The Emmy Awards 2021

Valerie Wang ('24)

The Emmys are always a fun topic of conversation, marking the end of summer and the transition into the cozy fall months. Despite their popularity however, many don’t know the true inner workings of the Emmys process and what it takes for our favorite shows to make an appearance center stage. 

In simple terms, a TV show or movie, and or the actresses and actors who starred in it, will be nominated for a category of awards all throughout the year. Once Emmy season rolls around, a panel of judges will vote on the nominees of each category and ultimately decide on a winner. This year, the Emmys commenced on September 19, 2021 in Los Angeles and were hosted by comedian Cedric the Entertainer. The Emmys are very important as they help bring prestige and recognition to the winners, leading to better funding, bigger projects, and bigger paychecks which in turn create more “binge worthy” shows for viewers. 

This year, many of our favorite summer shows dominated the Primetime Emmy Awards of 2021 with a multitude of wins in a huge amount of categories, including:

  • The Crown (11 – Royal Drama)

This series follows Queens Elizabeth II’s reign from the 1940’s to modern times as she grows up. We get an inside look at her personal life and romance and how they have affected royal life in the 21st century today.

(Best Drama Series, acting wins for Tobiaz Menzies, Olivia Colman, Josh O’Connor and Gillian Anderson, and awards for directing and writing)

  • The Queen’s Gambit (11 – Historical Chess Drama)

This story follows the young chess prodigy, Beth Harmon, as she navigates the male dominated world of chess, as well as her personal struggles with alcohol, drugs, and even romance. The Queen’s Gambit received quite a bit of attention during quarantine after its October 2020 release.

(Best Limited Series, best directing, cinematography, period costumes, sound mixing)

  • Saturday Night Live (8 – American Live Television)

More commonly known as SNL, Saturday Night Live is an American comedy and variety show that features a varying cast of celebrities and artists who typically give a musical performance of some sort.

This year, SNL broke records by achieving a collective 92 emmy awards for a variety of different actors on the show throughout the years.

  • The Mandalorian (7 – American Fantasy Space Series)

A Sequel to the well-known Star Wars franchise, the Mandalorian follows a plethora of new characters (namely Baby Yoda) and their life and conflicts in the Star Wars Universe. 

(Best Drama Series, best visual effects, cinematography, music composition)

  • Ted Lasso (7 – British Football Comedy)

Ted Lasso follows the story of American football coach Ted Lasso as he is hired to coach a professional soccer team in England. Full of comedy, this show brings back the “American Idiot” and also unexpectedly reveals the power of kindness. 

(Best comedy series, acting wins for Jason Sudeikis(Ted Lasso), Hannah Waddingham(Rebecca) and Brett Goldstein(Roy Kent).

  • Love, Death & Robots (6 – Animated Anthology Series)

Love, Death & Robots is a collection of animated short stories from all genres, most made by independent animators. Some include: a story about robots living in a post-apocalyptic world, and world domination by superbly intelligent yogurt. 

(Best sound design and animation)

  • RuPaul’s Drag Race (5 – American Reality Competition Series)

A competitive American TV series, RuPaul’s Drag Race documents the search for as America’s next drag stars compete in fashion and performance races in an effort to become America’s next big drag star. 

(Best Production Design, Cinematography, Editing, contemporary hair styling and makeup)

  • Mare of Easttown (4 – American Crime Drama)

Mare of Easttown is about the psychology of crime. This series follows Mare Sheehan as she investigates a crime in a small, intimate, and mysterious town, and shows how the past can easily seep in and control the present. (Best Production Design, acting wins for Evan Peters(Detective Colin Zabel), Kate Winslet(Mare Sheehan), Julianne Nicholson(Lori Ross).

It is worth noting that though this year had a record number of diverse acting nominees, not a single one took home a major award. This brings up many questions about the way these type of events work and the actors, actresses and projects that take precedence to the ones that feature more diverse casts and creators.

All in all, this years Emmy’s were a very exciting night and thousands of fans watching from home were thrilled to see their favorite shows take to the stage and win several prestigious honors.