The unfunny show opening put host Neil Patrick Harris inside a blob of televisions, attempting to rally himself for the evening and offering up a literal list of emoji for ways in which we can now watch our favorite shows. Our favorite shows do not include the Emmys.

Past hosts crowded the stage, creating a turmoil for a very funny aside from Kevin Spacey, Frank Underwood House of Cards-style: He claimed the sabotage was his own plan in action, "a cherry on the proverbial sundae." We wish they'd let him keep up the cynicism (and shower of food emoji) throughout the night.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler side-by-side in glasses munching popcorn (fries stand-in here) and heckling Harris to take off his pants and twerk was emoji gold. (Hey, are emoji fries borderline branded to a certain burger chain?)

Julia Louis-Dreyfus wins for Veep! Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series co-star Tony Hale stands behind her--in character as the vice president's body man--dutifully reminding her to say that she loves her family. I gave Louis-Dreyfus the smiley-face head because I think it looks a lot like her somehow. And look at that audience of stars and seat-fillers! Can you spot Louis C.K.? Jon Hamm? Hamm's beard? Label as you wish.

This is "The Number in the Middle of the Show" musical dance performed by Neil Patrick Harris and a bunch of men in suits and women in gold dresses. I bet it was more fun to emoji stage than to stage with real people.

For the second dance number (yup), Harris dons a top hat and the dancers split up to depict different shows. Here, top to bottom, left to right: Mad Men, Game of Thrones, American Horror Story, Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, and The Big Bang Theory. Boy, was I happy for the Downton Abbey diss: There are just no period-costume equivalent in emoji of the show about clothes and martinis and the show about dragons.

Modern Family wins for best comedy, and the acceptance speech is charmingly original--thanking all the haters and bullies who ever made fun of the self-proclaimed losers up on that stage for the way they ran or anything else. Sofia Vergara smiles with the power of several smiley faces.

Breaking Bad wins for drama (duh), and Heisenberg returns in emoji form, though to be clear, Bryan Cranston did not appear in character. One of these awards-show gowns may, in fact, be a kimono with Obi.

The audience claps, claps, claps, in huge relief after that earlier Jeff Daniels triumph over Cranston (and Kevin Spacey and ...). They're still baffled.

Co.Design

Emoji Major No. 7: The Best Moments Of The Emmy Awards, Recounted In Emoji

This week, Zoe Mendelson thanks all the little people in television—in an emoji sizzle reel of the Primetime Emmys.

In the name of Emoji Major, I watched my first-ever awards show last night: the Emmys. I figured if I'm covering television like Breaking Bad and Friday Night Lights in little people, might as well catch the industry stars up there thanking the little people.

The evening really had more in common with a non-TV column past: It was nearly as challenging to sit through as a five-day silent meditation retreat I wrote about last week in Emoji Major No. 6 and certainly more mind-numbing. But it's such a large-scale spectacle that it kind of cried out for an emoji chronicle. Two separate song-and-dance numbers and the bonus that Neil Patrick Harris kind of is an emoji. Plus, anything to bring back the Heisenberg hat.

From the opening skit—which I found particularly unfunny—it was right for this medium, like when NPH said that television is now something you watch on your TV, laptop, mobile device, watch, or glasses. I mean, he literally listed out the emoji for me. Unfortunately I couldn't muster an emoji for twerking (at the demand of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler). Or maybe I just didn't want to give it any more airtime. Same for Jon Hamm's beard.

I did LOL IRL at Robin Williams's tribute to his mentor Jonathan Winters, in which he impersonated a Zulu showing up to the wrong war. I also liked his story that instead of an autograph Winters had once drawn a school of fish swimming into the mouth of a whale with the caption, "This is what happens to conformists." It's a good day when I get to use fish and whale emoji in context.

I didn't mind the montage about 1963 and the rise of the TV generation, but I found the reverence for television a bit unsettling. (I get that these are the Emmys, but still, creepy.) And I wish Carrie Underwood would have sung her "unforgettable performance" of "Yesterday" yesterday, before the show.

One moment I genuinely found moving was Edie Falco's sweet, human, heartfelt tribute to James Gandolfini "the man" of loyalty and generosity:

The rest of the emoji Emmy highlights are acted out in two dimensions in the slide show above. I honestly hope you didn't watch all three hours of the golden-statue giveaway—or at least that if you did so for gambling reasons you were the one person who picked Jeff Daniels.

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