That’s the word The Atlantic used when Key & Peele ended last year: “bittersweet”. The show was just award an Emmy for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series for its fifth and final season and if you’re a fan, you almost wish it was still around now, especially now, with everything that’s happened and everything that will happen coming up on the US presidential election, since they managed to address race and class and social issues with the perfect balance of humour and sharp criticism. Jordan Peele, by the way, could have won an Emmy all by himself for his reenactment of James Brown’s deranged interview on CNN in 1987. Please click here if you’ve never seen it.
Key & Peele’s win last night was just one example of the television academy honouring representative programming and creative contribution. In the first half hour of the show, Louie Anderson, Alan Yang and Aziz Ansari, Kate McKinnon, and Jill Soloway all won awards. And Constance Wu and Randall Park were presenters. That’s an actor over 60, 3 East Asian actors, 1 South Asian actor, and two gay artists – all on stage in the first 30 minutes. No, it’s not perfect. But it is better. And they can still do better.