Prepare for the Emmys by Looking Back at Last Year's Most Memorable Moments (Jeff Daniels, Really?!)
Ah, 2013: when Breaking Bad was on the air, the VMAs were interesting, and the only worrisome thing about Beyonce and Jay Z's marriage was why they'd named their kid Blue Ivy. As far as pop culture is concerned, many might believe that 2013 was a better year than the one we're currently living in, and overall, I don't disagree; these past several months have seen hardly any good movies, and only a smattering of decent music. Yet in one major category, 2014 is doing just fine: TV. Between Orange is the New Black, True Detective and more, this year's crop of television — as shown by that amazing list of Emmy nominees — is already ten times better than the selections from 2013.
And at Monday night's awards show, fans will get to see it all come together, in a ceremony that's expected to produce one of the toughest, most exciting competitions in Emmy history. Matthew McConaughey or Bryan Cranston? Claire Danes or Lizzy Caplan? No matter what happens, the 2014 show should be a huge night for TV. Still, before you sit down to watch tonight's show, you might need a refresher. Here's what to remember about last year's Emmy Awards:
Neil Patrick Harris Hosted — And, Of Course, He Sang
The then-star of How I Met Your Mother did a decent job as host early in the night, but it wasn't until halfway through that he won viewers over with a huge song and dance number that ranged from him discussing the awards given out so far to performing a cover of "Get Lucky." Unsurprisingly, it was perfect.
Behind the Candelabra Won Everything
Outstanding Movie/Miniseries, Outstanding Lead Actor, Outstanding Director — Steven Soderbergh's HBO drama was the belle of the ball at last year's show.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Gave a Hilarious Acceptance Speech
Louis-Dreyfus accepted her award for Lead Comedy Actress as her Veep character, giving a wonderfully narcissistic, scattered speech while clutching the Emmy like it was her child. Meanwhile, Tony Hale-as-Gary stood behind her and whispered names into her ear, while Anna Chlumsky channeled Amy and texted, bored, from the audience.
Jeff Daniels' Win Surprised Everyone
Sure, Bryan Cranston's win for Best Drama Actor wasn't guaranteed — Kevin Spacey or Jon Hamm could've snuck in and won the honor instead, and while it would've been surprising, it would've been fine. But Jeff Daniels?! The Dumb and Dumber guy starring in that Aaron Sorkin show nobody liked?! Even the Emmy winner looked flustered and uncomfortable as he accepted his award on stage, the second upset over a Breaking Bad star that night.
Merritt Wever Gave the Shortest Acceptance Speech Ever
"Thank you, thank you so much... I've got to go. Bye!" With just 10 words, the Nurse Jackie star gave one of the greatest Emmy speeches of all time.
Cory Monteith and James Gandolfini Got Special Tributes
Reactions were mixed to the Emmys' decision to honor Monteith and Gandolfini with on-stage tributes; the speeches from Jane Lynch and Edie Falco were heartfelt and sweet, but those two stars getting special honors while other late individuals were relegated to the montage didn't sit well with everyone.
Breaking Bad Edged Out a Last-Minute Victory
With Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul having lost their nominations, it seemed unlikely that Bad would manage to receive the coveted award for Best Drama. Yet bolstered by a Supporting Actress win for Anna Gunn, the AMC show managed to take the title, and at this year's show, they're vying for a repeat — and final — win. Here's hoping that Walt, Jesse, and the rest of the gang get one last chance to say, "yeah, bitch!"
Images: Getty Images (4)