Emmys 2012: There’s No Place like Home (land)

A night of fashion, jokes, fun and drab? Welcome to the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, a night that may or may not have been worthy of praise. The 2012 Emmys turned heads, proving that the new guy can too reign supreme, as “Homeland” took the throne, while expected winners such as “Modern Family” held their titles.

As for the actual show, most viewers would say that it was simply okay. The opening did not deliver, as it based most of its laughs simply on having Lena Dunham of “Girls” eating cake in the nude. As host, Jimmy Kimmel did a fine job, but audiences may have been left disappointed. To many, his attempt to bring levity to the show was feeble at best. Kimmel didn’t have Neil Patrick Harris’s showmanship and energy or Jimmy Fallon’s quick wit.

The night’s funniest moments go to Tracy Morgan’s “pass out on stage” stunt and the “speech switch” by Amy Poehler, Emmy winner for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy, in which she swapped out Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ speech for her own. Perhaps the most remarkable moment of the night was the standing ovation given to Michael J. Fox as he presented the final award for Outstanding Comedy Series, stating that he was “as hard as a rock.” And we must not forget the In Memoriam, reminding us of the tremendous losses we suffered this year in entertainment such as Andy Griffith, Michael Clarke Duncan and Dick Clark.

Now for the important stuff — the awards. Let’s bring light to the fact that HBO led with 81 nominations. Out of those 81, there were 23 wins, including four for “Game Change.” Many people were expecting more wins for “Hatfields & McCoys,” although they did take home two awards for Tom Berenger and Kevin Costner. “Modern Family” ruled the night, winning four awards, including Eric Stonestreet and Julie Bowen’s second Emmy wins for Outstanding Supporting Actor/Actress in a Comedy and the show’s third consecutive win for Outstanding Comedy Series.

Jon Cryer’s win for Lead Actor in a Comedy was quite a surprise.

“Don’t panic, people,” Cryer said. “Something has clearly gone terribly wrong. I’m stunned.”

Cryer, a lovable actor, has always done a wonderful job on “Two and a Half Men.” Yet it is unfathomable that he could beat out Jim Parson’s Sheldon from “The Big Bang Theory.”

The Emmys also provided us with the expected winners, such as “The Daily Show” with its 10th consecutive win for Outstanding Variety Show and Louis C.K for his comedic writing.

And let’s not forget about drama. This was the first year in Emmy history that all four major networks were not included in the Outstanding Drama Series category, and was also the first time in five years that “Mad Men” was not the front-runner for Best Drama. Also, somewhat surprisingly, “Downton Abbey” was completely shut down aside from a justified win for Maggie Smith. Additionally, Aaron Paul took home his second Emmy win for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama in “Breaking Bad.”

But now for the real winner: “Homeland,” Showtime’s critically acclaimed new show about a CIA agent and a prisoner of war suspected of becoming a terrorist. It swept the big awards in the drama category, beating “Mad Men’s” four-year winning streak for Outstanding Drama Series. Both Claire Danes and Damian Lewis won Outstanding Lead Actress/Actor in a Drama Series for “Homeland,” the first time this feat has been pulled off since “Picket Fences” in 1993. Not to mention, “Homeland” is the first Showtime series ever to win for Outstanding Drama Series. With a total of four awards, “Homeland” has most definitely defied the odds.

So it was a night of certain predictability, but it was also a night of history. There were ups and downs, highlights and lowlights, wins and losses. But, hey, that’s the Emmys for you. Until next year, when “Newsroom” enters the race.