"Everything was just ... fine," writes Vulture. "Nothing bombed miserably, but nothing burned particularly brightly, either."
NPR is blunt: "That was just not a very good show."
"Homeland," the tense CIA drama about a terrorist plot on American soil, won the 2012 Emmy Award for Best Drama, preventing "Mad Men" from breaking a record by winning five consecutive Best Drama awards. Claire Danes won Best Actress in a Drama Series for her portrayal of a complex CIA agent in the show, while Damian Lewis' Best Actor in a Drama win for "Homeland" deterred Bryan Cranston from four awards in the category. Vulture reports that "Mad Men" was the "losingest" series - setting a record of 17 nominations, no wins during the night.
"Modern Family" won Best Comedy, Best Supporting Actor and Actress, and Best Directing. Julia Louis-Dreyfus won Best Actress in a Comedy for her desperately funny turn as the Vice President in HBO's "Veep." Though Dreyfus' performance beat out Amy Poehler's Leslie Knope on "Parks and Recreation," she graciously shared the spotlight with her fellow politico.
Comedian Louis C.K. also cleaned up at this years awards, both for Best Writing for his comedy, "Louie," as well as Variety Special Writing for "Louis C.K. Live at the Beacon Theater."
Here's the full list of winners, including Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Kevin Costner, Jon Stewart, Damian Lewis, Aaron Paul, Maggie Smith, and the Daily Show.
The winner for best bit during the show goes to "Girls" creator/star Lena Dunham, sitting nude on a toilet eating a piece of cake while Zooey Deschanel, Martha Plimpton, Mindy Kaling and Connie Britten gather about the bathroom listening to her sob (video below). Kimmel's opening monologue fell flat--Vulture crowned him "least spectacular." As for the clothes? A bright, orangey yellow reigned supreme - draping three Best Actress winners: Julianne Moore, Julie Bowen, Claire Danes. (Here's a red carpet gallery.)
Yellow flowers dominated the decor at HBO's after-party at the Pacific Design Center, which drew just about everyone except the Showtime "Homeland" winners. HBO won 23 Emmys, more than any network (for the 11th year in a row). G.R.R. Martin, Peter Dinklage and David Benioff were celebrating the six wins for “Game of Thrones,” tied with Showtime's "Homeland." “Game Change” received five awards and "Boardwalk Empire" won four. “Veep” won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (Louis-Dreyfus).
Idris Elba, Alexander Skarsgaard (who scored raves in Toronto for "What Maisie Knew," co-starring Moore), Judd Apatow, Dunham, Jay and Mark Duplass and Katie Aselton ("Black Rock") were on hand. An ebullient Seth MacFarlane spurred more discussion of whether he'd make a good Oscar host.