The 2021 Emmys just wrapped up in Los Angeles and London, from where some of the nominees joined the ceremony remotely.
The crown established himself as the biggest winner of the evening, taking home seven trophies. Ted lasso and Easttown mare also won major victories, and The Queen’s Gambit won one of the top prizes of the evening.
The awards ceremony also brought its share of snags and surprises. Some deserving nominees have been overlooked by the Television Academy, and some have won victories in categories where they faced stiff competition.
The British talent has done particularly well this year, with major wins for Michaela Coel, Kate Winslet, Olivia Colman, Josh O’Connor and Scottish actor Ewan McGregor, as well as shows such as The crown and Ted Lasso.
Here are the biggest snags and surprises of the 2021 Emmys:
Ewan McGregor’s surprise victory
McGregor won the award for Best Leading Actor in a Limited Series for his role in Halston in a strong category which also included Paul Bettany for WandaVision, Hugh Grant of The defeat, Lin-Manuel Miranda from Hamilton, and Leslie Odom Jr, also of Hamilton. Before the awards show, fans were urging Miranda or Odom Jr to win the award, or maybe Paul Bettany. McGregor’s victory came as a real surprise.
However, he’s arguably late for McGregor. This is the first Emmy he won after being nominated four times since 1997. He was nominated in the same category for his work in Fargo, playing twin brothers Emmit and Ray Stussy. He was also nominated for Best Narrator for Highlands: the wild heart of Scotland and, in 1997, he received a nod for Best Guest Actor in a Drama for his work on emergency.
Halston tells the story of fashion icon Roy Halston Frowick – played by McGregor – who built a luxury fashion empire in the ’70s and’ 80s in New York City. The brand, “synonymous with sex, status and fame” means everything to Halston and when a hostile tries to take control of his most precious possession – the name of the brand itself – Halston is forced to fight .
The independents review of Halston said, âEwan McGregor is extremely pleasant and compelling as Halston, a self-made man, which is good news as he’s in just about every scene in the five-part series. He seems to particularly enjoy Halston’s delusional attitude towards money. âOrchids are part of my process,â he purrs at one point. ‘You can’t put a budget on inspiration.’ McGregor may well be in the midst of a career resurgence. With that and his upcoming role of Obi-Wan Kenobi in a Star wars spin-off, he just might be a regular at Emmy nominations – and win – once again. (AE)
The Disney + show exceeded expectations in so many ways, it would have been nice to see it win at least one trophy. Paul Bettany and Kathryn Hahn would have been worthy winners in their respective categories; Elizabeth Olsen was shortlisted for Best Leading Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or in a Motion Picture, and the series itself had a shot in an Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series. Ultimately, all of these categories had incredibly strong nominee pools, so alas, that didn’t have to be the case. (CM)
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Michaela Coel should have won more
Olivia Colman’s acceptance speech said what we all thought, after Coel won the award for Outstanding Writing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Film at the Emmy Awards. In his acceptance speech, Coleman simply said, “Michaela Coel, damn yeah!” It was a deserved victory for one of the most powerful TV shows of recent years, which explored themes of consent in the MeToo era. It was also based on a sexual assault that Coel herself had suffered.
While her victory for Outstanding Writing was incredibly deserved, I can destroy you was nominated in other categories tonight as well: Coel was nominated for Leading Actor and Outstanding Achievement for a Limited or Anthology Series or Film, while the series itself was nominated for a Limited Series or exceptional anthology. Missing out on these was a huge disappointment for such a groundbreaking show. Coel delivered an imposing performance worthy of a lead actress win, not to mention her directorial skills alongside Sam Miller.
The independents five star review of I can destroy you noted: “I can destroy you has been described as a âsexual assault drama,â which is a vital tag in identifying the show’s potentially triggering subject, but which does not do it justice. No TV show has ever shown the complexity of sexual assault and how it affects survivors, their friends and communities like this difficult, heartbreaking and hilarious drama. (AE)
TheUnderground Railroad came home empty handed
Barry Jenkins’ absolutely masterful lyrical adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s novel of the same name deserved all the awards, and it would have earned all the nominations, too. He entered the evening as a nominee for a Limited or Outstanding Anthology Series and Outstanding Achievement for a Limited or Anthology Series or Film, and sadly didn’t win either. The Underground Railroad deserved much more! (CM)
A lack of diversity still prevails
All of the top acting awards tonight at the Emmys went to white actors who won all 12 major and minor slots in the comedy, drama, and limited series categories. It was a move that showed how far the Emmys still had to go if they were to truly recognize and celebrate diversity – even with a nominee pool including incredible talents such as Michaela Coel and the late Michael K Williams, alongside the director Barry Jenkins. . Shortly after the event, #EmmysSoWhite started popping up on social media. After all the talk of the past few years, not recognizing diversity again is unforgivable. (AE)
Check out the full list of Emmy Award winners here.