“The scene that got me the most is when the troll, who must kidnap children to keep himself alive, sneaks into a girls room, and as she rolls over onto her side in her bed, THERE’S THE FUCKING TROLL. I have slept on my back from that day forward (20-something years later), and to this day I am still nervous to sleep on my side.” —angelav45d8cf1a3
Close spoke of her character on Oprah saying, “I never thought of her as the villain, ever.”
In addition, Dearden echoed similar thoughts about Close’s character in The Guardian, writing, “Alex is emphatically not a monster. She is a sad, tragic, lonely woman, holding down a tough job in an unforgiving city.”
Blessed be the fruit: The Handmaid’s Tale, one of several favorites in the Emmys’ highly competitive best drama category, took home the top honor on Sunday night — and now Hulu is the first streaming service ever to win an Emmy in a best series category.
Before this year, Hulu had received two Emmy nominations: one for writing on its election special Triumph, and another for visual effects for its limited series 11.22.63.
In July, The Handmaid’s Tale received 13 Emmy nominations, and at Sunday’s ceremony, the show dominated. In addition to Outstanding Drama Series, the show won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (Elisabeth Moss), Outstanding Supporting Actress (Ann Dowd), Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series (Reed Morano), and Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series (Bruce Miller). At the Creative Arts Emmys last weekend, The Handmaid’s Tale won for production design and cinematography. And Alexis Bledel — who will be a series regular in the show’s second season — won Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, bringing the show’s final tally to eight wins.
The Handmaid’s Tale sweep for Hulu was a shocking turn of events for a relatively new player in the Emmys and in quality scripted content.
The dystopian drama premiered on Hulu in April, and was seen as incredibly timely in this political climate, despite being based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel. The story of June (Moss), renamed Offred by the show’s oppressive society of Gilead, reflected many Americans’ current anxieties about eroding rights (of women, of minority groups), a looming threat of war, religious intolerance, and environmental threats.
None of the show’s winners delivered political speeches Sunday night, but The Handmaid’s Tale creator, Bruce Miller, closed the show by saying, “Go home, get to work, we have a lot of things to fight for.”
In the Emmys press room, executive producer Warren Littlefield said, “Our partners at Hulu are fearless. They took a very controversial book and said they wanted to do it. Each and every day they encourage us to go for it, and that kind of support for all of us as artists is exceptional.”
Hulu’s rival streaming service, Netflix, has been in the Emmys game since 2013, after the inaugural season of House of Cards, when it first began its full-court press into original content. That year, Netflix got 14 nominations, breaking into the major categories immediately, with nominations for Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (for Kevin Spacey), and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (Robin Wright). Jason Bateman was also nominated that year for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for the Arrested Development reboot. Even the horror thriller Hemlock Grove got two nominations (for its main title theme and visual effects). Netflix has increased its nominations total every year since, drawing 91 in 2017 (second only to HBO’s 111), and has spent millions to do so, launching campaigns this year for all of its shows. Netflix famously has had a $6 billion budget for original content in 2017.
Yet Netflix has not been able to break through in the Outstanding Drama Series or Outstanding Comedy Series categories, despite having two strong contenders this year, with The Crown and Stranger Things. Along with The Handmaid’s Tale and NBC’s This Is Us, those four series were thought to be the main contenders in the drama category.
As the Emmys reflect, television’s delivery system stayed the same for its entire existence — and then it changed quickly. The first non-network show to win an Emmy in a best series category was in 2001 when HBO’s Sex and the City won Outstanding Comedy Series. Next was The Sopranos (also HBO, obviously) in 2004 for Outstanding Drama Series. The Sopranos won again in 2007, which was then followed by Mad Men‘s four-year run in that category — the AMC drama was the first basic cable show to win an Emmy in a best series category. After that, Showtime’s Homeland won in 2012, and then AMC’s Breaking Bad then won twice, in 2013 and 2014. Since Breaking Bad‘s two wins, and since ABC’s Modern Family ended its five-season streak in Outstanding Comedy Series in 2015, HBO has dominated both series categories, with Veep and Game of Thrones winning last year and the year before.
Whether Hulu’s win will open the floodgates for streaming services to dominate the Emmys as they dominate original television content remains to be seen. (Amazon is a player here as well.) After all, next year, Game of Thrones will once again be eligible for Outstanding Drama Series.
Susan Cheng contributed to this report.
In his capacity as White House press secretary, Spicer said in January, “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, PERIOD, both in person and around the globe.”
At the Emmys, during Colbert’s monologue, Spicer came out onstage with a mobile podium reminiscent of the one Melissa McCarthy used in her impersonation of him on Saturday Night Live and said, “This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys, PERIOD, both in person and around the world.”
One woman told The Cut that Ailes engaged in “psychological torture” of her for more than 20 years, pressuring her into performing oral sex on him, among disturbing allegations.
New York Magazine reported that Ailes told one of his anchors, Gretchen Carlson, “I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago, and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better.”
And in an interview with the magazine, another former television producer recalled Ailes telling her, “If you want to make it in New York City in the TV business, you’re going to have to fuck me, and you’re going to do that with anyone I tell you to.”
The brothers are working with composers Dixon and Stein again, who have composed more than 18 hours of new material. “Their music this season, I think it’s even better,” Ross Duffer said. “The first season was our first show, and their first time composing, so I think we’ve figured it out more this season.”
Lena Waithe just became the first black woman to ever win the Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series — she’s also the first black woman to ever be nominated for the award. Waithe won for co-writing Master of None‘s “Thanksgiving” episode with Aziz Ansari, who won in this category last year with Alan Yang for co-writing the show’s “Parents” episode.
Ansari gave Waithe the microphone for their acceptance speech, during which, she took a moment to address her “LGBTQIA family.” She said, “I see each and every one of you. The things that make us different, those are our superpowers. Every day when you walk out the door and put on your imaginary cape and go out there and conquer the world… because the world would not be as beautiful as it is if we weren’t in it.”
In the press room, Waithe told reporters that her wish is for this historic win to embolden those in positions of power to offer opportunities to a more diverse pool of writers. “I hope it will open up people’s eyes to give women of color a seat at the table so they can tell their stories.”
It echoed comments she made in August while talking about her Emmy nomination during a GLAAD panel. Waithe said it speaks to the fact the industry is progressing — but added that there’s still a long way to go, and mentorship is a big part of that evolution.
“We still have a lot of work to do and I’m fighting to make sure that happens,” Waithe said at the time. “I’m definitely really involved in mentorship … because the only way it’s going to actually change is for us to not just sort of talk about it, but to look people in the eye who say, ‘I want to be a writer,’ and go, ‘Okay, great. Give me your script. Let me take a look at it. Here’s how you can make it better,’ because, again, it’s a matter of greatness. It’s, like, you have to be great to get in there. I’m still striving for greatness, but I think the biggest thing is to make sure that people of color have some guidance and some mentorship to help them get to that place. Otherwise, they don’t get in those rooms. Or they get in the rooms and they fail. That’s problematic. So I’m just sort of actively trying to help make sure people have opportunities.”
Additional reporting by Susan Cheng.
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There’s this scene in the end where she finally kisses the guy and it’s an intense and super cute moment, with nothing sexual. Kisses everywhere, on the neck, forehead, cheeks, nose, everywhere BUT the lips. I think that’s what makes it special for me, you don’t need to show a French kiss (omg the movie is French, I just realized it) or sex on screen to tell the world there’s passion and a crazy, sweet love between the characters.