It’s that time of year, you guys! The Emmy Nominations were announced earlier this month, and while there were many things we were happy about, inevitably we were left screaming into the void about how so many brilliant performances were ignored. Never fear, dear readers, the Fourth Annual Feelies are here to right the wrongs of the Emmys. Sure, many of our nominees are on the Emmy list because some performances are indisputable in their merit. But we also want to shine a light on the unsung heroes of the television season and give those performances the recognition they deserve.
We may pick the nominees, but the winners are in YOUR hands. Vote with your hearts, people. Campaign for your favorites and rally your respective fandoms. You can vote once an hour and the polls will close at 10 AM on Saturday, August 5th. Go forth and crown your champions!
The Good Place
Jane the Virgin
Sage: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend blew up its entire premise at the end of an excellent Season 2, meaning that the entire madcap series has been operating on more levels than Rebecca Bunch has neuroses the ENTIRE TIME. As CXG inched towards that literal and metaphorical cliff, it hit us with bravely human and feminist storytelling (Paula’s abortion), transcendent musical parody (the dinosaur drug ballet, plus everything else), and a healthy dose of “Period Sex.” Things were not what they seemed in The Good Place, another Mike Schur triumph, though any locale that’s home to as many philosophy jokes as fart jokes is so fine by me. And the showrunner kept things motoring smoothly on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, reliably funny and good-hearted. The more we get to know the characters, the more organic that comedy feels, and the harder those signature cliffhangers hit.
Kim: There was clearly something in the water over at the CW this season because two-time Feelies champ Jane the Virgin completely blew its premise up in Season 3; first with Jane FINALLY giving her flower to Michael, and second when Michael DIED in the middle of the season and they fast-forwarded three years. It was a BOLD move and one that not many shows would be able to pull off, but JTV kept its heart and humor intact, even when it took our heroine to the darkest of places. GLOW was everything we wanted it to be and more: a fabulous and diverse ensemble of ladies, Marc Maron rocking a fabulous ‘stache, and complicated female friendships being worked out through kicking each other’s asses in the wrestling ring. The kick-ass 80’s setting is just a bonus. *Bangs pots and pans* SPEECHLESS IS A GIFT. The family sitcom can often straddle the line of being too saccharine and feel-good; the fact that Speechless centers around a family with a special needs child ups the potential of every episode feeling like an after-school special. But Speechless never goes there; it unflinchingly pokes fun at but never MAKES FUN of or coddles JJ. The ensemble is seamless, proving all season that any combination of characters works. Why aren’t you all watching?
Big Little Lies
The Handmaid’s Tale
This Is Us
Kim: We’re suckers for lavish British period dramas, but what makes The Crown so good is that it takes stories we know the endings to and makes them feel real and immediate. The Royal Family IS a living soap opera but The Crown humanizes them while also shining a light on JUST how fierce a woman Queen Elizabeth II is as she navigates a world where The Men are used to running things and not taking orders from a woman. Big Little Lies could have easily presented the moms of Monterrey as Stepford-y one-dimensional caricatures where friendships turn on a dime and everyone bitches about each other behind their backs. Instead, it presented fully-rounded women who were ferocious in their devotion to each other and never judged each other, no matter what horrible situations they found themselves in. It’s a thrilling ensemble of some of our best actresses, and what makes it so magical is that they worked together as opposed to trying to outshine each other. This Is Us fills the family drama void that was left when Parenthood went off the air. It’s shamelessly sentimental and often emotionally manipulative but it works because of its stellar ensemble and the way they ground their characters in the reality of their world.
Sage: If anyone but Bryan Fuller had been at the helm, I would have had a lot to fear about the TV adaptation of one of my favorite novels of all time. But American Gods has all the reverence and panache of Hannibal, plus another gorgeously talented cast of actors. Sometimes it’s a dream, sometimes it’s a nightmare — but the uncensored tribute to Neil Gaiman’s work is always a poetic, visual feast. Peter Capaldi’s last series of Doctor Who introduced a self-aware and winning queer companion of color, pointedly showed Trumpers and Bexiters who really runs the galaxy, and gave Michelle Gomez’s tour-de-force Missy the send-off she deserved. Life imitated art which imitated life again in Hulu’s unflinching adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. The terror and exhaustion are real, but Offred’s defiance communicates to the resistance that we too can survive this Gilead of our own making. And Stranger Things hit all the right buttons with its nostalgic af monster-mania. Kids of all ages raised by King and Spielberg ate up the upside down and welcomed Winona back to their screens with open arms.
Best Actress in a Comedy
Kristen Bell as Eleanor Shellstrop, The Good Place
Rachel Bloom as Rebecca Bunch, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Alison Brie as Ruth Wilder, GLOW
Minnie Driver as Maya DiMeo, Speechless
Ellie Kemper as Kimmy Schmidt, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Gina Rodriguez as Jane Villanueva, Jane the Virgin
Sage: Alison Brie is the girl you call when you need someone to play an overachiever with a healthy dose of imposter syndrome. (See: Annie Edison.) GLOW‘s Ruth comes to accept her villainous alter-ego when she realizes that being liked isn’t as good as being fucking awesome, and Alison’s portrayal (plus a Russian accent that KILLED ME EVERY TIME) sets the tone for the rest of the ensemble. On Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Ellie Kemper has the difficult duty of communicating Kimmy’s growth while keeping her recognizably innocent, quirky, and weird. It’s not easy to show forward motion in such an absurd sitcom, but Ellie manages beautifully. And what can I say about Gina Rodriguez that I haven’t said already? Jane The
Virgin faced her toughest year yet, but Gina’s sunshine-y self helped fans see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Kim: We say it all the time but Rachel Bloom is giving the most ferocious and BOLDEST comic performance on television and it’s CRIMINAL this woman isn’t being showered with all the awards. Rebecca Bunch is a piece of work; she’s neurotic, she’s selfish, she’s needy, and she’s incredibly insecure. Bloom never shies away from the “bad” facets of Rebecca’s personality, in fact, they are the very foundation of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and they are why we root for Rebecca in the first place…because she is us. Kristen Bell brings the perfect amount of acerbic wit to The Good Place‘s resident anti-heroine Eleanor Shellstrop. She’s such a contradiction with her sunny disposition and her wicked tongue. I don’t think there is any other actress on TV who could deliver “That’s bullshirt” with the same conviction. Minnie Driver‘s Maya DiMeo is the kind of role that should be awards bait. Maya is an unapologetic Mama Bear and Alpha Woman who is unflinching in her devotion to her family. Minnie perfectly balances Maya’s overbearing nature with her giant heart, making Maya someone you would always want in your corner. We’re so lucky to have her.
Best Actress in a Drama
Carrie Coon as Gloria Burgle, Fargo
Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II, The Crown
Nicole Kidman as Celeste Wright, Big Little Lies
Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts, Doctor Who
Elisabeth Moss as Offred, The Handmaid’s Tale
Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, Scandal
Reese Witherspoon as Madeline MacKenzie, Big Little Lies
Kim: Kerry Washington has always delivered as Olivia Pope on Scandal but took her to new heights this season as Olivia got that much closer to her dream of running the White House. I can only compare her journey this season to that of Walter White. She is Icarus…and she’s flying really close to the sun. Elisabeth Moss‘s Offred is a woman of few words but she says so much. It’s such a complex and layered performance and she does more with just her eyes and her sly smiles than many actresses do with pages and pages of dialogue. She is defiant and she is full of despair at the same time; she is beaten down but never broken. It’s such a subtle performance but it is also one that shouts from the rooftops. Claire Foy is the embodiment of the British Stiff Upper Lip. Her Elizabeth carries the weight of her kingdom on her shoulders and Claire is so good at portraying how Elizabeth is often torn between the duty of her crown and her personal desires. There’s been so much conversation about how Big Little Lies heralds the return of Nicole Kidman, to which I reply “BITCH WHERE DID SHE GO?” Nicole’s Celeste is such a contradiction of fragility and strength as she comes to terms with the abuse in her marriage and finding the strength to take her life back. It’s such a delicate balance because while Celeste is a victim, Nicole never makes us feel like she’s one.
Sage: Fargo continues to nail it in finding the perfect performer to play its everyperson hero. In Season 3, Carrie Coon is the cop capable of pulling the threads of the Stussy brothers’ epic falling out together, doing deceptively deep work surrounded by outsized, Coen-y performances. (Consider this a vote for The Leftovers too, if you like.) Pearl Mackie deserved better material — we all know it. But she had the unenviable task of succeeding a long-term Doctor Who companion whilst breaking some thick sci-fi barriers. Her curious Bill Potts is too good for the cards life dealt her, but never lets herself be victimized. And Reese Witherspoon continued to prove that she’s one of her generation’s finest actresses in her grown-up-Tracey-Flick role on HBO’s soapy feminist miniseries, Big Little Lies. Madeline is a bundle of contradictions, bound tight and ready to burst, but in Reese’s hands, you can’t help sympathize and root for her.
Best Actor in a Comedy
Gael Garcia Bernal as Rodrigo De Souza, Mozart in the Jungle
John Ross Bowie as Jimmy DiMeo, Speechless
Ted Danson as Michael, The Good Place
Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf, A Series of Unfortunate Events
Marc Maron as Sam Sylvia, GLOW
Andy Samberg as Jake Peralta, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Sage: I devoured three seasons of Mozart In The Jungle over about two weeks and was charmed at every single turn by Gael Garcia Bernal‘s eccentric but loving maestro, Rodrigo. In Season 3, Rodrigo goes toe-to-toe with a fiery opera diva coming out of retirement, reunites his beloved orchestra, and gives Hai-Lai new purpose by encouraging her own interest in conducting. He’s so disarming and charismatic, it’s easy to see why everyone he meets is either infuriated or infatuated. THAT moment in The Good Place would not have been as shocking if not for Ted Danson finally loosening the straps of his too-nice nice guy act. The man is sitcom royalty, and I thought he was giving one of the best comedic performances on TV BEFORE I knew he was pulling double duty. And Andy Samberg is another perpetual name on this list, because he leads Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s a-dorable and intensely funny ensemble with a delicious goofiness that never gets old.
Kim: On so many sitcoms where the wife is the one depicted as the one in charge of the marriage, the husband often comes off as a schlub who is completely emasculated by his powerful wife. It’s a testament to both the writers of Speechless and John Ross Bowie’s performance that the opposite happens with Jimmy DiMeo. Jimmy never feels threatened by Maya; in fact, he basks her in power, but at the same time, he never slacks off and just lets her run the show. We need more men like Jimmy on television. Neil Patrick Harris is living his best life as Count Olaf in A Series of Unfortunate Events. He’s deliciously wicked, wonderfully campy, and manages to make every one of Olaf’s disguises a distinct character. Barney Stinson may be Neil’s signature role, but Olaf is the kind of role he was always meant to play. Marc Maron brings the perfect amount of sleaze to Sam Sylvia on GLOW. I can really only compare him to A League of Their Own‘s Jimmy Dugan…which anyone who knows me will know that is the highest compliment I can give.
Best Actor in a Drama
Sterling K. Brown as Randall Pearson, This Is Us
Peter Capaldi as The Doctor, Doctor Who
Ewan McGregor as Ray and Emmit Stussey, Fargo
Rami Malek as Elliot Alderson, Mr. Robot
Matt Smith as Prince Philip, The Crown
Dan Stevens as Legion, Legion
Ricky Whittle as Shadow Moon, American Gods
Kim: Rami Malek is something special, y’all. After the Fight Club-esque reveal of season one, it would have been easy for Rami to go the crazy route as Elliot became more and more unhinged. Instead, Elliot became more and more detached and withdrawn. It’s not an easy thing to convey emotion when you have a character that’s intentionally numbing himself, but Rami does it with ease. After three years watching Matt Smith flounce around as the Eleventh Doctor, it was so amazing to see him go the opposite route as Prince Philip in The Crown. His performance is an exercise in barely contained toxic masculine rage at having to be subservient to his more powerful wife. It’s so hard to watch but thrilling all at the same time. And then we have Peter Capaldi. I may have had issues with how Series 10 was written, but I have never had an issue with Peter’s Doctor. He brings such a wonderful gravitas to the role, and the way he portrayed the Doctor’s pure weariness in this Series was amazing to watch. Plus, he always delivers one HELL of a monologue.
Sage: Real talk: This Is Us enrages me almost weekly, but I stick around for Randall and his family. Sterling K. Brown immediately established himself as the heart of this show and of the Big Three. He’s so at ease, so natural – it feels like he’s been living in this character for years. Ewan McGregor disappeared twice over on Fargo, playing a pair of feuding twin brothers. The physical transformation had nothing on the quintessentially Fargo-ian doomed quality that hung over both of them until the bitter and bloody end. If the Emmys paid attention to genre shows, Dan Stevens would have been on the top of that Leading Actor list. There’s SO MUCH going on inside his Legion character, a man who’s lived so much of his life believing the people who tell him he’s insane that he can’t differentiate between reality and his trippy, drugged-out nightmares anymore. Finally, American Gods hit the jackpot with Ricky Whittle. Shadow Moon is a stoic audience surrogate surrounded by literal gods doing the absolute MOST with their performances. By digging into that character instead of desperately trying to compete with what’s happening around him, Ricky fully embodies a fantasy lit icon.
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy
Stephanie Beatriz as Rosa Diaz, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
D’Arcy Carden as Janet, The Good Place
Donna Lynne Champlin as Paula Proctor, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Betty Gilpin as Debbie Eagan, GLOW
Jameela Jamil as Tahani Al-Jamil, The Good Place
Kate McKinnon as Various Characters, Saturday Night Live
Sage: Stephanie Beatriz doesn’t get enough credit for Rosa Diaz, Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s toughest broad/secret Nancy Meyers fan softie. I don’t know what I love more, her brOTP status with Jake or her lethal eyebrow raise. Betty Gilpin is the revelation of GLOW (and how ’bout that American Gods scene, eh?) — a woman who thought her glory days were behind her; a scorned wife and friend; a mom who loves her kid but doesn’t want her life to end there. Her frustration and suffocation are palpable and so is her eventual rebirth. The Good Place‘s “mean girl” Tahani, like the rest of its characters, announced herself with a single characteristic and then bloomed out to reveal so much more. Jameela Jamil‘s sing-song delivery of Tahani’s casually-cutting “I’m always going to be better than you” lines is great, but so is her exploration of that character as a woman who spent her whole life feeling inadequate, racking up accomplishments while unable to enjoy any of them.
Kim: Last year’s champ Donna Lynne Champlin continued to deliver the goods in season two. Paula went to a lot of tough places this season, from facing an unexpected pregnancy to going back to school to (temporarily) falling out with Rebecca. The reason they could do that is because Donna Lynne always grounds her character in reality, even when she’s working out her feelings in a Disney Princess ballad or a Heart-esque 80s power ballad. Kate McKinnon continues to be THE reason to watch Saturday Night Live. Things were thrown off for her this year, because we were all expecting her to be playing President Hillary Clinton for the next four years…until all of the sudden she wouldn’t be. Her opening as Hillary at the piano, singing “Hallelujah” the week after the election will probably go down as one of the most powerful moments in SNL‘s history. D’Arcy Carden doesn’t have it easy on The Good Place, since Janet is basically a living version of Siri and she has to play it with limited emotion. That’s HARD, y’all. She was always good at it, but when she really came alive is when we were introduced to “Bad Janet” and then when Good Janet fell in love with Jason Mendoza. It’s the definition of a sly performance.
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama
Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven, Stranger Things
Emily Browning as Laura Moon, American Gods
Laura Dern as Renata Klein, Big Little Lies
Michelle Gomez as Missy, Doctor Who
Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret, The Crown
Yvonne Strahovski as Serena Joy, The Handmaid’s Tale
Bellamy Young as Mellie Grant, Scandal
Kim: We’ve been shouting about Bellamy Young‘s Mellie Grant for years, and we will continue to do so as long as she continues to deliver performances like she did in this past season of Scandal. Mellie is a fighter. She is a woman who won’t be cowed in the face of adversity and Bellamy imbues her with a conviction that makes me shout “YAS GIRRRRL” at my television screen on a regular basis. Millie Bobby Brown displays the maturity of actresses twice her age in Stranger Things. Eleven may not say much verbally, but she says so much with her face and her reactions. She takes the standard “creepy child” role and gives her both vulnerability and terrifying strength. We are so lucky to live in a world where we get to see Michelle Gomez as Missy. She’s always been good but Missy’s journey during this season of Doctor Who was a joy to watch. She still had the wickedness and sharp tongue that we’ve loved for the past two years but she also added a tenderness and inner turmoil to her that took it to a whole new level. She will be SORELY missed. Could anyone have played Renata Klein better than Laura Dern did? I think not. Renata is the villain for most of the series; she’s tough, she’s unforgiving, she’s that mom at the playground that we are all terrified of. Laura brings that brittleness to the role but she also lets you see those moments where she questions herself. It’s a hard role but Laura makes you cheer for her, even when you hate her.
Sage: Laura Moon’s role was pumped up considerably for the show – a great call. As Shadow’s no-good wife, Emily Browning brought dark humor and a #relatable angry-dead-girl aesthetic to the proceedings. And her nasty chemistry with Pablo Schreiber’s Mad Sweeney is to die (again) for. Princess Margaret gets the rawest deal of The Crown, and the elegant Vanessa Kirby plays her anger and betrayal without inviting a “poor little rich girl” designation. And Yvonne Strahovski probably has the most thankless role in The Handmaid’s Tale. Audiences waited a whole season for her to show a single shred of compassion – because we assume we’ll get that from a female character – but nope. Serena is as evil as any of the men in power, and Yvonne’s chilling work deserves to be recognized.
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy
Andre Braugher as Ray Holt, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Tituss Burgess as Titus Andromedon, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Jaime Camil as Rogelio de la Vega, Jane the Virgin
Micah Fowler as JJ DiMeo, Speechless
William Jackson Harper as Chidi Anagonye, The Good Place
Cedric Yarbrough as Kenneth, Speechless
Sage: Andre Braugher is the Nick Offerman of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, i.e. the most egregious Emmys snub. A lesser actor would have exhausted Capt. Holt’s comedic and emotional potential by now, but Andre seems to be having way too much fun to ever let that happen. As always, Tituss Burgess had the best lines, moments, and outfits on this season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. And while that Lemonade homage slayed all day, it was that actually devastating break-up with Mikey that defined his year. Speechless gets better with every episode, as does Cedric Yarbrough‘s Kenneth, aid, big brother, and adopted DiMeo. He and Micah Fowler’s JJ are one of my favorite TV teams; see: the episode where Kenneth sets up a fight club for JJ and his friends with disabilities, because he believes (to a fault) that everything can and should be made accessible for his friend.
Kim: WHY is Jaime Camil not winning all the awards? Seriously. He’s not even being NOMINATED, for Christ’s sake. Rogelio de le Vega has been one of my favorite characters over the past three years, and Jaime Camil keeps adding layers to him while still maintaining Rogelio’s blissful lack of self-awareness. Rogelio never crosses into caricature or one-dimensional fool, and that’s a testament to the man playing him. As Chidi, William Jackson Harper often has to play the straight man/Jiminy Cricket to Kristin Bell’s Eleanor, which is not an easy task. It’s a less showy but no less masterful performance and Harper truly shines whenever Chidi is forced into an ethical dilemma. Micah Fowler, you guys. He blew me away on Speechless every week…without ever saying a word. The performance purely relies on Fowler’s physicality; it’s all in his face and body. His comic timing is impeccable and the amount of emotion he’s able to convey in a single eyebrow raise or roll of his eye is astounding.
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama
David Harbour as Chief Hopper, Stranger Things
Ron Cephas Jones as William Hill, This Is Us
Ian McShane as Mr. Wednesday, American Gods
Joe Morton as Eli Pope, Scandal
Adam Scott as Ed MacKenzie, Big Little Lies
Christian Slater as Mr. Robot, Mr. Robot
Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones, Riverdale
Kim: Shonda Rhimes has employed a LOT of fantastic actors of the course of her network domination but there are few actors that can deliver her magnificently wordy and bombastic arias like Joe Morton can. It’s putting it lightly to say that Eli/Rowan Pope is a complicated man…but the magic of Joe’s performance is that even when you KNOW he’s a right bastard, you still buy into him. (Me during the scene with Sandra and the Dinosaur: I REALLY BELIEVE HIM. 5 Seconds later: Oh, he just threatened to kill her. Welp.) Adam Scott is a far cry from Ben Wyatt as Ed MacKenzie in Big Little Lies. On the surface, Ed is a bit of a thankless part, the Beta male behind Reese Witherspoon’s Madeline; the guy who always feels like he’s going to be second best to the ex. But Adam Scott brought a wonderful sense of both humor and vulnerability to the role. ALSO THE BEARD. And finally, part of the reason that Sterling K. Brown is the heart of This Is Us is due to the wonderful Ron Cephas Jones and his performance as William Hill. It’s a testament to the show NOT always doing what I expected it to, because I kept waiting for William to let Randall down and he never did. What made William so wonderful was how layered he was: he was a man burdened with regret for giving up his son and he was a man desperate to soak up as much time as he could once he got his son back. He’s wonderfully funny, especially in his scenes with Beth, and yet he will have you in tears delivering a beautiful speech in the very next scene.
Sage: I feel like what David Harbour is doing on Stranger Things LOOKS easy. But that’s because he and Chief Hopper are a match made in casting heaven. Mornings are for coffee and contemplation, faces are for punching, and Hopper is the perfect grumpy hero to back up a group of rag-tag kids. Speaking of casting heaven: Ian McShane. Could American Gods have done better for its duplicitous, ego-maniacal anti-hero, Mr. Wednesday? Fans figured out this season’s Mr. Robot twist pretty early, but the shock of season 1’s still persists, in the form of Christian Slater‘s devil on Elliot’s shoulder. Its sophomore year saw Elliot fighting against Mr. Robot’s influence harder than ever before; Slater’s answering fanatical frenzy raised the stakes even higher, leading to a nail-biting climax. If we believed in guilty pleasures, Riverdale would surely be one. The breakout of this post-emo take on the Archie story was (surprise!) Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones, the town’s resident outcast, budding Salinger, and lowkey heartthrob. Riverdale embraces the camp of it all, and Cole seems to be enjoying adding a little James Dean flair to this murder mystery.
Best Shipper Moment
Greg and Rebecca at the Bridge, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
“It’s time for us to be friends again.” – Doctor Who
Julian comes for Christmas – The Flash
Eleanor may be into Tahani – The Good Place
Rodrigo and Halley finally do it – Mozart in the Jungle
Betty and Jughead’s first kiss – Riverdale
“It was all me.” – Wynonna Earp
Sage: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend could run for 15 more seasons sans Santino Fontana, and I would STILL be banging the drum for Team Greg. But before they closed the door on their “shitshow” romance, Greg and Rebecca had a “great, fate-less, coincidental meeting on a scenic bridge” that ended in a pretty swoon-y grab-and-kiss. Take that, Josh Chan. Tom Felton has joked at conventions that he tried to pitch The Flash writers on a Barry/Julian romance, and would that they listened, because the classic rom-com elements are all there: Barry and Julian can’t stand each other at first but slowly learn to respect each other’s integrity; and then all of a sudden Julian is family, arriving on Joe’s doorstep on Christmas and handing his former enemy a gift while they smile shyly at each other. What more do you want? And after two seasons of quirky co-dependency and prophetic tea readings, Mozart In The Jungle FINALLY let Rodrigo and Hailey get it on, much to Lizzie’s open-mouthed surprise. (“Did you and Hailey sleep together last night?” “Oh, yeah. Yeah, we did. We did, Lizzie, yeah. But you know, we spent more time awake. We did more things when we were awake. It’s more fun.”)
Kim: I was coasting along just fine in my love for Riverdale before episode six happened. I was watching it for the ladies and then all the sudden Betty and Jughead decided to team up to investigate all the shit that was going down in Riverdale and a new ship was born. I’m Dawson’s Creek trash to the core, so I cheered at the DEFINITE homage when Bughead’s first kiss came after our resident Pacey character climbed into Betty’s bedroom via a ladder. Similarly, I was totally into my Eleanor and Chidi ship on The Good Place right up until the season finale when after extolling her frenemy’s virtues (both emotional and physical), Eleanor dropped a “I genuinely might be into Tahani” truth bomb. Listen, there is a reason why enemies to friends to lovers is one of the most dominant genres in fan fic and these two could be a shining example. Speaking of dominant fan fic genres, let’s talk about Doctor Who and the Master/Doctor relationship. These two idiots have been in love with each other all over space and time and Peter Capaldi and Michelle Gomez took it to a whole new level in Series 10. The sexual tension in their scene at the end of “Eaters of Light” was unbearable. Their HANDS. Their hushed voices as they talked about being friends again. The hope in Missy’s eyes. The total lack of personal space. The way the Doctor stopped himself and took a step back. SET ME ON FIRE. Our final shipper moment comes courtesy of Patreon Sponsor Will, who suggests a moment for Wynonna Earp‘s WayHaught ship. “Waverly and Nicole have their first moments back together after Waverly is freed from possession by the GOO, and Nicole is unsure if the loving moments they shared during the possession were real or not. Waverly’s reply to her? “No, it was all me. It was all real.” “How can you be sure?” “Because… I don’t remember much about when… IT…was in control…BUT… I remember EVERY SECOND I was with you…every touch…every kiss.” Okaaaaaaay I don’t watch yet but that is ALSO some Pacey Witter realness.
Best Right in the Feels Moment
“That’s who you are.” – Bones
Elizabeth tells Margaret she can’t marry – The Crown
Offred and the letters – The Handmaid’s Tale
Michael’s Death – Jane the Virgin
Elliot and Tyrell – Mr. Robot
William’s Death – This is Us
Kim: 90% of The Handmaid’s Tale could qualify for a “Right in the Feels” moment to be honest. The season finale is BRUTAL from the devastating scene where Serena Joy took Offred to see her daughter to the way Offred and the other handmaids refuse to stone one of their own. So what moment to pick? We chose a moment that offered us (and Offred) a glimpse of hope: the scene where Offred finally opened the mysterious package, discovering that they were all letters from Handmaids telling their personal stories. Offred cries as the letters remind her that she is not alone and so do we. We knew in the first few episodes of This Is Us that our time with William was going to be limited but that didn’t lessen the impact of the moment where we lost him. “Memphis” is a gorgeous episode from start to finish but the final scene in the hospital just kicks you in the stomach as Randall gently cups his father’s face and whispers the advice that his adoptive father always gave him when he was having a panic attack. “Just breathe.” YOU MEAN JUST CRY. The relationship between Princess Margaret and Peter Townsend was doomed from the start, thanks to antiquated rules about divorce. Still, we held out hope for The Crown to give them a happy ending. (WE KNOW IT’S HISTORY BUT COME ON.) Despite her promises to not stand in the way, Elizabeth didn’t give permission for her sister to break with tradition and marry the man she loves and our hearts collectively broke for her.
Sage: Bones scared the shit out of all of us in its series finale, saddling Brennan with a brain injury that threatened her career and sent her into an identity crisis. But Booth was there to remind her that, though her intellect is indeed one of the things he loves about her – and that she loves about herself – it’s not the only thing. No one was prepared for Jane The Virgin‘s mid-season shake-up, and the sight of Michael motionless on the floor with lunch Jane packed for him lying right beside him is going to hang over it forever. Jane and Michael were so in tune – lovers and best friends at the very beginning of their lives. Neither of them deserved this, which is what made this choice so powerful. (Pour one out for Feelies winner Brett Dier.) Tyrell was a ghost for almost the entire season of Mr. Robot, a rogue operative who could have been waiting around every corner. That breathless finale standoff showed how devoted Tyrell had become to Mr. Robot’s vision – so devoted that he knew he had to ignore Elliot’s pleas for his life and shoot his own messiah.
YAS QUEEN! Moment
Gillian Anderson’s introduction – American Gods
Bonnie joins the sisterhood – Big Little Lies
Rebecca and her Girls on the cliff – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Jodie Whittaker is the Doctor – Doctor Who
“I feel like a goddamn superhero!” – GLOW
“It feels right.” – Scandal
Sage: “Hey, you ever wanted to see Lucy’s tits?” Gillian Anderson’s Media asks Shadow from his TV in her first appearance on American Gods. Our forever queen was an inspired choice for the goddess of screens and fantasy, transforming over this first season into what I hope are only the first few in a long list of icons. Big Little Lies, they told us at the beginning, was about a death. But it was really about women – what they go through, how they cope, and the systems they set in place with each other to ensure their survival. At that fateful Audrey and Elvis school event, the explosive, abusive marriage of Celeste and Perry reaches a critical point, and with the rest of our heroines present, it’s satellite granola mom Bonnie who steps up to show where her loyalties lie. I’m sure I’m not the only one who cried during Betty Gilpin’s season finale monologue in GLOW, a specific but SO universal speech that could only have been written by a woman. Ridiculed for her new job by her sad, philandering husband, Debbie reclaims her body and herself and tells him where to stick it.
Kim: Even after all the hints Steven Moffat dropped about the future of Doctor Who being female, we still didn’t believe that it would ACTUALLY happen. We all sat with bated breath on July 16th as the teaser introducing the new Doctor was revealed. Lo and behold, we got a glimpse of a female hand and then the camera panned up to reveal Broadchurch‘s Jodie Whittaker. The TARDIS appeared and she gave a mischievous grin. She’s the Doctor already, y’all. As much as Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has been about Rebecca’s quest, it’s ALSO been about Rebecca finding her tribe of misfit girlfriends. For me the most enduring image of season 2 will be Rebecca and her girl-gang on the cliff after Josh Chan jilts her. “It’s my fault,” Rebecca confesses. “It’s my fault they don’t love me.” And then Paula, the most loyal, is like “Fuck that noise.” “Stop it. You hear me? This is not your fault. You have done nothing wrong. Josh is the one to blame. All these men…they are the ones to blame.” It’s such a moment of rage and a moment of collective strength. “Josh Chan must be destroyed.” “What did you have in mind?” YAS QUEEN YAS. Dark!Olivia Pope is my favorite Olivia Pope. Season Six of Scandal blissfully focused on Olivia’s quest for power and GOD was it satisfying to see her scheme and manipulate her way into The White House. “How does it feel to be the most powerful person in the world?” Cyrus asks her on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. “Right,” Olivia says decisively. “It feels right.” FUCK YEAH IT DOES.
Best Warm Fuzzy Moment
Brennan’s Birthday – Bones
Doug Judy does good – Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Eleanor thanks Chidi – The Good Place
Xo and Ro’s Wedding – Jane the Virgin
Maya comes to camp – Speechless
“Still Pretty” – Stranger Things
Kim: If your heart didn’t explode with the warm fuzzies when Xiomara and Rogelio FINALLY tied the knot on Jane the Virgin, you may want to have your heart checked out. It may not have been the perfect wedding that Xiomara dreamed of, but yet it was the perfect wedding for THEM. One of the signatures of Speechless‘ first season was the way they could always knock you on your ass with an emotional moment. (Seriously…for a comedy, I sure did cry a lot over it this year.) There were tons of good moments, but Maya helicoptering to camp so she could wish JJ a good summer took the cake. There were a lot of warm fuzzies in the farewell season of Bones, but the winner here was when Brennan revealed ON HER BIRTHDAY that she was the one who had put Angela forward for a genius grant and that she had written a dazzling recommendation for Daisy’s dream job. The art of Temperance Brennan is that while she may come off blunt and unemotional, the truth is that she has the biggest heart out of all of them.
Sage: It’s a truth universally acknowledged that whenever Jake Peralta puts his trust in small-time crook Doug Judy, Doug Judy will take that trust and whatever money’s on the table and disappear. But in this season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Doug actually came through for his trusting puppy of an opponent, proving that Jake’s goodness can wear down anyone over time. Eleanor and Chidi may be soulmates after all. After the myth of The Good Place came crashing down, Eleanor still thanked her hell-roommate for everything he did to help her be a better person. (“I was dropped into a cave, and you were my flashlight.”) And since Chidi was sentenced to The Bad Place, in part, for being a bad friend, this must have meant a lot. The real evil of Stranger Things isn’t the demogorgon. It’s the men and women who steal childhoods to advance their science. So to see Eleven connect with kids her own age and try to recapture some of that was completely heartbreaking. Now please, can she make it back in time for the Snow Ball??
Best “What the FUCK?!” Moment
Emmit kills Ray – Fargo
It’s the Bad Place – The Good Place
Wes is under the sheet – How to Get Away With Murder
The Lenny reveal – Legion
Cyrus is pulling the strings – Scandal
The Big Three reveal – This Is Us
Sage: Death is a given in any season of Fargo, but the Emmit’s accidental stabbing of his slimey but lovable brother JUST as the two were working towards a reconciliation is a great example of the cosmic punishments this series loves to dole out. The Good Place, man. I should have seen it coming. The first time I thought, “Huh, Tahani seems like kind of a pill,” I should have KNOWN. The show’s dirty secret was expertly weaved in from the very first moment. But I didn’t catch it, and neither did you, and this twist will go down in HISTORY. Just try to take your eye off of Aubrey Plaza’s Legion character when she’s on-screen. One of the funniest women we know transformed herself into a twitchy seductress who turned out to be the very manifestation of malevolence and evil. No big.
Kim: Of the Keating Five, Wes has always been the protagonist. He was our entry into the twisted world of Annalise Keating and he has always been the one that the stories have come back to. So IMAGINE our shock and awe when they pulled the sheet back on How to Get Away with Murder to reveal that he was the one who had died in the fire. Most of the pilot of This Is Us plays out as a standard drama with four interconnected storylines. Our jaws hit the floor in the final moments when the camera pulled back on Milo Ventimiglia’s Jack Pearson to reveal that he was in a hospital in the 80’s and that those three other characters we had gotten to know over the course of the hour were his KIDS. Cyrus Beene has always been an evil mastermind on Scandal but all season it seemed like he had been the victim of the power struggle for the next White House. The reveal that HE had been the one that had planted the assassination idea in Luna Vargas’ mind? That’s the Scandal we all know and love.
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