The 64th Annual Emmy Awards were an experience equal parts predictable and exciting. Cable shows proved their prowess, Jimmy Kimmel was respectable but not terribly memorable, and Homeland showed everyone that a show's freshman season can be a winning season. The evening also proved that Modern Family is still network television's crowning jewel.
Homeland, Showtime's hit drama, won four awards, notably for best drama, while the shows stars Claire Danes and Damian Lewis won for best actress and actor respectively. Homeland's wins meant big snubs for Mad Men which won no major awards last night; including a snub for Jon Hamm.
The biggest take-away of the evening was that the academy's absolute obsession with Modern Family lives on. Julie Bown and Eric Stonestreet won for best actor and actress, both beating out their fellow cast members in the process. Bowen beat Sofia Vergara, and Stonestreet triumphed over Ed O'Neill, Ty Burrell, and Jesse Tyler Fergueson. In his acceptance speech Stonestreet said, "There is no Cam without Mitch," shouting out the other half of the gay couple he plays with Fergueson. " The program also won for best director and best comedy series.
In the mini-series or movie category it was all political. The HBO movie Game Change about the Sarah Palin-John McCain campaign won three back-to-back awards for writing, directing, and Julianne Moore for best actress.
The Daily Show unsurprisingly won for best variety show, the program's tenth award. Stewart was a glimmer of humor in what often felt like a stale evening. He ran around the room, did a rough and tumble bit with Jimmy Fallon, and got himself bleeped out on national television. The other stand out moment at the awards was Ricky Gervais'. Ever the firecracker he poked fun at the reality shows he was their to honor.
An evening of successes though not a terrible number of surprises, Kimmel summed up America's television prowess nicely as "the only American product the Chinese haven't figured out how to make."