What was the biggest shocker at this year’s Emmy Awards? That there weren’t that many of them! Many familiar faces and programs took home awards as the new expanded voting system led to certain shows sweeping across the board. Even so, we were still treated to a few surprises.
Related: Complete list of 2015 Emmy Awards winners
1. Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actress: Regina King (“American Crime”)
The overwhelming favorite according to our combined odds was Sarah Paulson (“American Horror Story: Freak Show”), who is fast becoming rather overdue for some Emmy love after missing out the last two years.
But it was Regina King (she was ranked third by Gold Derby) to notch the only win for ABC’s acclaimed drama anthology “American Crime.” I literally jumped out of my chair when Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard announced her name. After years on TV and film, it was such a treat to see her grace the stage as an Emmy winner.
2. Best Comedy Writing: Simon Blackwell, Armando Ianucci and Tony Roche for “Veep”
Perhaps we should have seen it coming, what with the possibility of a “Veep” sweep, but many of us were still surprised to see the “Veep” writers win this award – the safer bets were either “Transparent” or “The Last Man on Earth.” It was a fitting tribute to Armando Ianucci, the creator and showrunner extraordinarie, who has left the show after four years.
3. Best Drama Supporting Actress Uzo Aduba for “Orange is the New Black”
I have been predicting that Uzo Aduba was going to prevail here ever since I watched all of the episodes submitted. But after seeing that episode submissions didn’t seem to matter much this year, what with the TV academy voting more on popularity than strictly on the merits of a single episode, I started to worry that Aduba wouldn’t be able to cut through the deafening buzz that “Game of Thrones” created tonight.
Not to be, as Aduba, (aka the “New Ed Asner” according to a cheeky Andy Samberg) not only made history for Netflix, winning its first major Primetime Emmy telecast award, but also became the first woman to win for the same role in both comedy and drama. Well done, Uzo, and thank you for sharing such a gracious, elegant and emotional speech.
4. Best Drama Supporting Actor: Peter Dinklage for “Game of Thrones”
OK, so it seems like a given looking back, but when Dinklage’s name was called, I was blown away that he was able to walk away with this, his second Emmy, against the likes of Jonathan Banks (“Better Call Saul”), who was the overwhelming favorite in the category based on an almost unbeatable episode submissions that would have won hands down in previous years.
5. Best Drama Writing: D.B. Weiss and David Benioff for “Game of Thrones”
To cap off an extraordinary and history-making night for the HBO fantasy epic, not only did David Nutter win the directing prize for the season finale “Mother’s Mercy,” but showrunners and series creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff were able to beat out the formidable Matthew Weiner for “Person to Person,” his celebrated series finale of “Mad Men.” I know I let out an audible gasp when this award was announced, and it certinaly set the tone for what was to come, as “Game of Thrones” finally cemented itself as the boda fide King of the Emmys.
Photo credit: Michael Buckner/Variety/REX Shutterstock