The time has come! Welcome to the prestigious (in our opinion) Feelies award ceremony, where we announce the winners of our second annual reader poll! Voting opened last Monday for several categories in TV drama and comedy. (You can check out the nominee post here.) The competition has been fierce, especially where our nominees’ official social media accounts got involved (what up, Jane the Virgin?!), and, in some cases, the leaderboards have been constantly changing. But in the end, each race could only have one winner. We’re proud to bring you those winners today.
The Feelies go to….
Best Comedy Series
The nominees were: Broad City, Jane the Virgin, The Mindy Project, Parks and Recreation, Selfie, and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
THE WINNER IS: Jane the Virgin
Kim: Much like last year’s winner (and this year’s runner-up) Parks and Recreation, Jane the Virgin is a comedy that is driven by its heart. On paper, the premise is a little ridiculous (a virgin is accidentally inseminated when going in for her annual check-up) but Jane the Virgin is so much more than its telenovela roots. At its core, Jane the Virgin is about family, both the family we are born with and the family we choose. It’s about three generations of women being there for each other no matter what. It’s about love. It’s about the eternal struggle of balancing reality and dreams (I FEEL you and your writer dreams, Jane!). It’s about the choices we make and how they define us. It’s the most delightful show I’ve watched in a long time and I am so proud that it won.
What makes Jane the Virgin so special is the way it deftly balances the comedy and the drama. It plays with telenovela stereotypes and fully commits to every outrageous twist and turn. It gives you the giant romantic gestures we all want to see on TV (who DOESN’T swoon when Rafael and Jane finally kiss?) and then turns around and drops truth bombs everywhere (the Immigration issues with Alba). The show is peppered with fantastical elements like posters of Rogelio coming to life and talking to you. And yet the outlandish is always grounded in the reality of Jane’s journey. There is not a weak link among the ensemble. The writing is the definition of sharp. Every character is fully realized…and has been from the very first episode. This is clearly a show whose team knows what they are doing.
It would be so easy to make fun of Jane’s choice to save herself for marriage or to make her insufferably sanctimonious about it. The show does neither. I love how the show doesn’t judge any of its characters. They are just who they are and no one makes apologies for it. Jane struggles with her choices on a daily basis and that’s what makes her so REAL. That’s really the best word to describe this crazy little telenovela that should have never translated to American audiences. REAL. That’s why it’s connected with audiences. All the female empowerment and pretty men are just a bonus.
Best Drama Series
The nominees were: Agent Carter, Broadchurch, Doctor Who, The Flash, Mad Men, and Masters of Sex
THE WINNER IS: Agent Carter
Sage: Everybody say, “Heeeey, Miss Carter…”
The voters have spoken, and they know Agent Carter‘s value. In eight short episodes, this freshmen Marvel series courted a devoted fanbase with tight plotting, dope period costuming, elegant ass-kickings, and true emotional beats. Peggy Carter isn’t an Avenger. There isn’t a SHIELD to speak of yet. But her story is one worth telling. Why? Because she says so.
As we reported in our SDCC posts, Agent Carter was being repped all over San Diego this July. Red fedoras were the headwear of choice. Peggy fan art was selling out all over the place. And any mention of the show received more enthusiastic Ballroom 20 cheers than its panel mate, Agents of SHIELD. The love that Agent Carter has engendered is passionate. Because this is what the people want: Hayley Atwell’s holy light, sexual tension that knows no gender, and the most feminist piece of art in Marvel’s collection.
Best Actress in a Comedy
The nominees were: Karen Gillan (Selfie), Ilana Glazer (Broad City), Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project), Ellie Kemper (The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation), and Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin)
THE WINNER IS: Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin
Kim: What a GIFT Gina Rodriguez is. She’s so refreshingly pure in her performance as Jane. She just IS Jane. We don’t see any seams in her performance. It’s rare to see an actress know her character so thoroughly from the VERY START of a series and that’s what Gina Rodriguez did this season. It’s one of the most honest performances I’ve ever seen and I can’t WAIT to see what else she is capable of doing.
What’s amazing about Gina is her ability to deftly switch between the comedy and drama of Jane the Virgin without skipping a beat. She’s not afraid to fully commit to her performance and that’s WHY everything about the show works. Because while the circumstances may seem ridiculous to US, they are not ridiculous to Gina (and therefore Jane), so we the audience is willing to go on the journey with her. Plus, girlfriend can cry on command and do it BEAUTIFULLY. Teach me your secrets, you wizard.
Best Actress in a Drama
The nominees were: Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter), Caitriona Balfe (Outlander), Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex), Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who), Olivia Colman (Broadchurch), Eva Green (Penny Dreadful), and Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black)
THE WINNER IS: Caitriona Balfe, Outlander
Sage: Following in the footsteps of last year’s winner (and this year’s runner-up) Tatiana Maslany, Cait Balfe is another brunette force of nature. Outlander itself is technically genre, but it doesn’t really feel like it. That’s because its leading lady (and man, we’re getting there!) deliver the material that they’re given with all the ferocity and gravity that they’d offer to the most A-list, Oscar-bait costume drama. The time travel conceit is almost beside the point; there’s so much else to know about nobility, commitment, and survival.
Cait is everything that she needs to be. And that’s a lot, since Outlander is essentially her story. She meets Claire’s challenges with courage when necessary and humor when it suits her. Claire stands up for herself and for the downtrodden, but still listens and respects her place as a newcomer to this culture and this time. There are “strong women,” composed entirely of sassy comebacks and barely concealed damseling, and then there are just women, who deal as best as they can with the shit they’re given and enjoy some good 17th-century castle oral every once in a while.
So thank you, Sassenach, for being at the forefront of one of TV most pro-lady shows. While I’m sure the paychecks and those love scenes with your costar are reward enough for your efforts, now you’ve got a Feelie to go along with them.
Best Actor in a Comedy
The nominees were: John Cho (Selfie), Joel McHale (Community), Chris Messina (The Mindy Project), Andy Samberg (Brooklyn 99), and Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation)
THE WINNER IS: Adam Scott, Parks and Recreation
Sage: I was watching a season two Parks marathon on the Esquire network the other day. And while there were iconic moments (“PIKITIS!”) and excellent work being done all around, I felt like something was missing. There was an Adam Scott-shaped hole in Parks, before Ben Wyatt was but a twinkle in the eyes of the show’s writers.
Adam Scott set out early in his career to be a Pacino. And while his dramatic chops are considerable (WATCH THE VICIOUS KIND, YOU JAGS), his destiny lies in comedy. In Parks, he took the straight man role of “Mean Ben” and turned him into both a dork for the ages and a dreamy romantic hero.
There really was never going to be anyone else for Leslie Knope, was there? (Though my interest in the Ben/April crackship rages on. Don’t judge.) Adam Scott served such an important role in Parks: the one of the outsider who falls in love with Pawnee, proof that Leslie Knope can make anyone with an open heart believe in her crappy, wonderful little town. It’s a quiet performance, but only proportionally. Adam made it safe for everyone around him to go as extreme a place as they wanted to, and brought down the house when he decided to do it himself. (See: any time Ben is drunk or drugged.) The fact that he swept this category warms my calzone-loving heart.
Best Actor in a Drama
The nominees were: Peter Capaldi (Doctor Who), Grant Gustin (The Flash), Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Sam Heughan (Outlander), Michael Sheen (Masters of Sex), and David Tennant (Broadchurch)
THE WINNER IS: Sam Heughan, Outlander
Kim: It was easy to fall in love with Sam Heughan as Outlander‘s ginger hero Jamie Fraser. Outlander knows its audience and in Jamie it gave us the hero of our dreams. He’s noble, he’s dashing, and as Sage said in the nominee post, he wears the hell out of a kilt. It would have been easy for Sam to just coast on his charm and pretty face. The charm he displayed as he fell in love with Claire (and discovered sex) would have been enough to land him a spot on the nominee list just because we are suckers for beautiful Scottish men. But then Sam Heughan had to go and be a BRILLIANT actor as he took Jamie to places so dark I can’t talk about them without feeling physical pain. It makes me hate him just a little bit.
LOOK AT THAT SINGLE TEAR. You literally SEE Jamie go dead inside as Randall undresses him. It’s absolutely brilliant. The brutality that Jamie endured at the hands of BlackJack Randall only made Sam’s work in the first three-quarters of the season stand out in sharper relief. The horror we felt at Jamie’s physical and emotional torture was made even more meaningful by the purity Sam brought to Jamie in the earlier episodes. How can something so horrible happen to a precious unicorn like Jamie Fraser?
I can’t even imagine the places Sam had to go to as an actor but I’m so grateful he did. Because as hard it was to watch, it was also amazing to see Sam show off his chops. It’s so hauntingly beautiful. Not just a pretty face, this one.
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy
The nominees were: Aidy Bryant (Saturday Night Live), Carol Kane (The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Jane Krakowski (The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live), Andrea Navedo (Jane the Virgin), and Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation)
THE WINNER IS: Andrea Navedo, Jane the Virgin
Xiomara Villanueva is someone you want in your corner. On the surface, Xiomara is flighty and a bit of attention whore. But when you look closer at her, what she ACTUALLY is is the very definition of a mama bear. Xo may be a bit of a mess in many areas of her life (unapologetically so, which is why I love her), but where she has always excelled is in being a good mother to Jane. She protects her at the expense of her dignity (see above) and she protects her at the expense of her own happiness (her initial reluctance to pursue a relationship with Rogelio).
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama
The nominees were: Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men), Eve Myles (Broadchurch), Billie Piper (Penny Dreadful), Darby Stanchfield (Scandal), and Mae Whitman (Parenthood)
THE WINNER IS: Mae Whitman, Parenthood
Sage: When we started the process of ranking the Braverman clan earlier this year, one thing was for sure: Amber Holt would be on the top of the list.
Parenthood is a tear-factory on any day, but it wouldn’t have been the same without Amber’s journey and Mae Whitman’s un-fussy performance. We watched Sarah’s daughter grow from a restless teen to a stable young mother. Mae kept Amber’s anarchic spirit alive, even as she rooted herself in adulthood. And her relationships – with her mother, her uncles, her brother and best friend, etc, etc – are so warm and real, I swear I can feel a heartbeat.
I can’t get over what a lovely actress the little girl from One Fine Day grew up to be, and I can only hope that Hollywood has got something worthy of her talents for her next act. The new Independence Day movie can suck it; maybe I’ll crowdfund a gender-flipped Dawson’s Creek reboot for this girl myself.
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy
The nominees were: Andre Braugher (Brooklyn 99), Tituss Burgess (The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Jaime Camil (Jane the Virgin), Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation), Adam Pally (The Mindy Project), and Jim Rash (Community)
THE WINNER IS: Jaime Camil, Jane the Virgin
Kim: I know a blog-mistress should never reveal her biases but I was SO DESPERATE for Jaime Camil to win this one. I don’t know what my life was before Rogelio de la Vega. What an amazing character. Jaime’s performance is the very definition of a spectacular supporting performance. He steals every scene that he’s in but not to a degree where it’s LOOKING like he’s trying to steal the scene. He’s just playing the (brilliant) material truthfully and that’s what makes it so good. Honestly, he should win an award just for being able to deliver some of Rogelio’s lines with a straight face.
Rogelio is definitely the Id of Jane the Virgin. He says what he wants when he wants it. He’s driven by his own desires. He’s deliciously narcissistic. He’s vain and he’s shallow and he thinks the world revolves around him. But he ALSO has a giant heart. Lesser men than Rogelio de la Vega would have run for the hills upon learning they had a 20-something daughter they had never known about. Not Rogelio. He immediately wanted to be a part of Jane’s life and wanted to get to know her. His attempts to bond with her were often misguided but they were never ill-intentioned. In Jane and Xiomara and Alba, Rogelio found the family he had (to borrow from Fools Rush In) never known he had always wanted. From the moment they came into his life he began to shape his life around THEM. It was an amazing journey to watch.
Let’s not write off Jaime Camil as a one-trick pony who can only deliver a fantastic one-liner. He knows how to pack an emotional wallop too. His reaction the first time Jane called him “Dad” had me crying on the elliptical and the offense he took when Xo tried to race off to the birth of Jane’s baby was EVERYTHING. It’s criminal he wasn’t nominated for an Emmy. Hopefully this Feelie, along with knowledge of how QUICKLY his fans mobilized after he tweeted this post, leading to a landslide victory, will suffice. #TeamRogelio
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama
The nominees were: James D’Arcy (Agent Carter and Broadchurch), Jordan Gavaris (Orphan Black), Jesse L. Martin (The Flash), Kyle MacLachlan (Agents of SHIELD), Harry Treadaway (Penny Dreadful), and Carlos Valdez (The Flash)
THE WINNER IS: James D’Arcy, Agent Carter and Broadchurch
OKAY, maybe this category wasn’t entirely fair. James D’Arcy dazzled with not one but two exceptional performances this year. Remember what a total mindfuck it was to experience both prim and proper Edwin Jarvis and menacingly sexual Lee Ashworth at pretty much the same time? How is this the same dude?
Oh, right: ACTING. James D’Arcy has got some serious downshift abilities, moving between being Agent Carter’s confidante and comic relief and one of Hardy and Miller’s prime suspects in the infamous Sandbrook case. One minute, he was looking suitably scandalized by one of Peggy’s roundhouse kicks, the next he was taking Claire Ripley against a wall.
We do love our talented Brits here at Head Over Feels, and it looks like you readers have crowned our new Anglo-crush. Now: who’s ready for Jarvis and Peggy to kick it in LA?!
That’s it! Thank you so much to everyone who tweeted, Facebooked, or cast a vote. Watching these polls is one of the great joys of our year, because we want to see how you feel about the TV that we all love! Congratulations to our winners and our nominees, and keep up the fine work. I feel god in this Chili’s tonight.