Photo: Emmys 2022/Apple TV+
It’s television’s biggest night of the year! On Monday, September 12th, the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards were broadcasted on NBC, honoring the immense talent brought to television throughout this year. As the years have gone by, the medium of television has expanded to reach a more diverse and global audience, due in large part to the rise in streaming services. Budgets and episode lengths have increased, and the medium has truly been able to reach a new age. The Emmys include categories for both drama and comedy series, as well as limited/anthology series and other television specials. HBO’s ‘Succession’ and ‘The White Lotus’ and Apple TV+’s ‘Ted Lasso’ led the game with at least 10 major nominations each.
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This year, the award show was hosted by SNL personality, Kenan Thompson. Thompson brought his wit and light-hearted tone to his hosting. He opened the ceremony with a dance number using famous theme songs from across television, starting with the iconic “I’ll Be There for You” from ‘Friends,’ and blending into the themes of ‘The Brady Bunch,’ ‘Law & Order,’ ‘Stranger Things,’ and ‘Game of Thrones,’ all accompanied with some sweet dance moves. From there, the handing-out-of-awards began!
The 2022 Emmys – Big Wins
Unsurprisingly, considering their lead in nominations, ‘Ted Lasso’ took home the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, while ‘Succession’ was awarded for Outstanding Drama Series. Those two categories are arguably the biggest of the night, saved for the very end of the program, and intended to be given to the overall best series of the year in each respective genre. Another frontrunner, ‘The White Lotus,’ took home the statue for Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series. Each of these shows also received wins in the acting categories and more. ‘The White Lotus’ had a big night, with creator Mike White receiving additional awards for his writing and directing of the miniseries. The Netflix sensation ‘Squid Game’ made history as a non-English speaking show at the Emmys, winning Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for Hwang Dong-hyuk, who created the phenomenon, as well as the leading man, Lee Jung-jae, winning Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his captivating performance. If you’re one of the few who have yet to see the masterpiece that is ‘Squid Game,’ I highly recommend it!
History continued to be made as the ever lovely Zendaya won for her powerful performance in ‘Euphoria.’ This would be the second leading actress Emmy the 26-year-old has received. This makes her the youngest recipient of two acting Emmys, and the first Black woman to win twice in that category. The new sitcom ‘Abbott Elementary’ turned heads this year for both its comedy and nuance. The series’ star and creator, Quinta Brunson, won for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. Additionally, Sheryl Lee Ralph was awarded for her acting in the show, and graced the audience with a rousing speech (more on that in a bit). Every year, the Emmys also include a special honor, The Governor’s Award. This year, that honor was bestowed upon the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, founded by Geena Davis herself. The organization studies the representation of gender in the media and fights for equality. It’s always a pleasure to see hard work rewarded. This has been a full year in the world of television, with so much talent and dedication poured into the craft. It was certainly the night to see each nomination gain the recognition they deserved.
The Most Memorable Speeches
Every award show is full of acceptance speeches. Some are funny or charming, some are heartfelt, and some are just awkward. Though ceremonies such as the Emmys are meticulously plotted out to take up a certain amount of time, it’s a bit insane that such accolades only give winners an allotted amount of seconds to have their moment and thank everyone they want to thank. Most winners were also accompanied by prewritten text which appeared at the bottom of the screen to emphasize who the artists wanted to thank, making up for the short time. It’s always awkward when that music plays to usher winners away from the stage. During her speech, Jennifer Coolidge (who won for her role in ‘The White Lotus’) was halted by the music, but she decided to dance her way through it – literally. She wasn’t the only one who was interrupted, but she was the one who made the most of it.
As previously stated, Sheryl Lee Ralph gave a rousing speech, singing lines from “Endangered Species” by Diane Reeves. She then shared more inspiring words and “thank yous” which all added up to a gracious and thought-provoking culmination of a speech. Popstar and icon Lizzo was both a presenter and a winner, winning for her competition program: ‘Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls.’ Her speech centered on proper representation and being able to see herself on the television screen. It’s so important for every audience member, especially younger crowds, to be able to see themselves in the media, and Lizzo highlighting this fact has got to be one of the best acceptance speeches of the night. I also personally enjoyed ‘Succession’ creator Jesse Armstrong’s speech for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series, in which Armstrong spoke on the struggles of writing and perseverance. Most people look for the acting wins, but the writing is the backbone for any story.
A Good Year for Television
Overall, this year has been a remarkable one for television. Every show was complete with jaw-dropping moments and formidable performances. There are only so many awards to go around, but the Emmys are the night to honor television, and that’s what they did. The fashion police will be reporting who looked the best or the worst, and every media outlet will be covering how the show went down. But at the end of the day, it’s a night for celebration.
A huge congratulations to all the winners and all the nominees. There are just so many television shows and characters to love out there, and it was fantastic to see so many receive the awards they deserve. I’m already looking forward to what the next year of television will bring.
By Rachel Beltowski
Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Cinema, TV and Media. An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “We have the space and time for all your stories, no matter who/what/where you are. Media/Cinema/TV have a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so. Talent, diversity and authenticity matter in Cinema/TV, media and storytelling. In fact, I reckon that we should announce “talent-diversity-authenticity-storytelling-Cinema-Oscars-Academy-Awards” as synonyms of each other. We show respect to talent and stories regardless of their skin color, race, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, etc., thus allowing authenticity into this system just by something as simple as accepting and showing respect to the human species’ factual diversity. We become greater just by respecting and appreciating talent in all its shapes, sizes, and forms. Award winners, which includes nominees, must be chosen on the greatness of their talent ALONE.
I am sure I am speaking for a multitude of Cinema lovers all over the world when I speak of the following sentiments that this medium of art has blessed me with. Cinema taught me about our world, at times in English and at times through the beautiful one-inch bar of subtitles. I learned from the stories in the global movies that we are all alike across all borders. Remember that one of the best symbols of many great civilizations and their prosperity has been the art they have left behind. This art can be in the form of paintings, sculptures, architecture, writings, inventions, etc. For our modern society, Cinema happens to be one of them. Cinema is more than just a form of entertainment, it is an integral part of society. I love the world uniting, be it for Cinema, TV, media, art, fashion, sport, etc. Please keep this going full speed.”
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Rachel Beltowski is a screenwriter and film critic, with a passion for character-driven stories and thought-provoking themes. From adventure to horror, Rachel enjoys stories which take the audience on an emotional rollercoaster and allow for personal expression that would otherwise go silent. Rachel was drawn to The Hollywood Insider’s dedication to individual perspectives and positive world impacts. The Hollywood Insider has provided a foundation for Rachel to share her insights and leap into the center of the entertainment industry. Rachel hopes to bring a fresh voice into the world of film and television, and share her love of stories with others.