The Emmys returned tonight (September 12) with a three-hour ceremony at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. While the winners’ list was generally very impressive, there were also a few snubs along the way, as well as some history-making successes. Here’s our pick of the ceremony’s most notable moments.
The White Lotus and its creator Mike White
White’s quirky but merciless exploration of white privilege won five awards in major categories – more than any other show. In addition to the outstanding limited series prize, White himself collected trophies for writing and directing the savage six-parter. Cast members Murray Bartlett and Jennifer Coolidge won too, and Coolidge’s acceptance speech was precisely as baffling/charming as you’d expect. Who else would talk about taking a “lavender bath” as they pick up TV’s most covetable trophy
The incredible Zendaya
Zendaya made history two times over when she won lead actress in a drama for her portrayal of Euphoria‘s troubled but charismatic Rue. She’s not only the first Black woman to win this prize twice, but also, at 26, the youngest ever actress to collect two Emmys. And her acceptance speech, which she dedicated to “anyone who has loved a Rue or feels like you are a Rue,” was as pitch-perfect as her performance.
The super-likable soccer sitcom added another four Emmys to the seven it won last year, including a second successive win for outstanding comedy series. There were also repeat wins for cast members Jason Sudeikis and Brett Goldstein, who made sure to pepper his acceptance speech with an F-bomb for the second consecutive year. Never change, Roy Kent.
The fantastic female-led drama series about survival, camaraderie and, well, cannibalism was unable to convert any of its seven nominations into wins. Star Melanie Lynskey lost out to Zendaya, while resurgent ’90s queen Christina Ricci was beaten to Outstanding Supporting Actress by Ozark‘s Julia Garner.
And in the outstanding drama series, it lost out to the ever-popular Succession, which also celebrated a win for standout cast member Matthew Macfadyen. Tom Wambsgans fans will be celebrating tonight.
Better Call Saul
Before this evening’s ceremony, the superb Breaking Bad prequel had never won an Emmy award in any major category. And after tonight’s ceremony… it still hasn’t. Cast members Bob Odenkirk and Rhea Seehorn lost out again, meaning the series now has an 0 for 25 record in the Emmys’ major categories. At least the show has one more chance of glory next year.
The internet loves Sydney Sweeney because she’s, well, Sydney Sweeney. She was up for two awards tonight – supporting actress in a drama series for Euphoria and supporting actress in a limited series for The White Lotus – but left empty-handed. Ozark‘s Julia Garner beat her in the former category, while her co-star Jennifer Coolidge pipped her in the latter.
Oh, and did we mention it was Sweeney’s 25th birthday tonight? Very very harsh.
Squid Game’s Lee Jung-Jae
Netflix’s most-watched series ever won six awards overall, including a prestigious win in the drama directing category for creator Hwang Dong-hyuk. Most stirring of all, though, was seeing Lee Jung-Jae become the first Asian actor to win the outstanding lead actor in a drama series award.
“Thank you to the director for making realistic problems we all face come to life so creatively on the screen with a great script,” he said graciously, before repeating his speech in Korean. It was a very classy moment which helped to end the show on a high note.