Merritt Wever, Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy winner, beat the system: After her name was announced at last night's Emmys, the Nurse Jackie actress walked onstage, accepted her award and said, "Thank you so much. Thank you so much." A pause. Then, "I gotta go. Bye!"
The speech—an epic speech, mind you—lasted all of 10 seconds. Max. This was apparently the amount of time that the Emmys producers had allotted winners anyway. If you actually wanted to make a speech, this was not your night.
Before the show began, Emmy producers asked all winners to keep their speeches short. The consequences for going on too long? They jokingly played a clip of Game of Thrones "Red Wedding" massacre. Laughs all around.
Their actual weapon of mass silencing: an orchestra.
It went like this: The name was called, the winner made his or her way to the stage and, before any of them even finished their first sentence, the music started. The second half then became a mix of talking loud and louder to be heard over the music or talkingfastertocrammorewordsintolesstime.
Poor Anna Gunn! The woman just won a Best Supporting Actress Emmy, one of the bigger awards of the night. Let her speak.
It wasn't a matter of anyone going on and on. No one was exasperatingly long-winded. No one got flustered and sat at the podium trying to think of all the people they wanted to thank ("Oh geez. I want to thank the crew...and, oh no...um...I need to thank," etc.)
Everyone was just prematurely played off. And it was rude.
"We're being told the show is already 25 minutes too long," Amy Poehler joked mere minutes into the actual broadcast. It may have felt that way though, after a seemingly endless segment where host Neil Patrick Harris "tried" to watch an entire season of TV at the same time.
But the show had plenty of time for the bits. The best of which was Amy and Tina Fey heckling NPH at the top of the show, the worst of which was almost everything else. The show had time for two unnecessary dance numbers (one in the opening number would have been enough, it's not the Tonys). The show had time for enough in memoriam segments to warrant the Modern Family creator announcing, "This may be the saddest Emmys of all time" (remembrance is nice, yes, picking and choosing which performers deserve more than others is up for debate).
The show had plenty of time for presenters to banter back and forth while plugging their respective shows—sure, Will Arnett and Margo Martindale's shtick was cute, but they were also given more stage time to prattle and promote The Millers (premiering October 3rd here on CBS!) than the Best Comedy Director winner that they (kind of) presented to.
And let's not even discuss Shemar Moore.
This is an awards show. Though we seem to want to forget it—these days, the Oscars is half performances, do the MTV Awards even hand out awards anymore?—the point is to award people. And if you want to give someone an award, give them a minute to give
thanks shout outs.