With only a handful of stellar standouts (Lucy Liu’s Atelier Versace, Elisabeth Moss’ Dolce & Gabbana, Heidi Klum’s leg), this year’s Emmys red carpet proved to be a prelude to a snoozefest. Though 2012 was a stellar year for television by any measure, the Emmys felt a lot like “been there, done that.”

Homeland’s sweep in the drama category gave Showtime some much overdue credit, but was anyone even mildly surprised when  Modern Family took home Outstanding Comedy Series took home Oustanding Comedy Series for the third year running? Eric Stonestreet and Julie Bowen won their second Supporting Actor and Actress trophies, respectively, with Stonestreet thanking TV hubbie Jesse Tyler Ferguson:

“There is no Cam without Mitch. We get the awesome opportunity to play these two characters on TV and show America and the world what a loving couple we can be, just like everybody else, and it’s an honor to do that. I never knew I’d be on TV as a gay man, but I love the pictures of hairy chests you guys are sending me.”

Jim Parsons was shut out of his third consecutive Emmy win by Jon Cryer for Two and a Half Men, which is apparently still darkening the halls of television. Julia Louis-Dreyfuss picked up her third Emmy, winning Outstanding Lead Actress for Veep and in the broadcast’s funniest moment, joked, “And it’s a shame Amy Poehler didn’t win,” after “mistakenly” taking the Parks and Rec‘s actress’ speech:

Drama was a more surprising affair with Homeland ending Mad Men‘s four-year dominance in the Outstanding Drama Series category. Both Claire Danes and Damian Lewis walked away with the Lead Acting trophies for Homeland and Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul won his second Supporting Actor award. Meanwhile, Dame Maggie Smith was  probably too busy having tea and a kiki with Shirley MacLaine to pick up her Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress for Downton Abbey.

HBO’s Sarah Palin movie, Game Change, was also a big winner of the night. Julianne Moore, a vision in Dior Haute Couture, was finally able to snatch a trophy after being shut out at the Oscars four times — once by Nicole Kidman, who looked flawless in Antonio Berardi but lost for her role in Hemingway & Gellhorn. Game Change also won Outstanding Mini-Series or TV Movie and Danny Strong — hitherto best known as super nerd Jonathan on Buffy — won for his script. Kevin Costner and Tom Berenger won Lead and Supporting Actor for Hatfields & McCoys and Jessica Lange added to her already crowded awards mantle with an Outstanding Supporting Actress win for American Horror Story.

The broadcast thankfully didn’t run over but still felt long and incredibly boring, thanks in part to host Jimmy Kimmel. Jokes were few and far between and the absolute nadir of the night came when he brought up Tracy Morgan to pretend that he had passed out on the stage as a Twitter gag. He remained there, lifeless, as presenters and winners strolled by, no doubt wondering why they too didn’t pull a Dame Maggs and just stay home.

Photos: Emmys

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