Unpopcult Awards 2016: The Results

poll picHappy new year, everybody!

And put your keyboards/ tablets / electronic devices of whatever configuration DOWN. The polls are closed, and it’s time to announce the results of the Unpopcult Awards 2016!

Thanks, as ever, for all your votes; here are your winners:

Best US Show: Stranger Things

Well done to new kid on the block Stranger Things for beating off stiff competition from nearest challengers Person of Interest and American Crime Story and walking off with the top prize in a year full of astounding tv. A simultaneously charming and terrifying homage to Stephen King, Steven Spielberg and everything 80s you can think of, if you haven’t seen it yet and you don’t mind checking for monsters under the bed every now and again, give it a go!

(Previous winners: 2008 – Lost; 2009 – Mad Men; 2010 – Lost; 2011 – The Good Wife; 2012 – The Good Wife; 2013 – Scandal; 2014 – The Good Wife; 2015 – Game of Thrones) 

Best UK/International Show: Deutschland 83

Another winning combination of 80s themes and terrific drama, the wonderful Deutschland 83 proved unexpectedly timely in 2016 when another Cold War and a resurgence in the nuclear arms race suddenly seemed frighteningly possible once again. Unpopcult is delighted that a new series has been commissioned, and fervently hopes we’ll all be around to see it…

(Previous winners: 2010 – Spooks; 2011 – Being Human; 2012 – Sherlock; 2013 – The Almighty Johnsons; 2014 – Sherlock; 2015 – The Bridge (Bron/Broen)

Best New Show: Stranger Things

It’s a clean sweep for 80s nostalgia as Stranger Things takes the new show trophy in a field bursting with shows that seem to have been written expressly for Unpopcult (Private Eyes, you guys! Designated Survivor! And the rest!). Season 2 is already in the works, and as long as the absolutely tremendous Dustin and his buddies are there, so am I. I ain’t afraid of no Gormogon! (Disclaimer: I’m actually terrified.)

(Previous winners: 2011 – Game of Thrones; 2013 – The Blacklist; 2014 – True Detective; 2015 – Jane the Virgin)

Best Actor: Sterling K Brown, American Crime Story: The People v OJ Simpson;

What a show. What a cast. And what a performance, as the incredible Sterling K Brown brought Christopher Darden, a man doing his best in an impossible situation and unfairly mocked and maligned for it for years, to living, breathing life. The rest of the nominees did amazing work too, but in the end, when the votes were counted, Sterling stormed it, and deservedly so.

(Previous winners: 2008 – Jon Hamm, Michael C. Hall, Zeljko Ivanek; 2009 – Hugh Laurie; 2010 – Michael Emerson; 2011 – Timothy Olyphant; 2012 – Damian Lewis; 2013 – James Spader; 2014 – Josh Charles; 2015 – Jaime Camil)

Best Actress: Sarah Paulson, American Crime Story: People v OJ Simpson

What more can I say? I wasn’t overly impressed with how ACS started, but Sarah Paulson was majestic from the start and, somewhere around episode 4, the show itself caught up, gradually turning into a ferociously powerful examination of the misogyny, racial tensions and celebrity culture that all came to a head in the OJ Simpson trial and continue to permeate every aspect of modern life today. In any other year, nearest challengers Lena Headey and Hayden Panettiere might have won for their brave, brilliant performances, but in this year, Sarah Paulson had to have it. Her utterly magnificent performance as Marcia Clark – a woman almost destroyed by the media, by the public, by us, for the crime of being a WOMAN doing her job – was both a revelation and a wrecking ball: just watch her crying at the courtroom table in Marcia Marcia Marcia again, and you’ll know exactly what I mean.

(Previous winners: 2008 – January Jones, Kristin Chenoweth, Glenn Close; 2009: Hermione Norris; 2010 – Jane Lynch; 2011 – Margo Martindale; 2012 – Julianna Margulies; 2013 – Julianna Margulies; 2014 – Julianna Margulies; 2015 – Taraji P Henson)

Best Ensemble: Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones returns to reclaim the Unpopcult Ensemble crown for the third time, wrestling it out of the hands of last year’s winner The Good Wife, for a season which saw the return of REDACTED, the reveal of REDACTED’S REDACTED and a whole lot of REDACTED and REDACTED besides. How the showrunners manage such a sprawling mass of characters across such a huge tapestry of storylines has been a mystery to me from the start, but somehow it all works – well done to them, and well done to the amazing cast for bringing the Seven Kingdoms to life, and beating ACS into second place.

(Previous winners: 2008 – Lost, Mad Men and Battlestar Galactica; 2009 – Mad Men; 2009 – Lost; 2010 – Lost; 2011 – Southland; 2012 – The Good Wife; 2013 – Game of Thrones; 2014 – Game of Thrones; 2015 – The Good Wife)

Ship of the Year: Shade and Angie, Private Eyes

Beating star-crossed musos Juliett and Avery into second place, Unpopcult fell head over heels for Shade and Angie and Private Eyes as soon as they hit our screens. Here’s to the nicest show on TV, and the most uncomplicated, relaxed ship I think we’ve ever had. Which I mean as a compliment, by the way. We love you, Shangie! Hurry up with season 2!

(Previous winners: 2011 – Lund and Hartman; 2012 – Will and Alicia; 2013 – Jane and Lisbon; 2014 In Memoriam Award – Will and Alicia)

In Our Dreams (Male): Gregory Fitoussi, Spin (Les Hommes de l’Ombre)

J’adore all the nominees, but there can be only one champion; last year’s victor and now threepeat winner, the gorgeous Gregory Fitoussi retains his hold on Unpopcult hearts thanks to his turn as the devious, duplicitous, delicious Ludo in More 4’s French political concoction Spin. I think we were supposed to hate him, but in those suits? No chance.

(Previous winners: 2009 – Richard Armitage; 2010 – Richard Armitage; 2011 – Shane West; 2012 – Simon Baker; 2013 – Gregory Fitoussi; 2014 – Michiel Huisman; 2015 – Gregory Fitoussi

In Our Dreams (Female): Connie Britton, Nashville

Another Unpopcult favourite returning to reclaim her prize, Rayna and Nashville both had their problems, but the glorious Connie Britton has never been less than fabulous, and now she has her third win to prove it. Love to all the wonderful women in this category, but Tami Taylor forever.

(Previous winners: 2009 – Tina Fey; 2010 – Christina Hendricks; 2011 – Audrey Fleurot; 2012 – Christina Hendricks; 2013 – Connie Britton; 2014 – Connie Britton; 2015 – Kerry Washington)

Most Annoying Storyline: Everyone’s inexplicable love for Beverly, Nashville

A very close race this one, with particularly tough competition from Beverly’s own niece Older Girl and no connection whatsoever Poldark. But for sheer bloody-minded “why don’t we just ignore everything we ever wrote about this character before and hope nobody notices?” audaciousness, the baffling, infuriating sanctification of Beverly Claybourne is your winner. Um…Yay?

(Previous winners: 2012 – Dana’s Hit-and-Run, Homeland; 2013 – Kalinda’s Ex, The Good Wife; 2014 – Jack being a “Good” Stalker, Stalker; 2015 – B-613, Scandal)

Most Annoying Character: Deacon, Nashville

This category is always an embarrassment of riches, and Spin’s Valentine and GOT’s Daenerys both came very close to victory. But the astonishingly annoying Deacon and his reliably, insanely stupid behaviour have triumphed, making it a double win for the insufferable Claybourne clan and giving OG something to aspire to next year. Great.

(Previous winners: 2008 – Mohinder Suresh, Heroes; 2009 – President Allison Taylor, 24; 2010 – Susan Delfino, Desperate Housewives; 2011 – Will Schuester, Glee; 2012 – Ellis Boyd, Smash; 2013 – Van Pelt, The Mentalist; 2014 – Damian, The Good Wife; 2015 – Francis Poldark, Poldark)

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is it for unpopcult’s NINTH annual awards. Once again, thank you so much for voting, reading, commenting, and keeping us going – here’s to a happy 2017 with peace, prosperity and plenty of tv for all.

Unpopcult Awards 2016

poll picJingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way, unpopcult’s annual Poll is going up today…. Yes, it’s that time of year; some people are fighting in supermarkets over the last Santa-shaped biscuit tin, others have already eaten the equivalent of the national GDP in chocolate (*hides wrappers in drawer*), and Jed and I have finally sorted out the nominations for this year’s Poll.

Although putting things to the public vote this year seems to have resulted in unmitigated, civilisation-threatening disaster every time it actually mattered, I’m fairly confident that one Most Annoying nominee winning over another is unlikely to spark a nuclear apocalypse – I mean, I’m hoping – so, as usual, the voting will be open till the end of the year and we’ll announce the results on New Year’s Day. Some small print meanwhile, for anyone wondering why certain shows we love might not have made the cut: we’ve excluded any shows the UK is too far behind on – Justified, Parks and Rec, White Collar etc. But, to cheer ourselves up, the Ship of the Year category is back and bigger than ever.

Have at it!











Unpopcult Awards 2015: The Results

poll picHappy new year, everybody!

The votes are in, the not-so-independent adjudicator (ok, me) has finished the count – yes, it’s time to announce the results of the Unpopcult Awards 2015!

Thanks, as ever, for all your votes; here are your winners:

Best US Show: Game of Thrones

Fifth season lucky for GOT which finally takes the top prize for a controversial but hugely ambitious run including the majestic Hardholme and the shock death of REDACTED. House Unpopcult is looking forward to season 6 (and hopefully the not-so-shock resurrection of REDACTED) hitting UK screens in the spring.

(Previous winners: 2008 – Lost; 2009 – Mad Men; 2010 – Lost; 2011 -The Good Wife; 2012 – The Good Wife; 2013 – Scandal; 2014: – The Good Wife) 

Best UK/International Show: The Bridge (Bron/Broen)

Pipping British newcomer Poldark to the post by the slimmest of margins (poor Capt Ross just cannot catch a break), Scandi-Noir The Bridge takes this year’s trophy. Saga and co are obviously off fighting crime somewhere dark and moody right now, but would like to say tak/tack to everybody who watched and enjoyed.

(Previous winners: 2010 – Spooks; 2011 – Being Human; 2012 – Sherlock; 2013 – The Almighty Johnsons; 2014 – Sherlock)

Best New Show: Jane the Virgin

I thought Jane the Virgin started beautifully, then lost its way some distance before the end of the season, but the Unpopcult massive clearly kept the faith throughout, rewarding it with the best new show title in a year of extremely fierce competition. (I mean, BLINDSPOT, you guys.) Netflix sensation Mr. Robot came second, but congratulations to Jane and co. And oh yeah, #TEAMRAFAEL.

(Previous winners: 2011 – Game of Thrones; 2013 – The Blacklist; 2014 – True Detective)

Best Actor: Jaime Camil, Jane the Virgin

A thoroughly well-deserved win for the wonderful Jaime Camil, who, in a show full of lovely, warm performances, still walked off with every scene he was in. Jon Hamm and Rami Malek weren’t far behind in the final tally, but for sheer joy and charm, Rogelio had an unbeatable year. Even if he doesn’t pop in peach.

(Previous winners: 2008 – Jon Hamm, Michael C. Hall, Zeljko Ivanek; 2009 – Hugh Laurie; 2010 – Michael Emerson; 2011 – Timothy Olyphant; 2012 – Damian Lewis; 2013 – James Spader; 2014 – Josh Charles)

Best Actress: Taraji P. Henson, Empire/Person of Interest

Two very different characters, two very different shows, but two absolutely  terrific performances: farewell (sob!) to Carter, hello to Cookie and well done to Taraji who emerged triumphant from a category full to bursting with exceptional candidates. Gina Rodriguez and Kirsten Dunst were the closest challengers but Cookie/Carter strode past everybody and claimed the crown.

(Previous winners: 2008 – January Jones, Kristin Chenoweth, Glenn Close; 2009: Hermione Norris; 2010 – Jane Lynch; 2011 – Margo Martindale; 2012 – Julianna Margulies; 2013 – Julianna Margulies; 2014 – Julianna Margulies)

Best Ensemble: The Good Wife 

A challenging year for Unpopcult favourite TGW may have tarnished its previously peerless reputation somewhat but, regardless of how we felt about the State’s Attorney election storyline and whatever went on between Alicia and Kalinda in real life, the cast is still astonishing, so congratulations on the Best Ensemble award, TGW, and good luck for season 7, coming to UK screens soon.

(Previous winners: 2008 – Lost, Mad Men and Battlestar Galactica; 2009 – Mad Men; 2009 – Lost; 2010 – Lost; 2011 – Southland; 2012 – The Good Wife; 2013 – Game of Thrones; 2014 – Game of Thrones))

In Our Dreams (Male): Gregory Fitoussi, Mr Selfridge/ Spiral (Engrenages) / Odyssey

Trying to work out who to vote for in this insanely attractive category is always a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it; the Unpopcult collective has made its decision, and the impossibly handsome Gregory Fitoussi is your champion, reclaiming his crown from last year’s winner Michiel Huisman in a field which I can’t think about for too long or I’ll collapse and need medical attention.  Congratulatory bisous to Gregory – due back on UK screens this month in Beowulf: Return to the Shadowlands on ITV and Spin (Les Hommes de L’Ombre) on More 4 – and commiseratory kisses to everyone else. You’re all gorgeous.

(Previous winners: 2009 – Richard Armitage; 2010 – Richard Armitage; 2011 – Shane West; 2012 – Simon Baker; 2013 – Gregory Fitoussi; 2014 – Michiel Huisman)

In Our Dreams (Female): Kerry Washington, Scandal

Olivia Pope and her impeccable coats have toppled Tami Taylor from her throne, with first-time winner Kerry Washington taking the Unpopcult fantasy title; Olivia’s personal and professional lives may have been particularly messy this year, but her hair and make-up were never less than on point. Well done, Kerry, and better luck next year to her fabulous fellow nominees.

(Previous winners: 2009 – Tina Fey; 2010 – Christina Hendricks; 2011 – Audrey Fleurot; 2012 – Christina Hendricks; 2013 – Connie Britton; 2014 – Connie Britton)

Most Annoying Storyline: B-613, Scandal

Scandal’s fans are a loyal bunch, but no matter how devoted they were to the show, they all seemed united in their loathing for the B-613 nonsense and the Unpopcult contingent in the group are no different. TGW’s State’s Attorney Election Campaign was a worthy runner-up, but B-613 is your Most Annoying Storyline winner. Just in time for it to make a comeback in season 5.  Sorry.

(Previous winners: 2012 – Dana’s Hit-and-Run, Homeland; 2013 – Kalinda’s Ex, The Good Wife; 2014 – Jack being a “Good” Stalker, Stalker)

Most Annoying Character: Francis, Poldark

A fantastically challenging field this year, with a succession of idiotic characters driving viewers mad all over the place. Harrison from Odyssey and Older Girl from Nashville came very close, but ultimately there can be only one winner and that accolade goes to the Other Poldark.  Yes, while the irresistible Capt Ross had us all swooning at his feet, the self-righteous, stupid Cousin Francis drove us all mad and walked off with not only the faithless Elizabeth but the Unpopcult Annoying Character title in the process. Good work, Francis. Now push off.

(Previous winners: 2008 – Mohinder Suresh, Heroes; 2009 – President Allison Taylor, 24; 2010 – Susan Delfino, Desperate Housewives; 2011 – Will Schuester, Glee; 2012 – Ellis Boyd, Smash; 2013 – Van Pelt, The Mentalist; 2014 – Damian, The Good Wife)

And that, unpopculters, is that.  Once again, thank you so much to everybody for another year of watching, commenting and voting – Jed and I probably spend more time than is entirely healthy on Unpopcult, but you guys make it more than worthwhile. Love to you all, and here’s to all the tv we can watch in 2016!

Unpopcult Awards 2015

poll picRight, it’s the Christmas holidays, so it must be time to stuff our faces, watch films we’ve seen loads of times before and tell the Internet what we thought of this year’s tv – yes, it’s time for the EIGHTH annual Unpopcult end-of-year poll!

As usual, we’ll close the polls with the close of the year so you have till the bells ring out on New Year’s Eve to vote and we’ll announce the results on New Year’s Day. Before we get onto the voting, though, some poll miscellany for those keeping score: since we like to change things around, this year we’ve amalgamated Best US Drama and Best Comedy into one US Show category and kept the Ship of the Year in dry dock. The I Would brackets have a new, slightly more realistic name. And to try and keep things as current as we can, we’ve excluded Unpopcult favourites Parks and Rec and Justified from the polls this year on the basis that, although we absolutely adore them (and it HURT BAD not to nominate them), we’re so far behind with them in the UK that it’s almost time for their remakes.

So now you know our thinking, tell us yours. The comments thread is open, and so, now, are the polls. Ready, steady… VOTE.

Unpopcult Awards 2014: The Results

poll picHappy new year, everybody!

Thank you once again for voting in the Unpopcult Awards 2014! The time for waiting is finally over, though, so here are your winners:

Best US Drama: The Good Wife

The all-conquering Good Wife caps an astonishing year with a well-deserved return to the top of the unpopcult chart. Hold tight for season 6, making its way onto UK screens later this month. Commiserations, however, to the majestic Game of Thrones, only just beaten into second place after another thrilling season, with season 5 also not too far away.

(Previous winners: 2008 – Lost; 2009 – Mad Men; 2010 – Lost; 2011 -The Good Wife; 2012 – The Good Wife; 2013 – Scandal)

Best UK/International Drama: Sherlock

After (yet) another couple of years off, Sherlock returned, sparking mixed reviews, heated debate and more than a spot of squabbling. Event television is event television, however, so Holmes and Watson once again carry off the UK/International Drama crown, with newcomer to the tv crimefighting game Babylon a worthy runner-up.

(Previous winners: 2010 – Spooks; 2011 – Being Human; 2012 – Sherlock; 2013 – The Almighty Johnsons)

Best Comedy: Parks and Recreation

Despite BBC4’s best efforts to repel viewers – late night double bills, several years behind the US, seasons on DVD before they ever make it to tv etc etc – the irresistible Leslie Knope and the people of Pawnee pipped the Big Bang nerds to the post, with the glorious Parks and Rec taking the trophy for Best Comedy for the second year in a row. Literally.

(Previous winners: 2008, 2009 and 2010 – 30 Rock; 2011 – Modern Family; 2012 – The Daily Show with Jon Stewart; 2013 – Parks and Recreation)

Best New Show: True Detective

The rest of the unpopcult collective obviously liked True Detective a whole lot more than I did, beating as it did fellow prestige drama newcomer Fargo into second place by some distance. Since time is a flat circle, season 2 will have a different cast, a different location and a brand new, different story. Will it have the same success? I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

(Previous winners: 2011 – Game of Thrones; 2013 – The Blacklist)


Best Actor: Josh Charles, The Good Wife

*wipes away tear*

In a category bursting with brilliant performances, Josh Charles takes the top prize for his part in the biggest tv secret of the year. Matthew McConaughey was a close second but, in the end, Rust Cohle’s nihilism couldn’t quite trump Will Gardner’s broken heart.

(Previous winners: 2008 – Jon Hamm, Michael C. Hall, Zeljko Ivanek; 2009 – Hugh Laurie; 2010 – Michael Emerson; 2011 – Timothy Olyphant; 2012 – Damian Lewis; 2013 – James Spader)

Best Actress: Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife

Another year, another magnificent performance from three-peat winner and unpopcult favourite Julianna Margulies, with TGW carrying off yet another unpopcult honour. Just thinking about The Last Call makes me cry. And crawl into a ball, rocking and moaning. Why did it have to happen?! WHY?!

Er, yes, again this was an exceptional category stuffed with incredible performances so well done Julianna and kudos too to the astonishing Tatiana Maslany in second place, who came very, very close to stealing home herself.

(Previous winners: 2008 – January Jones, Kristin Chenoweth, Glenn Close; 2009: Hermione Norris; 2010 – Jane Lynch; 2011 – Margo Martindale; 2012 – Julianna Margulies; 2013 – Julianna Margulies)

Best Ensemble: Game of Thrones

GOT’s second Ensemble win in a row is no more than its due: this sprawling tapestry of stories is brought to thrilling, compelling life by a cast as bewilderingly talented as it is absolutely huge. Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Charles Dance, Diana Rigg, Natalie Dormer, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau…. the list goes on and on and it is amazing.

(Previous winners: 2008 – Lost, Mad Men and Battlestar Galactica; 2009 – Mad Men; 2009 – Lost; 2010 – Lost; 2011 – Southland; 2012 – The Good Wife; 2013 – Game of Thrones)

I Would (Male): Michiel Huisman, Nashville / Game of Thrones / Orphan Black 

Leapfrogging all the other incredibly handsome fellows in this usually hotly-fought category, 2014’s favourite love interest Michiel Huisman took a very early lead in the voting this year and never let go. Whether you knew him as bad boy Liam from Nashville, bad boy Daario from Game of Thrones or, er, dad boy Cal from Orphan Black, you (and I) loved him a whole lot, so congratulations to Michiel and happy handsomeness to everyone else.

(Previous winners: 2009 – Richard Armitage; 2010 – Richard Armitage; 2011 – Shane West; 2012 – Simon Baker; 2013 – Gregory Fitoussi) 

I Would (Female): Connie Britton, Nashville

Tami Taylor triumphs again! A second win in a row for the gorgeous Connie Britton (and her amazing hair, my goodness I want that hair) and a fifth redhead winner in a row for this category. No word on a UK air date yet for Nashville season 3, but seasons 1 and 2 both ran in February so that’s as good a guess as any.

(Previous winners: 2009 – Tina Fey; 2010 – Christina Hendricks; 2011 – Audrey Fleurot; 2012 – Christina Hendricks; 2013 – Connie Britton)

Most Annoying Storyline: Jack being a “good” Stalker, Stalker

Scarlett on Drugs and Kono’s endless, from-the-neck-up search for Adam were only a few votes behind but ultimately, Good Stalker Jack’s combination of stupidity, sexism and silliness “won” the day. Um… congratulations?

(Previous winners: 2012 – Dana’s Hit-and-Run, Homeland; 2013 – Kalinda’s Ex, The Good Wife)

Most Annoying Character: Damian, The Good Wife

Competition is always super-fierce in this category, but ultimately the bafflingly bad Damian – sticking out like a sore thumb in an otherwise almost flawless show – climbed to the top of the turnip pile, with Jack from Stalker in second place. Sadly, this means that Maggie and Useless Jim from The Newsroom will never win a category that could have been created for them, but I’m confident they’ll get over it. Well done, Damian. Don’t ever come back.

(Previous winners: 2008 – Mohinder Suresh, Heroes; 2009 – President Allison Taylor, 24; 2010 – Susan Delfino, Desperate Housewives; 2011 – Will Schuester, Glee; 2012 – Ellis Boyd, Smash; 2013 – Van Pelt, The Mentalist)

And that, unpopculters, means our business with 2014 is almost finished. I know I say it every year but thank you so much to everybody for watching with us and for voting – Jed and I can’t wait to talk more tv with you all in 2015. We have just one more gong to give out before we go, though, and it’s a heartbreaker….

Ship of the Year: Will and Alicia (In Memoriam)

Sigh. There could be no voting this year, because there could only be one winner. Goodbye Will, goodbye Walicia and goodbye 2014.

(Previous winners: 2011 – Lund and Hartman; 2012 – Will and Alicia; 2013 – Jane and Lisbon)