A night of major wins for women, both queer and allies, came to a head with the best drama series category at Sunday night’s 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. The Handmaid’s Tale, led by actress Elisabeth Moss, won that award, while Big Little Lies won best limited series, Veep won best comedy series and Black Mirror: San Junipero won best TV movie.
That’s right: Every single best series race was won by a program with female leads.
From Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Selina Meyer on Veep to Yorkie and Kelly, the residents of San Junipero, women dominated. In a night that started with the first award being presented by the women of Big Little Lies, it felt like a fitting ending.
The spread of female-focused projects winning is particularly special considering how often women’s stories are undervalued by Hollywood; inequality in the industry is a trenchant and rampant problem. Take one look at the Oscars and you’ll see the issue: Consistently, best actress nominees’ films are left out of the best picture race. (Emma Stone’s La La Land was the sole best actress nominee among the best picture nominees this year.)
While the Oscars struggle, however, the Emmys have found ways to recognize women’s stories all around. That alone made Sunday’s awards a triumph a moment of feminist clarity in a world that grows increasingly similar to the oppressive Republic of Gilead from The Handmaid’s Tale. Seeing projects about women honored may not change the world, but it sure as hell feels good.