*Disclosure: This author is an employee of WarnerMedia*
The 2019 Emmy Awards have just wrapped, leaving people elated, shocked, outraged and everything in between, just as a good awards show should be!
Now that the winners have been announced, it’s time to take a look at the shows that really wowed audiences this season, and get the rundown in case you haven’t seen them.
No surprise, HBO’s Game of Thrones took home the top prize of Best Drama Series for its final season, giving it a proper final sendoff even despite all the backlash. If you still haven’t seen Game of Thrones, it’s not too late as the entire series is available on HBO, but I won’t spend much time here because we all know what Game of Thrones is about…
Fleabag (BBC/Amazon): The real winner of the night was Amazon/BBC’s Fleabag, created by and starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge, which upset the defending comedy champion Veep and its leading lady Julia Louis-Dreyfus, neither of which had ever lost in that category — so ya, this is a big deal!
If you don’t know, Fleabag is a dark comedy following a London woman through the trials and tribulations of her love life. It sounds simple enough, but this show is being hailed as so brilliant and funny that it just may be some of the best television of all time. It even got an Emmy standing ovation, so you know it’s not messing around.
I can attest to this show’s brilliance — it’s funny and heartbreaking and heartwarming, and all the performances are absolutely Emmy deserving!
Chernobyl (HBO): My personal favorite show this season, this show brought home wins for Best Limited Series, Limited Series Writing, and Limited Series Directing. At only 5 episodes it’s a quick but rewarding watch. As the name suggests, though, it’s heavy material, so maybe best consumed over a week rather than a single night.
When They See Us (Netflix): The big showdown this season was between Chernobyl and this show, When They See Us, which documents the 5 New York teens arrested on racially motivated rape charge. Emmy viewers were split about which of the 2 series they wanted to win, but personally I think there is plenty of room for recognition for both of them. Ava DuVernay directs this beautiful and staggering piece, and Jharrel Jerome very rightly won for Best Actor in a Limited Series, and received a standing ovation at the ceremony.
Ozark (Netflix): Ozark pulled out two surprise wins for Netflix — Best Supporting Actress (Julia Garner) and Best Directing (Jason Bateman), both beating out multiple tough contenders from Game of Thrones. If you liked Breaking Bad, this will be right your alley.
Barry (HBO): Bill Hader won Best Actor in a Comedy Series for the second year in a row for his starring role in this series about a hitman in LA who discovers a passion for acting. It’s dark and quirky and witty and Bill Hader — what’s not to love?!
Succession (HBO): Not all of HBO’s wins were Game of Thrones — this drama series in its second season took home the trophy for Best Writing in a Drama Series (a very important category in my book!). It follows a family-owned company as its line of succession takes a drastic turn from the original plan.
Pose (FX): Billy Porter made Emmy history with his win for Best Actor in a Drama Series for his work on Pose, a drama-musical following LGBT+ youth in New York city. It’s from creator Ryan Murphy, known for American Horror Story, Glee, Feud, and more.
Fosse/Verdon (FX): Michelle Williams took home a surprise win in the Best Actress category for her role as renowned Broadway dancer Gwen Verdon. If you like theater, film, drama, and romance, definitely check out this FX series.
Lastly, I feel the need to include my own personal Honorable Mention, that while it did not win, it showed up in many of the categories and I was really impressed by it: Escape at Dannemora (Showtime). This limited series is a wonderful, thrilling retelling of the 2015 Dannemora prison escape, directed by Ben Stiller. It stars Patricia Arquette (who actually won a 2019 Emmy for Best Actress for Hulu’s The Act) and Benicio Del Toro.
This was a great year at the Emmys, with lots of surprise wins and solid showings for all the streaming services. I know I have a lot more to shows to dive into now, and I hope this helps you find some too!