If I could describe last night’s Emmys in one word, it would be “predictable.” That’s not because of Seth Meyers as host. If anything, I thought it was actually refreshing to have a host who stuck to telling really good jokes instead of desperately trying to pull off wacky stunts that people would talk about the next day. No, the reason they were predictable is that the same shows won again. There was a moment there where I suspected the voters just looked at last year’s ballot and copied it out of laziness.
Instead of outlining all the winners who were the same as last year, we thought we’d take a different approach and tell you all the major categories that were different, if only to convince ourselves that we did not, in fact, mistakenly watch a DVRed version of last year’s show. What we discovered is that even when there were differences from last year, most of them had still won in years past. Hence why we all felt like we were having deja vu. Just because you’re different from last year doesn’t mean you’re not predictable.
1. Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Last Year: Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
This Year: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
You might have forgotten that Jeff Daniels took the award home last year, probably because Bryan Cranston had won the three years before that. So this hardly counts as a difference unless you were referencing last year’s ballot specifically while you watched.
2. Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Last Year: Claire Danes, Homeland
This Year: Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Okay, so Julianna replaced Claire this year. But has Julianna already won this award for The Good Wife? You bet she has, in 2011.
3. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Last Year: Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire
This Year: Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
And yet Aaron has still won this award twice before.
4. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Last Year: Tony Hale, Veep
This Year: Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Ty won before in 2011, but on top of that, if we leave last year out, a Modern Family actor has won this award every year since 2010. So we can’t really be blamed for thinking this was still a predictable win.
5. Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Last Year: Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie
This Year: Allison Janney, Mom
This one really came out of nowhere, just like last year’s. Allison Janney is fabulous and everything, but I forgot Mom was even a show on the air. I guess I really have to give the Emmys credit for this one. It was the only time all night that I actually went “Whaaat?” out loud.
6. Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
Last Year: The Voice
This Year: The Amazing Race
Even though The Voice won last year, The Amazing Race has won this award nine other years. So yeah, still pretty damn predictable.
7. The Miniseries/Movie Categories
I’m not putting these in separate places on the list, because for the most part, except for shows like American Horror Story, the nominees in these categories are different every year, because they’re one-time TV events. So we can’t really give much credit for those differences, although it’s the one section of the show that doesn’t feel like a rerun.
8. The Guest Actor/Actress Categories
Another one that’s different every year, because the whole point of a “guest” is that they often don’t repeat from season to season. And anyway, they won before the show and were announced in a rushed presentation without acceptance speeches.
9. The Writing Awards
I guess I do have to give credit for different shows winning this, but I can’t bring myself to outline each one separately, because most viewers unfortunately aren’t watching the show for these categories in the first place.
10. The Directing Awards (Except Modern Family)
Same as above, except ugh, more Modern Family?! Really?
As you can see, even when winners were different from 2013, they still weren’t any less predictable, considering they were actors and shows that had won multiple times in the past. When Modern Family gets canceled (ha, as if that’ll ever happen), I’m convinced the Emmy voters will still give the Outstanding Comedy award to them anyway. And they’ll accept it like, “Oh my goodness, what a surprise!”