LOS ANGELES: ‘Watchmen,’ a dark superhero series that tackles US racism, and comedy ‘Schitt’s Creek’ triumphed at the Emmys as the stars beamed in live to an empty Los Angeles theatre.
“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. “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 show ‘Succession’ – the saga of a powerful, backstabbing family – won big in the drama categories, while Canadian hit ‘Schitt’s Creek’ performed a clean sweep of the night’s comedy prizes. With four victories in major categories, ‘Watchmen’ amassed a total of 11 Emmys.
The show is a blend of sociopathic superheroes and political satire based on a seminal 1980s graphic novel. The series, which debuted last year, depicts white supremacists, police brutality and rows over mask-wearing which have been the subject of intensely polarised debate in the United States.
The creator of ‘Succession’ sounded one of several political notes by “un-thanking” world leaders for their handling of the pandemic. “Un-thank you to President (Donald) Trump for his crummy and uncoordinated response. Un-thank you to Boris Johnson for the same thing in our country,” said British showrunner Jesse Armstrong, accepting best drama series.
The show also won for best drama writing and directing, while star Jeremy Strong bagged best actor honors. ‘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.
Former Disney child star Zendaya pulled off a surprise win for best drama actress with bleak, hard-hitting “Euphoria” becoming the youngest woman ever to claim the award aged 24. The cast of ‘Schitt’s Creek’ gathered in Toronto as they swept the virtual ceremony’s comedy prizes.
Catherine O’Hara was given the night’s first statuette for best comedy actress by a presenter in a hazmat suit. Eugene Levy, her on-screen husband, scooped best actor. Annie Murphy also won for supporting actress – the first ever comedy acting clean sweep for a series.
‘Schitt’s Creek’ failed to earn a single nomination in its first four years, but it gained attention by later airing on Netflix and signed off with a heartwarming final season. Netflix landed just two prizes during the broadcast, a disappointing night for the streaming giant.
‘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 honor of his favorite British team.