2020 Emmys: The good (‘Schitt’s Creek’ sweep), bad (Laura Linney’s loss) and ugly (those product placements)

For the awards-obsessed writers and editors of Gold Derby, Emmys Sunday is one of the most anticipated events of the year. We eagerly await the opening of every envelope, listen intently to every speech and celebrate our savvy predictions while screaming over upsets we should have called. Below are our collective thoughts on the highs, lows and WTF moments from Sunday night’s Emmy Awards.

Sweeps might seem boring—especially when all of the categories for each genre are presented in a row—but is there a more deserving or heartwarming series to sweep than “Schitt’s Creek”? It certainly helped that the cast and crew celebrated together, helping to ease the audience into the pandemic-impacted ceremony. – David Buchanan

Tyler Perry, Regina King, Issa Rae and others add strong voices to the need for Black voices in television, society and politics. – John Benutty

The frontline and essential workers presenting categories warmed my cold, dark heart. – Joyce Eng

Jimmy Kimmel’s inspired opening monologue, and Jennifer Aniston trying to put out a fire were incredibly clever ways to set the stage for the socially distanced event. – Daniel Montgomery

On the whole, they recognized three of the year’s best programs in “Schitt’s Creek,” “Watchmen” and “Succession,” which is fantastic. It’s wonderful to see them continue to embrace breakthrough talent, the two highlights being Zendaya and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. Julia Garner saving “Ozark” from going 0 for 18 might, however, be my favorite moment of the night. – Luca Giliberti

Kimmel may be the best awards show host of the modern era. A perfect mix of Bop Hope and Billy Crystal. Long may he reign. – Tony Ruiz

The Emmys are known for veteran winners but I loved seeing younger actors like Zendaya, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Annie Murphy and Julia Garner (for the second time!) winning over major heavy-hitters. – Kevin Jacobsen

“Schitt’s Creek” is one of the only tonics getting me through 2020. It’s entirely fitting for them to not just win, but win in a decisive, history making sweep. Congrats bebes! – Sam Eckmann

A surprisingly well-produced telecast that allowed for humor, inventiveness and heart despite some truly unprecedented circumstances. An emotional “Schitt’s Creek” sweep, an inspiring Tyler Perry speech, Jimmy Kimmel riffing with Tracy Morgan filling in for Tracey Ullmann. The whole thing certainly sets the standard high for all socially-distanced awards shows to come. – Zach Laws

“Schitt’s Creek” sweeping all seven Primetime comedy categories — for the first time in history — is exactly what we need to start turning the corner on the dumpster fire that is 2020. – Marcus James Dixon

Daniel Levy’s reactions as his show swept the comedy races were simply infectious and a nice thing that we thought we might not get with this newly re-imagined show in the age of COVID. – Charles Bright

SEE Here’s the full list of Emmy winners

Laura Linney not winning an Emmy for giving the best performance of the year is not only incredibly disappointing but it exemplifies an unfortunate shift that has surfaced of late: renowned veteran actors are being largely ignored; let’s hope it doesn’t become a pattern. “Unbelievable” walking home with no Emmys is extremely upsetting as it was one of the best shows of the last year. – Luca Giliberti

I have no idea why so much time was wasted on an alpaca…but we could have gotten some more acting clips instead. Really anything would have been better.  – Sam Eckmann

“The Good Place” goes home empty handed in their brilliant final season. – John Benutty

No Emmys for “Better Call Saul.” For its best season yet? How come, Emmys? – Zach Laws

There are no small parts, only small actors … except at the Emmys where no supporting actors had their performances showcased with clips of their work, only leads. – Daniel Montgomery

Bold to air the Emmys during a Kia commercial. And yeah, Rachel, Monica and Phoebe live together, but this was a missed opportunity for a Rachel, Amy and Jill Green reunion. – Joyce Eng

Having Jimmy Kimmel present so many awards was a bit repetitive and some of the gags were hit or miss (WTF alpaca) – Kevin Jacobsen

To vote-split or not to vote-split? Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (“Watchmen”) and Uzo Aduba (“Mrs. America”) won the supporting categories despite going up against two separate co-stars each, while “Watchmen” couldn’t overcome vote-splitting to win directing. This makes the job of a predictor so much harder! – Marcus James Dixon

A few of the comedic bits worked but a lot of them went on for way too long like the Friends reunion or Anthony Anderson’s but with Kimmel. – Charles Bright

Awkward comedic bits without nobody there to react. Yes, this ceremony went above and beyond our expectations for what a socially-distanced show could accomplish—and yes, every awards show has cringe-worthy attempts at humor—but the lows really fell out the bottom when there isn’t even an audience there to respond awkwardly. Sometimes, humor isn’t necessary. Get to the award! – David Buchanan

“Ozark” has its best season and ONLY wins for Garner? Shame! – Tony Ruiz

SEE 2020 Emmys live blog: Let’s dish the best, worst winners and moments of ABC’s virtual telecast

Why is there an official car of the Emmys? That Kia commercial masquerading as comedy skit ruined the momentum that Kimmel built up with his opening monologue. – Sam Eckmann

Inconsistent structure of some long speeches, lack of clips for actors, too many ad placements. – John Benutty

“Better Call Saul” being 0-39 now. – Joyce Eng

One of the benefits of award shows in the time of COVID has been cutting down on the filler. But an excess of hit-and-miss comedy bits meant that the show had to rush through the entire drama series field at the end of the night. An alpaca got more of a showcase than the nominees in those categories. – Daniel Montgomery

Once again we thought Jean Smart was the frontrunner to win Best Limited/Movie Supporting Actress only to lose! How could Emmy voters do that again to her? – Kevin Jacobsen

Seriously, Emmys, what the cluck does “Better Call Saul” have to do to win an award? We need an explanation now. – Marcus James Dixon

Even though it led all drama series with an impressive nine acting bids, “Succession” walked away from the 2020 Emmys with only two trophies for its extraordinary cast. We can blame vote-splitting for most of those losses, but Logan, Roman, and Shiv Roy will not go unavenged! – David Buchanan

One word: Alpaca – Tony Ruiz

Talk about product placement. I appreciate Kia providing rides to hazmat suit clad trophy presenters, but did we need to be reminded of it every five seconds? We get it! Your Kia is better than our Honda. –  Zach Laws

Where were the clips for the powerhouse performances in drama? The little segments that were sprinkled throughout were rendered pointless in hindsight. I did not see enough honoring of the performances and the series in contention – that’s what the whole night is supposed to be about! – Luca Giliberti

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