The biggest winners and losers of the 2018 Emmys

There was laughter. There were tears. There were snubs. There was even a proposal.

Emmy awards.
(Image credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for ATI)

The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards had all the fixings of a great drama: There was laugher. There were tears. There were surprises — heck, there was even a real-life happily ever after. Your move, Oscar season.

Still, no awards program will make everyone happy, and there was plenty to get upset about too, from snubs to bad jokes to asking yourself why oh why you put off watching The Assassination of Gianni Versace. For a list of the full honorees and nominees of the 2018 Emmy Awards, you can go here. For the biggest winners and losers of the night, you've come to the right place.

Loser: Anyone who has the misfortune of competing against Game of Thrones

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Game of Thrones once again beheaded, poisoned, stabbed, and burned alive its competition at the Emmy Awards, nabbing nine statuettes — the most of any other show in competition. Despite many people being disappointed in the fantasy series' seventh season, GoT won outstanding drama, with Peter Dinklage grabbing an outstanding supporting actor award. To date, Game of Thrones has earned nearly 130 Emmy nominations. Its final season will air next year, giving the show just one more war to win in its path to maintaining bragging rights as the most decorated scripted series in Emmys history for years to come.

Winner: Nike

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When you think of red carpet designers, Nike is not exactly the first brand to come to mind. Jenifer Lewis, though, went full athleisure on Monday night with her custom Nike sweater in support of quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is the controversial new face of the brand's "believe in something" campaign. "What can I do? What can I do that's meaningful?" Lewis recalled asking herself. "I'll wear Nike. I'll wear Nike to say thank you. Thank you for leading the resistance! We need more corporate America to stand up also."

Loser: Henry Winkler's kids

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Henry Winkler has had his Emmy's speech ready since he was nominated for his breakout role as Fonzie in Happy Days, but it took more than four decades and a turn on HBO's Barry before he could use it. His adorable, glowing excitement at winning the award was one of the early delights of the show — much, one would expect, to the dismay of his children, who were instructed to go to bed in his acceptance speech.

Winner: Sandra Oh

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While Sandra Oh didn't win an Emmy award for her brilliant appearance on Killing Eve, she still made history on Monday night as the first Asian actress to be nominated for a dramatic lead — a moment she celebrated by bringing her parents as guests to the show. "I'm just so excited to be able to bring them," she told Today's Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie. Oh also addressed what it meant to her to be making history, saying: "I've never really been separate from it, my Asian-ness. How can you be?" She even had a line during the Emmy's opening number joking that "it's an honor just to be Asian" while mocking Hollywood's self-congratulatory casting. While she might not be going home with a winged statuette, Oh said of change, "I don't want people to ever give up on it."

Loser: Diversity ... again

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Diversity was the theme of the night at the 2018 Emmys, although all the bragging on stage didn't seem to translate into actual award results. After a literal song and dance mocking Hollywood's attempts at diversifying television, the next seven awards failed to go to people of color. The results were particularly disheartening seeing as it really was the most diverse Emmys in history, with more than 30 actors and actresses of color nominated across all categories. #EmmysSoWhite?

Winner: That Ronan Farrow joke

View this post on InstagramGuys, I am really not that unpleasant on the phone.A post shared by ronanfarrow (@ronanfarrow) on Sep 17, 2018 at 5:17pm PDT

#MeToo jokes at the Emmys were inevitable, but at least co-host Colin Jost's zinger about Ronan Farrow was original and funny. "Netflix, of course has the most nominations tonight," he said in the opening monologue. "That's right. And if you're a network executive, that's the scariest thing you can possibly hear except maybe, 'Sir, Ronan Farrow is on line one.'" Co-host Michael Che jumped in: "You don't want that call." Farrow subsequently had the best response.

Loser: Roseanne Barr jokes

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By Wired's count, there were three Roseanne Barr jokes within the first 15 minutes of the Emmys. While Barr certainly deserves a roasting — her show was canceled by ABC earlier this year over her blatantly offensive and racist tweets — the jokes just felt ... too easy? Not especially clever? There is plenty to criticize in Hollywood; surely we can come up with something sharper than this.

Winner: Betty White

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Betty White got a standing ovation at the 2018 Emmys, as she deserved. White is a winner just for being her legendary self, although putting up with Emmys nonsense at the age of 96 is definitely respectable.

Losers: Those of us who still haven't watched The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story

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It won seven awards? Guess I better get on that.

Winner: Donald Trump

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Yes, I said it. There were surprisingly few shots taken at President Trump at the Emmys, even in a year when The Handmaid's Tale was a heavyweight. Sure, there was that pre-Emmy scuffle between The Hunt for the Trump Tapes host Tom Arnold and Apprentice producer Mark Burnett, with Arnold accusing Burnett of protecting Trump by hiding footage of the president using the N-word on the set of his reality TV show, but Trump himself made it out surprisingly unscathed. When asked what he thought about the lack of Trump mentions during the ceremony, Last Week Tonight host and Emmy winner John Oliver told reporters: "In the drinking game, I think we're just trying to keep America sober. Everyone needs their wits about them right now."

Loser: David Lynch fans

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Twin Peaks: The Return competed in just two categories at the Primetime Emmy Awards on Monday, giving David Lynch fans the unfair blessing of hope in the futile battle for outstanding writing and directing for a limited series, movie, or dramatic special. To the surprise of literally no one, The Return failed to earn either award, leaving it with a final 0-9 tally when the Creative Arts Emmys were factored in. All was not lost, however; Twin Peaks' Kyle MacLachlan shared a cryptically optimistic message. Can you say Twin Peaks: Season Four?

Winner: Atlanta inside jokes

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Atlanta's "Teddy Perkins" episode in season two was one of the best 40 minutes of television in recent memory, which made an appearance by the titular character in the audience all the more delightful. Apparently it was Donald Glover himself in the Perkins guise, although it is a lot more fun to imagine Teddy flew out from Georgia just for the big event.

Loser: Atlanta

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Despite the cast's aforementioned commitment to the psychedelic mythos of the show, Atlanta was shut out of the 2018 Emmys — one of the most brutal in-show snubs. Glover's FX series had been nominated in 16 categories, and had earned itself two Emmys in 2017, making its failure to stack up against the likes of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Barry all the more shocking.

Winner: Romance

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Love isn't dead! Even the grouchiest hearts melted at Glenn Weiss' proposal to his girlfriend during his acceptance speech for directing a variety special. Visibly emotional, the Oscars director told his partner, Jan Svendsen: "You wonder why I don't like to call you my girlfriend — because I want to call you my wife." The crowd went crazy. The moment was all the more powerful because, as Weiss explained, his mother had died just two weeks earlier, and he used her ring when proposing to Svendsen.

Loser: Keri Russell

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Keri Russell has now officially failed to win an award for her appearance on The Americans — a darn shame, if you ask this critic. At least her partner and co-star Matthew Rhys managed to net an award for lead actor in a drama series. And her expression when Rhys confessed that Russell told him "if you propose to me, I will punch you clean in the mouth," was priceless and a highlight of the night.

Winner: The state of comedy

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Comedy: So hot right now! With perennial winners Modern Family and Veep not in the running for outstanding comedy series in 2018, a new winner was going to be crowned in the category for the first time in more than a decade no matter what. That honor ultimately went to Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, about a 1950s housewife trying to make it as a standup comedian. While the show had widely been regarded as a frontrunner, the category was intimidating and prone to an upset, with Mrs. Maisel competing against fan favorites like Atlanta and Glow. That's not to even mention the glaring snub of The Good Place, easily one of the best shows on television. Even if your favorite comedy did not win on Monday night, the competitive award heralds good things for the genre.

Loser: The Terror

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No, it wasn't nominated for anything. Yes, I'm still going to complain about it every opportunity I get.

Draw: Netflix and HBO

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The big question going into the 70th Emmy Awards was: Who would come out on top, Netflix or HBO? Although HBO has dominated the Emmys for nearly two decades, Netflix led the nominations for the first time in 2018, with 112 to HBO's 108. But with Game of Thrones' last-minute win in the drama category, HBO's total awards at the Emmys came to 23 … the exact same number as Netflix's. It will take until the 71st Emmys to finally settle this score — and luckily for all of us following along at home, that means a whole lot of great television until we do this all again next year.

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