Almost everything about an award show is expected. The half-funny hosts, the sticky envelopes, the touching acceptance speeches, the constant montages. Audiences have come to recognise — and perhaps dread — these longstanding traits, which might explain why ratings have plummetedin recent years.
However, on Sunday night, we were given the 2020 Emmy Awards, an evening that not only celebrated the TV series that got us through this wretched year, but also championed diversity, inclusivity and originality. Yes, we were secretly wishing for technical chaos — there were 130-plus remote cameras feeding live into the Staples Center — but this year’s show cleverly provided viewers with unforeseen sights as nominees joined in from their living rooms, rooftops, yards and intimate cast parties amid the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing guidelines.
Deemed “The Pand-Emmys” by lackluster host Jimmy Kimmel, this year’s Emmys were like no other. Ditching the red carpet, it kicked off with the ever-present opening monologue, except instead of performing in front of a live audience, old footage of A-list crowds was interspersed with Kimmel’s dad jokes about COVID-19. Although the recycled laugh shots were oddly unacknowledged for the first few minutes, Kimmel eventually alerted clueless viewers at home: “Of course we don’t have an audience. This isn’t a MAGA rally, it’s the Emmys.”
Jason Bateman showed up in person, followed by Jennifer Aniston, who almost set the stage on fire during a sanitising bit gone wrong.
It was 2020 in a nutshell.
From there, the show was just fun. It started out with “Schitt’s Creek” completing a historic sweep in the Comedy series section ― winning all four acting categories, as well as writing and directing for creator and star Daniel Levy. It then led into “Watchmen” wins for actors Regina King and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, director Damon Lindelof and writer Cord Jefferson. In the final hour,...