For the most part, Gold Derby nailed it this year in Emmy predictions. Odds generated from the combined picks of our Experts, Editors and Users yielded the correct choice in 23 out of 27 categories. Gold Derby’s David Buchanan, Daniel Montgomery, Tom O’Neil, Tony Ruiz and Amanda Spears convened for an hour-long live video discussion (watch above) hosted by Riley Chow 10 minutes after the 2017 Emmys ended to debate the results of those four other categories (including the big one: “The Handmaid’s Tale” for Best Drama Series), as well as to reflect on voting trends and the quality of the ceremony hosted by Stephen Colbert on CBS.
The telecast scarcely went minutes without resistance to Donald Trump, from quips in banter and speeches to the awarded programming reflecting opposing ideologies or even outright parodying the president. O’Neil notes, “There was a clear theme across all night. Every single chance Hollywood had to bash Trump, they did so — even ‘Saturday Night Live’ finally taking that top award after these decades. Every little thing that could go toward the whole Trump scenario did.”
The most notable subversion of this came in the Best Reality-Competition Program race, in which “The Voice” stunningly upset frontrunner “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” “Not only is RuPaul the kind of winner that Trump would not like to see, but [Trump] also has ties to Mark Burnett,” Chow explains, naming the executive producer of “The Voice” who accepted the Emmy the three prior times that “The Voice” had won in the category. “I guess they don’t hold Mark Burnett responsible,” Spears concludes, alluding to Burnett’s role as creator of “The Apprentice” franchise, on which Trump appeared from 2004 to 2015. Burnett was conspicuously absent last night; fellow executive producer Audrey Morrissey spoke on stage instead.
“Alec Baldwin had the sound bite of the night,” O’Neil surmises. Baldwin won Best Comedy Supporting Actor for his impression of Trump on “Saturday Night Live” and included in his acceptance speech, “At long last, Mr. President, here is your Emmy,” referencing Trump’s irritation that he never won an Emmy for “The Apprentice.”
Between the worthiness of the winners and the entertainment value of the ceremony, this was overall an agreeable edition of the Emmys, prompting Montgomery’s assessment that the academy will not “have much incentive to change things next year.”
Of course, the group was not without its gripes. With Best Drama Series “The Handmaid’s Tale” and Best Limited Series “Big Little Lies” each taking five awards last night, Buchanan laments, “I wish the winners in the drama and the limited series races were a little more varied. It was nice to see in the comedy side something when one show win Comedy Series, one win Directing, one win Writing, another win a Supporting race.”
Chow’s major grievance that Thandie Newton lost best Supporting Actress for “Westworld” led to the most contentious section of the slugfest, but Ruiz may have added some levity by saying, “The fact that Thandie Newton lost is not even as insulting as the fact that they misspelled her name [‘Thandi’ on screen]!”