When all is said and done, the Emmys are gonna do what the Emmys are gonna do, a truism that was never so true-ish as it was Sunday night by the time 2021 Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony came to an end. While Netflix had as big — if not bigger — night than expected, it took a slightly unexpected route to get there, which feels wholly representative for an event that felt zero percent unexpected and simultaneously 35 percent weird.
The bulk of the evening’s strangeness came from the acting categories where winners were exclusively white, a step in the wrong direction with regards to recognizing the breadth of talent available, leading the entire affair back into #EmmysSoWhite territory.
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But setting aside the pasty reality of what it means when you embrace a series centered on the United Kingdom’s royal lineage, there were plenty of disappointments and delights lurking around every corner at the Emmy Awards.
If there’s been any kind of routine established within the first two years of Disney+’s existence, it’s that each year, TV journalists wring their hands over the inevitable Emmy takeover by whatever mainstream film franchise has deigned to make a TV series — and I use that term lightly. Last year it was “The Mandalorian,” which came out of the gate hard with 15 Emmy nominations. It ultimately won seven. This year, the show had an even better performance when nominations were announced, with 24 nods. It again ended up with seven awards.
But “The Mandalorian” wasn’t the only series knock, knock, knocking on the Emmys door. This year also saw Marvel’s “WandaVision” score an incredible 23 Emmy nominations, seemingly becoming a clear and present danger for all of the shows competing in Limited Series. Alack and alas, now that the Emmy dust has cleared, the series took home only three Emmy awards, all of them on Creative Arts weekend. That meant Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, and Kathryn Hahn went home empty-handed Sunday night.