Wednesday, September 6, 2017

3rd Annual Golden Trio Awards -- DRAMA WINNERS

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This year, our Golden Trio Awards were tighter than ever. It is undoubtedly the year of peak television, and our awards proved that. Between new network dramas, incredible performances in streaming service shows, and more, there was a lot to celebrate in the drama category. So without further ado, let's get to the winners!

(By the way, you can check out our Comedy winners here.)


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GOLD — This Is Us

Jenn: Did any of you make it through This Is Us without crying? I didn’t think so. Perhaps the most beloved hit of the new television season, this NBC drama began reminiscent of Parenthood in a lot of ways, but totally forged its own path as the first season wore on. The thing that strikes me about the show is just how simple it is — it’s about family. It’s about love. It’s about life. And it’s about how our relationships can be messy and our families can be broken, but still filled with love. It’s truly a character-centric show and every single cast member is exceptional. If you haven’t yet watched this show, get out from the rock you’re under and do so before the show returns at the end of this month!

SILVER — American Gods

Deb: American Gods is proof that a book adaptation can not only live up to the quality of the literary original, but also improve upon it in a number of ways. I was astounded by the level of effort everyone involved in this show managed to put forth, from the writing to the acting to the visuals, and I can’t thank them enough for turning my favorite Neil Gaiman novel into what is now one of my favorite shows. If I had the ability, I would hand American Gods all the awards I could imagine.

BRONZE — The Handmaid's Tale

Jenn: The Handmaid’s Tale came out at a time in our history in which we could (unfortunately) relate to it. That was the whole point of Margaret Atwood’s novel, though: she wanted it to be a dystopian novel that didn’t involve far-fetched technology or unbelievable scenarios that would lock it into a time and place, thereby outdating it at some point. No, Atwood’s novel was meant to be timeless — a tale of what can happen when people in authority abuse their power and oppress those they’re ruling. The Handmaid’s Tale is a haunting, raw look at what it means to be a woman in Atwood’s dystopian society. It follows the journey of one particular handmaid, but it’s a story not just of struggle and oppression but of what it means to be set free from bondage. It’s a show about rising up in the face of horror and finding your voice. I don’t know about you, but that’s a message we desperately need today.


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GOLD — Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us)

Jenn: What could I possibly say about Sterling K. Brown that hasn’t already been said? (Probably nothing, but I’m going to try.) What truly impresses me about him as an actor is his understanding of the balance between Randall’s strengths and insecurities. He’s proud of who he has become and the life he built, and his strength is that he’s passionate about his family — he’s passionate, really, about people he loves. He’s an incredibly kind and gentle human being. But where Sterling K. Brown really shines is in his ability to portray the darker, humbler side of Randall’s ambitions. We see his insecurities, his weaknesses, and his brokenness. But it’s encouraging and relatable. What makes Randall such a wonderful character is that Sterling K. Brown is playing him. In the hands of anyone else, Randall wouldn’t be as beloved as he is. I truly believe that.

SILVER — Ricky Whittle (American Gods)

Deb: I did mention that American Gods managed to improve upon the source material, and a prime example of that is Ricky Whittle as American Gods’ main protagonist, Shadow Moon. Whittle’s portrayal of Shadow manages to inject endearing humanity into a character that, in the book, was difficult to connect with — while still keeping in line with the spirit of the book and allowing for a terrifically satisfying character arc to unravel over the course of the show’s debut season. Shadow is charming, stoic, and sympathetic, and I have no doubt that much of his relatability stems from the talent of the actor playing him.

BRONZE — Freddie Highmore (Bates Motel)

Erin: Freddie Highmore used his incredible talent and range to play the iconic serial killer, Norman Bates. He showcased with brilliant complexity the many sides of Norman, from the vulnerable, mentally ill young man to the “Mother” he created. His perpetual teary eyes kept me in a state of constant feels overload. Highmore did justice to the source material and added levels upon levels of emotion on top of it.


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GOLD — Melanie Scrofano (Wynonna Earp)

Chelsea: Y’all, how many actresses can do their own stunts and act their butts off while nine months pregnant?! I can barely walk up a flight of stairs without catching my breath. Wynonna Earp changed the game this year when they shocked us all with the revelation that not only was Wynonna pregnant but they wrote this into the show when they found out their lead actress was pregnant and decided to keep it a secret for the better part of a year. Scrofano had a heck of a year not only with the pregnancy but with having to protect Gooverly and getting Dolls back. She deserves every Emmy for the emotional rollercoaster she’s taken us on this year, and a nice long vacation to spend with her new little human. Thank you for giving us the pregnant superhero we truly don’t deserve.

SILVER — Mandy Moore (This Is Us)

Jenn: Mandy Moore does not get nearly the credit that she deserves for This Is Us. Every actor on this show is incredible, make no mistake, but sometimes I think we forget the strength within Rebecca. Moore perfectly portrays the balance between the woman trying to find herself in her passion and the woman trying to hold her family together. There are so many incredible, tear-jerking moments throughout the first season of This Is Us, and the amount of heart that Moore brings to the show is one of the drama’s greatest assets. There’s something so genuine, so real, and earnest about Rebecca. She’s a regular person — not a superhero or an unattainable goal. She is a woman who is still trying to find herself and taking us on the journey with her. Thank you, Mandy Moore, for your incredible portrayal and congrats on the silver medal!

BRONZE — Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid's Tale)

Jenn: God, Elisabeth Moss was a revelation in The Handmaid’s Tale this year. Out of all of the dramas that could have appeared on the scene, this one seemed incredibly poignant and apt to today’s society. (Maybe even scarily so.) Moss was exquisite and I have no doubt that an Emmy win could be in the bag this year for her. What’s really great about Moss is that her skills are two-fold in this series: she does incredibly moving, powerful voiceovers; and she also does wonderful acting. The palpable pain and anger and tension and grief felt by Offred in the series is so raw and so gripping. The thinly-veiled rage in her whispered tones in the voiceovers is just as captivating, and watching the contrast between June’s life and Offred’s life and knowing they’re played by the same actress was so good. Moss deserves all the accolades.


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GOLD — Malcolm Barrett (Timeless)

Jenn: I fell in love with Timeless this season and it’s thanks to the cast. They’re all incredibly talented and endearing, but Malcolm Barrett really shone for me. In most shows, Barrett’s character of Rufus would remain predominantly the sidekick source of comic relief. But while Timeless does utilize his comedic chops (and some of the greatest, funniest lines were delivered by Rufus this season), what really struck me was Barrett’s ability to express the emotional side of his character. Rufus is a genuine person who believes the good in people and when faced with the atrocities of history and difficult choices, finds it really hard to treat human beings as anything other than that — human beings. His empathy and compassion are what make him outstanding, and Barrett’s performance delivered those qualities in spades this year. I’m grateful that Rufus exists and that Timeless gets its much-deserved second season because I can’t wait to see more of what Malcolm Barrett has to offer!

SILVER — Ian McShane (American Gods)

Deb: The mysterious Mr. Wednesday is a difficult character to pull off, mostly because he exists entirely in moral gray areas and we’re supposed to simultaneously root for him and, on behalf of Shadow, kinda hate him. American Gods was full of stellar performances, and Ian McShane added the perfect touch of gruff anti-hero to balance out the Wednesday-Shadow duo. McShane was a spot-on perfect choice for this role, so much so that I honestly can’t think of a single actor who could play Wednesday better.

BRONZE — Mahershala Ali (Luke Cage)

Jenn: What makes Mahershala Ali so compelling in Luke Cage is just how scary he is without being a character with superhuman powers. Cottomouth is deeply flawed and humanized, which is what makes him so scary actually. The range and restraint that Ali displays in his performance is complemented by the tension that you feel whenever you watch him explode in rage. Ali manages to walk that line of humanity and villainy so well that it's no wonder he won bronze in our awards.


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GOLD — Gillian Anderson (American Gods)

Erin: Gillian Anderson’s Media took on many forms on American Gods as the New Gods’ mouthpiece, and Anderson was tasked with embodying larger than life, pop culture icons in the process. She nailed each and every one without ever losing Media behind the Hollywood facades. She was down-to-earth as Lucy, cool and fierce as Bowie, legendary as Marilyn, and charming yet vulnerable as Judy. Media’s attitude was always just below the surface, and was super interesting when she exposed her true nature. I was shocked that Anderson didn't get an Emmy nomination for this unique and challenging role, so it is nice to honor her here with the Gold, although she deserves much more.

SILVER — Chrissy Metz (This Is Us)

Jenn: Chrissy Metz did such an incredible job this year with This Is Us. Watching Kate's journey unfold was heart-wrenching, but ultimately satisfying. Obviously Kate's weight loss journey was a facet of her storyline this season, but I love that the show went much deeper. This year, Kate had to really process the death of her father, Jack, with someone else. And the reality is that Kate buried a lot of her feelings and grief and guilt over that event. Metz played Kate's journey with such ferocity and vulnerability that it absolutely moved me to tears (hello, did everyone else bawl during this scene like I did? I still cry and get chills re-watching because of that intense, raw pain that Metz conveys). Chrissy Metz did such fabulous work this season that I cannot wait to see what she does when the show returns this month.

BRONZE — Samira Wiley (The Handmaid's Tale)

Jenn: I loved Samira Wiley in The Handmaid's Tale. She was absolutely riveting as Moira — a rebellious, strong, capable woman who was not content to sit by and let life and injustice just happen to her. But what Wiley did well was unearth the layers in Moira. There are two sides to the character: an intense need for justice to be done and a sort of recklessness, as well as an intense vulnerability and loyalty. Moira went through terrible things and while she earned a sort of freedom, even freedom isn't entirely free in The Handmaid's Tale. In a dark, heavy, but deeply engaging drama, Samira Wiley stood out and for that, she deserves to be included in our winners.

Check out our Comedy winners if you missed them, and stay tuned for our Special Category winners soon!


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