Unpopcult Awards 2017: The Results

poll picHappy new year, everybody!

Now the fireworks are done, and so is 2017, 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: The Handmaid’s Tale

The book was originally published in 1985 but the story could not have been more timely: Hulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian nightmare was tv at its most powerful and most plausible. Commiserations to runners-up The Good Fight and Game of Thrones, both utterly brilliant in their own right, but your winner this year is The Handmaid’s Tale – a terrifying tale of where we’ve been, where we’re at and, I don’t want to worry you but, very possibly, where we’re headed.

(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; 2016 – Stranger Things) 

Best UK/International Show: Private Eyes

We all need a break from worrying about the world now and again though, so this winner is just as timely: yes, the televisual equivalent of a cup of tea and a really lovely biscuit, Private Eyes, the nicest show on tv, returned for its sophomore season and walked off with the UK/International Show award, beating all the other nominees by some distance. Well done to Shade, Angie, Maz and co, and please come back soon. We need you.

(Previous winners: 2010 – Spooks; 2011 – Being Human; 2012 – Sherlock; 2013 – The Almighty Johnsons; 2014 – Sherlock; 2015 – The Bridge (Bron/Broen); 2016 – Deutschland 83)

Best New Show: The Handmaid’s Tale

Congratulations to double winner The Handmaid’s Tale, which managed to both fight the patriarchy and beat off its nearest challengers in the form of the equally feminist and fantastic Good Wife spin-off The Good Fight, and the surprisingly entertaining action movie spin-off about boys smashing stuff up, Lethal Weapon.

(Previous winners: 2011 – Game of Thrones; 2013 – The Blacklist; 2014 – True Detective; 2015 – Jane the Virgin; 2016 – Stranger Things)

Best Actor: Sterling K Brown, This Is Us

Last year’s winner holds onto his crown, and deservedly so. Another year, another consistently magnificent performance from unpopcult’s beloved Sterling K Brown who, in a cast and category both full of excellent performances, shone once again. His work as Randall was wonderful, and it broke our hearts too many times to count. Sniffle.

(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; 2016 – Sterling K Brown)

Best Actress: Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale

A brilliant year for female performances on tv, any one of the nominees – not to mention any one of a number of other potential nominees Jed and I had to cut from the final reckoning – would have been a worthy winner, but Elisabeth Moss’s quietly, fiercely devastating portrayal of June/Offred dominated the voting in this category, so 2017’s Unpopcult Awards deservedly belong to The Handmaid’s Tale and the woman at the centre of it.

(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; 2016 – Sarah Paulson)

Best Ensemble: Game of Thrones

Four-time winner Game of Thrones holds onto the Unpopcult Ensemble crown yet again, after a short but monumental seventh season, bringing together an immense, astonishing cast and so many threads you need an encyclopaedia to keep up, in typically tremendous fashion, beating fellow Unpopcult favourite and an entirely different type of family drama, This Is Us, into second place by some distance. Well done to GOT, better luck next time to everyone else – especially this year, since GOT won’t be back till 2019, and you might get more of a look-in.

(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; 2016 – Game of Thrones)

Ship of the Year: Shade and Angie, Private Eyes

Aw. Season two so far may have done everything to keep them apart, but shipping is in unpopcult’s very DNA and shipping Shade and Angie? We couldn’t stop if we tried. Lethal Weapon’s Riggs and Palmer surprised me (mainly because I don’t watch it) by coming in second, but your Ship of the Year is Shangie, and it couldn’t happen to a nicer non-couple.

(Previous winners: 2011 – Lund and Hartman; 2012 – Will and Alicia; 2013 – Jane and Lisbon; 2014 In Memoriam Award – Will and Alicia; 2016 – Shade and Angie)

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

Bouquets and bisous to unpopcult’s biggest crush, Monsieur Gregory Fitoussi, who wins for the third time in a row and fourth time overall (so far). Ludo’s screentime in saison trois of Spin may have been reduced, but his hold on unpopculter’s hearts was as strong as ever, so consolatory kisses to all the other gorgeous nominees once again.

(Previous winners: 2009 – Richard Armitage; 2010 – Richard Armitage; 2011 – Shane West; 2012 – Simon Baker; 2013 – Gregory Fitoussi; 2014 – Michiel Huisman; 2015 – Gregory Fitoussi; 2016 – Gregory Fitoussi)

In Our Dreams (Female): Kerry Washington, Scandal

A very close-run category, this one, and toppling Tami Taylor takes some doing, but Olivia Pope has managed it, so congratulations to the fierce and fearless Kerry Washington for taking back this year’s ‘Dreams trophy, and commiserations to all the other amazing nominees. Every one of you is ace.

(Previous winners: 2009 – Tina Fey; 2010 – Christina Hendricks; 2011 – Audrey Fleurot; 2012 – Christina Hendricks; 2013 – Connie Britton; 2014 – Connie Britton; 2015 – Kerry Washington; 2016 – Connie Britton)

Most Annoying Storyline: FLOTUS, FMILOTUS and re-framing an entirely legitimate investigation as a “witch hunt”, Designated Survivor

Kate and the Weight, and the Gaslighting of Gunnar were the closest challengers, but for stupidity, hypocrisy and a completely tone-deaf failure to read both the room and real-life, FLOTUS and FMILOTUS stormed off with the majority of your votes. Maybe the REDACTED of REDACTED in the winter finale will help salvage the rest of season two, maybe not, but either way, this storyline, which could have been fun, instead turned out to be appallingly handled and utterly infuriating. Well done, everybody,

(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; 2016 – Everyone’s inexplicable love for Beverly, Nashville)

Most Annoying Character: Toby, This Is Us

Saving the “best” for last, this year’s Most Annoying Character turned out to be a nail-bitingly tight race with the wretched Scarlett from Nashville and the absolutely unspeakable Elisabeth Marjorie from Spin both putting up a sterling fight. But there can only be one winner: step forward Toby, from This Is Us, you were the Worst.

(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; 2016 – Deacon, Nashville)

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a wrap on 2017 and unpopcult’s TENTH annual awards. Thank you all for voting, reading, commenting, and watching with us, and here’s hoping that 2018 is full of light, laughter and lots of loveliness for everyone. And plenty of tv besides.

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Unpopcult Awards 2017

You GUYS. After months, nay years, of anticipation, the big day has finally arrived. The TENTH annual Unpopcult end-of-year Poll is upon us. WOO HOO!

Jed and I can’t quite believe we’re still here ten years later, but here we are, and TV viewing has changed immeasurably since we started. As usual, all first-run stuff that’s been on our TVs this year is eligible (hark at me, making this sound “official), but there’s so much out there and so many different ways to access it that we can’t pretend to have watched even half the things we wanted to or maybe should have this year. This is just a snapshot of what we have watched and what got us the most excited or annoyed. If your favourite’s not in there, let us know in the comments and maybe we’ll get to check it out in 2018. As far as this year’s nominees go, though, the Poll will be open till the turn of the year, and we’ll announce the results on 1st January as usual. So, Happy Christmas if you’re celebrating it, happy day off work if you’re not, and let the voting commence!











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!