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Commentary: ‘Breaking Bad,’ ‘Modern Family’ win big at Primetime Emmys

Betsy Brandt (left), Bryan Cranston, Bob Odenkirk and Aaron Paul of AMC’s ‘Breaking Bad’ at the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. ‘Breaking Bad’ won an outstanding overall award at the show.  Credit: Courtesy of MCT

Betsy Brandt (left), Bryan Cranston, Bob Odenkirk and Aaron Paul of AMC’s ‘Breaking Bad’ at the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. ‘Breaking Bad’ won an outstanding overall award at the show.
Credit: Courtesy of MCT

Luck was a lady for some stars and producers of television.

The 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by “How I Met Your Mother” star Neil Patrick Harris, aired Sunday on CBS. The award show honors television programming originally aired from June 1, 2012 to May 31.

Emmys are handed to the most outstanding lead, supporting and guest actors and actresses, directing, writing, choreography and best overall in the categories of comedy, drama, reality, variety, choreography and miniseries or movie.

The show honored web television shows for the first time, nominating Netflix exclusives like Season 4 of “Arrested Development,” “Hemlock Grove” and “House of Cards.” The first of these to win an Emmy was outstanding directing for a drama series for David Fincher on “House of Cards.”

Harris shined as the host, already having experience from hosting the Emmys once before in 2009 and hosting the Tony Awards four times. He added funny quirks to each person he announced to present, such as naming Jon Hamm and Alec Baldwin as his biological parents and saying that Jimmy Kimmel couldn’t wait to present with Sofia Vergara’s breasts.

The opening film of Harris sitting in a room, arguing back and forth with television programs was lackluster. I feel the opening film for the Emmys will never be topped again since Conan O’Brien’s opening in 2006, where he referenced many different television hits at the time smoothly, effortlessly and comically.

The opening monologue for the program started the show right on course with comedy. Past hosts of the awards and stars such as Jimmy Kimmel, Jane Lynch, Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler bantered back and forth with Harris about hosting. Kevin Spacey was also included in the performance, saying he was the mastermind behind all of the banter.

Musical guests included Sir Elton John and Carrie Underwood. John premiered a new song called “Home Again,” in which he paid tribute to Liberace, the late American pianist and singer who is the subject of the 2013 film “Behind the Candelabra” starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon.

Harris sang two numbers in the program. In the middle of the show, he sang with the help of “Castle” star Nathan Fillion and comedian Sarah Silverman in the appropriately titled, “The Song in the Middle of the Show,” which poked fun of the placement of opening and closing musical numbers in award shows. A rendition of “Luck Be a Lady Tonight,” in which dancers acted out different television shows in their acts such as “Mad Men,” “Game of Thrones” and “Breaking Bad,” was integrated into the number, and when the dancers started to dance a “Boardwalk Empire”-themed dance, the show’s theme song was mixed with Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky.”

The biggest winner of the night was “Behind the Candelabra,” taking home three awards in outstanding lead actor for Michael Douglas, directing for Steven Soderbergh and overall in a miniseries or movie and eight creative arts Emmy awards.

The outstanding drama and comedy awards went to “Breaking Bad” and “Modern Family,” respectively.

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