Emmys Give Awards to…Really?

Neil Patrick Harris is a showstopper in himself. His memorable four years hosting The Tony Awards, complete with lavish musical numbers and exuberant energy, made him a no-brainer to host this year’s Emmy Awards.

However, this year, the jaw-dropping moments were instead the awards themselves, not the host.

Yes indeed, the 2013 Emmy Awards was a somber night full of surprises, upsets, and regrets. Awards left and right were given out, but not into the hands I hoped would grasp them.

To begin, a great upset came from the Outstanding Comedy Series winner, “Modern Family.” While the show has won the category four years in a row, it seems as though the comedic empire has been slowly deteriorating. According to Zap2It.com, on Wednesday night, the Modern Family season premiere had 11.45 million viewers, down almost 20% from last year’s season premiere which had 14.44 million viewers. I believed Aly Semigran of Hollywood.com just about summed it up when she called the ABC sitcom “the most predictable show on television.” It’s true, and people are realizing it more and more. Maybe it was time to usher in a new winner, a show that can pioneer the next age of TV comedy with something completely original. Something like FX’s “Louie,” which throws out the sitcom-playbook entirely. The program takes brutal honesty to a whole new level to create something hysterically brilliant.

Maybe it was silly for me to think that the Academy would give the award to the underdog, but then again, in a night with this many surprises, I guess it was not unwise to be optimistic.

However, perhaps the biggest surprise came from Outstanding Lead Actor for a Drama Series, in which Jeff Daniels of HBO’s “The Newsroom” took home the gold over popular favorites, including “Breaking Bad’s” Bryan Cranston and “Mad Men’s” Jon Hamm. While Cranston has received the award three times for his portrayal of Walter White, Hamm, although nominated for the award every year since 2008, has never once had his name engraved in an Emmy of his own. Throughout his show’s run, Hamm has added a level of depth to his character. Don Draper is an awful, pathetic person, but Hamm’s portrayal has led us to be both sympathetic and unsympathetic to him at the same, which I believe is the mark of a true actor.

Besides, with “Mad Men’s” final season planned to begin airing this coming spring, it seemed it was high time Hamm was recognized for his work as one of the best leading men in TV today. Jeff Daniels is a fine actor, but Hamm deserves the statute.

However, there were some awards that did end up going to the right people. “Breaking Bad’s” Anna Gunn, who plays Skyler on the show, received an Outstanding Supporting Actress award for her role. In addition, the show took home the top prize, winning for Outstanding Drama Series. It was a high note to end an unusually low-key Emmy Awards.

But I’m not alone in my shock and awe at some of the winners. Just ask Neil Patrick Harris.

“This just in, everyone is losing their office Emmy pools,” he joked mid-way through the Emmys.

Harris spoke what was on everyone’s minds. This year may have had its surprises, but public reaction is reason enough to hope that next year, the awards will go to those who deserve them.