The 2018 Emmys: The “How in the Hell You Gonna Award Somebody Else?” Recap

Can Judith Light get an "Amen"?

Well, the 70th annual Primetime Emmys limped over the finish line last night, full of a few delightful surprises, a few glaring disappointments—looking at you, Sandy Oh—and of course gowns. Great gowns.

Jeff Kravitz / Getty

Beautiful gowns.

Jeff Kravitz / Getty

What was another triumphant year in television felt like a fairly predictable and routine celebration of it. Though they really powered through the categories, going into them straight from commercial break, the whole shindig tended to drag, and I’m not talking Race: From the lackluster opening number—even Ricky Martin and noted EGOT’er John Legend couldn’t save it—to some weird rambling acceptance speeches—new couple alert: Jeff Daniels and his horse from Godless.

Michael Che and Colin Jost made a bold choice by performing their hostly duties without so much as one funny or memorable joke. Brave, really. Instead, they made their punchlines the audience’s uncomfortable reactions.

Chrissy Tiegen wasn’t even nominated yet somehow won the night.

Now don’t get me wrong, hosting an awards show is almost always a thankless task. But with a stacked bench that included SNL’s best and brightest (it takes a lot of work to make Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen this awkwardly unfunny), one has to wonder: Why aren’t the Emmys getting everyone wasted like at the Golden Globes? Even if the jokes fall short, folks will still be laughing their facelifts off.

But it wasn’t all bad/bland/boring. And even though all the trophies have been handed out, I feel like hurling some awards of my own. Raise the curtains, cue the applause, and bring me some power lesbians!

The award for “Venerated Character Actress Finally Getting Her Due” goes to Alex Borstein, who shimmied away for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

Anytime we get a reveal on primetime network television a drag queen gets her wings.

The award for “Oh, Wait, This Is Actually Pretty Great” goes to “Reparation Emmys”:

If only for giving Tichina Arnold and Marla Gibbs the Emmys they long-deserved.

The award for “I Might Lose the Emmy but I’m Stealing This Red Carpet” goes to Judith Light:

Kevork Djansezian / Getty

Honestly, I thought La Light had the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series sewn all the way up for her marvelous turn in The Assassination of Gianni Versace—while still openly wondering where her Emmys were for Transparent and Ugly Betty, though I’m not going to get into it and further upset myself—but that was just one of several robberies last night. However, Miss Judith was not about to be upstaged by another flaxen frock. Not here. Not now. Not ever again.

The award for “I’m Worried About My House’s Structural Integrity Because My Basement Just Flooded” goes to Ricky Martin and his husband Jwan Yosef after The Assassination of Gianni Versace won Outstanding Limited Series.

Real talk: how adorable is this? And also, you’re all welcome.

The award for “Damn, I Wasn’t Expecting to Feel Shit Tonight” goes to Glenn Weiss, who proposed to his lady-friend after winning for directing the Oscars.

I have to believe this proposal was the only reason that Oscars telecast won anything besides a hearty yawn.

The award for “Girl, SAME” goes to Glow’s Betty Gilpin’s reaction to said proposal:

Thank god for waterproof mascara.

Speaking of thanking god, the award for “Damn Right She Won or I Would’ve Burned This Place to the Goddamn Ground” goes to Thandie Newton:

When she accepted the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama trophy for Westworld, Newton remarked, “I don’t believe in God, but I’m going to thank her tonight.” Somewhere, Ariana Grande was smiling and seeking royalties.

The award for “So, They’re Hosting Next Year, Right?” goes to—oh, wait, it’s a tie! RuPaul and Leslie Jones, who came up with some great drag names for the nominees (howyoudoin’, Anthony “The Tuck” Anderson and Sandra Oh No She Better Do?):

And Hannah Gadsby, who was one of the few presenters to bring a joke into a solid landing:

After this year, the Emmys could obviously benefit from some queering up.

Speaking of which, the award for “Is This a New Superhero Team I’m Looking at Right Now Because Gorge goes to the Queer Eye gays:

Jeff Kravitz / Getty
So many looks and yet it all works together beautifully, just like these kids do on their Emmy-winning show.

The award for “Didn’t We Almost Have It All?” goes to Donald Glover/Teddy Perkins:

The Emmys coulda gone from 0 to 100 real quick if Glover had accepted the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy trophy as his Atlanta alter-ego Teddy Perkins. Bill Hader won instead for Barry, which, you know, I’m fine with [sidebar: he never got one for SNL so why not?]. But just to think of the strange, meta levels of Andy Kaufman-esque what-the-fuckery we could’ve been subjected to with a Teddy Perkins acceptance speech makes me both excited and terrified.

And finally, the award for “And the Card Attached Would Say, ’Thank You for Being Betty White'” goes to this 96-year-old national treasure.

I can never sufficiently stress how important it is to honor our legends while we still have them but luckily someone at the Television Academy knows what they’re doing and we got a few minutes of Betty White just being loved and loving being loved.

Lester Fabian Brathwaite is an LA-based writer, editor, bon vivant, and all-around sassbag. He's formerly Senior Editor of Out Magazine and is currently hungry. Insta: @lefabrat