The 2022 Emmys started off on a good foot with Michael Keaton’s win for Lead Actor In A Limited Series for Dopesick and first-timer Murray Bartlett winning the Supporting Actor equivalent for White Lotus. It was actually a hell of a good night for first-timers in general, with Bartlett’s White Lotus co-star Jennifer Coolidge also winning her first Emmy (though the thrill of her win was undercut by some needlessly aggressive play-off music) along with The Dropout’s Amanda Seyfried.
In addition, there were several history-making first-timers: Sheryl Lee Ralph’s win for Abbott Elementary made her the first Black woman to win that category in 35 years (and her hugely joyous and triumphant speech was one of the early highlights). Another big first-time winner was Squid Game’s Hwang Dong-hyuk, who is also the first person from South Korea to win that category. Same with Squid Game’s Lee Jung-Jae, who is the first actor of Asian descent and the first person from South Korea to win Best Actor In A Drama.
There were also some non-first-time winners, like Saturday Night Live, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, and Jason Sudeikis for Ted Lasso. We’ve all seen them win 100 times each, but sometimes traditions are comforting. Speaking of things getting a lot of wins: HBO and HBO Max completely destroyed the competition, with HBO Max in particular edging out its premium cable sibling thanks to Hacks and White Lotus winning a bunch of awards.
Ted Lasso remains unbeatable, though, and it single-handedly kept Apple TV+ in close contention against HBO (which, again, fell short of HBO Max, the streaming service being killed off by its brilliant corporate overlords). Actually, it’s only unbeatable when compared to every show that isn’t The White Lotus, which won five Emmys to Ted Lasso’s four. Third place in that ranking went to Succession, which didn’t have an especially blockbuster night until its win for Best Drama Series (no offense to Emmy-winning writer Jesse Armstrong and Emmy-winning Supporting Actor Matthew Macfadyen). The only other shows to win multiple awards were Abbott Elementary and Squid Game.
Elsewhere during the show, host Kenan Thompson and a crew of backup dancers opened the event with musical numbers set to modern TV show themes like the one from Friends and the one from Game Of Thrones (in their defense, House Of The Dragon is just using the exact same theme, so that’s a little timely). It was inoffensive and brief, which is pretty much the best thing you can ask for in an awards show these days. There was also a very short appearance from Kenan’s old Nickelodeon partner Kel Mitchell, even though it was a little strange how short it was. Other than that, and all winners aside, one thing everyone can agree on is that the play-off music was way too aggressive. The show only ran a few minutes over, they could’ve let some of the winners talk longer!
You can see the full list of winners from tonight’s Emmys at this link.