Seth Meyers joked in his opening monologue that the 2014 Emmys marked the year cable television really felt the heat from Netflix, but it was still AMC’s Breaking Bad that was the night’s big winner — both in terms of major awards and in terms of the show’s most viral moments.
The hit series, which concluded its fifth and final season last fall, took home most of the night’s most important trophies on the drama side, including Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Lead Actor (Bryan Cranston), Outstanding Supporting Actress (Anna Gunn), Outstanding Supporting Actor (Aaron Paul) and Outstanding Writing. Though Modern Family continued its winning streak with yet another Outstanding Comedy Series award (and has more wins overall), the ABC sitcom didn’t quite dominate its categories the way Breaking Bad did in the drama department: Bad wrapped up its run with 16 wins and 58 total nominations.
But numbers aside, Breaking Bad still provided plenty of the show’s most memorable moments. The most GIF-worthy of all was Cranston’s lip-lock with Veep‘s Julia Louis-Dreyfus, whose two-part set-up was funnier than most, if not all of Seth Meyers’ jokes. The speeches, if far less outrageous, stood out as well: Anna Gunn’s admiration for her co-stars, Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman-like reaction to winning and Cranston’s inspirational pep talk (“Take a chance, take a risk, find that passion”) reminded Breaking Bad die-hards that the cast probably had just as difficult a time saying goodbye to the show as fans did.
It may have been a show about murderous meth dealers — and many would argue True Detective‘s Matthew McConaughey deserved Cranston’s trophy more — but it’s not a stretch to say Breaking Bad helped give the 2014 Emmys a real heart.
You almost don’t feel bad that Jon Hamm still doesn’t have an Emmy.