Correcting one of the bigger Emmy injustices in recent memory, Breaking Bad finally got the win for outstanding drama. Much to the chagrin of a fan group that hates Skyler White, but not her meth dealing, murdering husband, Anna Gunn won best supporting actress in a drama. Star Bryan Cranston has won his category before, but this time he lost out to The Newsroom’s Jeff Daniels. Backstage, Cranston told reporters how happy he was for the entire team behind the show.
“I’ve been blessed in the past and this show has been nominated in the past, but what I really wanted was what we got, to celebrate the win for the writing crew and cast.”
Bad creator Vince Gilligan thanked Netflix, whose instant streaming made the drama accessible to people that didn’t catch it on AMC.
He wasn’t the only one to acknowledge Netflix’s growing role in entertainment. During one of the self-referential comedy sketches about the broadcast, Kevin Spacey turned to the camera and parodied his vindictive House of Cards character. David Fincher picked up the best director prize for the political drama, earning the first major category victory for an online video distributor. This is the second consecutive year no Big Four program earned nominations for outstanding drama.
They’re still doing well in the sitcom categories, ABC’s Modern Family winning its fourth straight award for outstanding comedy. Jim Parsons won best comedy actor for CBS’ Big Bang Theory.
The night’s most endearing speech went to Merritt Wever of Nurse Jackie. Clearly surprised to win best supporting actress in a comedy, she simply said, “Thank you so very much. I gotta go, bye.” Host Neil Patrick Harris declared it the best Emmy speech ever.
Reaction to the attempts at self-parody by the Emmys was mixed. Former hosts showed up to give Harris unsolicited advice, with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler making a strong case for letting them co-host annually. Wearing 3-D glasses, they implored Harris to take off his pants as Fey explained she attends awards shows for “the twerkin.”
The broadcast’s revamped tribute system fell flat as well. In addition to the traditional “In Memoriam,” a few stars got special onstage goodbyes from their former co-stars. The most controversial inclusion was that of Glee’s Cory Monteith, who died in July from an accidential drug overdose. Adam Klugman, son of three-time Emmy winner Jack Klugman, called choosing Monteith over the Odd Couple star “criminal.” An even more quizzical choice was the omission of Larry Hagman, who played perhaps TV’s best villain in J.R. Ewing.