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'Fleabag' upsets 'Veep' for best comedy Emmy, capping dominant night

Meredith Blake, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

LOS ANGELES -- Break out your black jumpsuit and head to the local guinea pig cafe to celebrate, because "Fleabag" is this year's big winner at the Emmys.

In a surprise for a category known for repeat winners, the Amazon series won the Emmy for comedy series, beating the final season of three-time victor "Veep" (HBO) and defending champ "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" (Amazon), which had been considered favorites.

Other comedy series nominees included "Russian Doll" (Netflix), "The Good Place" (NBC), "Barry" (HBO) and "Schitt's Creek" (Pop TV).

The comedy series Emmy capped off what amounted to a three-hour "Fleabag" lovefest. The series picked up five Emmys in total this year, including directing and writing for a comedy series. Star and creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge also won lead actress in a comedy series, scoring a stunning upset victory over Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who had been favored to win for the final season of "Veep."

"This is getting ridiculous," said Waller-Bridge, accepting the comedy series prize.

In the bittersweet comedy, adapted from Waller-Bridge's one-woman stage show, she stars as a young London woman, never named but identified in the credits as Fleabag, who narrates her wild bedroom exploits directly to the audience and uses outrageous humor to disguise profound grief.

 

The series received widespread acclaim but zero Emmy nominations for its first season in 2016. Returning after a three-year break this spring, "Fleabag" somehow fared even better with critics in Season 2, which introduced an unexpectedly poignant relationship between Fleabag and a handsome Catholic priest played by Andrew Scott. It also included a memorable conversation about menopause, a candid portrayal of miscarriage and one of television's most hilariously bad haircuts.

Along with seemingly everyone on Twitter, the TV academy fell hard for "Fleabag" this year, nominating the series for 11 Emmys in its second go-around; five of the nominations went to actresses in the ensemble.

Ironically, Scott was one of the few cast members not to be nominated.

While "Fleabag's" victory over ", Veep" and "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" for comedy series counted as a significant upset, Waller-Bridge's win over Louis-Dreyfus, a six-time winner for "Veep," was easily the night's biggest shocker.

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