My TV

31 March 2016

The 2015 MyTV Award Winners

By // TV

TV (Half) 2015Before we announce the winners of the 9th annual MyTV Awards, check out the list of all the nominees. We’re in peak TV now, it’s impossible to keep up, but the following winners are the can’t-miss best of the best, at least in our opinion.

Don’t miss our 2015 Nominee Interview Series, featuring more than 75 exclusive interviews with our nominees and be sure to check out Awards Headquarters for the full list of this year’s winners, including the MyCinema Awards and MyTheatre Awards in Toronto, London, New York and Boston.

MLB1945_hires1-e1441689357199Outstanding Choreography

“Slip” by Phillip Chbeeb (So You Think You Can Dance)

This insanely creative lyrical hip hop piece from former contestant Phillip Chbeeb showcased finalists Gaby and Virgil perfectly while creating some of the most memorable images in recent So You Think You Can Dance history. We love Phillip (he was also nominated last year!) and his choreographic contributions are consistently some of our favourites on the show.

313-Hannigram_lighterOutstanding Direction

Hannibal

With Hannibal’s end, there will be an artistic void in the TV landscape. While the directional choices sometimes didn’t land (looking at you, overindulgent artsy first few episodes of the season), when it did work, it worked. Everything from the sets, props, costumes, sound, lighting, and innovative camera work built a darker fantasy version of our world. Hannibal’s haunting universe is the kind that gets under your skin and stays with you. Very few other shows have ever dared to do what Hannibal did every week on TV, and the result of such daring artistic choices lead to the creation of a beautiful nightmare.

community-season-6-finale-imageOutstanding Writing for a Comedy

“Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television” by Dan Harmon & Chris McKenna (Community)

Despite a few episodes for the ages, Community after the sad Harmon-less fourth season never really connected the way it did in its hey-day. Its largely ignored sixth season (which streamed on Yahoo after NBC canceled the show), though based around a hodge podge of characters with only a few originals, was surprisingly really good, even if no one talked about it anymore. The highlight was, of course, the (presumed) series finale, co-written by the series’ disruptive creator himself. Based around the meta idea that each character is pitching a hypothetical direction for a non-existent season seven, Community‘s final episode was Community at its most quintessential- simultaneously creative, zany, and heartwarming. A quiet, under-remarked-upon and somehow perfect ending to a bold, groundbreaking and totally imperfect series.

nup1681560355jpg-c8e5d2_765wOutstanding Writing for a Drama

“The Wrath of the Lamb” by Bryan Fuller, Steve Lightfoot and Nick Antosca (Hannibal)

If you have to go out, go out with a bang. That seems to be the philosophy held by the writers of “The Wrath of the Lamb”. It gave an adrenaline-packed finale to the Red Dragon storyline, but also the emotional closure fans were looking for in Will and Hannibal’s three-season long relationship. It’s very hard to write a series finale that satisfies the majority of fans, but “The Wrath of the Lamb” did. It played to the series’ strengths: intricate cat and mouse games, the exploration of unhealthy but fascinating relationships, and darkly poetic dialogue.

051115-UFC-Silicon-Valley-pi-ssm.vresize.1200.675.high.64Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy

Silicon Valley

One of the most well-balanced and brilliantly unique ensembles on television, season two deepened and expanded the Pied Piper team in awesome new ways. By working with the real personas and chemistry of their comedian cast, the writers keep discovering new depths of both character development and comedy. Note: Our managing editor would like us to take a moment to single out Zach Woods because she’s obsessed with him. Like “he walked by her at UCB once and she freaked out”-level obsessed. Thus he has been singled out but everyone in this cast is A1.

another-split-in-the-campOutstanding Ensemble in a Drama

Empire

The recipe for a killer drama ensemble is the perfect mix of prestige heavy hitters, scene-stealing supporting players, and awesome up-and-comers. The smash FOX hit stars Taraji P Henson and Terrence Howard in two of TV’s meatiest roles, features our beloved Gabourey Sidibe as a sniping assistant, discovered Bryshere Y. Gray and gave the perfect platform to breakout star Jussie Smollett. Case. Closed.

150318-news-kimmy-schmidt-babyslutOutstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy

Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)

Peeno Noir. Need we say anything else? Oh, we do? Okay. Burgess was the undeniable breakout star of the show, flawlessly portraying overly- dramatic struggling actor Titus Andromedon. Despite his self-centeredness and inability to function as an adult (“But I already did something today!”), Titus always has his friends’ back with hit-or-miss advice and a fabulous one-liner, which Burgess never fails to deliver.

youre-the-worst-kether-donohue_article_story_largeOutstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy

Kether Donohue (You’re the Worst)

It broke our hearts to choose between the nominated ensemble members from our favourite half hour on television. Aya Cash’s intense season two storyline and Chris Greere’s sublime, subtle work as her reluctant, broken, insufficient support system? Both brilliant. But we were trying to spread the love this year and we just couldn’t not give the supporting actress award to Kether Donohue whose pitch-perfect sad ditz performance reached wonderful new heights in the show’s fantastic second season.

acf42c50-7975-0132-1d63-0a2c89e5f2f5Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama

Steve Zissis (Togetherness)

Togetherness is a wonder of small, personal storytelling led by one of the best four-person ensembles on TV. Mark Duplass, Melanie Lynskey and Amanda Peet are all incredible in the show but the star is definitely Steve Zissis who plays aspiring actor Alex with incredible pathos and brilliant understated charm.

jeanOutstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama

Jean Smart (Fargo)

Everybody loves it when actors renowned for their comedy chops make a succesful foray into drama. Performances like Jean Smart’s disorientingly cut-throat mob matriarch in Fargo‘s delicious second season are exactly the reason why. You know how the neighbours of serial killers always seem really confused and say things like “he always seemed like such a nice guy”? That’s what it felt like to have our loveable Designing Woman pulled away and replaced by her heartbreaking but menacing evil twin. Disorienting and terrifying but, unlike the aforementioned reality, this fiction was oh-so-satisfying.

casual-hulu2Outstanding Actor in a Comedy

Tommy Dewey (Casual)

The goofy, damaged, intense, self-destructive, intelligent, indulgent, callous, kind performance Tommy Dewey brings to Hulu’s complicated dramedy is what makes the show particularly great. Alex Cole is one of the most interesting men on TV (though he’s technically on the internet, not the TV) because of Tommy Dewey.

rs_560x415-150204152131-1024.Constance-Wu-Fresh-Off-the-Boat2Outstanding Actress in a Comedy

Constance Wu (Fresh off the Boat)

Wu easily navigates the challenge of portraying a flawed woman determined to get the best for her family.   Tough and unapologetic, Wu’s Jessica is a fierce mother and wife, who is smart, but also at times surprisingly naïve.  Jessica is so refreshingly herself. She rarely changes, and refuses to apologize for being different. In Wu’s capable hands, Jessica’s stubbornness and forthright way of dealing with things is both hilarious and endearing.

jessica-jones-krysten-ritterOutstanding Actress in a Drama

Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones)

Jessica Jones is “a hard-drinking, short-fused mess of a woman”. A lesser actress might have focused on Jessica’s tough exterior, but Krysten Ritter was able to find nuance in her role. Yes, her Jessica was brash and tough. She used her super-strength and super-snark both as weapons and defenses. Ritter had to portray a mass of contradictions: a strong woman who was vulnerable. A woman who made some terrible choices, but who was essentially still a good person trying to do the right thing. Ritter depicted a woman who had been hurt badly, but was more than her trauma, and commanded respect. She did all of this with aplomb while also proving that women are more than capable of portraying superheroes that audiences can relate to, and who kick ass.

Page_1Outstanding Actor in a Drama & Outstanding Guest Actor

Jon Hamm (Mad Men & Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)

It was an amazing year for one of our favourite TV actors, so we made him a double winner. He wrapped up his role as Don Draper with a beautiful final turn in a 9-year performance that will go down in television history. But also, after teasing viewers with glimpses of the villainous Reverent Wayne Gary Wayne, it was surprising when he was revealed to be… Jon Hamm? It’s always fun when an actor known for dramatic characters plays against type. Hamm committed to his role with relish, stealing scenes as a charismatic dweeb who almost got away with kidnapping four women on account of his folksy, nonsensical charm.

scandal-recap-season-4-episode-15-recap-1-1024x576Outstanding Guest Actress

Artemis Pebdani (Scandal)

Susan Ross is the only good person left on Scandal. She’s the moral centre of the show, a no-bull-shit real-fucking-person whose ever-expanding role has only made it so much better. With the perfect blend of comic timing, real gravitas and self-deprecating humanity, Artemis Pebdani is awesome in the part, which should very soon include her in the Outstanding Supporting Actress race, not Guest Actress. Make no mistake, she wears the white hat.

150421-news-amy-schumerOutstanding Sketch Artist 

Amy Schumer (Inside Amy Schumer)

2015 was the year of Schumer. It seemed almost every other week one of her sketches went viral, and for good reason. From sketches making fun of certain types of people you meet in your day-to-day life, to sketches dealing with social commentary  (like “Last F**kable Day”  or “Football Town Nights”), no one was safe from being mocked, not even Schumer herself.

VIRGINQA-master675Outstanding Voice Performance 

Anthony Mendez (Jane The Virgin)

Jane the Virgin just wouldn’t be the same without its snarky, omniscient, fourth-wall breaking narrator. It’s a testament of Anthony Mendez’s talent that he can hold his own in a show full of larger than life, dramatic characters, even though he is never on screen. The only nominee in this category not playing a “character”, Mendez’ narrator feels whole and human in a way makes the show shine all the more brightly through his point of view.

john_pds_008_h_wide-1471ca443851e0143eb49f08af071ae9a9fa07ee-s900-c85Outstanding Variety Performance

John Mulaney (The Comeback Kid)

Mulaney proved once again that he’s one of the funniest guys in the industry. His special covered topics from relationships to religion to realtors. The special should be saved to your Netflix queue in case of a bad day, because Mulaney’s impeccable line delivery and smart, off-beat sense humor were in top form, and The Comeback Kid was an utter delight.

James-Corden-008Outstanding Talk/Variety Host

James Corden (The Late Late Show)

CBS’s decision to have James Corden take over The Late Late Show was an inspired choice. Corden has spent years doing film, theatre, and TV (even hosting a few shows in the UK), and is one of those performers who is incredibly likable in everything they’re in.  The affable host quickly established himself in the increasingly crowded late night field, holding his own against his more experienced rivals. (While Jimmy Fallon is known for playing crazy games, has he ever played Tattoo Roulette with One Direction?)  From countless sketches featuring almost every celebrity under the sun, to finding creative ways to let his theater geek flag fly, Corden is a consistent delight. This is the man, of course, who introduced the world to Carpool Karaoke.

SPL1115334_025_Bindi-Irwin-Derek-Hough-467Outstanding Reality Judge/Mentor/Coach

Derek Hough (Dancing with the Stars)

Everyone knows Derek Hough is the best pro dancer and choreographer on Dancing with the Stars. Even if you don’t like him all that much (he’s hyper-competitive, sometimes a bit too intense), that’s just an indisputable fact. Sometimes, when they do a team challenge, he alone has more mirror ball trophies than the entire other team combined. He’s just the best. But it wasn’t until he was assigned Bindi Irwin as a celebrity partner that he was our favourite. His personality was always overshadowed by his goofy buddy Mark or the charismatic Val; nice guys like Tony or Tristan shining as the kinder, more supportive coaches. But Derek fell hard for the incandescent Bindi and she brought out the best in him. This past season (which, of course, he won), Derek was funny and silly and kind and sometimes he cried on camera. And he was also the best pro dancer and choreographer by miles, because he always is.

survivor_kelleywentworth_1200_article_story_largeOutstanding Female Reality Star

Kelley Wentworth (Survivor: Second Chance)

#TeamWentworth. We were hardcore Kelley fans the second the Second Chance ballot was announced. She was our winner pick, the first person on every ballot we cast, our favourite confessional character, and the person we rooted for even when she was against every single other person we were rooting for (which she Always Was). Survivor was in desperate need of a new female power player. Mission very much accomplished.

survivor-2015-wa-epi07-00-joe-challengeOutstanding Male Reality Star

Joe Anglim (Survivor: Worlds Apart /Second Chance)

We went back and forth on this one. With a managing editor enamoured with Stephen Fishbach and a staff that rooted pretty loudly for Spencer Bledsoe in a season well-won by Jeremy Collins, this was a real battle of the Survivors. We ultimately went with Joe for a couple of reasons, including his effect on the audience (is he the most popular Survivor ever? Honestly, maybe) and the fact that he played in both seasons that made up 2015, doubling his impact on our TV season as a whole. Other reasons include: his fake idol, his fire-making ability, his family visit with his dad, his underrated social game, his challenge performances (especially puzzles), his hair.

hart-of-dixie-finale-wade-zoeTV’s Best Couple

Zoe & Wade (Hart of Dixie)

We’ll miss our weekly trips to Blue Bell. We still think Hart of Dixie would have fit in perfectly with the CW’s new direction- quirky shows with less of a teenage focus (Jane the Virgin, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend)- if it had one more chance but we’re grateful it lasted as long as it did. The beloved coupling of #Zade will live forever as the heart of Hart of Dixie.

unreal-tv-show-image-3Outstanding New Show

UnREAL

Guys, the best new show of the year is on Lifetime. Lifetime! That’s big news. Lifetime is a silly place, heavily feminine coded with mostly lifestyle shows and syndicated chick flicks. But this searing look behind the scenes of a Bachelor-type show was serious TV-making in a perfectly on-brand exercise of aspiration. Great writing and a killer cast made UnREAL the treat of the summer. A huge achievement from an overlooked source.

FOR TV – LOOKING - HBO -- LOOKING: Murray Bartlett, Jonathan Groff, Frankie J. Alvarez. photo: John P. Johnson

Outstanding Canceled Show

Looking

We’re not sure we’ll ever get over the cancellation of this under-watched, under-reported, under-stated, under-appreciated dramedy about gay men in San Francisco. The characters were a complexly constructed, well-played, deeply grounded ensemble and the storytelling some of the most nuanced we’ve ever seen on television. The highpoint of HBO’s improbable and wonderful mumblecore block, Looking was the first to fall (Togetherness was axed just this week and Girls will end next season) and, though its death opened up Jonathan Groff for his brilliant Hamilton run, we’ll miss it forever.

Hunted3_3435985bOutstanding Reality Show

Hunted

The most ambitious and intriguing reality show we’ve encountered maybe since the premiere of Survivor, this British gem that sets regular citizens against the (approximated) government in a country-wide cat and mouse game had us hooked from the word go. A complex premise, unconventional episode structures, compelling casting and poignant real-world themes made Hunted really something special.

nup_166647_0977_cropOutstanding Comedy

Parks & Recreation 

Parks & Recreation could have rested on its laurels for its seventh and last season, secure in the knowledge that its small but incredibly loyal fan base would probably love it no matter what. Instead, it took risks, from a bottle episode, to a show-within-a-show episode. It was smart, offering commentary on modern social issues, but had a lot of heart. It brought back pretty much every single fan favorite character, but never felt forced. We’ll miss Parks & Recreation, all the more because of the fun, creative, beautiful way it ended.

Hannibal-3-13-The-Wrath-of-the-Lamb-6Outstanding Drama

Hannibal

The cast and crew of this late NBC show went all out in their last season. And we would expect nothing else for the audacious show’s swan song. Hannibal was able to balance its old storylines and relationships with new characters, making sure it didn’t abandon the reason people were invested in the show, but also making sure the show stayed fresh. There wasn’t a weak link among the many actors, many of whom have been snatched up for other projects now that Hannibal is done. It’s no wonder – they are among the most talented actors on screen today. They made the show’s signature dark, poetic dialogue sound natural!

And you cannot talk about Hannibal without mentioning its unparalleled artistic direction. The sets, the costumes, the lighting, the sound design, the cinematography – all of it was beautiful. Hannibal shows what happens when smart, talented people come together and are allowed to be daring and have (fairly) free creative reign. With a revival looking less and less likely (Bryan Fuller is juggling American Gods and Star Trek, to say nothing of the various cast members’ upcoming projects), at least fans can console themselves with rewatches of the show, and with the knowledge that Bryan Fuller’s masterpiece ended on a strong note.

fdMoment of the Year & Honorary Award

The Daily Show

At the end of a segment where all the correspondents came to say goodbye to Jon Stewart during his last show, Stephen Colbert came to wrap it up with a Lord of the Rings metaphor (because of course he did). But before Stewart could cut to commercial, Colbert ambushed him by giving a heartfelt speech. A visibly emotional Stewart squirmed as Colbert told him how much he meant to everyone there. Colbert summed up why people have tuned in to The Daily Show for 16 years: Stewart is a good man, who is very, very good at what he does. Then all the past and current correspondents rushed the stage for a group hug, reminding us that while Stewart’s tenure on The Daily Show is done, he has created a legacy that will live on for years to come. (We still miss him though!). For that moment, Colbert’s won Moment of the Year; for everything it represented, we had to give Stewart our Honorary Award.

Page_1Performer of the Year

Alison Brie

Alison Brie’s television career thus far is a weird, diverse spectacle of show-stealing characters. The fact that all the highlights of said television career have been running simultaneously is particularly awe-inspiring and we couldn’t let the live-action roles that made Brie a star finish their runs without celebrating her work. As we say goodbye to Community‘s optimistic and beautifully broken Annie and Mad Men‘s manipulative perfectionist Trudy, all we can do is thank our lucky stars that we still have BoJack Horseman and Diane Nguyen (and hope for the return of the incomparable Vincent Adultman).

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