EMMYS 2015: Highlights and Lowlights

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While there were some thrilling wins for women (especially for women of color) this year at the 67th Emmy Awards, as a show the ceremony was a bit of a mixed bag. Here’s some of what I thought were the highlights (and lowlights).


  • While his humor was hit and miss during the bantery bits throughout, there were several one-liners during host Andy Samberg’s monologue that were pretty solid. I love that he addressed that the “wage gap” and the age gap” between men and women is a problem in Hollywood, and so “things remain crappy on two fronts.” I loved, “So, Donald Trump seems racist….and another thing….” But my personal favorite was his zinger about Paula Deen competing on Dancing With the Stars: “If I wanted to watch an intolerant woman dance, I would’ve gone to one of Kim Davis’ four weddings.”
  • Amy Poehler’s hoodie.
  • During the announcement of the nominees for Best Director in a comedy series, there was a short video in which the nominees were asked, “What’s the hardest thing about directing?” To which Jill Soloway replied, “The hardest thing about directing is not writing for the male gaze. Not…I mean…g-a-z-e, not gays. You guys are cool.”
  • Ricky Gervais’ “resignation” to the fact that he wasn’t going to win for Derek (which is a shame, as it’s a great show. If you haven’t seen Derek on Netflix, check it out. It will make you cry).
  • James Corden’s amazing intro to the Emmy accountants: “They figured out who won using nothing but mathematics…and guts.”
  • All the women who won awards
  • Inside Amy Schumer winning Best Variety Sketch Show
  • All the women of color who won awards
  • Uzo Aduba’s speech
  • Viola Davis’ speech
  • Taraji P. Henson supporting all her girls
  • Peter Dinklage winning Best Supporting Actor in a Drama for Game of Thrones.
  • Jon Hamm winning Best Actor in a Drama for giving one of the best, most subtle slow-burn performances ever as Don Draper on Mad Men (and then getting the award from Tina Fey)
  • Tracy Morgan presenting the Best Drama award after surviving and recovering from a horrible accident. First, he kept is serious and thanked people for the support they gave him through his recovery. Then, he brought it back to what he does best – comedy – when he said that after being laid up and recovering for so long that “a whole lotta y’all women are gonna get pregnant at the after party.” Oh, Tracy. You get a free pass, because you’re finding the humor in something horrible that you went through. Use that sparingly.

attends the 67th Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. 25720_001


  • There being no men of color nominated for the Best Actor in a Drama category
  • There being no women nominated for Best Director of a Drama
  • There being no women nominated for Best Writer of a Drama
  • Tatiana Maslany not winning a Emmy for her work on Orphan Black (though, to be fair, on How to Get Away with Murder, Viola Davis crams seven character’s worth of performance into one role, so…)
  • And speaking of Tatiana Maslany, they roped her into this weird comedy bit involving finding a can of beans on the red carpet? WTF, Emmy writers? WTF?
  • The less successful bits of Andy Samberg’s comedic stylings, and there were plenty.
  • Game of Thrones beating Mad Men for Best Drama. I have opinions about this. OPINIONS. Perhaps those opinions will be revealed in a longer piece. For now, I’ll just say that that’s some bullshit.

So, it seems that while women actually seem to be making serious strides overall on the comedy side of things, they’re doing less well in drama, where there were more entire categories in which they weren’t even nominated. However, the huge wins for women in the Limited Series/Movie category balanced things somewhat.

Congratulations to all the winners of the 2015 Emmys. The Mary Sue looks forward to enjoying, examining, and critiquing all of your work in the upcoming TV season.

(Images via Getty Images)

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Teresa Jusino
Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.