By Jess Fitzi
Ahh, award shows. That wonderful three hours on a Sunday night when we all realize just how much we care about the lives of celebrities. Really, it is completely insane how much the world cares about what dress Jennifer Lawrence wore to the Academy Awards, yet most seem to care less about her feelings on actually winning one of the most prestigious awards of the evening. I’m not here to talk about the Oscars though, as I am currently more interested in the 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards, which aired Sunday, the 22nd of September. All in all, the show passed much as it does every year: the host made inappropriate jokes, celebrities looked lovely, awards were presented, and interviews were conducted. I am less interested in all of that, however, and much more interested in how nominees reacted to winning in their specific categories. Many give your typically excited, “Thank you, I am so honored!” acceptance speeches, while some are quite noteworthy.
Merritt Wever, who appears in "Nurse Jackie" and "New Girl", definitely had one of those noteworthy reactions. The actress was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. This was her first ever Emmy win and she did not try to hide her shock and nervousness. The look on her face as her name was read really said it all as she shakily made her way on stage. Merritt was handed her award and then, predictably, was expected to say something to the crowd, as well as the more than 30,000 viewers at home. “Thank you so much. Uhm... I gotta go, bye" were her exact words. While I cannot possibly imagine how it feels to stand up in front of all of those incredibly talented actors, actresses, directors, writers, etcetera and then be expected to give a profound speech, Merritt definitely displays how most Emmy Award Winners probably feel in that same incredible moment. When asked about the interesting and very short speech backstage, Wever admitted that she wanted to thank so many people, but was scared, and became unable to get the words out. Don’t worry, Merritt; we all would have choked up, too!
Tina Fey, always a hilarious asset to any live show, started off the evening right, by wearing 3D glasses and teaming up with fellow actress/comedian, Amy Poehler, to try convincing the host, Neil Patrick Harris, to take off his pants. Tina was a well deserving nominee for Outstanding Writing in Comedy for "30 Rock", alongside Tracy Wigfield. The two lovely ladies had a similar surprised and excited reaction, but the win did not render them speechless. Tina appeared slightly more calm than Tracy, cracking a joke when the latter finished her speech, shooing her out of the way and saying “Yeah, no one said you could talk, Tracy.” Tina turned on a more serious note then, thanking her longtime partner, Robert Carlock, claiming that there are few people who make her feel lazy and stupid, but that he does it daily, by comparison. It seems that even in a state of overwhelming disbelief and pure joy, Tina always has to make a crowd laugh. For that, we thank you, Ms. Tina Fey.
As an avid watcher of "The Big Bang Theory", it was no secret that I was thrilled for Jim Parsons and his Outstanding Lead Actor in Comedy win. Upon hearing his name, Jim did not move right away, seemingly at a loss for what to do with the news. When he did stand, making his way to the stage, he appeared to walk on shaky legs. He began his heartwarming acceptance by taking a deep breath and saying “Oh, my heart. My heart! Oh no.” His speech was actually pretty typical. With his awkward and adorable demeanor, he thanked the creators and crew, claiming to know how fortunate he was. It turned out to be the reactions of Jim’s cast mates, Kaley Couco and Mayim Bialik, that caught my attention. Both ladies had tears in their eyes as their friend and cast member very graciously accepted his Emmy. It is evident by those genuine emotional reactions of people he works with daily, that this is a man who deserves every second on camera and is truly thankful for the world of show business that he is a part of. In his speech, Jim started getting a bit teary himself, pausing to laugh a bit, saying, “Oh, it’s so silly to be emotional, isn’t it?” It was evident in the actor’s response that he did not expect to win and became increasingly more overwhelmed, the more it sunk in that he had. Sheldon may drive us all a bit insane with his snarky and strenuous personality, but Jim definitely saves his endearing and emotional characteristics for his out-of-character performances.
The winner for Outstanding Lead Actress in Comedy deservingly went to Julia Louis-Dreyfus. The actress initially looked quite pleased with the announecment of her win, but quickly composed herself enough to put on an act as her character, Vice President of the United States, on "Veep". Pausing on her way to the stage, she summoned Tony Hale, who plays her assistant on the HBO series, and who also took home the award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in Comedy. The two hysterically kept up the facade of their characters throughout the speech, with Tony giving Julia reminders (as any great assistant would) of who she needed to thank for the award. The actress, jokingly of course, forgot to mention Tony when she thanked the cast of the show, to which he appeared sad, but gave her an encouraging thumbs-up, nonetheless. The duo clearly has wonderful chemistry and cherish their roles on the show. Acceptance speeches such as this keep the show humorous and fun, bringing the series to life.
Every win was ultimately deserved, with the speeches ranging from Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ hysterical skit and Tina Fey’s jokes, to Jim Parsons and Merritt Wever’s endearing nervousness. While the reactions of celebrities upon winning an award from any show, whether it be an Emmy, an Academy Award, a Grammy, etcetera, are generally overlooked or passed off as fake, I tend to view it as genuine and personal. What some do not realize is that for an actor or whoever may be winning such a prestigious honor, this is their career and their passion. The very talented artists that win these awards are often brought to tears because after all of the hard work they put into their art, in whatever form it may be, that work is being recognized and appreciated. It means more than some would think to an artist, to finally be taken seriously and given a small moment to shine and be proud of their accomplishments.
You can view the full list of Primetime Emmy Award winners of 2013 here: www.emmys.com