Sunday, August 26, 2018

Your Winners in the Fourth Annual Golden Trio Awards Are...

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Thank you all for participating in our fourth annual Golden Trio Awards!

I absolutely love the fact that so many of you cheered on your favorite shows, ships, and actors into gold, silver, and bronze places. Unlike most awards which only reward one winner, our awards know there's too much great television out there, so we need to honor THREE winners in each category. Now we get to celebrate who you voted into the top spots in comedy, drama, and our special category.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy celebrating with us!

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Gold: Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Silver: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Bronze: The Bold Type

I love that all three of these comedies for different reasons. Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been a consistent, inclusive, positive comedy that focuses not only on co-workers who genuinely like each other but also on how their squad truly became a family. This former-FOX comedy series was renewed this year by NBC after being cancelled on FOX and — as indicated by your ranking — it seems like you all are grateful for that. Here’s to another season of a show that seamlessly blends the serious with the slapstick.

Elsewhere on The CW, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s been soaring among fans and critics. As a boundary-pushing, raucous musical comedy, this show has been even more important in 2018 as episodes addressed mental health diagnoses and suicide. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is the series that’s never afraid to go where other shows would hesitate.

And speaking of no-holds-barred comedies, The Bold Type burst onto Freeform last year as a sweet, diverse, female-centric comedy series focusing on three young women in the magazine industry. The things to appreciate most about The Bold Type are its tenacity and unwavering commitment to opening up discussions among its characters about difficult-to-navigate topics (like intricacies of feminism, racism, sexuality, death, addiction, etc.).

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Gold: Donald Glover (Atlanta)
Silver: James Roday (Psych: The Movie)
Bronze: Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)

It’s no surprise to anyone, really, that Donald Glover has become a household name. Whether writing, directing, or starring in Atlanta (a darker comedy that is consistently layered and nuanced — did everyone else laugh out loud during the Florida Man scenes this year or?), or performing as his alter-ego, Childish Gambino, Glover has made 2018 his year. He deserves the gold place for his outstanding performance in Atlanta.

Psych, meanwhile, had a comeback this year in the form of a standalone Christmas movie. And James Roday has never been funnier. He brought the same charisma and energy to the 2017 film that he did the series, but it was also nice to see Roday’s version of Shawn Spencer a little bit more grown up this time around.

Speaking of growing up, Andy Samberg’s Jake Peralta has really exhibited growth personally and professionally! Samberg earns the bronze medal for his role in Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Though Jake is still as goofy as ever, he’s grown in his relationship with Amy. At his core, Jake will always be someone who cares about people and his job, and that continues to shine through his performance.

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Gold: Alison Brie (GLOW)
Silver: Rachel Bloom (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend)
Bronze: Kristen Bell (The Good Place)

True story: I enjoyed season two of GLOW more than the first season, though both were pretty great examples of why shows can (and should) have female leads at the center. Alison Brie always impressed me in Community, but in GLOW her character — while similar in the ways that both Annie and Ruth want to please others and are perfectionists — has a kind of grit and depth that Annie Edison didn’t get to explore. Her performance toward the end of season two is award-worthy, and I’m glad that GLOW fans voted her to gold in our awards this year.

Also worthy of praise is Rachel Bloom, who was snubbed by the Emmys and Globes this year. Bloom gave an incredible performance as Rebecca Bunch on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend this season, deftly navigating the intricacies of a mental breakdown. She pulled us into her performance and demonstrated how Rebecca truly has learned to grow as a person.

Kristen Bell’s Eleanor also grew as a person this year in The Good Place. While it’s always fun to watch Bell snark and she excels at physical comedy (and line delivery — seriously, her one-liners are impeccable), this year we got to see a little bit more vulnerability from Eleanor. The way Kristen Bell manages to convey the softness of Eleanor without it being cheesy or out of line with the character earns her a place in our final three.

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Gold: Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
Silver: Max Greenfield (New Girl)
Bronze: Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)

Terry might love yogurt (and love), but you all love Terry Crews! This year our gold medal goes to a man who always brings the laughter on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Just the scene of Terry getting his physical exam while Rosa was in an active shooter situation should’ve won him this award. I love that Terry Crews plays a character who is a cop but also extremely sensitive. Terry radiates acceptance and love, and he watches over the rest of the Nine-Nine. I love that.

Elsewhere on FOX this season, New Girl bid audiences farewell, and Max Greenfield gave us some final memorable moments. The thing about Greenfield is that he managed to take what could’ve been a one-note character up notches. Schmidt was never perfect, but Max Greenfield made him incredibly funny and redeemable. His love story with Cece turned out to be one of the strongest elements of the last few seasons, and I love that we got to see some dad!Schmidt before New Girl concluded.

And then there’s Tituss Burgess who continually elevates everything he’s a part of. Burgess was the breakout star of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and even years later, he proves that he’s not slowing down anytime soon. Audiences tune in to hear one of his pop-culture laced tirades or GIF a perfect one-liner. There are certain things meant for Burgess and him alone to deliver, and that’s what makes him so stellar.

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Gold: Stephanie Beatriz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
Silver: Melissa Fumero (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
Bronze: Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live) and Rita Moreno (One Day At A Time)

We’ve got a lot of love for supporting actresses, as there was a tie between our bronze winners! But first, our gold medalist: Stephanie Beatriz. I’m in awe of the ways Beatriz has played Rosa. Not only do I feel like I know Rosa Diaz more every season, but I feel like I know the real, authentic version of herself. Hearing at Comic-Con that the writers consulted Beatriz in Rosa’s coming out storyline was so important — not only in terms of representation, but also in terms of allowing these characters to be fully-formed, real people. That’s what Stephanie Beatriz brought to Rosa this year — a character we didn’t only root for, but one we truly knew.

There’s so much love for Brooklyn Nine-Nine in our awards this year and I love it! Earning the silver medal is Melissa Fumero, an absolute ray of sunshine as Amy Santiago. I love Amy. I love her determination and her dedication to her job. I love how type-A she is. But I also love that Fumero doesn’t allow Amy to just be an archetypal perfectionist. Amy is layered and her relationship with Jake has allowed us to see facets of her personality, which I enjoy. But Amy’s own personal dilemmas and triumphs have allowed her to really shine — especially in her new promotion to sergeant! Melissa Fumero has given us an incredibly engaging, fun, and driven woman to root for on television this year (and every year).

And now we have our tie for bronze: Kate McKinnon and Rita Moreno. McKinnon has proven over and over again the last few years that she’s a force to be reckoned with. This woman is seems equally at home in her Hillary Clinton pantsuit on SNL as she does rocking a Ghostbusters uniform. McKinnon has the incredible talent of melding herself into whichever personality or persona she needs to be for a role, while still maintaining her own sense of comedy and individuality.

And speaking of a force to be reckoned with... let’s talk about Rita Moreno for a moment. This season of One Day At A Time was (as is customary for the series) equal parts humor and sob-inducing scenes. Moreno gave an incredibly powerful performance at the end of this season as her character grappled with death. Moreno is amazing in everything she does — she’s able to recognize what makes Lydia hilarious, strong, opinionated, and proud while also reflecting what makes her scared and vulnerable. Watching Moreno play opposite her cast members is a joy, always, and I’m glad she earned the bronze medal for her performance.

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Gold: Orphan Black
Silver: Stranger Things
Bronze: The Handmaid’s Tale

It’s all about the drama, now! Orphan Black bid us farewell last year with a surprisingly sober end — then again, it was fitting because it focused on the clones and that’s really what was the core of the series all along. Not the gunfights or mysteries, but the love between “seestras.”

Meanwhile over on Netflix, season two of Stranger Things focused more on the fallout of season one and allowed us the chance to explore some more mysteries while still appreciating what makes the series great (the kids). It experimented with its structure a little, and earned your silver medal.

On Hulu, The Handmaid’s Tale expanded its story this season by taking plotlines beyond where Margaret Atwood’s novel ended. It continued to be a dark, gruesome, but necessary look at the abuse of power and provided more cautionary tales for us watching the series in 2018.

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Gold: Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us)
Silver: David Harbour (Stranger Things)
Bronze: Matthew Rhys (The Americans)

You all love Sterling K. Brown, with good reason. Randall Pearson has been a solid pillar for This Is Us, and the journey he experienced this season with Deja and coming to grips with his family’s drama was so important to witness. The thing about Brown is that he makes you really ache for Randall. You want to understand him, you want to hug him, but most important of all — you want to KNOW him. Sterling K. Brown continues to excel in bringing a sense of rawness and realness to this character.

On Stranger Things, David Harbour got to play more of a pivotal role this season. Harbour’s Hopper was arguably the stand-in father figure for Eleven, so watching Harbour and Millie Bobby Brown interact and explore that father/daughter dynamic this season was great. Harbour became a central figure and arguable hero this year, which was definitely needed. Matthew Rhys, meanwhile, played his role on The Americans with the ability to extract deep, emotional moments and convey them to the audience with seeming ease. His consistently underrated performance on the series, especially in the show’s final season, earns him the bronze medal in our awards.

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Gold: Melanie Scrofano (Wynonna Earp)
Silver: Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black)
Bronze: Mandy Moore (This Is Us)

What is not to love about a lady going out with a revolver to take on demons and the undead zombies of her family’s lawman past? What Melanie Scrofano really gets right in her portrayal of Wynonna is her ability to deliver a more mature version of the post-Buffy Summers leading action lady. Wyonna’s clever, she’s daring, and takes no crap — all the things that Buffy encapsulated and pasted down to other female heroes. Scrofano also delivers a sense of intelligence to everything she does — she’s got the snark, she’s got the sass, but Scorfano also delivers a character you trust and want to root for. She’s got an ease in Wynonna.

In silver place is Tatiana Maslany, who pretty much deserves an award for every character she played on Orphan Black. Maslany is a wonder to watch, especially when you realize how many little tics and nuances she created to distinguish the clones from each other. Helena, Alison, Cosima, Rachel, and Sarah were all so different from each other. And yet, they were all played by the very same woman who managed not only to make us believe that she was six or seven different people, but also that each of these characters was a character in her own right. I never felt like I was just watching five versions of Tatiana Maslany — I felt like I was watching five different characters on their individual journeys.

Mandy Moore really knocked it out of the park on this season of This Is Us. She conveyed the depth of despair and grief you feel when you lose the person you love. The rawness of that grief was so beautiful and haunting to watch. Moore is part of an ensemble, but she doesn’t get enough credit for how amazing her standalone performances really are. Mandy Moore continues to bring the kind of depth and heart to Rebecca Pearson that I know we will see more of next season.

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Gold: Shamier Anderson (Wynonna Earp)
Silver: Hale Appleman (The Magicians)
Bronze: Malcolm Barrett (Timeless)

It always happens. You get attached. We lived through it in Lost, in Buffy, if you watch Game of Thrones it’s a constant state of anxiety. Shamier Anderson began Wynonna Earp alongside Melanie Scrofano as Marshall Xavier Dolls, and was one of our two leading heroes. Since then, Anderson has rocked the screen as a bastion of heroics (also he was a human dragon, so points for that).

He was cool, he was suave, he was an all-around enjoyable character. His death was well-orchestrated and carefully planned by Andras who wanted to ensure Anderson went out as heroically (and finally) as possible. And Earpers clearly felt the love for Anderson to give him the gold spot in this year’s supporting actor category.

Hale Appleman takes the silver medal, thanks to all of the fans of The Magicians who voted! And it’s well-deserved, too: throughout his run on the series, Appleman has brought both sarcastic, dry, impeccable humor and also raw emotion to his role as Eliot. The most wonderful thing about Appleman as an actor is that he’s able to perfectly balance the line between Eliot’s dark wit and also his deep, profound emotions. He tends to put up walls around himself but Appleman reveals little cracks in that armor and continues to impress as the series has progressed.

Malcom Barrett began as the comic relief for Timeless, but over the course of the series became more than a guy with one-liners — he gave the most heartfelt performances. Barrett was able to understand what made Rufus tick, and ultimately express that Rufus was more of a “civilian” than Lucy or Wyatt, as the series progressed. His anguish watching trauma unfold throughout history, and the way he grappled with having to make hard choices demonstrated Rufus’ humanity. Timeless wouldn’t have been the same without Malcolm Barrett’s Rufus.

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Gold: Summer Bishil (The Magicians)
Silver: Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things)
Bronze: Yvonne Strahovski (The Handmaid’s Tale)

Summer Bishil is the no-holds-barred literal High King of Fillory over on The Magicians, and earns our gold medal for Best Supporting Actress this year! Bishil proved over and over again in the earlier seasons of The Magicians that she was a comedic force to be reckoned with — her one-liners dripped with snark and the relationship between the equally-sarcastic Eliot and Margo was a blessing to behold. But as Margo grew, Bishil was able to extract the deeper layers of Margo’s character. She’s not the funny, mean, or dryly humorous side character; she’s a leading woman — and Bishil brought all of the deep, complex emotions that Margo feels to the surface this year. Bishil is a force to be reckoned with.

Millie Bobby Brown was, without a doubt, the star of the first season of Stranger Things. In season two, we got a chance to see Eleven’s journey unfold in a very different way than season one. Brown brought vulnerability and growth to the young girl and conveyed her struggle to find her place in the world with grace and ease. She definitely deserves this silver medal for her performance!

How can someone make you feel sorry for a woman who was literally not only complacent in but also a driving force behind the destruction of a country and the sexual slavery of women? Yvonne Strahovski manages to pull humanity out of such a character. She, perhaps, even makes it a tad bit terrifying in that we can very much see ourselves inside her haunting long looks at herself in a mirror or out a window, wondering what went wrong.

Granted, most of us wouldn't be first in line to install an absolute fascist theocracy, but the details aren’t the point in Strahovski’s character or importance. We recognize Serena’s longing through Strahovski’s work, and we recognize someone lost, in pain, and making poor decisions. Her work with Elisabeth Moss also stands as a highlight as we watched them, each week, bounce between allies and possibly near friends only to become enemies again. Kudos to Yvonne Strahovski for delivering an honest portrayal of an otherwise ghoulish villain.

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Gold: Waverly/Nicole (Wynonna Earp)
Silver: Charles/Liza (Younger)
Bronze: Sara/Ava (Legends of Tomorrow)

Waverly Earp isn’t the only contemporary TV lady to discover her sexuality before our eyes (Supergirl also had a solid storyline here). We start out with Waverly dating a scumbag guy and us knowing that she’s worth a lot more. She gets it in the form of Officer Haught. Waverly and Nicole have a relationship growth that is intricate carefully plotted than most storylines of this nature. Nicole and Waverly continue to be more than just the prescribed romance of the show; their relationship becomes an integral part of their characters and their place. Nicole was an integral part of Waverly’s search for her identity and Wynonna Earp has allowed the relationship to flourish without making it the defining feature of either character.

Not to mention SyFy certainly allows the ship its due for moments of... well, heat. Ultimately, Wayhaught is one of the most realistic (minus the revenants and stuff) female romantic relationships on TV right now. It’s an incredibly supportive relationship that tells an important story about self-discovery and finding your safe place (or, in this case, person).

After literal years of will-they-won’t-they, Charles and Liza finally took the full plunge into a relationship on this season of Younger! Of course, their relationship isn’t without the bumps and drama — they only forged their connection once Charles learned about Liza’s secret from someone other than her. Throughout the entire series though, what I always appreciated was how Charles respected and saw Liza for who she really was; he always pointed out how incredible she was. Peter Hermann and Sutton Foster have undeniable chemistry and though I know the path for Charles and Liza won’t be easy, I know it’ll be worth it.

First off, Sara Lance is an incredibly layered, nuanced and — importantly — bisexual superhero on television right now. And she got the chance to be happy this season on Legends of Tomorrow. Sara and Ava haven’t had an easy road (that seems to be a theme, right?) but the fact that Caity Lotz mentioned how this upcoming season will explore the softer sides of both tough, kick-butt women while in a relationship is enough to make fans of the pairing excited — and also earn them a bronze medal in this category!

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Gold: Wynonna Earp
Silver: Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Bronze: Legends of Tomorrow

When you think of a TV western, you might think the genre is outdated. When you think of a supernatural TV western you might think, “Wow, that sounds like a hokey Supernatural rip-off.” But Wynonna Earp has proved through its two seasons that its female heavy cast, queer representation, and just plain fun concept make it something worth watching. Shows employing the Scooby Gang mentality when it comes to an ensemble cast can sometimes fall flat. But Wynonna Earp’s cast continues to be a ball of fun and a healthy collection of equally talented people. I could go into specifics, like Dominique Provost-Chalkley’s great work with Katherine Barrell (just look at that Wayhaught win!), or Melanie Scrofono’s excellence as captain of the show. But know that, ultimately, this cast makes the show pretty darn fun, pretty darn gut-wrenching at times, and just an excellent little SyFy series. And it was just renewed for a fourth season! Get hype, Earpers (and Earpers-to-be)!

In silver place is Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s ensemble. If you watched the cast’s panel from Comic-Con, you know why these people deserve a medal — they’re so utterly delightful and clearly love each other! This cast continues to shine in everything they do, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine truly is an ensemble series from start to finish; the comedy, the heart, and the power in the stories come from the group.

Coming in with the bronze medal is Legends of Tomorrow! This show has always been about the ensemble, with Caity Lotz’s Sara Lance leading the charge. But the beauty of this show is how many different character combinations and relationships are explored because of the heroes aboard the Waverider. Here are to more adventures and character growth in the next season!

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Gold: Killing Eve
Silver: Queer Eye
Bronze: Cloak and Dagger

Killing Eve has been hailed as haunting, terrifying, and excellent. Earning a gold medal in our awards this year, it is not only acclaimed by fans but also critics. The depth of psychological exploration, prominence of female characters, spy-thriller vibes, and incredible performances have earned it acclaim — and it’s only in its first season! There’s significance in how Killing Eve is willing to, and does, explore genres while still managing to anchor itself in its lead (Sandra Oh). No doubt, it’ll continue to earn acclaim in the future too!

Meanwhile, Queer Eye is the kind of delightful, feel-good series we needed on Netflix this year. With all the terrible things that happen on a daily basis, it was necessary to watch the Fab Five transform the lives of people in the country and for them to leave transformed too. I don’t know about you either, but the series brought me to tears on more than one instance. Thanks be to Netflix and the Fab Five for reminding us that we have the power to be our best selves, and we just need to believe that every once in a while.

Cloak and Dagger is Freeform’s answer to The CW’s superhero overload, and it’s a breath of fresh air because of it. Starring two young, fresh faces (Olivia Holt and Aubrey Joseph), this Marvel superhero show focuses on the gritty realities of redemption, heroism, fear, and sacrifice. It’s often dark and its heroes are not perfect — but that’s what makes the show so important. Tandy and Tyrone are fallible, each in different ways, and that’s why we connect with them. I’m grateful the show is coming back for a second season — and evidently so are you guys!

We’re so excited that you all participated in the Golden Trio Awards this year! Congrats to the winners and we hope to see you all again next year!


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