Awhile back, I declared that there were some awards shows I was just never going to write about, and this was one of them. I did realize , however, that I cover a lot of things that are of interest to me, and not a lot of things that are decidedly not aimed at me. This is sort of by design – I don’t talk about awards aimed at marginalized/minoritized people because I’m not one of those things, and I don’t feel comfortable inveighing on them, especially in a jokey fashion that declares my favorite of the things involved the “Rightful” winner.
That said, I used to be a kid. It was a long time ago, but it totally happened, so this presents me with an award that is granted to/by a demographic that is outside my own but that I feel I am at least somewhat qualified to speak to the rightfulness of the winning-eligible selections, here.
So unlike the Teen Choice Awards, which occupy a more generalized sort of place, the Kids Choice Awards are specifically granted by the cable television network Nickelodeon. It is admirable how much restraint they are able to show by not pushing too much of their own content, which also brings to mind the also-paramount-owned MTV Movie awards. In fact, they’re very similar in most regards. I suppose that makes sense.
I have to suppose these things, because I have basically no experience with the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards. I’ve always liked awards shows, and I must have watched them on occasion when I was a kid, but I don’t remember anything about them in particular, so this is basically a clean slate for me.
That said, this does present a pretty fantastic opportunity, because I genuinely love weird try-hard little awards shows, even though I have basically no idea what place or function Nickelodeon holds in the culture, either at large or among its theoretical target demographic of children.
Anyway, I’m skipping the international categories because they seem pretty specifically focused to the target audiences there, and I don’t want to compound any problems I may have in the first place with problems understanding what children on other continents are into.
How Do You Want to Help?
This category is well-intended and fine, but it also seems like advertising research? Which is also fine, I guess, as long as it gets people thinking about helping other people, which I’m foursquare in favor of. I’m saying even cold-hearted me can’t come up with anything to say about this other than undistinguished approval. Oh, except genuinely if we don’t figure out the environment there won’t be any animals, or schools, or, eventually people to be bullied/in need, so let’s get on the environment, yeah?
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: I mean, they’re all rightful, but only one of them is about the fate of the literal planet so….
Favorite Social Star
I’m more than happy to cede this one to current events, and point out that Lilly Singh is so good at social media it got her a job as a queer woman of color on late-night television, so she’s the winner.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Lilly Singh
I know nothing about this world at all, and I only ever hear about these people when they, say, scream racial slurs and/or get arrested, as a couple of the people here have been. This Markiplier dude seems ok, and hasn’t shouted racial slurs or been arrested, so I guess I’m safe naming him rightful, but man, I hope I don’t live to regret it.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Markiplier, I hope
Favorite Video Game
My favorite of these is Marvel’s Spider Man because wheeeeee web-slinging and also beating up criminals but mostly the web-slinging. It’s so good, y’all. THWIPP.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Marvel’s Spider Man
Favorite Global Music Star
Well, I appreciate that they’re trying here, but this is not quite like the charity one, because it does one of my least favorite things: it makes “global” music into one homogenous mass. It’s exoticization, and it’s stupid. But I do like J. Balvin.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: J. Balvin
Favorite Social Music Star
You’ll never believe this, but even after as much research as I could muster, I still don’t care about any of these people.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Chloe x Halle
It remains the case that in these all-encompassing, bit-of-everything awards shows, the music categories are frustraing and stupid. This is geared at theoretical children, so it’s especially so. But I do still kind of like “I Like It”. A little bit.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Cardi B, “I LIke It” (f J Balvin & Bad Bunny)
Favorite Breakout Artist
I don’t know the eligibility period for the Kids Choice Awards, but I’m happy that Cardi B is here, because I was really staring down the barrel of trying to figure out something nice to say about Billie Eilish otherwise, and that made me itch.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Cardi B
I’m going to, out of circumstances beyond my control here, say something I never thought I’d say, and here it is: Ariana Grande has the best song in this field of people. She also has Nickelodeon ties, which I would think was weird except there’s no way they planned it this way, so I’m comfortable with it.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Ariana Grande, “Thank U, Next”
Favorite Female Artist
At least the Kids Choice Awards err on the side of “obvious” so that I don’t have to do any more thinking than is required, but jeez, Beyonce is not in the same league as these folks. Good to see her here though.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Beyonce
Favorite Male Artist
Things are a little tougher down here, but that’s only because the Beyonce of Male Artists is Drake, and that’s a pretty poor substitute. Nevertheless, he’s probably the one here that annoys me the least, even if he hasn’t made a record I’ve liked in a very long time.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Drake, I guess
Favorite Music Group
I feel like I have more to say about the strangeness of these categories, what with Migos being an entire order of magnitude better than any of the other groups in this field, but also I think it’s just a side-effect of greatness occasionally yielding great fame, or at the very least that occasionally some great gets famous, even if they aren’t related 1. Ah, well.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Migos
In the interest of moving this along, I’m going to assume that the best of these cartoons is SpongeBob and emerge with my sanity intact.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: SpongeBob SquarePants
Favorite TV Judges
The Four was such a baffling, infuriating several hours of television that I want it to win some kind of award, but honestly, the most entertaining the judges ever were happened when DJ Khaled completely checked out by the end of the second season. I’m not willing to call Meghan Trainor particularly good at anything, really. Anyway, the current judges on American Idol are the most entertaining part of it, especially in the early going 2, when the contestants themselves aren’t actually at all entertaining yet, so they should be the winners.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan, American Idol
Favorite TV Host
Tyra Banks is, in a lot of ways, the consummate tv host, and also a total goofball, so I think she belongs here, especially since she’s the only person on America’s Got Talent that’s worth watching.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Tyra Banks, America’s Got Talent
Favorite Reality Show
On the one hand, I kind of like American Ninja Warrior, but if I’m being honest I rather wish that I liked it more. On the other hand, I do actually watch American Idol, even if I don’t remember anything about it once it’s over, so I probably wish I liked it less. What about combining them into a show about people who have to complete an obstacle course while singing? I think that sounds delightful, quite frankly, and I would watch it every day.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: American Ninja Idol Warrior’s Got Talent
Favorite Male TV Star
While it’s true that Neil Patrick Harris is the best one here, it’s also true that he’s not even the best male performer on A Series of Unfortunate Events – that’s Patrick Warburton. Nevertheless, since I completely invented a show for the last category, I guess I better play this one by the book.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Neil Patrick Harris, A Series of Unfortunate Events
Favorite Female TV Star
I either actively dislike or haven’t seen even a minute of every show in this category. I’m going to assume that Zendaya is the best one here, because Zendaya is the best generally.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Zendaya
Favorite TV Drama
I wonder if Nickelodeon still has any financial stake in the Netflix A Series of Unfortunate Events show. They produced or distributed or funded or whatever the Jim Carrey movie from awhile back, but I’m not sure if they still hold any part of the license. Whether it’s insider trading or not, it’s the best show in this category, so I’m happy to call it the winner. Yay!
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: A Series of Unfortunate Events
Favorite Funny TV Show
Oooh! None of these shows are even remotely funny! I guess Modern Family used to be, so it’s the winner, but it’s kind of a winner emeritus because, well, that was a long time ago.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Modern Family
Favorite Female Voice from an Animated Movie
All of these are fine examples of fine work, but Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was my favorite movie of 2018, and is about to run the table on the animated categories, so there.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Hailee Steinfeld, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Favorite Male Voice from an Animated Movie
I mean, it’s a shame, because this set of categories is among the strongest sets in the entire field of consideration, but that’s just how it goes sometimes.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Shameik Moore, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Favorite Animated Movie
Aaaaaand one more.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
After all that, I’m sad to say that there is no Spider-Man in this category, despite him kicking plenty of dang butts. This is all very silly. Danai Gurira did more actual butt-kicking than Zoe Saldana in their respective 2018 MCU appearances, so it goes to her.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Danai Gurira, Black Panther (but also in Avengers: Infinity War, even though she’s not mentioned in there, because come on, guys)
Actually, it might just be an artifact of the way their website populates fields that people aren’t nominated for more than one movie, because Chadwick Boseman is only mentioned here in Black Panther also. Also there is no Spider-Man here, despite Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse being the best superhero movie of 2018, if not of all time. This seems stupid.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Probably Chadwick Boseman, but really Shameik Moore should be here for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Favorite Movie Actress
Rihanna was the best part of Ocean’s 8 3, which does thorn this up a bit. But honestly, Zoe Saldana has figured out a very capable performance in a role that wouldn’t otherwise necessarily need or have one without her, so I’m happy to just keep giving it to her.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Zoe Saldana, Avengers: Infinity War
Favorite Movie Actor
This is where I break with my so-far-established tradition and confess that, in terms of who I liked the most as an actor in any of these movies, Chris Hemsworth runs away with it. He was great in Avengers: Infinity War. I would watch an entier movie of Thor’s Adventures with Rocket, yes sir I would.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Chris Hemsworth, The Avengers: Infinity War
Critic and podcaster Amy Nicholson has theorized that the reason for Saving Mr. Banks was to rewrite PL Travers’ actual life as a charitable, progressive, generally-admirable person so that Disney was able to cast themselves as being in the right w/r/t any of their Mary Poppins-related decisions, and that specifically it was teeing us up for this re-imagining of the idea. I place this idea here for two reasons: 1) there is no reason for Mary Poppins Returns to be nominated as the favorite anything ever, and 2) I have basically nothing to say here that I haven’t already said before.
THE RIGHTFUL WINNER: Black Panther