I've always been more a fan (certainly less a hater) of Kevin Spacey than most of the online universe, but I can't say he did much for me tonight. His late jab at Bette Midler was the only thing he said all night that genuinely made me laugh.
The opening number felt poorly rehearsed/paced -- I felt like cues weren't being picked up. And, yeah, the whole "I wasn't the first choice for host" is pure inside baseball that's been done better by Jon Stewart.
A few surprises, I'd say -- Michael Aronov, Christopher Ashley -- which brought some tinge of suspense, even if many categories went to the favorites in the end. (I've seen some people claiming Taichman's directing win as a massive upset, but, as I noted earlier, it felt like a possibility,) Dear Evan Hansen had to feel mostly good going into the finale, having won everything but director, but that one miss -- especially given Platt's father's experience in February -- had to nag at them till the final name was read.
My wife, by the way, worked with Christopher Ashley many moons ago, and liked him very much. He's had a long career in the theatre, so it's hard to begrudge him this (except thinking that Michael Grief has waited as long and been more deserving).
I thought Rachel Bay Jones gave by far the best speech of the evening, though Ben Platt's was also moving. His win was obviously popular; unknowns only get ovations like that for exceptional performances.
Not a single number wowed me. The Evan Hansen thing came closest, but I, like dws, felt Platt was holding back a bit, presumably due to the vocal issues he's had the past week. I'd heard buzz from the rehearsal that Natasha and Pierre (which was re-named The Great Comet for the evening, apparently) truly killed, and maybe it did in the theatre, but the camera-work was so slapdash that I couldn't get any sense of what was supposed to be going on. The Bandstand number was more effective by virtue of being simple and direct.
The applause-meter during In Memoriam felt especially tacky now that we've become used to no applause during the Oscar version. By the way: the song they were playing was from a 1975 movie called Cooley High. I hadn't heard it in all the years since (though online says Boyz II Men recordded it at some point), and was surprised it came back to me so quickly.
ON EDIT: And, good god, that Hello, Dolly! number. As someone wrote elsewhere, "a cut number restored/an audience bored". A show that has numerous famous songs/worthy numbers, and that's what they chose to represent it?