Recap: 2016 Emmys

By Anubhuti Kumar, Staff Writer

“Are we ready to make the Emmys great again?” asked Jimmy Kimmel as he turned the awards presentation over to the first presenters of the night, “Blackish”‘s Anthony Anderson and Tracy Ellen Ross. Kimmel was definitely successful in living up to that vague and grand promise.

With the intro sequence featuring a skit with Jeb Bush chauffeuring a motorcade from which Kimmel hitches a ride to the Emmys, it would be easy to think the show couldn’t get any funnier than former-presidential-candidate and late night comedian trading banter about nominations and the benefits of running a “clean campaign.” (Spoilers: according to this newly sarcastic and self-aware version of Jeb, there are absolutely none.) Presenting a Jeb so blunt, funny and different from his personality on the campaign trail set a tone for the rest of the show. This was clearly not going to be a typical night of awards; it was going to be something unpredictable and hilarious.

Kimmel kept up the momentum in his monologue with pointed jokes at the state of the of politics and of the entertainment industry today, and both issues collided in many areas, among them lamenting the declining state of the white man and commenting on the rise of Donald Trump.

Given the state of the presidential campaign this year, it comes as no surprise that the themes were unavoidably political. From jokes to acceptance speeches, everyone felt the need to voice their opinion. Kimmel started the shots with a jab at Mark Burnett, producer of “Celebrity Apprentice,” accusing the Brit of a plot to tear America apart and suggested he be the first to be thrown over Trump’s wall for making reality TV just plain reality.

With her sixth Emmy win and fifth win in a row for television series “Veep,” Julia Louis-Dreyfus broke two records: one for most wins in the Lead Actress in a Comedy category, overtaking Mary Tyler Moore and Candice Bergen; as well as most in a row in that category, beating out Helen Hunt for her four year run for “Mad About You.” In her speech she dedicated her win to her father, who had passed two days before, and commented on how her show went from satire to reality (but hoped it would bounce back soon).

Amazon’s “Transparent” has been making waves for the transgender community since its release and this year won three awards, including Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series for Jeffrey Tambor, who used his speech to highlight an important goal, stating he would not be upset if he were the last cisgender man to play a transgender woman.

“The People vs. O.J. Simpson” lived up to expectations with six wins, including Outstanding Limited Series and Outstanding Lead Actress for Sarah Paulson, her first Emmy win after nine nominations. Rami Malek and Tatiana Maslany also won their first Emmys for Lead Actor and Actress in a Drama. Aziz Ansari’s “Master of None” won its first awards as well as creators Ansari and Alan Yang.

From Jimmy Kimmel’s commentary to speeches that highlighted the achievements and trials of the diverse group that made up the nominations, including minorities, immigrants and the LGBTQ community, the 2016 Emmys were entertaining because they tackled important issues with humor and sincerity.

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