“I thought I was going to lose, so I ate a lot,” “Silicon Valley” actor T.J. Miller said through a mouthful of macaroons when he accepted the award for best supporting actor in a comedy at the 2015 Critics’ Choice Television Awards.
He might have been shocked, but his character is so brash and unruly that it’s hard not to let him represent all members of that HBO comedy’s stellar supporting cast of comedians. He stood a much better chance of winning than other nominees like “Girls'” Adam Driver and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s” Tituss Burgess, who maintain a sliver of the spotlight compared to their shows’ more high-profile stars.
This isn’t to say that the show was without its surprise moments.
Jonathan Banks finally received some recognition for AMC’s “Better Call Saul.” Always considered a beloved performer by critics, he was frequently overlooked on previous series “Breaking Bad” come awards season (Banks was nominated in this category in 2013, but lost to “Southland’s” Michael Cudlitz and “Bad” co-star Aaron Paul won the category last year).
Lorraine Toussaint of “Orange is the New Black” was also a shocker. The Netflix series’ ensemble cast is ridiculously huge and she was only on it for one season. Amy Schumer unseated Julia Louis-Dreyfus after the “Veep” star won the best actress in a comedy honor for two years in a row (Perhaps the sketch they did for Schumer’s eponymous Comedy Central show jinxed things?).
And further indicating that this Emmy season might have more creative outcomes than years past, “Transparent’s” Jeffrey Tambor took home the lead actor in a comedy award while “The Americans” got the recognition it deserved by winning the top drama category. (Even if Bob Odenkirk’s lead actor in a drama win for “Better Call Saul” did prove that TV critics aren’t willing to let “Breaking Bad” go easily).
But the biggest upset of the night went to Syfy’s “Face Off.” The under-the-radar series in which prosthetic makeup artists battle to create the best sci-fi and horror creatures was able to beat out more mainstream fare like “The Voice” and “Dancing with the Stars.”
Still, none of these winners got nearly as big a surprise as James Corden. The latenight host’s “Late Late Show” might have lost the best talk show category to “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” but he got a pretty great consolation prize: A huge smooch from “Mom” actress Allison Janney when she came to accept her award for best supporting actress in a comedy.