Emmys 2017: The good (diversity), bad (‘Stranger Things’ shutout) and ugly (RuPaul’s loss)

For the awards-obsessed writers and editors of Gold Derby, the Emmy Awards 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 kudoscast for the Emmys 2017. And check out the complete list of winners here.


The legendary presenters! The sights of Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton, and Carol Burnett and Norman Lear no doubt inspired standing ovations in living rooms across the country – Andrew Carden

Worthy underdog “Black Mirror” defeating juggernaut “Big Little Lies” (as well as runner-up “The Night Of”) [for Best Movie/Mini Writing] restored my faith in the writers branch to give us wonderful surprises – Riley Chow

Sterling K. Brown’s speech saluting the former Best Drama Actor winners was truly touching, particularly for this longtime TV fan – Marcus James Dixon

Lena Waithe for Best Acceptance Speech! Passionate, humble, fiery. This is how they should all be done. And Laura Dern is all class in a warm and loving acceptance speech highlighting the importance of women in the entertainment industry. She’s so immensely likeable, she should always be considered a threat at awards shows – Sam Eckmann

Excited for the wins by “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Atlanta,” two of the best new shows of the season – Zach Laws

Praise be! I was literally dancing in my living room when “The Handmaid’s Tale” won Best Drama Series, after only just getting over the pure joy of seeing the irrepressible Ann Dowd win in the night’s biggest surprise. TV’s most prolific, timely and cinematic work of art almost sweeps the field. Blessed be the fruit! – Rob Licuria

Riz Ahmed‘s victory made my entire night. If nothing else good happened, that would have been enough, but I was also delighted by wins for Ann Dowd, Elisabeth Moss, and “The Handmaid’s Tale” as Best Drama, and a wealth of victories for female stories and storytellers, and several actors, writers, and directors of color – Daniel Montgomery

Stephen Colbert knocked it out of the park as host. Great musical opening and jokes that mixed politics and the television season – Matt Noble

Ann Dowd’s incredibly moving speech.  She stands in for the hundreds of working character actors in Hollywood who put in enormously impressive work without getting any kind of the recognition that Ann received tonight. Also, kudos to Sterling K. Brown with his shout-out to Andre Braugher, and his implicit salute to all of the African-American actors before him – Tom O’Brien

Lena Waithe making history and Aziz Ansari for giving her the spotlight – Tony Ruiz

If Ann Dowd winning wasn’t enough seeing Samira Wiley mouth “You won” made the moment even better – Amanda Spears


While the In Memoriam segment was a lovely one, the lack of individual tribute to Mary Tyler Moore was downright unforgivable – Andrew Carden

I say this every year, but where are the clips? “Atlanta” apparently has award-worthy directing and acting, but are casual Emmy viewers any the wiser about what the show is? – Riley Chow

Stranger Things” and “Westworld” both shut out at the Primetime Emmys? That’s quite startling considering they won five apiece at last week’s Creative Arts Emmys – Marcus James Dixon

Alexander Skarsgard is great. But how can the Emmys miss an opportunity to reward the perpetually overlooked Alfred Molina doing some of the best work of his career? – Sam Eckmann

Very few surprises tonight. Even “The Handmaid’s Tale” felt like it had the potential to take down “Stranger Things” – Zach Laws

Although I was thrilled to see “The Handmaid’s Tale” do so well, it was a shame that it was at the expense of “Stranger Things,” the other iconic work of art of this past TV season – Rob Licuria

I’m not a big fan of sweeps. I would have liked more spreading of the wealth beyond “SNL” and “Big Little Lies” – Daniel Montgomery

“Black Mirror” winning TV Movie when it’s really a series. “Stranger Things” and “Westworld” being left in the dust, and Bob Odenkirk not winning was a real disappointment – Matt Noble

“Stranger Things” being shut out of the main ceremony, and what does it say about Colbert’s monologue that he had to bring out Sean Spicer before he got a significant reaction? – Tony Ruiz

Sorry Sterling K. Brown, for all of your good moments thanking Andre Braugher, referring to yourself in the third person not cool! – Amanda Spears


“Better Call Saul” still has yet to win an Emmy – this MUST change! – Andrew Carden

The Emmys shut out my favorite shows all the time (“The Leftovers,” “The Missing,” “Rectify,” “Search Party”), but nominating the amazing performance that Thandie Newton gave week after week after week in “Westworld,” then awarding the show in five (Creative Arts) categories, but not hers? That was a new kind of torture – Riley Chow

Emmy producers missed out on a huge viral moment by not having Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon reprise their now-Emmy-winning “SNL” roles of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. That was a no-brainer – Marcus James Dixon

Reality Competition Series is always the most boring category of repeat winners. Emmy voters: if you can’t mix things up, sashay away! – Sam Eckmann

I’m sorry, but “The Voice” beating “RuPaul’s Drag Race” really stung – Zach Laws

When will awards show producers learn that we can do away with pointless interludes (like the usually on-point Rachel Bloom wasting our time with the accountants’ song and dance routine) and interminably boring banter, and let the winners have more time to speak? Seeing them played off year after year is just so frustrating and disrespectful – Rob Licuria

Playing off Sterling K. Brown? Really? And then cutting his mic? Really? That’s no way to treat the first black Drama Actor winner in 19 years, who also happened to be giving one of the night’s best speeches – Daniel Montgomery

Sean Spicer’s appearance seemed clunky and missed the spot. He seemed too pleased with himself for the bit to properly land. No Mary Tyler Moore showcase was a disgrace for one the all-time TV greats! – Matt Noble

That announcer! Screaming at the top of his lungs. If he is an aspiring actor, please go back to acting with a director. If not, please take a sedative – Tom O’Brien

Make Jermaine Fowler go away! The whole purpose of a microphone is so that you DON’T have to yell – Tony Ruiz

The announcer who should NEVER be allowed on TV again – Amanda Spears

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