love the bits of comedy thrown in there (I love you, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler), but the big, expected showstopping number from host Neil Patrick Harris didn’t even happen until 90 minutes in. Sure, we got some awkwardly awesome walk-dancing from “Castle” star Nathan Fillion, but … the pizzazz just didn’t seem to be there. Here are some highlights anyway:
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler for Queens of the Universe.
As if we couldn’t love them more, the Fey-Poehler dynamic duo stole the evening early on. From heckling the host from their seats (Poehler on seeing NPH twerk: “It might be degrading, but we would be de-grateful”) to Fey’s win for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, the pair should literally just host every award show ever. I mean, all of them.
Surprise snubs & “Wait, HE won?!”
“Veep” cast members Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tony Hale won Outstanding Lead Actress and Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, respectively, beating out front-runners from “Modern Family.” Jeff Daniels won for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series over “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston, and “Nurse Jackie” actress Merritt Wever — who had the shortest, best acceptance speech ever — surprised in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy category over “Modern Family” beauty Sofia Vergara. Anyone else lose their Emmys prediction pool horribly, or …
In memoriam, in between
Speakers including Rob Reiner, Jane Lynch and Edie Falco paid tribute to Jean Stapleton, Cory Monteith and James Gandolfini in personalized memorials spaced out randomly during the telecast.
Each of them was touching in their own way and very special — a nice (but incredibly depressing) way to pay tribute to some of television’s most well-loved figures.
Guys, I’m pretty sure #WeirdEmmys is trending
Uh, lots of weird things went down. Carrie Underwood sang the Beatles’ “Yesterday” in…some sort of tribute to television. That was weird. Michael Douglas asked Matt Damon if he wanted “the bottom or the top” of his Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries. That was weird.
... And Jon Hamm’s beard was, like, super scratchy-looking. That was very weird.
Stephen Colbert is pure class (and gold)
“The Colbert Report” surprisingly topped “The Daily Show” in both Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series and Outstanding (overall) Variety Series. Colbert — while still snarky — was sweet, thanking Jon Stewart and his “cruel and sexy” wife in arguably some of the most genuine speeches of the night.
Other notable things you should know
Jim Parsons won his third consecutive Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for “The Big Bang Theory.” There was a themed dance section complete with a “Breaking Bad” break dance, and it was AWESOME. And NPH has a hosting addiction (don’t worry, “The Ryan Seacrest Center for Excessive Hosting” is there to help).
What did you think of the Emmys this year? Best- and worst-dressed? Tweet your thoughts to @AlligatorAvenue!
A version of this story ran on page 7 on 9/26/2013 under the headline "Trophy hunting: Primetime Emmys somewhat OK, sad"