Nothing is going to be perfect in this era of COVID-19. This especially applies to the super-sized Creative Arts Emmys, which are streaming/airing over five nights (count ’em) on YouTube and FXX. They are hosted by Nailed It!‘s Nicole Byer. The first three nights, starting on Monday, have passed, with plenty of notable nerd favorites like The Mandalorian and Watchmen getting wins.

The ceremonies themselves are pretty middle of the road — fine production-wise but nothing to write home about. One critic downright berated these Creative Arts Emmys for being “a wasted opportunity,” but from the Beat’s point of view, they’re doing the best with what they’ve got. Not all the jokes were in perfect taste (and that’s likely to continue on to the main ceremony on Sunday night), and some of the acceptance speeches were clunky, but it wasn’t the worst possible effort considering the circumstances.

The winners are the important part, and they were exciting, even on the first night. Apollo 11, despite having a theatrical release, took home several Emmys, qualifying at all because it streamed on Amazon Prime first. It won Outstanding Sound Mixing and Outstanding Sound Editing for a Nonfiction or Reality Program, as well as Outstanding Picture Editing for a Nonfiction or Reality Program. If you have any interest at all in the space program, it sounds like it’s worth an immersive watch.

The second night was mainly reality programming, and while we congratulate all the winners, we recognize they’re not as exciting as the winners of the third night.

Baby Yoda sips his soups while watching the Emmys

The Mandalorian! Watchmen! Older favorites like Stranger Things and The Handmaid’s Tale! Even Star Trek: Picard claimed its first Emmy! The Mandalorian won the following awards:

  • Outstanding Special Visual Effects
  • Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (Half-Hour)
  • Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) and Animation
  • Outstanding Sound Editing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) and Animation
  • Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Program (Half-Hour)

Interestingly, due to its runtime significantly shorter than an hour (but usually more than a half-hour), it got placed in half-hour categories, which are usually reserved for comedies. At the same time, this did mean Baby Yoda avoided competing against any other genre series, so its impressive visuals and all-around fantastic design easily dominated.

Who Watches the Watchmen: The Emmys, apparently

Watchmen was also in a category of its own: Limited Series, where it will likely dominate at the main awards. It won the following on night 3, and will likely win more tonight (Thursday) and Saturday:

  • Outstanding Cinematography for a Limited Series
  • Outstanding Fantasy/Sci-Fi Costumes
  • Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Limited Series or Movie
  • Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Limited Series or Movie

Stranger Things won Outstanding Sound Editing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour), while The Handmaid’s Tale won Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary Program (One Hour or More), with Star Trek: Picard winning Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Limited Series, Movie or Special. (Notably, the Star Trek franchise has won that award before, just last year with Star Trek: Discovery.)

Look for more Emmy updates as we approach Sunday, with our favorite genre series up for many more awards.