Here we are, folks! After a week of voting, here are YOUR winners of the Ninth Annual Feelies. Some of the races were runaway victories, some of them were last minute surges that became landslide victories, some of them were nail biters that came down to the very last second. For the first time in our history, we have not one, but two ties!! We’ve got Gods, we’ve got vampires, we’ve got demons, we’ve got pirates, and we’ve got some touch bitches in this post. They’re all worthy and they were all chosen by you. Thank you, as always, for your passion. Let’s celebrate the winners, shall we?
Best Drama: Loki and Yellowjackets
We’ve seen the highs and lows that rapid expansion of the MCU has to offer through its series of Disney+ shows, but to you guys, Loki is not only the best of Marvel but the best of the best. Instead of focusing on action, this spinoff takes a fan-favorite character who still has a lot of life left in him (despite being dead in the primary timeline!) and takes him on a journey of redemption and self-discovery. Throwing the God of Mischief in with an entirely new cast of supporting folks frees the former villain up to reinvent himself once again, and the TVA proves to be among the more intriguing evil agencies in the franchise.
Loki packs an incredible amount of story and charm into just six episodes, from Loki’s endearing friendship with Mobius to your obligatory reveals with broader implications to a love story that’s probably the closest our old pal has ever come to a therapy session. (It’s about the symbolism, y’all.) It looks great, it sounds great (that Natalie Holt score, be still, my heart), and it’s the reason we now have Alligator Loki — that good toothy boy — in our lives. Bring on more timeline futzing in Season Two. — Sage
Tied with Loki is another debut series, only this one is a whole lot gorier and nastier. The love for Yellowjackets grew and grew as word of mouth spread over the course of Season One. And it’s no wonder, since the very concept of it is irresistible to a certain viewer: place the ruthlessness and all-consuming friendships that characterize teen girldom into a real survival scenario, and then cast a bunch of ‘90s It Girls to play the older versions of those characters, who are facing a blackmail plot in the present. Sign me tf up.
Not a single character on Yellowjackets is invested in being likable or even trustworthy, but that didn’t stop me from looking forward to spending time with them. What matters more is that they all have agendas and baggage and the will not just to keep living but to thrive, no matter what it takes, which makes them endlessly interesting and unpredictable. And there’s no stronger side of the story either — the young cast is just as compelling as the adult women, and the writing perfectly rations out the answers to our increasing amount of questions. It’s funny (“There’s no book club??”), stylish, scary, and so very cutting, and I don’t imagine it’ll lose its edge anytime soon. — Sage
Best Comedy: Our Flag Means Death
You’ve talked it through as a crew and you’ve agreed that Our Flag Means Death is your Feelies winner for Best Comedy. Honestly, it’s easy to see why the internet adopted this ragtag group of disaster pirates. OFMD is unabashedly queer, to the point where its the rule for romances, not the exception as multiple pairings spring up over the course of the season. The crew of the Revenge is composed of people of varying ethnicities and body types. All of the characters feel fully formed and fleshed out from the top of the call sheet to the guest stars. It’s a kind of ensemble where everyone can have a different favorite pirate and no one could argue with their reasons. It’s about found family, it’s about following your dreams, it’s about everyone having the ability to reinvent themselves, and it’s about life not ending at middle age.
Oh yeah, and it’s really fucking funny too.
There’s been a lot of debate recently about the use of modern anachronisms in period pieces lately and whether they are appropriate or not. One only needs to look at OFMD for how well it can be done. I’ve thought about Frenchie and Oluwande inventing pyramid schemes or Stede schooling Ed in the art of passive aggression at least once a week since watching it for the first time. The anachronisms work because not only does the show commit to them, it uses them to make inside jokes with the viewer rather than dumb down the material for them. A smart, gay, heart-warming comedy that doesn’t talk down to the audience? No wonder it’s been deemed Feelie worthy. – Kim
Best Actress in a Drama: Mandy Moore, This Is Us
Editor’s Note: Mandy Moore won this category by a landslide. She took the lead on day one and never looked back. We thought there would be no better person to sing her praises than our This Is Us recapper Shannon. — Kim
The last few years have seen a reckoning on our treatment of late 90s and early aughts pop stars. She may not have been at the forefront of that reckoning, but Mandy Moore was absolutely included in it; she’s released two records in the last two years, gone on interview circuits and small tours, and solidified her place as an exceptional actress and folk musician who came out of a mismatched pop career and an abusive first marriage. Obviously a lot of that was thanks to This Is Us. Over six seasons, the show allowed her to completely revamp her public image into something that suited her SO much more. But none of it would have worked if she wasn’t good.
I mean really, really good.
Mandy’s costars have been honored six ways till Sunday, but until this final season, it seemed somehow easy to ignore the fact that more than half of Sterling K. Brown’s most powerful scenes were opposite her – and that her emotional backing and partnership is part of what allowed him to shine. It’s criminal that Mandy Moore was not frequently and consistently recognized by awards bodies for her work on This Is Us, but all of you, the viewing and voting public, know better. Just as Rebecca was the backbone of the Pearsons, Mandy Moore has been the backbone of the This Is Us cast. Episode after episode in her sixth and final season was awards worthy. But when I think of her work, I’ll always think of this: Rebecca, behind a piano, flashing back and forth over decades of her life and holding her family up as long as she could stand it. It was a privilege to watch her work and I can’t wait to see what’s next. — Shannon
Best Actress in a Comedy: Hannah Waddingham, Ted Lasso
Welcome Hannah Waddingham to the Feelies two-timers club! She’s our only returning winner this year and couldn’t be any more deserving. While Season One of Ted Lasso saw Rebecca get out from under the shadow of her anger for ex-husband and put her revenge plot to bed, she still has plenty of growing to do in Season Two, and that includes getting back out there. Little could we have predicted that Rebecca’s search for love would find real, live cinnamon roll Sam Obisanya, but so it did, and Hannah’s performance helps give the unlikely romance stakes. Because Rebecca needs people like Sam and Ted and Roy and Keeley to put her on her back foot and to challenge her to step outside of her comfort zone. It’s so satisfying to watch Rebecca allow life to open up to her, even when it throws her off-kilter.
Rebecca also gets thrown for a loop when her father, who she hated — and later married, in the form of Rupert — passes away. Her grief is complicated, but it illustrates how far she’s come when she lets her friends carry her through the funeral. Lord knows we love a boss bitch here at Head Over Feels, but too much boss-ing and too much bitch-ing and you get a hollow character with nothing to say. Instead, Hannah Waddingham is giving us that combination of vulnerable and imperious that’s so rare on TV, and we can’t wait to have her back for the show’s final season. — Sage
Best Actor in a Drama: Tom Hiddleston, Loki
By now, all of us know that the only trait all of the characters Tom Hiddleston plays need to share is being very, very handsome, but Loki might just be his legacy, and I think the man himself would be fine with that. The actor has taken him from a petty early-MCU villain to a beloved, broken hero, and we’ve been right here at his feet for every single chapter of his story.
Tom’s always been a scene-stealer in the role, but Loki the series lets him shine at full wattage, turn back the clock to set the god down a new path in another timeline, and see the poor traumatized kid through a little bit of TVA-mandated therapy. Whether Loki is using his annoying brotherly skills to show off to Mobius or tearfully trying to stop one of his other selves from doing something he once might have done and lived to regret, Tom is living fully in the character, applying that good ol’ RADA training to some of the best storytelling the franchise has seen. And he does it all in a way that confirms that — even though he’s seen more screentime than most MCU supporting characters — there’s still plenty more to see where Loki is concerned. — Sage
Best Actor in a Comedy: Rhys Darby & Taika Waititi, Our Flag Means Death
Full disclosure, we knew exactly what we were doing the moment we nominated Rhys Darby and Taika Waititi together, but in our defense, how could we ever ask the Our Flag Means Death fandom to choose between its two leads when the performances are so intrinsically tied together? As Stede Bonnet, Rhys Darby is our entry to this world and our main protagonist, and he plays Stede with such lovable haplessness that you can’t help but root for him to succeed. Meanwhile, we don’t meet Taika Waititi’s Ed Teach, better known as Blackbeard, until episode four, though his presence looms large and he has an energy that is almost feral in nature.
Much like a Baz Luhrmann movie though, the show comes alive the moment Ed and Stede meet. Taika and Rhys have a chemistry, a trust, and an ease with each other as performers that can only be borne out of a decades long friendship. They make each other shine! Never is that more evident than in the Blackbeard’s Bar and Grill scene in Episode Seven. As someone who was forced to be in the improv group in college, let me tell you, that scene is a masterclass in saying yes and being intune with your fellow performer. I remember turning to Sage and asking her if they were riffing in that whole scene and I was delighted when she said yes. The energy there felt kinetic and unexpected yet you never doubted that Taika and Rhys were right there with each other the whole time, and that they would never allow the other to get tripped up. Honestly, Rhys’ sly “That’s me!” and Taika’s groan of delight that ends the whole bit is Feelie worthy alone. – Kim
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama: Mandip Gill, Doctor Who and Christina Ricci, Yellowjackets
While fandom opinions of the Chibnall era of Doctor Who are all over the map, there is one thing we can all agree on: Mandip Gill has always been doing the most in her portrayal of Yasmin Khan. And now she’s got a Feelie to show for it.
What astounds me the most about Mandip as an actress is her emotional intelligence and her ability to connect with the audience. As a character, Yaz is often criminally underwritten, but you’d never know it by watching Mandip because she has done the work in creating a rich inner life for herself. While some fans may cry that Thasmin came out of nowhere, those who have been paying attention to Mandip will tell you it’s been there from the word go, and if there was one thing that was rewarding about the most recent series it’s that Mandip got to put all that background work out in the open. When Yaz finally voices what we’ve all known out loud to Dan in “Eve of the Daleks,” it’s incredibly poignant and incredibly relatable to anyone who has ever come out to someone or who has admitted their previously unspoken feelings to a person who created a safe space. That’s the magic of Mandip Gill and I can’t wait to see what is next for her. — Kim
When I started the Yellowjackets pilot, going in completely blind, I assumed that Christina Ricci was playing the adult version of Queen Bee Jackie, mainly due to the fact that Ella Purnell has the same giant Ricci-esque brown eyes. The instant it was revealed that she was actually playing the adult version of Misty Quigley, the team’s equipment manager, outsider, and all around weirdo, it was like DUH. Of course this is Christina’s character.
Really, I should have expected nothing less from the woman who played Wednesday Addams to sheer perfection at ten years old. Everything about Christina’s performance is delightfully unhinged, like she’s been unleashed and allowed to just let her freak flag fly. (There’s a reason Showtime has spent the big bucks to have a plane flying around the skies of San Diego centered around this line, I am just saying.) But at the same time, there’s a vulnerability to Misty because deep down, beneath all the psychopathic tendencies (and there are many!), she just wants to be included. And honestly, why wouldn’t you include her? She’s the only one who keeps a cool head when it comes to the disposing of a body. Now that’s friendship. – Kim
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy: Natasia Demetriou, What We Do in the Shadows
After three full seasons of What We Do in the Shadows, it’s about time the lady of the house got some Feelies recognition. It’s impossible to imagine anyone else but Natasia Demetriou as Nadja of Antipaxos, the HBIC of all Staten Island vampires, including Nandor and her besotted partner Laszlo. In Season Three, we see her rise to a new level of power, co-chairing the Vampiric Council with Nandor — well, sort of (“I do apologize for my associate, he is demented.”) — and reaching a new level of understanding with the doll possessed by her human soul. Natasia gave us so many highlights this past season, including Nadja fruitlessly insisting to her male roommates that she’s not in a catfight with Nandor’s on-again, off-again girlfriend Gail, failing to recognize that the Rat Pack impersonators at their Atlantic City hotel aren’t the same cats she used to pal around with decades earlier, and literally ripping the heart out of any local deadbeat who dares not pay his council dues. It’s easy to see why Laszlo would shun the entire United Kingdom for the rest of his immortal life just for disrespecting her. Game for anything and always ready with the funniest reaction you’ve ever seen, Natasia is giving one of the ballsiest comedic performances on TV right now. — Sage
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama: Michael Emerson, Evil
This website was not around when Lost was on the air, so I could not be more delighted to announce that the great Michael Emerson is now the proud owner of his very own Feelie for his demonically delicious work on Evil.
Leland Townsend, you guys. I love everything about this character and Michael’s performance. It makes me giddy watching Michael camp it up every week with the level of conviction that can only be expected from the man who brought Benjamin Linus to life. I love how he purrs Kristin and David’s names, always adding at least two or three syllables every time. I love all of his scenes with Christine Lahti’s Sheryl and how they go toe to toe with each other, showing that you never really know who has the upper hand there at any given moment. At the end of the day, everything about Evil is so highly stylized and batshit insane, but the reason the show works is because you have an actor like Michael Emerson committing to it with his whole chest. Bless the Kings for enabling this man to run rampant with the material and bless all of you for recognizing his greatness. – Kim
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy: Harvey Guillen, What We Do in the Shadows
After three consecutive nominations, Harvey Guillén finally takes home the Feelie for What We Do in the Shadows, and it’s a bit of a case of art imitating life. We were introduced to Guillermo in Season One as Nandor’s long-suffering familiar, an errand boy and one-man clean-up crew who was regretting leaving his job at Panera Bread. And while he’s still not appreciated to the extent he should be — he ends the season nailed into a crate bound for England, after all — Guillermo has used his cunning, basic life skills, and devotion to the rest of the crew not only to improve his own circumstances but also to keep the found family together. Harvey’s performance grounds all the madcap vampire shenanigans, but he adds enough little comedic touches to let you know that he’s still having just as much fun as the rest of the cast.
I think what’s key here is that Harvey always took Guillermo seriously, even when nobody else did, which has made his glo-up all the more believable. We love him whether he’s manipulating his way into sitting on the Vampiric Council throne, being dangled as sexy bait for the escaped Sire, or stepping up as his master’s “heart guard,” always trying to get between Nandor and disappointment. If only we all had a Gizmo looking out for us. — Sage
Best Limited or Anthology Series: Midnight Mass
Showrunner Mike Flanagan and his modern acting troupe have done it again with Midnight Mass. Rich with Americana and religious trauma, this is a horror miniseries you can sink your teeth into — if it doesn’t sink its teeth into you first. There’s a reason why its title was trending after the Emmy nominations came out. That’s a snub of the first order, because Midnight Mass is the total package, with exquisite acting from the likes of Hamish Linklater, Zach Gilford, Kate Siegel, Rahul Kohli, and Annabeth Gish; incisive writing; and a lot of very genuine scares. The story itself dates back quite a while, to before Doctor Sleep and Mike’s other Netflix successes (the Haunting anthology). But I’m glad he waited until he had a decent budget and the right people in his stable to really pull it off, because it’s an idea that deserves proper execution. Midnight Mass uses the isolation of its fishing village setting to great effect, weaving a terrifying tale of how regret can either heal or cause further harm, depending on how much ownership a person feels over than own life. It’s one of those shows that I couldn’t stop thinking about long after I finished it, because anything that deeply sad and that tragically human tends to stick with you. — Sage
Best Leading Performance in a Limited or Anthology Series: Amanda Seyfried, The Dropout
In The Dropout, Amanda Seyfried lets us all know that the Oscar nomination for Mank was no fluke, delivering an absolutely scorching performance as disgraced CEO and con artist Elizabeth Holmes. She’s so good that it’s hard to believe that she was actually the second choice for the role, only taking over after Kate McKinnon dropped out of the project because of scheduling conflicts. I can’t imagine anyone other than Amanda Seyfried pulling this part off now that I’ve seen her do it. She’s that good.
Perhaps it’s because she started out in teen movies that aren’t necessarily taken seriously in the industry, but Amanda really captures Elizabeth’s sense of imposter syndrome and her hunger to succeed at any cost. She never loses Elizabeth’s social awkwardness (the “Jealous” dance scene is seared onto my memory in a painful way) but her transformation into CEO Elizabeth with her black turtlenecks and bright red lipstick and deepened voice is nothing short of chilling. It’s a master performance and one that hints of many more to come. – Kim
Best Supporting Performance in a Limited or Anthology Series: Zach Gilford, Midnight Mass
We are known Zach Gilford stans here at Head Over Feels (check our Friday Night Lights tag if you don’t believe me), so any moment that brings him back to our screens is a happy one. As Riley Flynn in Midnight Mass, Zach fulfills the potential of a young Matt Saracen, showing us that a masterpiece episode like “The Son” was really just the beginning for him. He has one of the most challenging roles on our Best Limited Series winner, playing a man who’s wracked with guilt, not only for ending another person’s life but for destroying his own. Yet, there’s never any sense that Riley is a lost cause. As haunted and broken as he is, he’s not as lost as Father Paul, and it’s such a pleasure to watch Zach — one of the best scene partners in the biz — reconnect with the other people in his life who remind him of that fact. — Sage
Best Shipper Moment: Ed and Stede on the beach, Our Flag Means Death
I was a late adopter of Our Flag Means Death, so while I knew that an actual real live romance unfolded between Stede Bonnet and Blackbeard, I had no idea how it would all go down. I wish that instead of this paragraph I could just submit the Instagram story Sage took of me reacting to the beach scene instead. My hands were on my face from the moment Ed sat down next to Stede on the beach, the pair of them lit so lovingly by the golden hour. I watched through my fingers as Ed confessed that he actually felt a bit relieved at the moment, and he really just wanted to focus on what made him happy. I wailed “YOU!” the moment Stede asked “What makes Ed happy?”
Those wails increased when Ed actually SAID that Stede made him happy, looking at him like he hung the moon as Stede’s eyebrows shot up, a lopsided dopey smile on his face. The wails turned into screams the moment Ed went for it, the kiss wonderfully awkward in the way that only first kisses can be while also making it the greatest kiss of all time. I swear to God there were claw marks down my face when Stede whispered “You make Stede happy,” all while Ed gently stroked his cheek. (I am on fire right now recounting all of this TBH.) It was me going “OH NO OH NO OH NO!” the instant Ed suggested they just run away together. And it was me turning to Sage the moment the scene was over and asking if we could watch it again. Truly, it’s the stuff Feelies are made of. – Kim
Best Right in Feels Moment: Ed’s Heartbreak, Our Flag Means Death
No more chilling moment in Our Flag Means Death than the one when you realize that there’s simply too much of the season left for Ed and Stede to be already finding their happily ever after. What takes place after Stede fails to show up at the dock to meet Ed is even worse than Ed simply being abandoned. No, the worst of it is that Ed does not look the slightest bit surprised. You can see it in his eyes that he expected this — that he’d always known he’d be left — and Taika plays that resignation so brutally. (It’s very “who could ever learn to love a beast?”) Given all of his issues and Stede’s shameful lack of communication skills, who can blame Ed for retreating back into Blackbeard? It’s Psych 101, but still so painful to watch him literally cast aside the person he was revealing himself to be and wallowing in his reminders of Stede at the same time. — Sage
Best Warm Fuzzy: Isaac comes out to Hetty, Ghosts
Inspired by Thor’s breakthrough in therapy, Isaac takes a huge step himself on Ghosts. And while I don’t know that I would have predicted that Hetty would be the one he came out to first, she was 1000% the right choice. From the moment she pats the seat next to her to the moment she declares that “the only tragedy” is that they haven’t been gossiping about boys the entire time they’ve known each other, Hetty is right there for Isaac, reminding him that he is first and foremost her friend and asking gentle, non-invasive questions. It’s a beautifully written scene that lets us know that while the show has had some fun with Isaac’s secret crush and previously unspoken sexuality, neither itself is a joke. — Sage
Best YAAAASSSSSS! Moment: The Widow Mary Bonnet living her best life, Our Flag Means Death
Given that Stede is the protagonist of Our Flag Means Death, it would have been a super easy and obvious choice for the writers to make Mary Bonnet an unpleasant shrew because Stede’s marriage is an obstacle to his true happiness. But because OFMD is neither easy nor obvious, the show subverts expectations by making it clear that Mary is equally unhappy in this loveless marriage that she never asked for. She gamely tries to make the best of the situation she’s in, but it’s apparent that she’s just as miserable as Stede is. And Stede, God love him, has this whole image in his mind about Mary suffering in his absence, her life completely ruined because of his selfish decision to run off and play pirate.
It couldn’t be further from the truth. From the opening shot of the season finale, where she is starfished in the middle of her big bed, it’s clear that Mary Bonnet is thriving in her new life as a widow. (Actually thriving too, not Dakota Johnson in Persuasion thriving.) She’s given up the trappings of her past life, exchanging elaborate gowns for a more comfortable menswear-esque wardrobe. She wears her hair in perfectly messy buns. She spends her time painting, establishing a career for herself. Her kids are also thriving, she has a ladies group that includes the always fabulous Kristin Johnston, and she has a lover who fulfills her every desire. THRIVING. No wonder she vomits when Stede shows up on her doorstep. — Kim
Best WTF?! Moment: Mobius doesn’t know Loki, Loki
While Loki probably could have coasted on Tom Hiddleston’s charm and love for the character alone, what made it sing was the relationship between Loki and Mobius. It’s not just the chemistry between Hiddleston and Owen Wilson, which is off the charts, it’s the chemistry between the characters. Mobius is an actual friend to Loki, maybe his first actual friend; he believes in the best of Loki and he makes sure to tell him that all the time. Loki, on the other hand, teaches Mobius to think out of the box and that sometimes you gotta break the rules to get shit done. They are a perfect yin and yang.
Infinity War and Endgame taught us the perils of messing with timelines. Hell, the whole thesis of Loki as a show and the TVA as an entity is monitoring the sanctity of timelines and eliminating variants that can threaten nexus points. We know all this. AND YET it’s still shocking when, after Loki is zapped back to what he thinks is the sacred timeline, he tracks down Mobius to warn him that everything is going to shit and Mobius is just like…“What division are you from?” It’s devastating and it perfectly tees up a second season. Bring it on. — Kim
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