Emmy voters seemed stuck in a rut when they chose the winners for the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards. The usual suspects repeated in so many categories, the show often felt like a rerun.
Some of those wins were almost foregone.
As expected, AMC's "Breaking Bad" dominated in its final season, winning as outstanding drama series. "Thank you for this wonderful farewell," creator Vince Gilligan said.
Bryan Cranston won a fourth Emmy for the lead role of Walter White, tying a record set by Dennis Franz of "NYPD Blue." (Jon Hamm lost for the seventh time in a row for "Mad Men," a record for dramatic actor nominees.)
Aaron Paul won his third supporting actor Emmy, and Anna Gunn repeated as supporting actress. "Breaking Bad" also won for directing.
ABC's "Modern Family" won for the fifth year in a row as outstanding comedy series, and Ty Burrell won a second supporting actor Emmy.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (HBO's "Veep") and Jim Parsons (CBS' "The Big Bang Theory") both repeated as lead actress and actor in a comedy series. CBS' "The Amazing Race" won for the 10th time as outstanding reality-competition series.
Julianna Margulies won as lead actress in a drama series for CBS' "The Good Wife." She also won in 2011.
HBO's "True Detective" entered as a drama series, rather than as a miniseries, and Netflix's "Orange Is the New Black" positioned itself as a comedy, but neither strategy worked out. Both series were shut out in major categories, with Emmy voters going instead for old favorites.
Seth Meyers was a genial if bland host, and even his mild-mannered monologue might have been a carryover from his "Late Night."
"This year we're doing the Emmys on a Monday night in August," Meyers began, "which if I understand television means the Emmys are about to be canceled."
It was the first time since 1976 that the Emmys had been held on a Monday, he continued. "Of course, people don't remember the 1976 Emmys because they were held on a Monday."
Meyers took a mild jab at the controversy over Emmy categories when he said, "We had comedies that made you laugh and comedies that made you cry because they were dramas submitted as comedies."
His best line may have been a complaint about series finales, notably that of "How I Met Your Mother." "That's right, kids," he said. "Jesse Pinkman lived. Dexter lived. But your mother didn't make it. Sleep tight."
A bit in which Meyers took dumb questions from audience members (including good sport Hamm, who asked if the show would be televised) fell painfully flat, and a TV theme parody by Weird Al Yankovic was uneven.
But Billy Eichner of "Billy on the Street" was a bright spot, joining Meyers for a taped piece asking New Yorkers Emmy questions. Eichner's best line: "Hotmail just picked up 12 new episodes of 'Judging Amy.'"
And Jimmy Kimmel, as a presenter, diverted into a roast of Matthew McConaughey that may have been the highlight of the evening.
"You just won the Oscar like 5 months ago," Kimmel told a laughing McConaughey. "No offense, but how many of those speeches of yours are we supposed to sit through? I mean, all right, all right, all right already. Should we give you the BET Award for best male hip-hop artist too?"
Sara Bareilles sang a moving version of "Smile" for an "In Memoriam" segment that ended with Billy Crystal leading a brief, touching tribute to the late Robin Williams.
In general, though, the Emmys were best when they moved along quickly, giving naysayers less chance to complain.
And nobody could complain at all about the fact that the show ended precisely on time.