Critics’ Choice TV Awards: Good (‘Americans’/’Silicon’), bad (speeches) and ugly (off-show winners)

The 5th annual edition of the Critics’ Choice TV Awards was generally enjoyable, with some genuine suprises among the winners. However, most of the acceptance speeches were bland and a few of the winners did not even get to accept on-air. Below, my thoughts on the evening. 

The Americans” — finally! It was “put up or shut up” time for you Critics’ Choice voters and you came through. After all the nominations love you’ve spread over the past few years for this FX drama series, the big prize finally went to the show in what is arguably its best and most revealing season.

Geeks rule! “Silicon Valley” gave HBO its first Critics’ Choice Comedy Series win over presumed frontrunner “Transparent.” Critics seemed to go for the funnier of the two, which was a breath of fresh air considering this was a “Comedy” category, after all.

Critics’ Choice TV Awards: Complete list of winners

Speeches. Where were the great, tearful, inspiring speeches? Aside from Taraji P. Henson, Lorraine Toussaint and Jeffrey Tambor, there really weren’t many stand-out speeches for the night. After some great, emotional speeches at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards this year (thanks, Gina Rodriguez and Uzo Aduba) these winners just seemed a bit rehearsed.

The one year no one would have complained about a few ties, the CCTA decides not to throw in any. Why? That Comedy Actress category would have been a great example of where no one would have argued with, say, a four-way tie. Or the Comedy Supporting Actress category where Allison Janney (“Mom”) repeated her win from last year but Eden Sher (“The Middle”) could have joined her on-stage to follow up her previous win (and tie) in the same category back in 2013. Don’t stop the ties now, critics!

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There’s nothing ugly about the much-deserved victory of Sarah Paulson in the Limited Series/Movie Supporting Actress category, but why didn’t we get to hear Paulson’s acceptance speech (along with a few other off-show winners)? There seemed to be time to announce “Most Bingeworthy Show” and “Most Exciting New Series” and even time to re-visit winners who’d just given their speeches by the Beverly Hilton poolside to ask them a few questions. Who was in charge of time management?

Olive Kitteridge” was the most rewarded show of the evening with three big wins — Limited Series, Actress Frances McDormand and Supporting Actor Bill Murray — but only when it won the top prize did we get to see anyone from the show on stage to collect their trophy. And even then it was just a single person, director Lisa Cholodenko. For such a big winner, “Olive Kitteridge” sure was the pits.

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