I woke up this morning with this weird feeling in my stomach, and it's a feeling I can only associate with a major breakup: Sadness, disappointment, and a deep longing for what could have been.
After a fully committed, lifelong relationship with the Emmys (and 14 years covering it), I can't shake the feeling that our love affair may have ended last night.
OK, I'm being dramatic. And maybe it's the lack of sleep (in my defense: Someone had to be there as the HBO party ended to see Derek Hough dead lift Sofia Vergara on the dance floor), but one look at social media reactions and Emmy coverage, and I think most of us can agree: The 2014 Emmys were disappointing and just did not make sense at all.
This was supposed to be the year that things changed, that we fully entered the new era of television, where newcomers like Orange Is the New Black and True Detective and Allison Tolman and Taylor Schilling and Matt Bomer and, heck, even any reality show except The Amazing Race would have a shot at breaking out into the spotlight.
And perhaps the problem is that so many of us believed (stupidly, I now see) that the slew of nominations for shows like Netflix's Orange and True Detective—12 each, not to mention their casting wins at the Creative Arts Emmys, which in the past have been a bellwether for Outstanding Series wins—meant that the Academy was loosening its tie, and prepared to give newcomers a real shot at Emmy gold.
Instead, the Emmy winners came down to, mostly, the exact same winners as we have seen before.
In all sincerity, no disrespect to all the winners, who are all incredibly talented, but the number of repeat winners is…staggering.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus got her fifth win. Modern Family got its fifth (in a row). Jim Parsons got his fourth. Julianna Margulies got her third. Jessica Lange got her third. Kathy Bates got her third. And, it pains me to lump them in here, (because we all know the epicness of the final season!) but Breaking Bad got its second win in a row, Bryan Cranston got his fifth, Aaron Paul got his third, Anna Gunn got her second.
Every single repeat winner is deserving, sure, but it's hard to shake the feeling that voters aren't really checking out any of the new programming ("What is this crazy newfangled thing called Netflix?!"), and keep voting for the favorites they have loved for so many years. How many voters actually watched any of the new contenders this year? And how many just kept voting for old favorites, from either current or former projects?
Not to mention, you can't help but feel a little sorry for the repeat winners, who must feel some sense of the backlash, however remote it may be….Right? And that's not fair to them either.
So I'll shut up now.
But Emmys, honey, I want my drawer space back.