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.