The 32nd Annual Television Critics Association Awards just wrapped up a busy evening, when the big winners were “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” “Mr. Robot” and any Cuba Gooding Jr.-antics fans in attendance.
Here are 10 things seen and heard from the Beverly Hilton International Ballroom scene:
Critics Not Known to Turn Down a Free Meal
Those of us spending way too much summer freezing in the heavily air-conditioned Beverly Hilton International Ballroom have been stuffing our faces for weeks, and tonight was no exception. While the number of bartenders (two) probably could have been a bit better, the food stations were plentiful. Sliders, dumplings and prime rib were the big hits, not surprisingly. The salad, not so much, though we could all use more lettuce at this point.
Alan Sepinwall OK’d That Triumph Joke
TheWrap caught up with HitFix TV critic Alan Sepinwall, who was the (large) butt of a Triumph the Insult Comic Dog joke a day earlier during a Hulu panel. While he didn’t personally catch the quip live, Sepinwall told us he had given comedy writer Robert Smigel permission to for the fat joke last press tour, which apparently grants lifelong permission.
To be fair to Alan, the subject matter would have applied to most of us anyway — especially after week’s of gorging on candy — so it was actually an honor.
Critics Clean Up Nicely(ish)
We’ve all looked half-dead since Netflix started this whole thing way back in July, but the men and women filling up the Beverly Hilton’s International Ballroom dolled it up quite attractively for their big evening. Tomorrow we’ll be right back to schlubbing it up for Amazon’s presentations. Oh, and we’ll be hungover (again).
We’re Expanding! (And Not Just in Waistlines)
This was the first year that the annual event’s cocktail hour required both an extra side room and even some outdoor space for tables. Hooray, TCA — next stop, actually televising the awards!
Monologue’s Funny in Any Language
First time TCA Awards host Jaime Camil did a very nice job with his bilingual monologue. Beginning in character, “Jane The Virgin’s” Rogelio opened the show en Espanol, and stayed dedicated to the dialogue for quite a bit.
Jokes had Donald Trump and CBS boss Les Moonves as their punchlines, though we couldn’t follow the foreign-tongue setups. That was kind of the point, however, and we appreciated the performance.
At one point, Camil turned the tables on critics, handing out his own “awards” for actual tweets about his CW series. Naturally, they were all positive. He’s no dummy, this was his stage, and he surely commanded it.
Later, Camil referred to FXX’s “You’re the Worst” as “the Roger Ailes Story.” Our game host also labeled Trump’s presidential candidacy, “American Horror Story: Election.” The FX table seated next to us particularly enjoyed the shout-outs.
Marcia Clark Won Something!
Sarah Paulson (pictured above) took home the first award of the night, when she referred to the TCA Awards’ gender integration as “refreshing.” The actress later even teared up while thanking “American Crime Story” and “American Horror Story” creator Ryan Murphy, surprising even herself with the emotion.
A few trophies later, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s” Rachel Bloom entertained the notoriously tough crowd — at least, when we’re typing on our laptops — lightening the mood right back up.
Check out the full winners list here.
Cuba Gooding, Jr.’s Latest Role
If anyone in attendance was going to hijack the TCA Awards, it was always going to be Cuba Gooding, Jr., and he did not disappoint. During a glowing Samantha Bee introduction by presenters, the “People v. O.J. Simpson” star started handing out colorful drinks, including one to those performing the requisite banter. He then loudly threw the tray to the ground.
It wouldn’t be the last over-the-top thing he did on the night. At one poignant point in another honoree’s speech, Gooding’s cell phone loudly and noticeably went off. Whatever, he was in “Jerry Maguire.” (And also, “Boat Trip,” if we’re being totally fair. Hey, we’re journalists.)
At the end of the whole evening, after the FX miniseries claimed the top award, Gooding Jr. grabbed the mic for a bizarre version of his own Thank Yous.
“Alright, you motherf—ers! I don’t read reviews!” he said. “You know why? Because I didn’t f—ing ask!”
Gooding Jr. was then playfully pulled off-stage. Fortunately for him and everyone involved, we all wrote glowingly about Season 1 of the anthology show anyway.
A White Guy Accepts for “Black-ish”
OK, so that paragraph-heading isn’t our own joke (we wish it was), rather it was a great line dropped by the noticeably Caucasian “Black-ish” producer that accepted the show’s award for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy.
“Look how far we’ve come as a people!” he followed up the brilliantly ironic opening line.
The cast of “Black-ish” was supposed to be in attendance, but they bailed last-minute, for some reason. Oh well, they showed up on Thursday for ABC’s press tour day.
Mary Tyler Moore Tells Us All to “F Off”
“The Mary Tyler Moore Show” won the TCA’s Heritage Award, and while the titular star couldn’t make it, she sent quite a color message to critics: “F Off.” It was all in good fun, of course, as Moore commented how the trophy’s very name indicates how old she is. We suppose it does.
The two producers who accepted the award in-person on her behalf received a standing ovation from the ballroom audience — it wouldn’t be the last one of the night …
… Jane Fonda Gets a Surprise Workout
In a true surprise, “Grace & Frankie” star Jane Fonda showed up Saturday night to present Lily Tomlin with the Career Achievement Award. (We suppose that one could be considered an age-judgement as well.)
After Fonda revved everyone up, Tomlin charmed the crowd, sharing a story of one critic (Broadway, not TV) who thrice referred to her as “horse-faced.” Thank goodness he wasn’t here, and thank goodness we were.
The TCA Summer Press Tour officially continues tomorrow, with Amazon presenting to critics. The whole thing finally — and mercifully — concludes on Thursday.