So the People’s Choice Awards are here, and they’re tremendously different! This year they’re owned by E!, having previously been broadcast on CBS and owned by Procter & Gamble 1. Whether this is a chemical company divesting itself of some television interests, or a basic-cable network’s hostile takeover for some more eyeballs, either way I think the net result is a win for all of us, because the People’s Choice Awards are exactly the sort of brightly-colored, absurd candyfloss that E! exists to bring to us.
With the new network, and the new production, comes not only a move to the other end of the year 2, but also a bunch of differences in the categories, including podcasts and one of the vaguest categories known to man. So strap in and prepare as I speed my way through the categories, because there’s still a billion of them. Here we go!
The Pop Podcast of 2018
Many things will bear out over the course of this awards show, but one of them is E!’s unquestionable devotion to Amy Schumer. For example: here she is in the podcast category, which I was not aware she was an entrant in. I will say for someone plagued by accusations of not writing her own jokes, coming up with a podcast title that is infringingly-similar to early-podcast stalwarts Keith and the Girl is a weird choice.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Anna Farris is Unqualified
The Game Changer of 2018
On the one hand, Colin Kaepernick has had an enormous impact in how football 3 was talked about, and Serena Williams had an enormous impact in what we talked about when we talked about the behavioral expectations of black women. On the other hand, Aly Raisman was part of the group of people who got a monster put in prison, and helped steer the conversation around everything. So. Her then.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Aly Raisman
The Style Star of 2018
Zendaya is the sharpest dresser of this set of people, although I’ll be damned if I can figure out why they’re all nominated. I guess E! would know better than I would.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Zendaya
The Comedy Act of 2018
See? Here’s some more Amy Schumer 4. On the one hand, nobody had a bigger year or so than Tiffany Haddish. On the other hand, the funniest of these people is Kevin Hart. I think I need to stop relying on my hands to sort people.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Kevin Hart
The Animal Star of 2018
I…don’t understand this category, beyond its potential for absolute delight at having, say, a giraffe on the red carpet. My favorite famous animal of 2018 was Ariana Grande’s pig, but I’ll accept Lil Bub as a reasonable substitute. I like cats so much, guys.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Lil Bub
The Social Celebrity of 2018
So often at these huge, galumphing awards shows my question is: what are we evaluating in a category like this. In the case of social celebrities, it’s usually a pretty clear answer – I’m not on social media, so whichever celebrity’s social media presence I’m most familiar with is the best one. In this case, however, I think that Taylor Swift’s seismic decision to weigh in on politics is the most notable use of social media by an American celebrity all year, at least in terms of generalized impact, and probably deserves the award.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Taylor Swift
The Beauty Influencer
I’m sure Esther Povitsky is not precisely bummed to not be nominated here, but as she’s the only “beauty influencer” with whose career I am familiar, I suppose I am bummed about it. But hey, this is my website! I call the shots!
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Esther Povitsky (who is not nominated)
The Social Star of 2018
Shoutout to Jenna Marbles for still managing to stay on top of this shit after so many years. Even bigger shoutout to Lele Pons for being actually funny, and managing to navigate the end of vine 5.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Lele Pons
The Concert Tour of 2018
You know, I didn’t mention it yet, but I kind of like the editorial stance of calling all of the categories the. As in this is the concert tour of 2018. It seems in keeping with the E! house style, I think. Anyway, this one’s still just Beyonce & Jay-Z.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: On the Run II Tour, Beyonce & Jay-Z
The Music Video of 2018
It’s pretty clearly “This is America,” and I will be very interested if the fine folks at E! try to pretend otherwise, given the other nominees here.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Childish Gambino, “This is America”
The Latin Artist of 2018
I’ll tell you this definitively: it’s not Becky G, because I had no idea she was even still out there.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: J. Balvin
The Country Artist of 2018
Because the non-country awards nominated the same, like, seven people over and over again, it’s worth noting that I’m not choosing Blake Shelton, like I usually do, because I hate “I’ll Name the Dogs” that much.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Keith Urban, I guess Or Carrie Underwood.
The Album of 2018
Well, there are two of these albums that I’ve listened to all the way through. And while I’m sure I’ve listened to Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy all the way through more than once, I tend to stick with the singles, and even then not all of those. Nicki Minaj’s Queen is pretty good (Although still too long) and the only song I don’t listen to on that one at least occasionally is the one with the sex criminal on it.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Nicki Minaj, Queen
The Song of 2018
I hate all of these songs. I mean, I’m not surprised that the move to E! meant a drop in the quality of the music here selected for award, but it is kind of alarming how awful all of this is.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J. Balvin, “I Like It”
The Group of 2018
My love of the “the” notwithstanding, this really should specify that it’s the music group, and not, like, the assemblage of more than one person at a time, y’know? Anyway. I don’t like any of the music of any of these people, but I like everything else about BTS.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: BTS
The Female Artist of 2018
E! is doing their best to capitalize on the Nicki/Cardi beef. Nicki Minaj is on as a performer, and I’m willing to bet publicly that, given that Cardi B just shows up to everything all the time, they’re counting on having them in the same room together, and that creating sparks or headlines or shoe-wounds or something. Anyway. I’m not really in favor of this sort of thing – I love giant spectacle until people are getting hurt – and, besides, this is a really boring beef. So that brings me to Nicki’s friend Ariana Grande, who is the BTS of young ladies, in the sense that I like everything about her (and her pig) except her music, because her scream-singing gives me panic attacks.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Ariana Grande
The Male Artist of 2018
You know who isn’t like BTS or Ariana Grande? Any one of these assholes. Well, maybe Keith Urban a little bit I guess.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Keith Urban
The Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show of 2018
There’s something kind of comforting about Supernatural’s ability to just…keep going. It trucks on and on, after years and years and years. It’s rumoured to be ending any day now – I think the current guess is that season 14 (!) is the last one, but there’s nothing official – but it doesn’t, and I kind of like that it’s out there. I think I’ve seen, like, four episodes of it ever, and it isn’t very good, but it’s there, and isn’t that the important thing about TV?
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: I mean, The Expanse is the rightful winner. But it’s nice that Supernatural is still on.
The Bingeworthy Show of 2018
I mean, it should be Bojack Horseman. These people are dumb. I do wonder if bingeing Outlander makes it better than watching single episodes, but not enough to actually try it, because Outlander is the most boring thing I’ve ever seen that was intentionally made for people to intentionally watch. So I guess it’s Queer Eye or whatever.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Queer Eye or whatever.
The Reality TV Star of 2018
I know that it’s, like, the old-man-yelling-at-clouds-iest thing to say, but I genuinely actually don’t watch any of this. Like any of it. At all. Except Queer Eye a little bit. So, once again, I guess it’s Antoni Porowski, or whatever.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Antoni Porowski, or whatever.
The Competition Contestant of 2018
This one really should include Fatima Ali, who was one of the best competitors in Top Chef history 6 even before her story is rapidly accelerating toward unbelievable tragedy. So I’m writing her in, and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop me.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Fatima Ali, Top Chef (also not actually nominated)
The Nighttime Talk Show of 2018
See? There’s Andy Cohen, right there! Also most of these are terrible. There are plenty of good nighttime talk shows these days, and these are none of them. Except The Daily Show. That’s still pretty good.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
The Daytime Talk Show of 2018
I would rather be tied by my ankles to the rear bumper of a car and dragged down the road than consider which of these shows is the “best”. A man must know his limits.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Uh..The Ellen Degeneres Show
The Comedy TV Star of 2018
I hate having to choose between Atlanta and The Good Place (which are, of course, the only real options). Luckily “Teddy Perkins” made that very easy for me.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Donald Glover, Atlanta
The Drama TV Star of 2018
The best-case scenario for an actor (I’d imagine) is getting cast in something that, even though you’ve been on tv so much, makes people notice that you exist. That’s what appears to have happened for Darren Criss, and very much deservedly so – he’s great in American Crime Story, and I don’t even like acting.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Darren Criss, American Crime Story
The Female TV Star of 2018
I feel like Viola Davis is the most obvious choice. I also feel like she’s also the correct choice.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder
The Male TV Star of 2018
I don’t know everything. I mean, contrary to my editorial stance here, I don’t even know most things. The more I find out that I don’t know, the more I think I don’t really know anything. But I do know some things. I know several things. Among the things that I know, without a doubt, is this: Jughead. Is. Asexual. And Riverdale can go fuck itself.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: literally every male tv star of 2018 who isn’t Cole Sprouse
The Competition Show of 2018
It’s the competition show category that really suffers from peak tv – there are over eleventy billion of them, and it’s almost impossible to evaluate them all. I will say this: I always liked American Idol at least a little bit, and I liked its revival just fine, and I’d be happy to see it win. Especially since the rest of the actual nominees in this category are dumb.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: American Idol
The Reality Show of 2018
I don’t actually have a lot of opinions about Queer Eye or whatever. I just think it’s better than all the rest of these shows or whatever.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Queer Eye or whatever. Again.
The Revival Show of 2018
I don’t want to live in a world where this is a category. I don’t like it circumstantially, I don’t like it practically, and I don’t like it specifically. I am, however, relieved that I don’t necessarily have to give another of these to Queer Eye or whatever. That’s kind of nice. Not super nice, but kind of nice.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: American Idol
The Comedy Show of 2018
This category is made easy by the fact that the best show on television is nominated here, which is great.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: The Good Place
The Drama Show of 2018
This category does not have the same advantage as the comedy category, as none of these shows are the best show on television. Some of them aren’t even among the good shows on television, to be honest.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: The Handmaid’s Tale
The Show of 2018
They had the opportunity, here, to include The Good Place, but they elected not to do so. That’s dumb, they should have nominated The Good Place. I guess it’s time to go rogue again.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: The Good Place (which, once more, was not actually nominated)
The Action Movie Star of 2018
The stars of Black Panther were Michael B. Jordan and Letitia Wright, obviously. So this cannot stand. But since I suppose Chadwick Boseman played the title character and all, he’s a reasonable compromise between the forces of what’s right and the forces of the production staff of the People’s Choice Awards.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Chadwick Boseman, Black Panther
The Comedy Movie Star of 2018
This is where E!’s devotion to parent company Universal really starts to show. Some of these movies would not be nominated otherwise, and it’ll pop up throughout the remainder of the movie categories 7. Anyway, the kid from Jurassic World was pretty good in Love, Simon, I suppose. He wasn’t particularly funny, but I guess that’s how it goes.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Nick Robinson, Love, Simon
The Female Movie Star of 2018
NB: A different lady cast member of Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again is here in this category 8. Anyway, Ocean’s 8 is not a Universal movie, which means that it’s here twice for whatever other reason it would be here twice. You got me, man. I have no idea.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Scarlett Johansson, Avengers: Infinity War
The Male Movie Star of 2018
Plenty to love here, but only one Chris Hemsworth.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Chris Hemsworth, Avengers: Infinity War
The Drama Movie Star of 2018
There is something to be said about the way that various strains of “genre” filter in and out of respectability, and one of the keys to understanding it is this: no one from Black Panther or Avengers: Infinity War are nominated here 9, which means superhero movies aren’t “drama” in the eyes of the nominating body for the People’s Choice Awards. That’s fine. What is more interesting here are the nominations for the principles of A Quiet Place, a movie whose nominal genre – horror – was also excluded from serious consideration at various times in the history of awards-granting 10
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Emily Blunt, A Quiet Place
The Family Movie of 2018
I think The Incredibles 2 should probably have been nominated in more categories, but I do understand the difficulties of evaluating voice performances against in-person performances. Anyway, it’s nominated here, and it should win here.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: The Incredibles 2
The Drama Movie of 2018
I suppose it’s nice to see a set of nominees so thoroughly divorced from the consensus critical opinion. Obviously Fifty Shades is another one of those shared-corporate-overlord situations, but Red Sparrow? What the hell? It’s refreshing, is what I’m saying. I don’t know how else I’d get an opportunity to imagine which of these movies I liked better otherwise.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: A Quiet Place
The Action Movie of 2018
Boy oh boy, here’s Oceans 8 again. This is a deeply strange movie to get this attached to. I still have no idea what’s going on. Luckily, it wasn’t ever really in it, y’know?
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Black Panther
The Comedy Movie of 2018
I feel like the other possible explanation for the odd, largely un-praised selections is that E! Knows what they want to win, and are padding out the categories with things that they think won’t get the vote. That is, if I’m going to go full conspiracy theory, easiest to see in this category, where Crazy Rich Asians is the only good movie.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Crazy Rich Asians
The Movie of 2018
Hey, here’s The Incredibles 2 again! This is excellent news! Also I’m pretty sure my aforestated conspiracy theory falls right the heck apart when it comes to this category. So either they didn’t stack the big ones, or I’m being overly paranoid about their enthusiasm for Oceans 8 and/or Mamma Mia!: Here I Go Again.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: The Incredibles 2
So anyway, there you have it. We’ll see how E!’s first foray into awards-grantsmanship goes, and hopefully we’ll all meet back here again next year!
- which means that, technically, they are no longer owned by anyone in Ohio, which, if I haven’t mentioned it, could really use a train connecting the top of the state to the bottom. ↩
- it is a bit strange to be writing about this nearly two entire years after the last one, but there are lots of awards shows at the beginning of the year, so moving this to the other end – i.e. the beginning – of awards season probably isn’t a terrible idea. ↩
- a cultural phenomenon I thought was absolutely immune from negative influence ↩
- she also shows up in, like, every “highlights from the red carpet” clip package, and is probably here because she always gamely shows up and Amy Schumers all over whichever Ryan Seacrest Type and/or Some Lady is hosting the red carpet event. I suppose that’s how you reward that kind of loyalty. By handing them a trophy. ↩
- the loss of which I am still unbelievably bitter about. I will never get over it. ↩
- ordinarily I would shrug my shoulders and assume it had something to do with not wanting to cross-promote for a different basic cable reality monger, but Andy Cohen is nominated in the very next category. ↩
- The preponderance of nominations for Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again, which was no one’s favorite movie, even Mamma Mia! Superfans, is the dead giveaway. ↩
- see what I mean about the preponderance? ↩
- I’m thinking specifically of Tom Holland and Michael B. Jordan or Danai Gurira here. Although I’m also always thinking of Michael B. Jordan anyway. ↩
- with the caveat that it pops in and out of “respectbility,” usually based on whether there’s a “serious” auteur-type currently active – Hitchcock won a bunch of awards, after all, and Jonathan Demme broke awards-winning records with The Silence of the Lambs. ↩