HOLLYWOOD—Well, it’s the first big official awards show to get ready to kick awards season into full gear come late December/early January. The 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards were handed out on Sunday, September 17 celebrating all things great about primetime TV. So would “Stranger Things” best the tearjerker “This is Us?” Would “Westworld” prove that it’s everything that TV has been missing? It was indeed a night full of surprises people, but in the end it was the drama “Big Little Lies” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” that walked away as big winners of the night.

The ceremony was hosted by late night talk show comedian Stephen Colbert who kicked off things with a skit involving Anthony Anderson, Alison Janney, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and poked fun at how television helps ease our frustration with everyday life, including politics. Man, oh, man, the song and dance number is starting to get a bit tired; I mean this is not the Tony Awards people! It was great to see him give accolades to Americans helping out during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.

Some of Colbert’s jokes hit, but others were a miss in my opinion, but that joke involving Bill Maher was cringe-worthy. He was NOT AFRAID to go after President Donald Trump and he used all that ammunition to his advantage, including the arrival of former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. The ladies of “Big Little Lies” presented the first award of the night for Supporting Actor in a Drama Series to John Lithgow for “The Crown.” When it comes to comedy, it was a hell of a competition, but in the end it was Kate McKinnon who was nearly in tears as she took to the stage to accept her victory for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Laura Dern took home the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her work on the HBO series “Big Little Lies.”

Donald Glover was in shock to take home an Emmy for Directing for his FX series “Atlanta.” Lorne Michaels added another Emmy to his mantle for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series for “Saturday Night Live.” Bruce Miller won the prize for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series for “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Alec Baldwin who has been hilarious all year in his impersonation of Donald Trump took home the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his work on “SNL.” Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe took home Emmys for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series for “Master of None.” It was indeed a historic moment for Waithe becoming the first African-American woman to win the prize in that race.

It a highlight of the night, Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda reunited on the stage to throw a bit of political shade at President Trump. The ladies also presented the prize for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series of Movie to Alexander Skarsgard for his work on “Big Little Lies.” Gotta say, “Big Little Lies” is getting plenty of love tonight and it’s rightfully deserved.

That skit involving Emmy courtesy of RuPaul and Stephen Colbert was absolutely hilarious. Finally, a big award of the night with uncertainty, as the prize for Supporting Actress in a Drama Series went to Ann Dowd “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Dowd was in complete shock with her win as she took to the stage on the verge of bursting into tears; it was without a doubt one of the highlight speeches of the night. Reed Morano took home the Emmy for Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series for “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

“Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” took home the Emmy for Variety Talk Series besting host Stephen Colbert. A little over 2 hours into the show, the big awards of the night were handed out starting with Lead Actor in a Comedy Series to Donald Glover for his work on “Atlanta.” Glover is indeed having a big night, taking home a total of two Emmy awards (directing and acting). Julia Louis-Dreyfus picked up another Emmy in the Lead Actress in a Comedy race for her work on “Veep.” I mean is this woman beatable; I think she has won this category for 6 consecutive years. That is indeed an amazing feat people.

The big award of the night for Outstanding Comedy Series was presented by Carol Burnett and Norman Lear to “Veep.” It was a bit of a shock to see Riz Ahmed to win his first Emmy for his work on “The Night Of,” which I was certain was a lock for Robert De Niro for his sensational work on the HBO movie “The Wizard of Lies” as Bernie Madoff. The Emmys can indeed deliver surprises sometimes people.

It was a race that might have been one of the most competitive of the night: Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie, and it was a win for Nicole Kidman for “Big Little Lies.” Kidman was indeed facing some stiff competition in a category with her co-star Reese Witherspoon, and the likes of Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange. Kidman delivered a rousing speech dedicating her award to highlighting the importance of tackling domestic abuse in the country. Another highlight of the night was seeing the great Cicely Tyson take the stage to pay homage to “Roots” as becoming the first nightly mini-series, alongside Anika Noni Rose as they presented the Emmy for Outstanding Limited Series to “Big Little Lies.”

It was indeed a shocker of the night with Sterling K. Brown winning the prize for Lead Actor in a Drama Series for the NBC hit “This is Us.” It was indeed historic night because it has been quite a while since an African-American won in this category. Brown gave a sensational acceptance speech showing his absolute gratitude at receiving such a high accolade. It was a first of the night to see Brown actually played off the stage because as you know, you only have so much time to give that acceptance speech people. After being nominated seven times, Elisabeth Moss finally got the love she deserved taking home her first Primetime Emmy Award for her riveting work on “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

The final prize of the night for Outstanding Drama Series was handed out by TV icon Oprah Winfrey to “The Handmaid’s Tale,” besting “Westworld” and “Stranger Things.” I must say the first 2 hours of the ceremony was slightly slow, but the last hour was riveting television if I must say. It was well-paced, exciting and full of surprises people. Next year marks 70 years of the accolade, so I’m expecting some big surprises to celebrate such a milestone America!