Debbie’s Totally Random and Completely Insignificant Pop Culture Awards of 2017

It’s that time of year again! Woo-hoo, awards!

As always, these are about my personal preferences and just for fun.

The Sorry, Television, This Year the Movies Kicked YOUR Butt Award

Wonder Woman, the No Man’s Land Sequence

Yep, the movies finally did it. After years of TV out-doing, out-creating, out-character-driving action sequences, this year’s Wonder Woman did more than vanquish the movie villain.

I’ll be honest—I’m not really that into comic book movies. I went to see Wonder Woman for two reasons: to support a female-driven action movie and a woman director. I was stunned by how much I loved it, even to the point of tears. I’ve been waiting for a movie like this my whole life.

The No Man’s Land sequence, with a woman not listening to a man, facing down the danger alone, doing it for no reason other than it was the right thing to do, was THE high point of movie-watching for me this year. It was spectacularly shot by director Patty Jenkins, and totally grounded in Diana’s character.

There’s always next year, TV.

The THIS is How You Pass the Bechdel Test Award

Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Wonder Woman

Another reason I love Wonder Woman is the way it aces the Bechdel Test (has to be at least one scene of two women talking about something other than a man). It’s a low bar to clear but both Wonder Woman and Star Wars: The Last Jedi took giant leaps over it.

I will be posting my full review of The Last Jedi in a few days, but one of my favorite things about it is the heroic women, including new characters Vice Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern), Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) and the briefly appearing but critical Paige Tico (Veronica Ngo), who joined General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) and Rey (Daisy Ridley). On top of that, it was an awesome farewell to Fisher. I’m sad she not going to be in Episode IX, but happy her final Star Wars appearance did so much justice to her character.

The A for Effort, D for Stale Comedy Award

The Orville

I was very surprised by how much I enjoyed the first season of Seth MacFarlane’s TV parody of Star Trek, The Orville. Even more surprised to find that as a space opera, it’s remarkably thoughtful and has the optimism that defines the genre. Even though it doesn’t always hit the mark, it makes some serious attempts to tackle many social issues.

Unfortunately, the comedy part of the show is kind of blah and makes me wish that he had just decided to skip making a parody and make this a straight space opera. For one thing, much of the humor is based in present-day pop culture, which is like making a show that takes place today where many of the jokes refer to the 17th century.

Still, I believe this show has a ton of potential and look forward to Season 2.

The O.K., I Was Wrong, The Great British Bake-Off is Still Great Award

Channel Four’s Reboot of The Great British Bake-Off

Last year I was very upset to learn that judge Mary Berry and hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins would not migrate with the show from BBC to Channel Four.

Turns out, the show is still just fine without them. Yes, I miss them, but the replacement hosts, Sandi Toksvig and Neil Fielding are very good. (I also rather like that an older woman replaced a younger woman for a change.) I’m also warming up to Prue Leith as Paul Hollywood’s co-judge.

The fact is, it’s the show’s format that makes it the enjoyable watch and huge success that it is.

My bad.

The Stop Making Stars Too Vain to Wear Their Reading Glasses Presenters at the Oscars Award

Warren Beatty & Faye Dunaway’s blunder when announcing the 2016 Best Picture winner.

What a horrible spectacle that was, watching Beatty and Dunaway erroneously announce La La Land had won Best Picture, then the mistake being discovered that Moonlight had actually won.

It was not only massively embarrassing, it wrecked what should have been a phenomenal moment in Oscar history, when the first film with an LGBT theme and predominately African-American cast won Best Picture.

There are big stars who can read the cards correctly. Use them next time.

The Margaret Atwood Adaptation That Won’t Get the Awards but Deserves All the Awards Award

Alias Grace

Phew! That was a mouthful.

Yes, yes, The Handmaid’s Tale is getting all the awards love. But this year’s other Margaret Atwood adaptation, Alias Grace, is also stellar, and is being almost completely ignored.

I will be posting a full review of the miniseries (available on Netflix as of this writing) in a few weeks, but let me just say if you haven’t seen it, see it. Based on a true crime that occurred during the 19th century Canada, it features what should be a star-making performance by Sarah Gadon (Belle, 11/22/63). The production is impeccable. It is absolutely gripping from beginning to end and deserves every award out there.

The Netflix, Please Don’t Misrepresent What Your Shows Are About Award

Godless

When I saw the trailer for Netflix’s new show Godless, I was ecstatic. It gave the impression it was an almost totally female-driven Western! Starring Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey)! Sign me up!

Turns out, the show is actually centered on two male characters.

I mean, that’s fine, but trying to represent it as something it’s not? Not cool, Netflix.

The Winter is Here, But It’s Going to Last a Lot Longer Than We Thought Award

The confirmation there will be no final season of Game of Thrones until 2019.

Sob.

The Most Pedantic Explanation of Incorrect Science in a Fantasy Show Award

Neil deGrasse Tyson

After the final episode of Game of Thrones current season, astrophysicist Tyson took the time to do a tweet storm explaining why it’s not possible to drag a dragon out of the water with chains.

Dude. DRAGONS AREN’T REAL. NONE OF THIS IS REAL. NO ONE IS EVER GOING TO DRAG A ZOMBIE DRAGON OUT OF AN ICE LAKE WITH CHAINS IN REAL LIFE.

I love the guy, but I wish he would stick to science and lay off the pop culture critiques.

The Best Villain on TV Right Now Award

Prince Phillip, The Crown

Season 2 of The Crown, the biographical miniseries about Queen Elizabeth II (Claire Foy), has been almost breathtaking in its frankness about the many skeletons in the royal family’s deluxe walk-in closet. Princess Margaret’s breakdown after she was forced to give up her one true love, her subsequent lover apparently single-handedly bringing about the Swinging 60s, the Duke of Windsor’s traitorous dealings with Nazis, Elizabeth’s jealousy of Jacqueline Kennedy (who doesn’t come off too great, either), and so on.

But it’s Prince Phillip, played by Matt Smith, who comes across as a bona fide bad guy. Not only cheating on the queen, but pretty much blackmailing her into giving him the title of prince as his price for not walking out on the marriage. He sends their son to a horrible school in Scotland where he is bullied for years because he went to the same school and is convinced it made a man of him. All the while acting so proper and princely and whining about his sister-in-law marrying someone beneath her. Smith does a fantastic job of underplaying the role while still making you hate the character.

The Stop Teasing Us About a Deadwood Movie Award

HBO

It’s been almost fourteen years since the HBO series Deadwood was cancelled and almost every year since, like clockwork, they announce we’re getting a movie to tie up all the loose end left by the show’s abrupt ending. Meanwhile, one of the show’s stars (Powers Booth) has passed away.

It’s got to be the longest tease in TV history. Poop or get off the pot, HBO.

The Hey for Once Being an Annoying Fandom Got Results Award

Sense8 Fandom

Kudos to the Sense8 fandom, who hounded Netflix unmercifully when they cancelled the show after only two seasons. We’re not getting more seasons, but they just wrapped on a movie that will tie up all the loose ends left by the show’s abrupt ending. I thought they were fools for even trying, and they proved me totally wrong. Maybe Deadwood fans should take notes.

For your viewing pleasure, I close out with this year’s Movie Trailer Mash-Up by Sleepy Skunk:

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7 thoughts on “Debbie’s Totally Random and Completely Insignificant Pop Culture Awards of 2017

    1. Welcome and thanks!

      It means the moon at the time of my birth was in Gemini. Supposed to mean you’re good at communication and writing, so seemed like a good title for a blog. 🙂

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