Emmy Highlights: Jennifer Coolidge Dances, ‘Squid Game’ Makes History and More

succession wins best drama series emmy award highlights

The Emmy Awards have wrapped up for another year, and there was plenty to celebrate.

Kenan Thompson hosted the show, and even had a mini-reunion with his Kenan and Kel co-star when Kel Mitchell joined him for a brief skit, to the excitement of everyone.

For the first time since 2019, the Emmy Awards was held inside and back at its regular home, the Microsoft Theater, at full capacity, a joyous celebration in and of itself.

And while yes, there were snubs (Yellowjackets, we’re so sorry!), there were plenty of wins to cheer on through the night.

It was another big night for HBO, with limited series The White Lotus cleaning up in its nominated categories and Succession taking home the top prize of the evening, with Netflix scoring historic wins for Squid Game and Apple winning big with Ted Lasso.

Without further ado, here are the highlights of the 2022 Emmy Awards.

Related: How ‘Squid Game’s’ Emmys’ Eligibility Could Change the Way the Awards Show Works

Related: From ‘Succession’ to ‘The White Lotus’: All the 2022 Emmy Award Winners

Jennifer Coolidge Won for The White Lotus

Jennifer Coolidge has had a place in everyone’s heart since the early 2000s, when she burst onto the Hollywood scene with scene-stealing roles in films like American Pie, Legally Blonde and Best in Show. Despite working consistently through the years, though, Coolidge has never been nominated for any major acting awards, so her win for Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series is a huge deal.

Even better, her refusal to be played off the stage while accepting her award — she chose to dance to the music, instead — is just one example of why we’ve loved her for all these years.


The White Lotus Swept the Emmys

While we’re on the topic of The White Lotus, it was a huge night for the HBO limited series, as it won five awards during the ceremony — the most of any show to win big during the ceremony.

Creator Mike White won back-to-back awards, for directing and writing the series. After giving an earnest, emotional speech for his directing award, White switched it up for his writing award, giving his time on Survivor a shout-out.

“I just wanna say, I was on Survivor, and on Survivor, the way to stay in the game is you lower your threat level, and now it’s like, I’ve raised my threat level, and it’s like, I just wanna stay in the game!” he said. “Awards are great — I love writing, I love doing what I do, like, don’t come for me, don’t vote me off the island, please!

Sheryl Lee Ralph Won Best Supporting Actress for Abbott Elementary

Sheryl Lee Ralph launched her career in the late 1970s, and has had a long, successful career in the decades since, but one that’s been very overlooked by Hollywood.

Tonight, Ralph was recognised by her peers for her work in Abbott Elementary. She is the first Black actress to win Best Supporting Actress for a Comedy at the Emmys in 35 years and the second to do so in the awards’ history, following Jackée Harry’s win in 1987 for her role as Sandra Clark on 227.

Ralph was visibly shocked by the announcement of her name, and went on to deliver a heartfelt, impactful speech, complete with a rendition of “Endangered Species” by Dianne Reeves.

In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Abbott Elementary creator Quinta Brunson spoke about her desire to give Ralph material that would score her an Emmy, saying:

“I grabbed her hand at the beginning of the first season and told her, ‘Sheryl, we’re going to give you Emmy-worthy material.’ Sheryl’s an incredible actress, an amazing actress. It’s truly a joy to watch the art of acting through her. I was like, ‘I’m going to write you material that makes you impossible to ignore.'”

Mission accomplished!

Abbott Elementary Cemented Itself As a Force to Be Reckoned With

Back in May, ABC announced that when Abbott Elementary returns for its second season on September 21, it will be taking over the flagship comedy slot in the schedule once held by Modern Family.

It’s a huge step for the critically acclaimed sitcom, and tonight, Abbott Elementary cemented itself as a force to be reckoned with when it snagged two awards — one for Sheryl Lee Ralph, and one for Quinta Brunson, who won Best Writing for a Comedy Series.

While Abbott Elementary didn’t win Best Comedy Series, the show’s success has been enough to get people buzzing that Abbott may be an early indicator that network television is ready to make its comeback, after years of losing ground to streaming platforms. Let’s watch this space for a Season 2 win.

Squid Game‘s History-Making Wins

Netflix juggernaut Squid Game took home two awards during the ceremony — one for director Hwang Dong-hyuk, for Best Directing of a Drama, and one for Lee Jung-jae, for Best Actor in a Drama. Both are the first Asian, and first native Korean men to take home these prizes. Squid Game is now also the first non-English language series to win a major Primetime Emmy Award, although that is something director Hwang hopes changes in the future.

“Since Squid Game got 14 nominations, people keep telling me I made history,” he said in his acceptance speech. “But I don’t think I made history by myself because it was you who opened up the doors for Squid Game, inviting us here tonight at the Emmys, so I believe — I have to say, we made, all, history together.

“I truly hope Squid Game won’t be the last non-English series to be here at the Emmys, and I also hope this won’t be my last Emmy, either!” he laughed. “I’ll be back, with Season 2! Thank you!”

Ted Lasso Won Best Comedy Series

In a surprise to no one, Apple TV’s comedy darling Ted Lasso won big, snagging four major prizes, including Best Comedy Series, proving that the reign of kind comedy is still going strong.

Jason Sudeikis also won Best Actor in a Comedy, Brett Goldstein won Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy, and MJ Delaney won Best Directing for a Comedy, for the episode “No Weddings and a Funeral”.

Succession Wins Best Drama

Kindness may have comedy in a chokehold at the moment, but when it comes to dramas, Succession proved that we like them acerbic.

Aside from Best Drama Series, Succession scored two other wins: Matthew Macfadyen also won Best Supporting Actor in a Drama for his work as Tom Wambsgans, and Jesse Armstrong also got a nod for writing the episode “All The Bells Say”, which, yes, was that finale episode.

In the press room after his win, Macfadyen — who was the only Succession actor to score a win on the night — joked that he would owe his castmates dinner “forever”, adding “especially Kieran Culkin”, who fans were rallying behind.

Meanwhile, when Succession won Best Drama Series, Armstrong — who is also the show’s co-creator — began his speech with: “Big week for successions, new King in the UK, this for us — evidently, a little bit more voting involved in our winning than Prince Charles… ” the audience seemed… too stunned to speak, perhaps? And Brian Cox offered some words of advice: “keep it royalist, keep it royalist”.

And that’s what you missed at the 2022 Emmys!

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