The Television Critics Association awards were held on Saturday in Beverly Hills. They were emceed by Terry Crewes, but were not televised unfortunately. (This reminds me that the Primetime Emmy Awards are coming next month! Time goes fast.) The awards were also a nice reminder that while Breaking Bad may have finished airing almost a year ago, it’s still a very strong contender during this year’s awards season. Breaking Bad won for Program of the Year for the second year in a row, while star Bryan Cranston lost out in the Individual Achievement in Drama category to Matthew McConaughey of True Detective. Cranston didn’t seem to mind at all, as you might expect. From what I’ve read, Cranston gave a very nice, funny speech in which he said goodbye to the fans and thanked AMC for being “desperate” enough to pick up the show.
Other winners included Veep and Louis in a tie for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus for Individual Achievement in Comedy, also for Veep. Fans of The Good Wife will be pleased to know that it won for Outstanding Achievement in Drama. Orange is The New Black was named Outstanding New Program.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune has more and a complete list of winners and nominees is here.
Matthew McConaughey, winner in the category Individual Achievement in Drama for HBO’s Louisiana-made “True Detective” — an anthology drama that will move on to a new setting and new characters in season two — kicked off the acceptance thank-yous.
“You guys and ladies did shine a light on our show early on,” he said. “You gave it recognition, you got the word spread, and it became a nice little phenomenon that people tuned into weekly, and y’all got that started.”
“True Detective” creator and writer and New Orleans native Nic Pizzolatto spoke for the show when it won in the category Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials.
Pizzolatto thanked the critics for their “really poignant, memorable, intelligent criticisms of the show.”
“The dialogue that all of you fostered was a big part of the show’s success,” he said. “And I’m very grateful for that.”
AMC’s “Breaking Bad” won the TCA’s Program of the Year award for the second straight year, this time for its final semi-season.
“This is the last time we’ll be seeing you up here,” said star Bryan Cranston, who accepted with the show’s producers and fellow cast members Aaron Paul, Betsy Brandt and Lafayette native RJ Mitte. “It’s a little sad saying goodbye. This is it.
“We were a little show in the desert, making a little show about a man who contracts cancer and decides to cook crystal meth. That’s such a bad idea I don’t blame HBO for saying no.”
And so he thanked HBO for that. Then added: “We’re very thankful to AMC, who was desperate.”
The critics “have been so kind to us,” he continued.
“Without you getting the word out about our little show, we’re not up here, we’re not on any stage, we’re nowhere,” he said. “We relied on you. We trusted that our word was getting out. You did an amazing job, and we owe you. So anytime you want an interview, just ask … Aaron Paul.”
McConaughey was phenomenal on True Detective, and after I saw his performance I was much less bitter about the fact that he won the Best Actor Oscar (for Dallas Buyer’s Club) over Chiwetel Ejiofor’s sublime performance in 12 Years a Slave. So I do believe he earned this one too, although many people are disappointed that Tatiana Maslany wasn’t recognized for Orphan Black. (The TCA Awards don’t give separate awards for actors and actresses.)
As far as Breaking Bad, in a way I’m glad it went out on a high note, I have never seen a show that remained so consistently good for so long, but I really miss it. I hope that Better Call Saul gives us another glimpse at these incredible characters, especially Walter White. Producers are remaining vague about whether Cranston will return and we’ll have to wait and see. In related news, Bryan Cranston is returning to TV in an HBO movie version of the play All the Way. Cranston will star as President Lyndon B. Johnson. He has experience in the role, having won a Tony Award for his portrayal of Johnson in the Broadway play. I will definitely watch that.