Emmy Awards: The good (Jon Hamm, Viola Davis), bad (sweeps) and ugly (‘In Memoriam’ clapping)

For the awards-obsessed editors of Gold Derby, the Emmys are like every Christmas, birthday and wedding all rolled into one. We eagerly await the opening of every envelope, transcribe every speech and celebrate our savvy predictions while bemoaning those upsets that show us up. 

Below, our collective thoughts on the highs, lows and WTF moments of Sunday’s kudocast. 

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Record-breaking wins for “Game of Thrones,” Viola Davis and Jon Hamm made this a ceremony worthy of multiple standing ovations. – Marcus Dixon

Three African American women — Uzo Aduba, Regina King and Davis — win top acting awards. Almost unheard of at a major mainstream awards telecast. Thumbs up! – Rob Licuria

Thrilled for Richard Jenkins, a character actor who got a leading role of a lifetime and an Emmy. – Chris Beachum

A good year for women. Comedy Directing, Movie/Mini Directing and Movie/Mini Writing all went to women. And several top program awards went to shows centered on women (“Veep,” “Inside Amy Schumer,” “Olive Kitteridge“). A far cry from the utterly male-dominated Oscars. – Daniel Montgomery

After many years of great work on both film and TV, Regina King and Richard Jenkins are awarded Emmys for stellar performances in “American Crime” and “Olive Kitteridge” respectively. – Charles Bright

Do not let the door hit you on the way out, “Modern Family.” – Riley Chow


The new voting system led to a lot of sweeps, which suggests voters may just check the boxes of the shows they like instead of paying close attention to content of the nominated achievements. – Daniel Montgomery

The lack of real, genuine surprises and the lazy sweeps. Was “Olive Kitteridge” that good? Really?!? – Rob Licuria

Last year, we got clips for just one category, which was randomly drama supporting actor. This year, it was movie/limited supporting actress. – Riley Chow

I know it seems like I won’t let up on this, but Jonathan Banks should have won Drama Supporting Actor for “Better Call Saul” over Peter Dinklage for “Game of Thrones.” Even Peter Dinklage acknowledged it in his speech. – Charles Bright

The new Emmy rules suggested that voters weren’t watching the episode submissions and instead were just voting for their favorite stars. – Marcus Dixon

Way too many sweeps this year (“Game of Thrones,” “Daily Show,” “Veep,” “Olive Kitteridge”). – Chris Beachum


Although certain wins this year give us hope (Regina King, Reg E. Cathey), deciding the Emmys by popular vote could lead to the death of the underdog, when lesser known stars like Zeljko Ivanek or little-watched shows like “In Treatment” could win Emmys by virtue of dynamite episode submissions. Voters may still sometimes get it right, but if they’re voting without watching the nominated performances, a lot of deserving winners will inevitably fall by the wayside in the future. – Daniel Montgomery

Please, awards show deities, make the vulgar, awful cheering and clapping during the “In Memoriam” segment stop. This time, we almost got there. But there was still a hint of the lame clapping as we memorialized the dearly departed.  – Rob Licuria

Other than Mel Brooks, no real legends were invited to be on the show. – Chris Beachum

Why do Emmy voters hate Sarah Paulson so much? At least she won the Gold Derby TV Award! – Marcus Dixon

How often is a show the best in every category? I am sure that for many people, “Game of Thrones” is the drama with the best writing, directing, acting, editing, casting, makeup, production design, sound and effects, but the average Joe is not watching all 39 dramas that were nominated at the Emmys this year. – Riley Chow

The opened up voting system seems to have lessened the impact of the episode submission in the Emmy process. The idea of submitting a sample episode (specifically in the acting races) was supposed to be the great equalizer for all the nominees. Now, they might as well just get rid of it because it really doesn’t seem to matter all that much. – Charles Bright

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