During tonight's uneven TV award ceremony, we got to see whether Breaking Bad, American Horror Story: Asylum, Homeland, Modern Family and nominees such as Claire Danes, Bryan Cranston, Matt Damon, Kerry Washington, Sofia Vergara, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and more would be taking home a trophy. More than anything? There were lots and lots of surprises.
But enough of that, what about the show? Let's dig into the night's best, worst and weirdest moments!
Best Decision: The telecast started a few minutes late so the football game could finish up. Of course, that doesn't explain why it seemed to be running late for the entire rest of the evening.
Worst Realization: That all the singing and dancing we were expecting for the nbig splashy opener didn't happen. Nothing. Instead, in the low-key opening segment, Neil Patrick Harris talked back to the screen as he binged on the entire season of TV (as we watched him). Seriously, what does he think we've been doing all year? The bit was clever, but really, we were really just wanting some singing and dancing.
Better Tribute to TV: As NPH was joined by Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Jane Lynch, Jimmy Kimmel, the show started picking up steam as Kevin Spacey, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler started chiming in for the opener. Even if it hadn't been funny, it deserved points for a great cast.
Biggest Surprise and Best Speech, Early Edition: Merritt Wever won for Nurse Jackie! And then gave a speech that went, "Thank you so much. Um, I gotta go. Bye." (The show was never better than at that very moment.)
Second Biggest Surprise, Early Edition: Tony Hale of Veep beat three of the Modern Family guys. Buster Bluth, you are all grown up.
Most Super Fun Speech: As Julia Louis-Dreyfus accepted her award for best comedic actress, costar Hale held her handbag and fed her lines while fellow Veep star texted on her phone. Loved it.
Best Grammy Moment: That part where Elton John played that song, which seemed out of place...because this is the Emmys.
Worst Musical Moment: Speaking of unwanted jams, we recall hearing that no stars would get played off by the band. Well, the band played off a number of big, surprise winners almost as soon as they got on stage and before they'd even really started to speak. Music, we are disappointed in you.
Worst Realization: During the sagging section about an hour into the telecast (and several more times throughout), we started wishing we were watching some of the shows rather than this show about the shows.
Best Non-Surprise: Sensing our boredom, Neil Patrick Harris finally gave us what we didn't think we wanted so much: a singing, dancing number that featured Nathan Fillion and Sarah Silverman, the latter of whom crooned that would try not to say "vagina" on TV. She failed.
Most Moving: Sarah Bromell, the widow of the late Henry Bromell, a writer who won for Homeland, accepted for her late husband. Later, Claire Danes celebrated him as well.
Tons of Tributes: The show spread out its tributes to late stars such as Cory Monteith, Jean Stapleton and more. So much so that it seemed as if one was coming every few minutes. That said, the remembrances weren't maudlin, which was good. Our favorite, though? Bob Newhart, who is alive and on hand to receive some praise.
Biggest Letdown: Claire Danes winning would have been a big exciting deal on its own, but the fact that Diahann Carroll had told the assembled that Kerry Washington should win, well, that made it kind of uncomfortable.
Second Biggest Letdown: David Fincher wasn't on hand to accept his House of Cards Emmy and we wanted to know what he had to say about the Netflix series winning an Emmy.
Biggest Boost: Finally! After years of being the best show on late night that wasn't winning Emmys, The Colbert Report won the TV writing award and best variety series it was so well deserved.
Surprisingest Surprises: Jeff Daniels and Bobby Cannavale's wins seemed to surprise them and everyone else, which is funny because clearly everyone in the room had voted.
Biggest Misstep: The choreography breakdown. We're glad the dance designers got the recognition, but the super-funky tributes to Big Bang Theory and Breaking Bad were so unnecessary.
Most Delightfully Dirty Speech: Michael Douglas, after using the perfectly respectable (but dirty sounding) term "two-hander," the actor then followed up with some totally on-purpose innuendo directed toward his acting partner, Matt Damon.
Best Non-Dirty Part of That Speech: Douglas thanked his estranged wife Catherine Zeta Jones, his children, especially his son who is incarcerated, and the late Liberace. Very sweet.
Most Awkward: When coming out to present together, Bryan Cranston congratulated Claire Danes on her win, which kind of flummoxed her considering he'd just lost. Saving the day, though, Cranston quipped, "I've still got my fingers crossed for my category."
Most Welcome: Looking like the classic harried dad on the weekend, Will Ferrell brought out his kids while dressed in shorts and sandals. So funny.
Best Non-Surprise: After a night of upsets and unexpected moments, we actually were kind of glad to see favorites Modern Family and Breaking Bad win. Also, because that meant it was over.
(Originally published Sept. 22, 2013 at 5:27 p.m. PT)