In the aftermath of the 2015 Emmys, people are abuzz over HBO’s domination of the awards night. Game of Thrones, the popular fantasy show based on George R.R. Martin’s novel series, picked up a record–breaking 12 awards, including the prestigious Best Drama Series. Like Lord of the Rings did at the Oscars in 2004, the fantasy show has smashed the genre boundary facing fantasy material when it comes to awards. The consistently popular show recently wrapped up season ﬁve, taking fans on a roller-coaster of emotions, with an epic story and character development.
Its other wins included Best Writing, Best Direction and Best Supporting Actor for Peter Dinklage, who plays the fan favourite Tyrion Lannister. The previous record holder was The West Wing which won nine awards in 2000. The night marks a massive win for HBO, carting home an impressive 43 Emmys, more than any other network at the awards ceremony. Among the other frontrunners was the mini-series Olive Kitteridge, winning nearly every category it was nominated for, and taking home six shiny trophies.
After seven nominations, Jon Hamm ﬁnally won Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama for Mad Men, which wrapped up its seven-season long run in May. The show has had an impressive run, and if you haven’t already checked it out, do so now. You won’t regret it.
Viola Davis also won Best Lead Actress for her performance in How To Get Away With Murder, the ﬁrst black woman to win in this category. In her acceptance speech, she said: “You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.” Quoting Harriet Tubman, a civil rights activist, she highlighted how “the only thing that separates women of colour from anyone else is opportunity.”
Other female successes included Uzo Aduba scooping up outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama for her role in Orange is the New Black, which has also received rave reviews. Veep, a political comedy following the ﬁctional vice-president Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) was the winner in the Best Comedy Series category. Veep’s creator, Armando Ianucci, was the only Brit nominee to win, as others like Mark Rylance (nominated for Wolf Hall) went home empty-handed.
Meanwhile Transparent, the Amazon Prime show centering on the life of a transgender woman and her family netted a win for director Jill Soloway. The Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy award went to Jeﬀrey Tambor. He dedicated his win to the transgender community, concluding “thank you for letting us be part of the change”.
Andy Samberg hosted the show, his ﬁrst major award-hosting gig, which was met with mixed reviews. Variety’s Brian Lowry said: “Samberg’s approach just didn’t wear especially well”, but USA Today reviewer Robert Bianco said: “Samberg did just ﬁne”. Twitter was notably less forgiving, with pundits such as Matt Zoller Seitz stating: “Andy Samberg knows he’s bombing. It’s painful to see”. A full list of the winners and speech clips can be found online.