Ah, the start of the year. Full of new horizons and resolutions and all sorts of fascinating new things, and also the kick-off of the year-reviewing clot of awards that happen right away, including the People’s Choice Awards! Every year they happen, with some selection of the people having exercised (possibly) some of their voting potential, and now we have a whole thing where we hand them a glass “flame” that is, more often than not, alarmingly vaginal.
And we hand one to everygoddamnbody. The People’s Choice Awards are nonsensically baroque, with more categories than can be reasonably expected to care about, and amorphous, splintering permutations within each. So join us for the first, and unquestionably longest, awards writeup of the year1.
1 NB: the Golden Globes are also this weekend, so that’ll be up later this week, and I still haven’t told you lost lambs about the best songs of the second half of 2015, so that’ll be up shortly after. IT IS A STRESSFUL TIME.
Onward to the rightful winners!
The Dailymail.com Seriously Popular! Award
OK. It’s a long-established convention of “Wild Card”-type awards2 are generally sponsored. It’s existentially hilarious that this, the fakest award of a fake awards show, is also sponsored by the website for a fake newspaper, each of which is presenting itself as a real, earnest endeavor3.That said, most of these peopel appear to primarily be models. It’s a shame they couldn’t just say “popular models” and be done with it, a solution that would not only make this less of a sham, but would also eliminate 50%4 of the punctuation in the award name, which drives me up a wall. Anyway, I have to google to know the difference between Bella Thorne and Maddie Ziegler, Ruby Rose was an overhyped bit of fluff on Oranges: the New Black, and Kylie Jenner is proof that as much as people want to claim to hate the Jennerdashians, they’re still going to keep them in the public eye anyway. Cara Delevingne seems like a genuine weirdo, in some of the more interesting (if not endearing necessarily) ways, so she gets the award.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Cara Delevingne
2 usually presented as some sort of “new faces” award, so that the award-granting body can acknowledge that there is a person, whom they did not nominate for other awards, that needs to be recognized here, or whom they did nominate for other awards that they couldn’t win and needed the person to show up anyway.
3 I mean, the website itself is, in fact, a website. So that makes it the most genuine expression here.
4 the dot in “.com” would still be there, the exclamation point wouldn’t need to be.
Favorite YouTube Star
So, I am an Old Person, and never do I feel more like an Old Person than when confronted with the cultural force that is YouTube stars. I do not know about these things! I find the willingness of (lots of) other people, most of whom are younger than me, to watch and/or listen to these people to be something of a source of confusion! In any event, I like Grace Helbig outside of her YouTube stuff, so I’m going to go with her and move on.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Grace Helbig
Favorite Video Game
So, the reason for weird-ass “periods of eligibility” that end, conspicuously, right before the holiday season is that the holiday season is going to be a sales boost enough for the things that came out then, and they won’t need the hit of the award5. What this means in this case is that there’s no Fallout 4. Of course, there’s also no Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, which makes this nothing but a hideous state of affairs. It is, at the very least, funny that Batman: Arkham Knight made it onto to the list, because it shows that the nominated body for the People’s Choice Awards are definitively not PC gamers. Anyhow.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Super Smash Brothers
5 I don’t know what kind of bump the People’s Choice Awards give a video game, precisely, but I assume it’s “some”, and also this applies more-or-less across all the early-in-the-year awards shows, all of which conveniently ignore the couple of months leading up to them to pick it up next year.
Favorite Mobile Game
Well, none of these games came out last year, so I guess in this case we’re awarding the “most-played” or whatever game of the year. Two of them are endless runners, one of which is a merchandising tie-in, so it’s not going to be Despicable Me: Minion Rush. Fruit Ninja is a game that I cannot understand why people spend more than, say, ninety seconds with at a time. Candy Crush Saga is the thirstiest thing I’ve ever put on (and then subsequently angrily deleted from) my phone. Plants vs. Zombies is ok, but it’s no Temple Run.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Temple Run
Favorite Social Media Star
If the YouTube category made me feel old, this one makes me feel like I’ve forgotten to put the onion on my belt.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Nash Grier, I guess?
Favorite Social Media Celebrity
Right.So. I am, as many of you know, not actually particularly involved with social media, and even less so when it comes to famous people. But I do know that Britney recently started managing her own instagram, and the result is every bit as “30something mother with no real hobbies” as anyone else’s, and that makes that the best of these, edging out Beyonce’s Instagram account, the former frontrunner for reasons.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Britney Spears
Favorite Music Icon
Ah, a category that makes me feel young. Thank the lord. Obviously it’s not Madonna. It’s never Madonna. It’s also not for Prince, for reasons that are tricky to explain, and that I’m probably not going into here6. It’s also not Steven Tyler, who hasn’t made a record worth hearing in my lifetime (also for most of the decade preceding my lifetime). So Stevie or Sir Paul? Truly, this is my favorite question of the whole awards ceremony. I’m going with Stevie, though.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Stevie Wonder
6 my relationship with Prince’s work is a wildly-vacillating thrill ride of a thing, complicated by his draconian stance on public use of his music, and his uh…problems…with domestic violence. .
Boy oh boy. Years ago, when I first started writing about The Weeknd in this space, my prediction was not that he would grow into the lone beacon of tolerability in an execrable field of People’s Choice Awards, but here we are. “Bad Blood” is the worst song on 1989 to begin with, and Kendrick’s presence on it is hopefully some sort of exorcism of his awful ideas, because it sure is depressing. “See You Again” really does seem to rely heavily on having seen Furious 7, which I haven’t. Ellie Goulding’s song sounds like most other Ellie Goulding songs. Justin Bieber’s song barely has any identity in the first place. So here we are, back at The Weeknd. Man. What a world.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: The Weeknd, “I Can’t Feel My Face”
If Abel was the savior of the last category, he’s the only real considerable option in this one. Meghan Trainor’s second record called Title7 isn’t as good as the first one. Drake has figured out what it is he does, and has settled down to the business of churning it out over and over again. Whatever band Fall Out Boy may have been ten years ago, they aren’t that anymore, and are now as aggressively terrible as they were made out to be the first time around. Imagine Dragons are somehow even worse.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: The Weeknd, Beauty Behind the Madness
7 that is to say, both of her records have the same title, and that title is Title. I find this to be kind of annoying.
Favorite R&B Artist
The surprising continued durability of the career of Ciara is really something to behold. Here she is, still being nominated for awards. What a world. Such a world, in fact, that I’m 100% positive that I’ve made that very observation before. Anyway. Let’s also just throw out Ne-Yo right now. It ain’t him either. Janet Jackson came back this year, and forced me to confront my complete inability to grasp the whole Janet Jackson thing – I don’t get it, and I don’t really know why I don’t get it, but it very deeply is not my thing8. And that brings us straight back to The Weeknd.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: The Weeknd
8 see also: D’Angelo, Al Jarreau, Hall & Oates
Favorite Hip-Hop Artist
I mean, discarding the obvious not-that-guy candidates (Wiz Khalifa, Big Sean), and leaving aside Nicki Minaj (for no reason other than she’s the #3 finisher in this one), the Drake vs. Kendrick question is really the hip-hop question of 2015. It’s not really a dichotomy – I’m sure they share a bunch of fans – but their approaches (as outlined in this excellent piece by Jeff Weiss) are something like opposites. Anyway, I’m pretty clearly on team Kendrick here.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Kendrick Lamar
Favorite Pop Artist
I’m pretty sure I will literally do a dance when I get to write about a pop music category of an awards show and Ed Sheeran isn’t in it. Like a literal dance. A Morris dance. Or something equally ceremonial. It’ll be great, is what I’m saying. I still have trouble remembering whether any given song is Demi Lovato or Selena Gomez, which puts them right out of contention on the grounds that if I can’t tell who you are, you can’t be the best. Kelly Clarkson is legitimately one of my all-time favorite pop stars. Taylor Swift is one of my right now current favorite pop stars.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Eh, Taylor Swift in this case. Kelly hasn’t actually done anything worth hearing in years, so she’s a little past the sell-by date for something like this.
Favorite Country Group
I might also dance when this category improve, but probably something more restrained. Like a Riverdance instead of a Morris dance. It comes down, like it always does, to the Zac Brown Band and Lady Antebellum. Again.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: The Zac Brown Band. Again.
Favorite Female Country Artist
True story: Reba McEntire’s Husbandager is Kelly Clarkson’s Husbandager’s father. Which is to say that this is going to be one unhappy post-PCA househould, because this one ain’t Reba. Nor is it perennial not-its Carrie Underwood or Miranda Lambert. I’m not opposed to Cassadee Pope, but I’m also an aforestated Kacey Musgraves fan, so that’ll have to be that.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Kacey Musgraves
Favorite Male Country Artist
Seriously. I’m going to start begging for some sort of break in the sameness here.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Literally anyone who isn’t one of these five gentlemen who can run up and take it. Seriously. Anybody. Ne-Yo. Anybody.
Favorite Breakout Artist
Fetty Wap is certainly someone to keep…..an eye on9. Halsey, Shawn Mendes and Tori Kelly are not. The Weeknd has been for some time.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Fetty Wap. I mean, I’m not sure what beyond “Trap Queen” we can expect out of him, but isn’t “Trap Queen” enough?
12 see because Fetty Wap only has one eye13
13 I mean really it’s barely even a joke. There’s no reason to be proud of it. Or even to have written it at all.
This category is my actual nightmare. Oh god.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Fetty Wap still. He’s not a group, but he can just stay on stage and do the driving dance thing he does in the “Trap Queen” video and keep any of these people off the stage. Oh god.
Favorite Female Artist
See above w/r/t Selena/Demi. See a whole bunch I’ve written previously w/r/t Madonna. I’ve not had a lot of reason to state my opinion of Lana Del Rey, but it’s this: I’d rather listen to a record made by Lester Del Rey14. The music section of the PCA’s is turning out to require very few actual judgment calls.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Taylor Swift
14 if I have stated my opinion of Lana Del Rey, I feel like it was also in the form of that joke. Ah, well.
Favorite Male Artist
Call it a late Christmas present, but I’m not going through all of these people again. Except this: fuck Ed Sheeran. That was for me.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: The Weeknd
Favorite New TV Drama
So many new tv dramas! So many of them are turgid, overwritten nonsense (TON). As a result, we can simply eliminate Blood & Oil, Quantico, Rosewood and The Player. We can also discard less overwrought, but still pretty bad, attempts in the form of Wicked City, Code Black and Blindspot. Limitless and Minority Report are better than tv shows based on movies would need to be while not actually being good. Streaming television gets its own category (about which more should be said later), so I can’t complain about the non-inclusion of Jessica Jones down here (just wait!). Luckily, I do like Supergirl.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Supergirl
Favorite New TV Comedy
This category isn’t nearly as bad as the drama category15. Truth be Told, Life in Pieces and Dr. Ken aren’t terribly worth note, although they’re not exactly unwatchable. Grandfathered and The Grinder aren’t much better, although they’re more high-profile, and benefit from generally-better casts. Crazy-Ex Girlfriend is goddamned delightful, even despite its high concept. Scream Queens was mostly a mess16, but featured one of the finest comedic performances of the year by Glen Powell. I have to say, however, that The Muppets did more for me than any of the rest of these, even if that puts me in a pretty extreme minority. This is why I’m here to tell you people these things.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: The Muppets
15 I think I’ve always been pretty open about preferring funny television to serious television to begin with.
16 Murphy/Falchuck tv shows are basically their own genre at this point.
Favorite Animated TV Show
On the one hand, I can’t believe it’s Bob’s Burgers again. On the other hand, the day there’s an animated show better than Bob’s Burgers will be a day when there’s either an animated show so good it defies logic, or a very sad day when something terrible has happened to Bob’s Burgers.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Bob’s Burgers
Favorite Actress in a New TV Show
Priyanka Chopra and The Great MGH are the only people in this category not nominated for Scream Queens. Which is something, I guess. Too bad each of them is in a show that’s just terminally dull. So which Scream Queens lady is it? I’m inclined to say Emma Roberts, but she didn’t actually do that much. I’m less inclined to say Jamie Lee Curtis, who was clearly enjoying herself, but also didn’t have much to do. I wasn’t prepared to be at all inclined to say Lea Michele, but sometimes these things are surprising.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Lea Michele
Favorite Actor in a New TV Series
The primacy that the PCA’s give to new shows is kind of annoying (in that it creates a need to write about something like six thousand categories when two would do), and also not really a second thing now that I think about it. It’s just annoying. Stop doing it. Thank you. Compounding this insult is the fact that Glen Powell, clearly the best part of Scream Queens, isn’t even nominated. Give me a break.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Glen Powell, obviously
Favorite Streaming Series
Ah, see, here’s where the most violence is done to rightful award-winners. There’s nothing wrong with Transparent or Orange is the New Black. There’s not a terrible amount wrong with The Mindy Project. There’s something dreadfully wrong with House of Cards at this point, but I suppose that happens as a serious enters its dotage. There is really, actually nothing wrong with The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which I love with an undimmed fire, second only to the actual rightful winner (and once again it’s a write-in candidate. Step it up PCA nominators), Jessica Jones.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Jessica Jones. But The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt should get, like, a runner-up trophy or something. Because it really is fantastic.
Favorite Late Night Talk Show Host
Stephen Colbert is the outright funniest, Conan has the best show. James Corden has the best bandleader, Jimmy Fallon does the best YouTube videos, Jimmy Kimmel is probably the best actual host. So let’s go with that one, I guess?
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Jimmy Kimmel, I guess?
Favorite Daytime TV Hosting Team
If it’s hard for me to pick a late night host, it’s even harder for me to pick a daytime tv host. But I kind of like Michael Strahan? I liked him on Blackish anyway.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Live With Kelly and Michael
Favorite Daytime TV Host
I mean, in this case we have Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil, who both give harmeful medical advice, Rachael Ray, who gives highly-branded and often highly-suspect cooking advice, Steve Harvey, who thoughts on almost anything are pretty suspect, and Ellen Degeneres who, if kind of dull, is at least not actively hurting the world. So. There you have it.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Ellen Degeneres
Favorite TV Competition Show
America’s Got Talent seems, every year, like it will finally wear out its freak show existence, and every year it not only happens, but people seem to give a shit about any round but the first. What a world. Dancing With the Stars remains a sideshow act. The Voice is less convoluted, but is still more interesting for one of its judges inseminating another than for anything that actually happens on the show. American Ninja Warrior is surprisingly entertaining. Masterchef itself is now full of the pre-branded, heavily-”typed” contestants that eventually make ever reality show dull15, but Masterchef Junior remains a delight, so I guess it goes to the entire Masterchef umbrella.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Masterchef
15 you know the ones. The ones that go on and on about their “thing”. They usually come pre-loaded with a catchphrase, they’re usually wearing at least one dumb, obvious accent piece. Not every competition reality show has them all the time, but all of the bad ones do. And they’re nearly every contestant on the non-competition-type reality shows.
Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actress
I am unable to properly judge Caitriona Balfe’s performance on Outlander because I can’t make it more than two minutes into an episode without falling asleep instantly. I am unable to properly judge Lady Gaga’s performance on American Horror Story because it’s completely insane. I’m more than able to judge Emilia Clarke’s performance on Game of Thrones (it’s fine). Ginnifer Goodwin is less fine, but still perfectly adequate. I quite liked Jennifer Morrison these last couple of years on Once Upon a Time. Unfortunately for her, however, the PCA’s prove themselves to not be consistent, and David Tennant is nominated in the next category. So this one is split between Krysten Ritter and Rachael Taylor16
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Krysten Ritter and kind of Rachael Taylor
16 I think Rachael Taylor actually is a better actress or whatever, but the show is Krysten Ritter’s, and she really is great.
Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actor
Ian Somerhalder, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins and Sam Heughan have, across their three shows (The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural and Outlander, respectively) the same basic job: be handsome (and occasionally funny) and lead-actor-y. It’s boring. David Tennant, on the other hand, had to be a very specific kind of evil person, across a huge range of emotional colors, and, as a bonus, was also goddamned terrifying at it. So really, this was not a contest.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: David Tennant
Favorite Cable TV Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show
Game of Thrones turned into a lurid controversy machine with no real hope of remembering how to tell a story while pretending it was something else. Outlander is so boring I can hardly stand it. Teen Wolf has long since squandered whatever charm it might have had (I never got it, but a lot of people whose opinions I respect did). The Walking Dead has settled into itself, although the last season made a lot of people angry (I never liked it, and only ever watch a little bit of it every year to keep up with it for things like this). American Horror Story remains a lurid would-be controversy machine with no real hope of telling a story, and that’s exactly what it set out to do. See why intentions are important?
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: American Horror Story
Favorite Network TV Sci-Fi/Fantasty Show
I can’t believe this Beauty and the Beast reboot is still on. I can’t believe it. Supernatural is still around, and still consistent. Arrow sure seemed to impress some people, I guess. The Vampire Diaries is better than it ought to be, certainly. Once Upon a Time is alright, I guess.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Once Upon a Time
Favorite TV Crime Drama Actress
It’s the genrification that does it, really. On the one hand, it means that, say, Pauley Perette isn’t competing with Melissa Benoist (who should’ve been nominated back there in the fantasy/sci-fi business, even though she shouldn’t have won), on the other hand, it meanst here’s too many damn categories. Anyway, Elementary remains, somehow, a pretty good show, so it’s Lucy Liu here and we’re moving on.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Lucy Liu
Favorite TV Crime Drama Actor
You know what makes me feel old? That it’s been twelve years since Jim Caviezel played Jesus. Twelve years! I guess time marches inexorably forward. Which means that eventually none of these people, or their performances, will be remembered, which means I don’t have to figure out which one of them is the “best.” Thankfully.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: The eventual heat death of the universe
Favorite TV Crime Drama
I hear Person of Interest is interesting. I’ve never seen it borne out, but people do like it. Castle is pretty obviously coasting on the presence of Nathan Fillion. Criminal Minds and NCIS have enough old people on board to keep them buoyant, officially. I don’t like Bones, but it’s the best of these here.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Bones
Favorite Premium Cable TV Actress
So, like, the genre stuff I don’t mind. It’s the HBO/Streaming/Cable/Network divisons that I’m annoyed with, at least among actors. I get why you’d separate them out as series – an HBO drama isn’t doing (and doesn’t have to do) the same thing that a network drama is doing. But the acting job is still the acting job, and can pretty much be compared across platforms. None of these, I realize, would be as much of an issue were I not the person writing about every single damn last one of these categories.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Emmy Rossum
Favorite Premium Cable TV Actor
I mean, lots of people do this stuff, I guess, so I’m certainly not the only one at all. It just seems unreasonable that there are so many categories. I mean, the thing runs on CBS, the one station that still gets ratings, you wouldn’t think they’d be so thirsty for all this. I guess that is, however, why there’s so much nomination from outside their corporate purview? I dunno. I just think that some of thise subdivision is completely unnecessary.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Justin Theroux
Favorite Premium Cable TV Show
And they don’t even get them all! For example: Silicon Valley is not in this category. That seems bad and wrong. I understand that the real need here is to try to include as many people as possible so you can fill the seats with recognizable people from all sorts of disciplines, but really it just seems like one of those things wher eeveryone that participates gets a damn ribbon. Or, as it were, a disturbingly-vaginal glass piece.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Veep
Favorite Cable TV Actress
Hilary Duff is presumably17nominated here for Younger, which also has Miriam Shor, which is super weird when the only other thing you’ve seen MIriam Shor in is Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Anyway, it’s not Hilary Duff. Ahsley Benson, Lucy Hale and Shay Mitchell are all here for Pretty Little Liars, which, coupled with the similar triple-up on Scream Queens awhile back makes me think the nominators don’t actually watch very much television. Anyway, Rizolli & Isles never really did it for me, but I like Sasha Alexander.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Sasha Alexander
17 the website doesn’t tell us, and so I’m left to sort-of assume? That is also a gripe.
Favorite Cable TV Actor
Also no differentiation is made between guest actors, supporting actors and leading actors! It’s all higgledy-piggledy! How do you judge what Kevin Hart did against what Christian Slater did? Actually, that one’s easy. Mr. Robot is super-great.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Christian Slater (somewhat unbelievably)
Favorite Cable TV Drama
Good lord. This category is as bad as the “music group” one six dozen categories ago. Uh…I guess Rizzoli and Isles is done or whatever, right? And I, as stated, like Sasha Alexander, who certainly plays either Rizzoli or Isles.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Rizzoli & Isles. Google tells me that Sasha Alexander plays Isles. So. There you have it.
Favorite Cable TV Comedy
It comes to a point, really, where there are simply more nominees than there are things to say about them. This is one of those categories. I don’t have a funny or instructive way to say that “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is not only the best of this lot, but the only one that’s actually any good in the first place.” So I’ll just say that.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Favorite Dramatic TV Actress
AND THEN, when we’re finally through the morass of nominees in genre- and format-bound categories, we find ourselves with the pretension that no other type of tv is the one true tv. I’m saying this isn’t “network” dramatic tv actress. That’s what I’m saying. Anyway. Ellen Pompeo is pretty far out of her league here. So, for that matter, Sara Ramirez. So that about does it for the inexplicably-still-extant Grey’s Anatomy. Kerry Washington is playing the Procedural Lead Role, a role that I have very little love for, even when it isn’t a crime procedural specifically. Viola Davis is doing something a little different, but not different enough to win. Taraji P. Henson, however, is doing the world a service. A damn service.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Taraji P. Henson
Favorite Dramatic TV Actor
Every year I find out that there are so many shows I assumed had withered and died that are still here and producing episodes! For example: did you know that not only is Chicago Fire not only still running, but that as recently as right now one of its actors (Taylor Kinney, specifically) was nominated for a People’s Choice Award! What a world. My “nope it’s not somebody from Grey’s Anatomy” judgment still holds true, which eliminates Jesse Williams and Justin Chambers. I’m not super into Terrence Howard, and I’m certainly not going to start now. On the other hand, if Kerry Washington shouldn’t win for Scandal, there’s no goddamn way Scott Foley is somehow eligible. This is a real problem.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: A blank television screen? This blog entry? I dunno. Just hand a piece of vaginaglass to somebody already.
Favorite Network TV Drama
OK, I really am curious about who is nominated Gotham in this category. If it was you, you know how to find me. Holy smokes. Anyway, The Limping Somehow-Not-Corpse of Grey’s Anatomy was at least hugely popular at one point, so that makes more sense. How to Get Away With Murder is fine. Scandal is better, if also a little more standard. Empire is great.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Empire
Favorite Comedic TV Actress
So here’s something surprisng that happened in the previous calendar year: I have had a complete 180 degree turnaround on New Girl. At this time even last year I was hostile towards it, and then I ended up watching some more of it, it clicked, and now I love it to bits and little pieces. That sentence is 100% true. Which is a good thing because that means Zooey Deschanel earns this award, and otherwise I would be real, real stuck, because I like most of these other actresses, but they are on tv shows that I cannot stand.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Zooey Deschanel
Favorite Comedic TV Actor
Same deal as the actresses, except that I never had to come around on Andy Samberg because he never left my heart.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Andy Samberg
Favorite Network TV Comedy
I mean, I know I just went through the whole business about New Girl and how now I love it and think it’s great, but it still isn’t my favorite network tv comedy, and this is now a bad category. It’s worlds better than 2 Broke Girls and The Big Bang Theory. It’s considerably better, also, than Mike & Molly and The Shell of Modern Family. It’s not as good as Brooklyn Nine Nine, which is still my favorite show on television, but given its most-improved status, I’ll let it take home the vagina statuette.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: New Girl (but secretly Brooklyn Nine Nine)
Favorite TV Show
Given all the shows they nominated in the other categories, this is where we land up? Two cable hyperviolence soap operas, one terrible sitcom, one past-its-prime primetime soap opera, and The Voice? Come on, people. C’est ridicule.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Nearly any other tv show that has been nominated in nearly any category! Except 2 Broke Girls. and Pretty Little LIars. And Outlander. And probably some other ones also. Ugh. You know what? This award should just also go to Brooklyn Nine Nine. It’s my favorite tv show anyway.
Favorite Thriller Movie
We are finally out of the tv categories! This is such a good turn of events that I’m inclined to be charitable to almost anything! And then, of course, we run smack into this fucking mess. Two – two – of these movies I know primarily from having episodes of the bad-movie podcast The Flophouse devoted to them (that said, I’ll sort of ride for Unfriended for at least doing something interesting). Taken 3 and Insidious 3 are both sequels of sequels. Poltergeist is an execrable remake. I guess it’s time to call in another write-in candidate.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: It Follows
Favorite Family Movie
Home was not as terrible as I thought it would be! It still also wasn’t as good as Inside Out!
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Inside Out
Favorite Dramatic Movie Actress
Blake Lively failed to convince me of the horror of having to look like Blake Lively for all of eternity. Kate Winslet failed to convince me that she was any kind of tyrannical authoritarian. Dakota Johnson failed to convince me that she was a nymphette willing entering into a deeply fucked-up sex contract with a total weirdo. Jennifer Lopez almost managed to convince me that the psycho dude she was bangin’ was a scary murderer. Rachel McAdams was convincing as a person who believes that priests molesting people is wrong.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Rachel McAdams
Favorite Dramatic Movie Actor
What happened to Will Smith? TELL THE TRUTH. He seems to be incapable of making a good movie. He’s also the only person in this goddamn category not nominated for his smirk. George Clooney and Johnny Depp are eliminated for only managing to do whatever it is they always do. Channing Tatum remains pretty good at this whole general Magic Mike thing, but I don’t think that’s really award-worthy. Luckily Matt Damon was awfully good in The Martian.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Matt Damon, The Martian
Favorite Dramatic Movie
What the actual fuck is Fifty Shades of Grey, a movie that basically no one at all ever liked, doing here? WHO IS DOING THIS? Ahem. It certainly does make The Age of Adeline look better by comparison. Although, really, almost anything would. The Longest Ride got its attention for its star’s pedigree and its Nicholas Sparks origin, neither of which makes for anything like a compelling movie in and of themselves. So Straight Outta Compton or The Martian? I’m gonna go with the make-em-up.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: The Martian
Favorite Comedic Movie Actress
Ah, Pitch Perfect 2. Let’s just eliminate everyone that was in Pitch Perfect 2 straightaway, shall we? That’s much better. Let’s also throw Sofia Vergara out of there, because honestly. What we’re left with is Melissa McCarthy in Spy vs. Amy Schumer in Trainwreck. and this is, like the hip-hop category, something of a test of character. I’m in the Spy camp.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Melissa McCarthy
Favorite Comedic Movie Actor
Ugh. Robert DeNiro is still a person I am, by dint of my choice to do these things, forced to confront the work of. And there was an above-average amount of it this year! And also it makes me profoundly depressed! I’m also sort of starting to feel that way about Jack Black, who apparently borrowed Will Smith’s script-reading abilities and focused them toward “comedy.” Kevin Hart is a funny guy, certainly, but really, he’s no Will Ferrell.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Will Ferrell
Favorite Comedic Movie
I talked about my feelings w/r/t Spy vs. Trainwreck a couple of entries ago, and adding The Duff, Ted 2 and the aforediscarded Pitch Perfect 2 doesn’t change them.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Spy
Favorite Animated Movie Voice
Well, as with her singing, I also pretty much never know when Selena Gomez is talking, so that’s that right out. Ditto Sandra Bullock. Andy Samberg and Amy Poehler are two of the funniest people in the world, but actually I have a different criterion here. One of the things I liked about Home was that Rihanna wasn’t doing a “cartoon” voice. It was much easier to listen to, and I think it deserves approbation.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Rihanna
Favorite Action Movie Actress
I am not with the general consensus that we need to keep finding reasons to like the Fast & Furious movies. It is, therefore, not actually Michelle Rodriguez. It is also not, for completely different bad-franchise-related reasons, not Shailene Woodley. Emily Blunt is great, but Sicario isn’t. Scarlett Johansson is doing her best, bless her heart. Charlize Theron in Mad Max is great.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Charlize Theron
Favorite Action Movie Actor
Chris Pratt now. Chris Pratt forever.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Chris Pratt
Favorite Action Movie
Oooooookay. It’s not a -gent movie, it’s not a maze runner movie. Those are bad movies, not good movies. It’s also not Furious 7. It’s very sad that Paul Walker died. That does not make these better movies. It just doesn’t. Avengers: Age of Ultron was too long, too overstuffed and too mythology-obsessed. Jurassic World was essentially just blatant fanservice with very little value beyond that. But, y’know, that’s all I really wanted it to be in the first place.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Jurassic World
Favorite Movie Actress
Anne Hathaway made the worst movie of her career this year, so naturally she’s nominated here. These people are awful. Sandra Bullock didn’t do quite so badly, she just made a standard-issue bad movie. Meryl Streep also made a pretty gosh-awful movie last year (RIcky and the Flash), but also an ok one, so she did alright in the balance. Scarlett Johansson did alright in an ok movie. Melissa McCarthy made a great movie.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Melissa McCarthy
Favorite Movie Actor
I still have all the same question I did before about Johnny Depp, and the same one question (TELL THE TRUTH!) about Will Smith. So they obviously aren’t winners here. In fact, I think I’ve also covered Channing Tatum. So the only thing left to do is say that Robert Downey Jr. has really only had the one role for the last bunch of years and give it to Chris Pratt.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Chris Pratt
I mean, it’s probably not actually Jurassic World, but why let the truth get in the way of being done writing about this godforsaken awards show?
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Jurassic World
And that’s it! See you later in the week for one of the other super-long awards shows, The Golden Globes!