Emmys run as expected, despite Breaking Bad snubs

Key Breaking Bad players leave Emmys empty-handed.

Last week, the Emmys came with the predictable host of notable and surprising winners and losers. This year in television saw Breaking Bad intensify into one of the most pulse-pounding series of all time and the emergence of a whole new format for television with Netflix’s House of Cards. Old standbys like Modern Family and Mad Men made appearances in the nominations and winners categories. 

A notable winner was Anna Gunn, who won the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Skyler White in Breaking Bad. The supporting actress win was slightly controversial because of the flak she received for playing the role from The New York Times earlier in the year. Many believe the criticism to be justifiable though, as they consider the character she plays to not be a particularly likeable one. The emotional response that her character, as well as the entire show, generates is accounted for in its writing though, and Gunn’s win goes to show that it’s not always the dazzling heroine who rides off into the sunset with the award.

The show in general fared particular well in its final stint at the Emmys, but did not dominate as was predicted. Bryan Cranston lost out to Jeff Daniels’s portrayal of Will McAvoy from HBO’s The Newsroom in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series category, while the show itself did take home Outstanding Drama Series in a stacked field. Breaking Bad went on to lose out to Netflix’s House of Cards in Directing for a Drama Series and Showtime’s Homeland in Writing for a Drama Series.

However, there was no domination, as the vast majority of the multiple category nominees netted an award or two but rarely more than that. In comedy, ABC’s juggernaut Modern Family netted itself the Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series awards, while the remainder of the awards were split between NBC’s 30 Rock, HBO’s Veep, CBS’s The Big Bang Theory, Showtime’s Nurse Jackie, and FX’s Louie.  In the Miniseries category, Behind the Candelabra was the only consistent winner of major awards and the same was true of The Colbert Report in Variety.

The night included performances by Elton John and Carrie Underwood, who covered the Beatles’ seminal single “Yesterday.” This of course was meant to tie in to the homage to the Beatles’ American debut on the Ed Sullivan Show fifty years ago, which, combined with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, highlighted television’s cultural impact.

On a controversial note, the traditional ‘in memoriam’ montage included Glee’s Cory Monteith, who passed away earlier this year. His lack of a nomination in his short career led critics to question his inclusion in the reel, but the decision was defended by executives of the award show.

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