Admittedly, that was a little weird.
Any way you sliced it, the 2020 Primetime Emmys was a study in oddities, with only a handful of participants stationed at Staples Center in Los Angeles along with host Jimmy Kimmel, some winners seemingly hanging out alone in front of their screens while others had mini parties going on ("We all tested, I swear," Watchmen creator Damon Lindelof assured us), and Sterling K. Brown having his own personal Moonlight moment while presenting the night's final award.
It was a joke, but with a nearly empty theater as his audience, thanks to (or make that un-thanks to) the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic... Brown's bit was a little fraught for the rest of us back home, waiting for the punchline.
Seriously, though, how to surprise and delight on a night that started out with people needing to be convinced that this was a good idea, many folks wondering why, in fact, the show had to go on?
"No, seriously, I'm asking," quipped Kimmel, clad in a tuxedo as if all was well, at the beginning of his monologue. "Why are we having an award show in the middle of a pandemic? And what the hell am I doing here? This is the year they decide they have to have a host?"
But as the veteran comedian, who actually took the summer off from Jimmy Kimmel Live to regroup (and perhaps figure out what the heck he was going to say Sunday) astutely pointed out, being forced to spend so much time at home definitely helped thicken the bond we have with our TV sets, streaming services and whatever we've been watching to pass the time for the past six months.
And as Kimmel also noted, handing out Emmys this year is no more "frivolous and unnecessary" than "doing it every other year."
In any case, however, we are pleased to report that, despite the overall surreality of the affair, there were still some true-to-form big Moments, the kind that can only happen at events at which awards are presented and accepted. There was business as usual. Acting, writing and directing achievements were rewarded. Records were broken. People applauded. Co-stars hugged. Spouses were kissed. Phones rang. Voting in November was encouraged.
And Oprah Winfrey was there.
Well, not there-there. But she played a role.
Here are the biggest jaw-droppers from the unprecedented 2020 Emmy Awards: