Come on now. When’s the last time we saw someone react quite like this?
I tweeted earlier that this was a game changer for Donald Glover in what was already a game-changer of a year. Atlanta is a hit, he’s a new dad (about to be again, apparently – my impression is that his parents found that news out the same time we did!), he’s playing Lando Calrissian in the Han Solo movie, he’s ridiculously likeable and has everything in front of him and… I don’t know, man. Donald Glover looks happy about the whole thing, but he doesn’t give me the impression he’s connecting the happiness to the fact that he is the one that made it happen.
I’m not saying there’s a certain way that’s right to react – but if everything you’re doing and getting awards for is about you or written or created by you, it stands to reason you get to take the credit, right?
I don’t get that vibe from Glover. This is the second time in a year that he’s looked straight-up shocked at wins for Atlanta. He has the best suit in the place, and four of the most important nominations of the night to his name – but when he wins two of them, he’s shocked and pleased and there’s no practiced speech or in-character swagger or bit; he just adorably thanks his son, his mom and dad, his partner. Sure, he thanks Donald Trump for “making black people number one on the most oppressed list,” and snarks that that’s probably the reason for the win… but it doesn’t feel like a line. None of it does. Glover can barely believe it’s happening. He smiles that sweet Troy Barnes-esque smile at us and earnestly (no pun intended) tells us how much he appreciates everyone. Almost like he’s proud to be there or something. Unlike certain overgrown brats I could name. And will name.
The announcer (how have we not yet talked about that guy?) told us Glover was the first black person to win an Emmy for directing comedy, and to me, the directing win is even more significant than the performance one - not just because he’s the FOD in that regard but because it’s a harder, less personal craft. Winning both in the same night is a big, big deal… but it hasn’t sunk in yet for Donald Glover that that big deal is all because of him, and it’s utterly charming to watch.