Sunday's Emmys broadcast in the early hours of Monday morning SA-time, was live but most celebrities took part remotely from their sofas and backyards dressed in a variety of gowns, hoodies and sleepwear

‘Watchmen,’ ‘Schitt’s Creek’ rule at virtual TV awards with pandemic and political twists

Regina King arrives at the premiere of the HBO series Watchmen in Los Angeles, California, US, on October 14, 2019.
Regina King arrives at the premiere of the HBO series Watchmen in Los Angeles, California, US, on October 14, 2019.
Image: REUTERS/ MONICA ALMEIDA

Media family saga “Succession,” dystopian drama “Watchmen” and feel-good comedy “Schitt's Creek” dominated the Emmy Awards on Sunday in a show sprinkled with jokes about the coronavirus pandemic, political jibes and appeals for racial justice.

“Hello, and welcome to the PandEmmys!," said host Jimmy Kimmel, opening the show, where most celebrities took part remotely from their sofas and backyards dressed in a variety of gowns, hoodies and sleepwear.

“It seems frivolous and unnecessary to do this during a global pandemic,” Kimmel said as he opened the live show from Los Angeles.

“What's happening tonight is not important. It's not going to stop Covid. It's not going to put out the fires, but it's fun. And right now we need fun. ... This has been a miserable year. It's been a year of division, injustice (and) disease,” he added.

HBO's “Succession,” the wickedly juicy tale of a fractious media family, was named best drama series, while Jeremy Strong won best actor for his role as a downtrodden son. “Succession's seven-Emmy haul included writing and directing.

In one of the most pointed acceptance speeches of the night, “Succession” creator Jesse Armstrong made a series of what he called “un-thank yous.”

“Un-thank you to the virus for keeping us all apart this year. Un-thank you to President Trump for his crummy and uncoordinated response. Un-thank you to (British Prime Minister) Boris Johnson and his government for doing the same in my country. Un-thank you to all the nationalist and sort of quasi-nationalist governments in the world who are exactly the opposite of what we need right now,” said Armstrong.

Television host Jimmy Kimmel poses at a premiere for the movie Dumplin' in Los Angeles, California, US, on December 6, 2018.
Television host Jimmy Kimmel poses at a premiere for the movie Dumplin' in Los Angeles, California, US, on December 6, 2018.
Image: REUTERS/ MARIO ANZUONI

HBO's alternative-reality show “Watchmen,” infused with racial themes, won for best limited series, while actress Regina King won for her lead performance as the show's kick-ass police detective.

“Watchmen” was the night's biggest winner with a total of 11 Emmys, including technical awards handed out last week. HBO was the biggest overall winner, with 30 Emmys, followed by Netflix with 21.

“Watchmen” creator Damon Lindelof dedicated his Emmy to the victims and survivors of the 1921 massacre of the Black community in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which partly inspired the series.

Several celebrities, including King, presenter Sterling K Brown, and “Mrs America” supporting actress winner Uzo Aduba, wore Black Lives Matter-themed T-shirts or urged viewers to vote in the November 3 US elections.

“Schitt's Creek,” a sleeper hit on the small Pop TV network about a wealthy family forced to live in a rundown motel, won a total of nine Emmys, including best comedy series as well as acting awards for Canadian stars Catherine O'Hara, Eugene Levy, his son Daniel Levy, and Annie Murphy.

Zendaya scooped the E! People's Choice Awards for Female Movie Star and Drama TV Star for her roles in 'Spider-Man: Far From Home' and 'Euphoria'.
Zendaya scooped the E! People's Choice Awards for Female Movie Star and Drama TV Star for her roles in 'Spider-Man: Far From Home' and 'Euphoria'.
Image: GETTY IMAGES/ FRAZER HARRISON

The coronavirus pandemic meant no red carpet and no physical audience. Instead, producers sent camera kits and microphones to all the nominees, scattered in 125 places around the world, who chose how and where they wanted to be seen.

The “Schitt's Creek” winners got their trophies delivered to them in a restaurant-style set-up in Ontario, Canada, by a person dressed in a custom hazmat suit, designed to resemble a tuxedo.

The biggest shock of the night came when former Disney Channel actress Zendaya, 24, was named best drama actress for playing a teen drug addict in HBO's “Euphoria,” beating presumed favourites Laura Linney (“Ozark”) and Jennifer Aniston (“The Morning Show.”), making her the youngest actress to have won a best actress award in this category.

“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” was named best variety talk series for the fifth successive year, and the British comedian accepted wearing a red Liverpool soccer shirt in honour of his favourite British team. — Reuters



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