The Highs and Lows of the 2020 Emmys

Sunday night marked the kickoff to awards season with the 2020 Emmys. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the Emmys were the first award show of the Covid era to go digital. Before the show, we were told that we would have a live feed of every nominee, which means over 140 camera crews in supposedly 140 locations? This gives us 140 things that could go wrong… So how did the award show play out?

Honestly? Not as bad as I thought. In very few moments were the stars’ feeds frozen or delayed. All the correct feeds were shown on our TVs when nominees and winners were getting announced. So from a technical point of view, things went great.

A lot of people seemed to be confused at Jimmy Kimmel’s opening and how it was cutting to reactions from a full auditorium… Only casual Emmy watchers would be confused by this. Fans of the show and of fashion in particular would have quickly noticed that this was footage from last year’s show. I think Jimmy did the best he could with his opening monologue and garnered a couple of decent and genuine laughs. He also brought out Jennifer Aniston to help present the first award of the night. Although they almost set the place on fire (*cue panicked producer yelling at Jen Aniston to PUT IT OUT*), the show was off to a good start.

The Highs/Surprises

The show started with a complete Schitt’s Creek sweep of the comedy categories! This had a lot of people very happy. It also helped that the cast of the show were all (safely) gathered and were watching and celebrating together. It brought some tiny sense of normalcy among all the weirdness of a virtual award show. With these 6 wins (on top on the creative arts Emmys they had already won), Schitt’s Creek made history by being the only show in Emmy history to win all 4 acting categories in the comedy category in a single year.

One of the biggest surprises of the name was another history-making moment. Zendaya won an Emmy! By doing so, she became the youngest person to ever win lead actress in a drama series. Based on her reaction, it’s safe to say she wasn’t expecting that win and was as happy as a lot of people watching the show.

Awards aside, another high of the night came when Jimmy Kimmel checked in on Jennifer Aniston, who hurried home after her opening bit. This gave us a reunion of the ladies of everyone’s favorite feel-good show FRIENDS.

The Lows/Snubs

Jimmy Kimmel’s little comedic segments were a big low. This would have been ok if it were happening before announcing the nominees for a category… but he was doing them after announcing them and before announcing the winner. Like, I’m sorry Kimmel, but no one thinks you’re funny when we just want to know who has won the award.

In terms of snubs, not much went down on Emmy night. In the supporting actor in a drama race, three actors from a single show were up against each other. Of course, these are Nicholas Braun, Kieran Culkin and Matthew Macfadyen from Succession. Odds were certainly in Succession’s favor, and yet Billy Crudup won the golden statue for the category. Often times, voters split the vote between performances from a single show, canceling each other out and leaving the road open for another nominee to swoop in and take the trophy. The multiple noms in a single category is probably what cost the Succession boys the Emmy.

While everything went ok technically, the real low of the night actually only came to light the next day. Turns out the Emmys telecast garnered the lowest ratings in the show’s history. At a time when TV watching is at an all-time high, the Emmys should have accumulated a little more buzz considering people are still mostly confined to their home. But the low ratings could also be due to the fact that not many people knew the Emmys were happening. Award shows in general are going to need to find new ways to get the word out if they want to stall the drop in their viewership.

Overall, the night wasn’t bad by any means… but nothing compares to the excitement and energy of an in-person live event… thanks 2020.


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