The red carpet is rolled up, the gold statues have been given away and the speeches have been given. The 2022 Emmy Awards wrapped up with winners both predictable and surprising, from repeats like Jason Sudeikis (“Ted Lasso”) and Jean Smart (“Hacks”) to newcomers like “Squid Game” and “Abbott Elementary.”
But beyond the results, the 2022 Emmy ceremony, hosted by “Saturday Night Live” star Kenan Thompson, will be remembered for the moments, good and bad, that accompanied the winners. And there were some really wonderful moments Monday night, and some genuinely terrible ones.
From the glorious Sheryl Lee Ralph to the awkward “Brady Bunch” break dancing, here is the best, and the worst, of TV’s biggest night.
Worst Emmy moment: Remixed TV theme songs
Thompson was doing great at the very top of the night, sporting a top hat and tails and dropping some sick burns on his fellow TV lovers. (I particularly enjoyed “from Netflix and chill to Paramount+ and eating dinner alone”).
For some reason, the opening then devolved into a very strange dance recital from your nephew’s high school. Well, at least that’s what it looked like when a troupe of dancers offered some interpretive and hip-hop dances to electronic remixes of the theme songs to “Friends,” “The Brady Bunch,” “Game of Thrones” and “Stranger Things.” It was weird, it was dull, and it was so unnecessary. When Thompson came out later with more jokes at the expense of Netflix and Showtime, it was just another reminder that a simple opening monologue would have been just fine.
Best Emmy moment: Michael Keaton’s speech
Batman himself showed up to the Emmy awards in a sleek gray tuxedo, took the first Emmy of the night for Hulu’s “Dopesick” and set the bar very high for acceptance speech of the night. After ribbing Oprah Winfrey, he told a touching, funny and earnest story about his family, thanking them “for never making me feel foolish.” He also expressed appreciation for his mistakes. “I’m glad I’ve made a fool of myself over and over again.”
Best Emmy moment: Sheryl Lee Ralph brings down the house
One of the stars of ABC’s breakout sitcom “Abbott Elementary,” Ralph won the award for best supporting actress in a comedy series and was visibly shocked and shaken by the honor, her first Emmy. She walked up on stage and opened her mouth and belted out in song, Dianne Reeves’ 1993 hit, “Endangered Species.” After singing her verses, Ralph reminded anyone who ever had a dream to keep holding on for someone like Quinta Brunson, the creator and star of “Abbott.” The genuine emotion, and the power of Ralph’s singing voice and spoken words provided a moment unparalleled at almost any recent award show. The Emmys may be a celebration of the best of TV, but they don’t really make great TV all that often. The awards clearly needed Sheryl Lee Ralph to come fix that.
‘This is what believing looks like’:Sheryl Lee Ralph schools Emmys with ‘Abbott Elementary’ win
Best and worst Emmy moment: Jennifer Coolidge’s speech
The inimitable Jennifer Coolidge won for her universally beloved supporting performance in HBO’s “The White Lotus,” and was struggling to get her words out when she took the stage. Just when she started to give thanks, the producers tried to play her off. Coolidge would not be stopped, shouting over the music that this was a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” The music changed and got louder, unfortunately. But ever the performer, Coolidge simply started dancing. It probably wasn’t the speech she wanted, but it was certainly memorable.
Emmys 2022:Everything you missed
Best Emmy moment: Lizzo and the ‘Big Grrrls’
Is she on her way to an EGOT? Pop sensation Lizzo won her first Emmy for her Amazon reality competition series “Watch Out For the Big Grrrls,” and her acceptance speech did not disappoint. “When I was a little girl, all I wanted to see was me in the media. Someone fat like me. Black like me. Beautiful like me,” she said. And the crowd went wild.
Most awkward Emmy moment: ‘Succession’ boss ribs the monarchy
When HBO’s media-empire drama “Succession” took home the biggest prize of the night (outstanding drama series), a repeat of its 2020 win, creator Jesse Armstrong took the opportunity to get in some barbs at his home country, the United Kingdom. “Big week for successions,” he said, referencing the death of Queen Elizabeth II and succession of her son, King Charles III. He did note that more people voted for “Succession” in the democratic Emmys than in the monarchy with Charles. “I’m not saying we’re more legitimate in our position than he is,” he added. “We’ll leave that to other people.” Series star Brian Cox advised his boss to “keep it Royalist.”
It’s about damn time:Lizzo celebrates on-screen representation in Emmys acceptance speech
Worst Emmy moment: Kumail Nanjiani’s bartending bit
On a night when several speeches from winners were cut off, it was extra frustrating to see so many unfunny comedy bits and montages shoved into the long broadcast. Unfortunately, Nanjiani’s bit with Thompson and Jason Sudeikis as a bad bartender should have been cut. It was only partially redeemed by the reunion of Thompson with his Nickelodeon co-star Kel Mitchell of “Kenan & Kel” fame.
See all the Emmy winners:‘Ted Lasso,’ ‘The White Lotus’