Elizabeth Harmon’s chess prodigy journey is followed in The Queen’s Gambit, which has won 11 Emmy Awards, including the prized Best Limited Series award.
In many ways, Netflix’s brainchild The Queen’s Gambit was a major path-breaker when it arrived in 2020 – determined to redefine notions in chess. The coming-of-age period drama with just 7 tight episodes narrating the story of orphan chess prodigy Elizabeth Harmon (Anya-Taylor Joy) which was based on a book by Walter Tevis of the same name – referring to an opening in chess, made history by winning the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series.
With a total of 11 wins gathered at the Emmy’s this year, The Queen’s Gambit has been the show to talk about in awards town, alongside political-historical period-drama The Crown. While the wind was majorly with the femme trailblazing show on chess, Kate Winslet starrer Mare of Easttown also gathered a lot of heat.
However, it was only after Scott Frank won Best Directing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie, that it seemed certain that The Queen’s Gambit was ready for their checkmate move. As the most-watched limited series on Netflix, The Queen’s Gambit follows Elizabeth as she fights alcoholism and drug addiction and makes her way through the male-dominated world of chess in the 1960s.
The Executive Producer (EP) of the show, William Horberg was floored by the reception that the show received and in the on-stage acceptance speech, he said, “The one thing that no algorithm can predict, that no billion-dollar budget can manufacture is word of mouth,” he mentioned elatedly. The award is for those fans who told their friends, and who became fans who told their friends, “Dude, you gotta watch the orphan girl chess drama.”.
Firstly, the very fact that Netflix decided to give a thumbs-up to a show on chess is remarkable itself. To be able to show a mental game like chess with the same excitement, suspense, if not more as that of any other sport pivoting on physical prowess, is the first mark of success on behalf of the creators. Horberg gave a shoutout to the Netflix team hence, “You did the rarest thing of all these days, you trusted the filmmakers with risky material.”
The show, kept gritty and taut and dealing with myriad issues outside of the game as well, including drug abuse, was spearheaded by Anya Taylor-Joy who essayed the role of Elizabeth Harmon to perfection. Horberg added, “Anya Taylor-Joy, what can I say? You brought the sexy back to chess, and you inspired a whole generation of girls and young women to realize that patriarchy simply cannot contend with our queens.”
With this win adding to their Golden Globe haul, The Queen’s Gambit cements itself as one of the finest shows Netflix has produced and the numbers and the awards – especially, this Emmy can vouch for it being the best we’ve seen in a long time from Netflix.