© 2024 WKNO FM
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Before The Emmys, We Hand Out The Deggys


The Emmy Awards air tonight on NBC, celebrating the best work in television. NPR TV critic Eric Deggans worries they might not get it right. So he's come up with his own awards - the Deggys (ph).

ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: As someone who gets paid to watch television, I shouldn't have much to complain about, but it drives me crazy to watch the ceremony every year and see the choices they get wrong. So I've created my own awards, the Deggys. Let's start with best comedy series. There are eight nominees here, ranging from FX's "Atlanta" to ABC's "Black-ish" and Netflix's "Glow." But the Deggy goes to...


DEGGANS: ...HBO's "Barry." Now, I would've have named Atlanta for its surreal, forward-looking comedy, but it won a Deggy last year. So I'm singling out Bill Hader's dark comedy about a hit man who wants to become an actor. It balances funny and horrifying in an amazing way. Here, Barry is telling his handler that after one acting class, he wants to quit the hit man game.


BILL HADER: (As Barry Berkman) These are professional actors, and they're the real deal. And they say I got something.

STEPHEN ROOT: (As Monroe Fuches) You want to go out there and try to burn a guy and have him say, hey, there's the guy from the chicken commercial?

HADER: (As Barry Berkman) I don't know if I'd do commercials.

DEGGANS: I think Amazon's "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" will actually win this award because its Hollywood's hot new darling and star, Rachel Brosnahan, is amazing. Next, best actress in a drama. Nominees include "The Crown's" Claire Foy, and Evan Rachel Wood from "Westworld." But the Deggy goes to...


DEGGANS: ...Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer from BBC America's "Killing Eve." Wait a minute, you say, that's two winners, and Jodie Comer wasn't even nominated for an Emmy. Hey. It's my award. I want to correct an Emmy injustice because Comer also should have been nominated for her portrayal of a psychopathic international hit woman who becomes infatuated with Oh's character, a British intelligence agent trying to catch her.


SANDRA OH: (As Eve Polastri) I know you are Russian. I know you were in a prison in Moscow for five years.

JODIE COMER: (As Villanelle) What else?

OH: (As Eve Polastri) I know you're a psychopath.

COMER: (As Villanelle) You should never tell a psychopath they are a psychopath. It upsets them.

OH: (As Eve Polastri) Are you upset?

DEGGANS: Comer should be upset that she's not nominated. If Sandra Oh wins, she would make history as the first Asian woman to win best actress in a drama, but I think Keri Russell is actually going to take this trophy for the final season of FX's spy drama, "The Americans." Emmy's got to make up for snubbing her for so long. With all the political talk out there, it makes sense to look at best variety talk series. The nominees include Stephen Colbert's "Late Show," "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and Samantha Bee's in-your-face TBS show, "Full Frontal." But the Deggy goes to...


DEGGANS: ...NBC's "Late Night With Seth Meyers." OK. This show wasn't nominated, either, but it should've been. Not just because Meyers expertly deconstructs political hypocrisy with his segment, "A Closer Look," but because he also turns the spotlight on the show's awesome writers, like Jenny Hagel and Amber Ruffin. Here's Amber Ruffin lampooning the terrible responses by men accused of sexual harassment by apologizing to Seth the way they did.


SETH MEYERS: You just punched me.

AMBER RUFFIN: Did I? That doesn't sound like me.


RUFFIN: Anyone who knows me would say that's very out of character.

MEYERS: Amber?

RUFFIN: I'm sorry that your face feels punched.


MEYERS: That's not an apology.

RUFFIN: Seth, it was a different time back then.


DEGGANS: I'm betting Colbert will take it this time because no one has captured the frustration with today's politics and President Trump the way his late show has managed this year on CBS. Whatever happens tonight, I'll be watching and taking notes for next year's Deggys. I'm Eric Deggans. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Eric Deggans is NPR's first full-time TV critic.