If you’re a fan of “Modern Family” or “Homeland,” your hands were probably sore from all that clapping Sunday night. If you’re not, well… the Emmys gave you ample opportunities to leave the room to grab snacks or refresh your beverage.
The dominance was telegraphed early. With four of the nominees for best supporting actor in a comedy coming from “Modern Family,” it was no surprise that the winner came from the ABC hit. While castmate Ty Burrell won last year and was nominated again this year, it was castmate Eric Stonestreet who took home the Emmy. While I might have given it to Burrell again, all of the nominees were deserving in a field that included “Modern Family‘s” Ed O ‘Neill and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, as well as “Saturday Night Live’s” Bill Hader and “New Girl“ breakout Max Greenfield.
“Modern Family” continued its streak with a win for Julie Bowen for supporting actress in a comedy series. Nominees included Bowen’s co-star Sofia Vergara, as well as Merritt Wever (“Nurse Jackie”), Kristen Wiig (“Saturday Night Live”), Mayim Bialik ( “The Big Bang Theory”) and sentimental favorite Kathryn Joosten, who died shortly after filming her death scene on the “Desperate Housewives” series finale. I won’t begrudge Bowen her Emmy. Often playing straightwoman to Burrell, and still managing to steal a scene or two, Bowen earned her award. Still, I would’ve liked to see Bialik recognized for her show-stealing turn as Amy, one of the two best things about the “Big Bang Theory.” (The other being Jim Parsons as her socially inept paramour Sheldon.)
Best directing in a comedy series went to … wait for it… Steven Levitan of “Modern Family.” Surprised? No? Then you won’t be surprised that the series also won for best comedy series.
With no competition from anyone on “Modern Family,” Jon Cryer was able to nab a trophy for best comedy actor for his role on “Two and a Half Men.” Personally, against Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”), Larry David (“Curb Your Enthusiasm “), Don Cheadle (“House of Lies”), Louis C.K. (“Louie”) and Alec Baldwin (“30 Rock”), Cryer wouldn ‘t have finished in my top three. Maybe not even in my top five. (Nominee Louis C.K. didn‘t go away empty-handed, though – his show won for best writing in a comedy series.)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus of “Veep” won actress in a comedy series, against Melissa McCarthy (“Mike & Molly”), Lena Dunham (“Girls “), Zooey Deschanel (“New Girl “), Edie Falco (“Nurse Jackie” ), Amy Poehler (“Parks and Recreation”) and Tina Fey (“30 Rock”). I love Louis-Dreyfus, though, full disclosure, I didn‘t make it past the second episode of “Veep.” And while Deschanel’s role can be polarizing, I enjoy it and am glad to see her nominated. Still, I was really pulling for Poehler. Last season was “Park and Recreation‘s” best, and its finale as funny and heartwarming as any show out there as Poehler’s Leslie Knope won her campaign for City Council. Alas, Poehler didn ‘t have the same good luck at the ballot box. Sigh. Maybe she’ll be nominated again next year, and the fourth nomination will finally get her a win.
Showtime‘s “Homeland” was the big winner for drama series, beating out HBO ‘s “Boardwalk Empire” and “Game of Thrones,” AMC’s “Mad Men “ and “Breaking Bad,” and PBS’ “Downton Abbey.” But most of the other shows got a little Emmy love. Best directing for a drama went to “Boardwalk Empire,” while Aaron Paul won supporting actor for “Breaking Bad” against castmate Giancarlo Esposito, “Thrones’” Peter Dinklage, Jared Harris of “Mad Men“ and “Downton Abbey‘s “ Brendan Coyle and Jim Carter. And best supporting actress went to “Downton Abbey’s” Maggie Smith. (Her competition: castmate Joanne Froggatt, Anna Gunn of “Breaking Bad,” Christina Hendricks of “Mad Men,” Archie Panjabi and Christine Baranski of “The Good Wife.” )
Still, it was the creative forces behind “Homeland” that really went home happy. In addition to being named best drama, it won awards for best writing, best actor (Damian Lewis) and best actress (Claire Danes). Lewis went up against Steve Buscemi (“Boardwalk Empire”), Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”), Michael C. Hall (“Dexter”), Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey”) and Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”). Danes faced Glenn Close “Damages,” Michelle Dockery (“Downton Abbey”), Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife”), Kathy Bates (“Harry ‘s Law”) and Elisabeth Moss (“Mad Men”).
Past favorite “Mad Men” was shut out. Though a critical and fan favorite, “Mad Men“ is a show I feel I should like more than I do … or maybe I‘m still just irked that there were two AMC nods for best drama, and neither was “The Walking Dead. “
For reality competition program, perennial favorite “The Amazing Race” won, beating out “Project Runway, “ “ So You Think You Can Dance,” “ Top Chef,” “The Voice” and “Dancing with the Stars.” But “Dancing with the Stars” host Tom Bergeron was luckier than his show … he was honored for his hosting duties. (The field was wide open this year since Jeff Probst of “Survivor” wasn’t even nominated after sweeping the category for the past four years. )
Named best miniseries or made-for-TV movie, HBO’s “Game Change” also won multiple awards, include the for writing, directing and a best actress win for Julianne Moore. But the Emmy in that category I was happiest to see: Jessica Lange was named best supporting actress for her role as an unhinged neighbor and abusive mom in “American Horror Story.” Lange will return to the show, but in a new role. She’ll play a nun, as the show moves locations from a present-day haunted house to a past-era asylum.
One fault I found with the nominees for miniseries or movie: Why was “Missing’s” Ashley Judd nominated as best lead actress? “Missing” premiered last spring, but was canceled because of ratings. Since when is a canceled series a miniseries? And if it was canceled, is it worthy of any award anyway? (This is coming from someone who watched every episode.) What’s next… a best miniseries for “The Playboy Club”?
A complete list of winners, as reported by the Associated Press:
— Drama Series: “Homeland,” Showtime.
— Actress, Drama Series: Claire Danes, “Homeland,” Showtime.
— Actor, Drama Series: Damian Lewis, “Homeland,” Showtime.
— Supporting Actor, Drama Series: Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad,” AMC.
— Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey,” PBS.
— Writing, Drama Series: Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff, “Homeland,” Showtime.
— Directing, Drama Series: Tim Van Patten, “Boardwalk Empire,” HBO.
— Comedy Series: “Modern Family,” ABC.
— Actor, Comedy Series: Jon Cryer, “Two and a Half Men,” CBS.
— Actress, Comedy Series: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep,” HBO.
— Supporting Actress, Comedy Series: Julie Bowen, “Modern Family,” ABC.
— Supporting Actor, Comedy Series: Eric Stonestreet, “Modern Family,” ABC.
— Writing, Comedy Series: Louis C.K, “Louie,” FX Networks.
— Directing, Comedy Series: Steven Levitan, “Modern Family,” ABC.
— Miniseries or Movie: “Game Change,” HBO.
— Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Julianne Moore, “Game Change,” HBO.
— Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Kevin Costner, “Hatfields & McCoys,” History.
— Supporting Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story,” FX Networks.
— Supporting Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Tom Berenger, “Hatfields & McCoys,” History.
— Directing, Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special: Jay Roach, “Game Change,” HBO.
— Writing, Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special: Danny Strong, “Game Change,” HBO.
— Reality-Competition Program: “The Amazing Race,” CBS.
— Host, Reality-Competition Program: Tom Bergeron, “Dancing With the Stars,” ABC.
— Variety, Music or Comedy Series: “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” Comedy Central.
— Writing for a Variety Special: Louis C.K., “Louis C.K. Live at the Beacon Theatre,” FX Networks.
— Directing, Variety, Music or Comedy Special: Glenn Weiss, 65th Annual Tony Awards, CBS.
— Heather Chavez